Not sure where to start with the keto diet? We've got your back with this keto shopping list featuring real food pantry staples! We'll share everything from the best healthy fats, to savory snacks, sweet treats, fat coffee must-haves, condiments and drinks. Plus we'll share the best brands to buy, how to get exclusive savings and even provide a free, printable grocery list!
Heard all the hype about the keto diet and curious about implementing keto into your lifestyle? You're going to love our keto shopping list of real food pantry staples, whether you recently started keto, are curious about trying it out, or you simple want to eat delicious, good-for-you foods!
For the uninitiated: what is the keto diet, exactly?
The ketogenic diet, or keto for short, is one of the most trending diets of the last couple years that has really exploded as of late. Many people are losing weight, balancing their blood sugar and feeling much better overall when they adopt a keto lifestyle.
You may remember low carb diets like the Atkins being all the rage back in the 90s and early 2000s. What's different about keto?
Two big factors: a) the amount of protein–Atkins was a high protein diet, whereas keto is moderate protein; and b) ketogenic diets are largely comprised of healthy fats, which–when coupled with very low carb intake–puts you in ketosis, a metabolic state where your body burns fat instead of carbs for fuel.
What does this look like on your plate? Your food macros break down into a very high amount of healthy fats (about 75-80% of your diet), moderate amounts of protein (about 15-20%), and a very small amount of carbs (about 5%).
Burning ketones in place of glucose (carbs) lowers inflammation, fuels your brain, boosts your energy and often leads to weight loss. Awesome, right?
Potentially–yes. But, I do have some cautionary advice to throw out there before you hop on the keto bandwagon.
First: because keto has become so popular, many big-name food brands who want their slice of the profit pie have created keto bars, drinks and snacks that are NOT REAL FOOD! They're filled with artificial sweeteners and processed garbage that you should NOT be eating just because it has a keto label. So as always, read your labels and know what you're putting in your body. Ingredients > Marketing.
To help make your life easier, we've created this keto shopping list for real food pantry staples. If you're going to do keto, make sure you're nourishing yourself with high-quality, real, healthy foods as much as possible.
Note that we did not include things here like fresh vegetables, fruits or animal proteins because this keto shopping list is focused on non-perishables like snacks, cooking fats, sweet treats, fat coffees, etc.
Since we recommend eating whole foods as much as possible, some perfecto keto snacks not on the list below are things like hard-boiled eggs, avocados, cucumber, celery and jicama slices, berries (in small amounts), and organic, raw and grass-fed cheeses.
When it comes to meat and fish, it's critical that you're eating: grass-fed and grass-finished, organic beef; heritage breed, nitrate-free pork; pasture-raised, organic chicken; and wild-caught seafood. For our favorite places to order healthy meats online that deliver right to your door–that are also humanely and sustainably raised–see this post!
And, if you have a few minutes to make your own snacks vs. reaching for a package, may we recommend some of our utterly delicious fat bomb recipes?
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Fat Bombs
- Pumpkin Pie Ketogenic Fat Bombs (Paleo)
- Keto Matcha Coconut Fat Balls
The Ketogenic Diet: Is it for Everyone?
My second disclaimer: we here at R+R are not keto, and we don't necessarily recommend the keto diet for everyone.
Keto or otherwise, I personally do not believe that nutrition is one size fits all; or put another way, no single diet is going to be right for every single person.
However, we've noticed that a lot of our readers who suffer from PCOS, Leaky Gut, hypothyroidism, IBS and insulin resistance have had a lot of success with keto. So not only do we absolutely love hearing that and want to support you if you're currently keto or want to give it a shot, but we do actually like a lot of the basic principles of keto.
Primarily: we agree that it's important to reduce your carbs, especially refined flours and sugars, and increase your intake of healthy fats.
The reason I personally don't love Keto is because I believe there are healthy carbs like fiber-rich vegetables, fruits and gluten-free whole grains that should be an important part of your diet, especially if you suffer from hormonal imbalances or digestion issues.
Yet, these foods–like sweet potatoes, beets, nearly all fruits, sprouted rice, and quinoa, to name a few–are usually avoided in the mainstream keto diet. That's pretty much why I'm not 100% keto and don't typically recommend it. I just can't get behind a diet that bans vegetables.
If you do struggle with any of the health conditions we talk about here on R+R, then we do definitely recommend that you take a look at these other posts that will hopefully help you with your health journey:
- PCOS Diet for Weight Loss, Fertility + Hormone Balance
- PCOS Weight Loss: 10 Diet, Weight Loss + Exercise Tips
- Natural Treatments for Hypothyroidism: Anxiety, Fatigue, Constipation + Weight Gain
- How I Cured PCOS + Leaky Gut Naturally!
- How to Heal Leaky Gut + Cure IBS Naturally
That being said, we're here for you readers! We know you're interested in keto, whether you just want to try out a few keto foods or want to fully dive in. And, there are many adaptations of the keto diet (like cyclical keto, or carb-ups) that do sometimes include higher carb foods like carrots, butternut squash and bananas.
So there are numerous ways that you can make the keto diet for you. It just takes some experimenting and seeing what makes you feel the best! Listen to YOUR body and forget the rest.
Now, without further ado: onward, my friends, to our keto shopping list!
Keto Shopping List: Savory Snacks
*Note: for anything that comes in a package–be it a protein bar, jar of tomato sauce, mustard, chocolate, nuts–you must read the label and check for added sugars. Sugar in all forms is a no-no on keto, so be sure to familiarize yourself with all the code names of sugar like maltodextrin, dextrose, sucrose, maltose, rice syrup, barley malt and many more, as they sneak into the majority of packaged foods!
- Fermented and pickled items: olives, pickles, sauerkraut and kimchi
- Nuts + nut butters: really all kinds (as long as they're unsweetened/have no sugars added), but branch out and try new ones to keep things interesting! Be cautious of overdoing higher carb nuts like cashews, chestnuts and pistachios.
- Macadamia nuts (a staple since they're super high in healthy fats and oh so delicious!)
- Pili Nut Pumpkin Spice Butter with Lion's Mane
- Sacha Inchi (a.k.a. Incan peanuts–this superfood is filled with omegas + protein!)
- Other nuts + seeds: almonds, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, hemp seeds, pine nuts
- Nut butters: almond butter, peanut butter, macadamia nut butter, pecan butter, sunflower butter (You can also make your own easily in the Vitamix to be sure you're butters are unsweetened. Simply dry roast some raw nuts in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes until lightly browned, then blend in a high speed blender with just a little salt until creamy! This works wonders for pecans, hazelnuts and macadamia nuts since these nut butters are hard to find unsweetened.)
- EPIC bars + other jerkies or meat sticks like Paleovalley 100% Grass-Fed Meat Sticks
- EPIC or 4505 Pork rinds
- Packets of wild-caught, low mercury tuna + sardines
- Kale chips (check label to be sure there's no sugar added!)
- Seaweed snacks
- Cheese crisps
- Thrive Market's Keto Diet Starter Kit: filled with canned fish, almond butter, pork rinds, bone broth and other keto staples like avocado oil mayo, Thai coconut curry sauce, electrolyte powders and wonder noodles
PRO TIP: You'll see that a lot of these links lead to items available at Thrive Market, one of my favorite places to shop online for healthy groceries. Especially if you're doing something like keto, Thrive Market is a no brainer! You can get so many specialty items at wholesale prices, saving you TONS of money!
Right now, Thrive Market is offering an extra 25% off your first order when you sign up using this link, plus free shipping over $49+ orders and a free 30-day trial (available to new shoppers only).
Keto Shopping List: The Best Healthy Fats
- Unrefined avocado oil
- Unrefined coconut oil
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Organic MCT oil
- Organic grass-fed ghee: Organic Valley + 4th & Heart are my faves (you've gotta try 4th & Heart's vanilla ghee, it's to die for!)
- Pastured, grass-fed butter
- Grass-fed beef tallow
- Duck fat
- Primal Kitchen's avocado oil mayo
- Macadamia nut oil
FATS TO AVOID
While we're at it, let's briefly mention unhealthy fats you want to avoid. Keto or not, I always recommend avoiding things like margarine, vegetable shortening and hydrogenated oils or partially hydrogenated oils (look for these on ingredient labels too!).
For keto, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) should also be avoided or at least limited as they are prone to oxidation, meaning they can form free radicals, which in turn create inflammation in the body. There are many oils high in PUFAs. Some of the most common oils (in order of their PUFA percentages) are grapeseed, sunflower, flax, safflower, soybean, corn oil, walnut, cottonseed, vegetable, sesame, peanut, and canola.
If you need a high heat oil, coconut and avocado work wonders!
Keto Shopping List: Desserts, Baking + Sweet Treats
- Lily's Chocolate Bars + Chocolate Chips (stevia sweetened)
- Organic, raw coconut butter
- Perfect Keto Bars
- Dang's Unsweetened Coconut Chips
- Keto Bark
- So Delicious' line of dairy-free, sugar-free ice creams + bars
- Raw cacao nibs or 100% raw cacao chocolate
- Raw cacao butter
- Raw cacao powder
- Almond flour
- Coconut flour
- Coconut cream
KETO APPROVED SWEETENERS:
- Organic Stevia
- Lakanto: An extensive line of monk fruit sweetened syrups, chocolate bars, sugar replacements and a whole lot more. Use the code ROOT for 15% off your purchase!
- Raw organic yacon syrup: Yacon is a tuber native to Peru, and its syrup is super sweet. Yacon technically does have a small amount of sugar and carbs; however, yacon is also naturally high in prebiotics and only scores a 1 on the Glycemic Index. Yacon also bulks up the stool, improves gastric emptying, decreases food cravings, and reduces fat accumulation in the liver, making it a great real food option to use sparingly. (source)
- Swerve 1:1 Sugar Replacement: Made from erythritol and comes in regular, confectioners, brown, etc.
- Just Like Sugar: Made from chicory root, another prebiotic that feeds friendly gut bugs! Its carbs are indigestible, so they pass right through your digestive tract with a zero-calorie impact.
Keto Shopping List: Coffee, Tea + Add-Ins to Make Fat Coffees
- Coffee: Make sure you buy organic and ideally shade-grown. Some of the best brands out there are Bulletproof, Blue Spruce Coffee for decaf, and Kion, a company that’s tested to be free of pesticides, mold, ochratoxins, aflatoxins, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), and yeast. Another great superfood-infused option is Four Sigmatic's adaptogenic mushroom coffees and elixirs (use the code ROOTANDREVEL for 10% off your order!).
- Tea: I love Pique Tea because it's the only Triple Toxin Screened tea on the market with 12x the antioxidants of regular teas. Plus it easily dissolves in hot OR cold water–so cool! Get up to two free cartons + free shipping when you use our link.
- Power Creamer: Made from grass-fed ghee, organic coconut oil and MCT Oil all in one for an instantly creamy, delicious and energizing cup of java! Comes in original, cinnamon, vanilla + cacao flavors. Use the code ROOT10 for 10% off!
- Organic, Grass-fed Half & Half (I love Organic Valley's Grassmilk label)
- Canned full fat coconut milk
- Grass-fed collagen: I love Vital Proteins' brand. Go for plain, vanilla or other flavors! If you join their subscription service, you'll get 20% off your first order and 10% off of every reoccurring order.
- TraLa: Coffee sweetener made out of yacon syrup (see the above section in sweeteners for more about yacon) that's just the right amount of sweet and comes in original, vanilla, and hazelnut
Keto Shopping List: Condiments
- Coconut aminos
- Primal Kitchen's dressings + sauces: not everything is keto but the majority are (just select ‘keto' from the drop down menu). Use the code ROOT10 for 10% off your order at Primal Kitchen!
- Apple cider vinegar
- coconut vinegar
- marinara sauce
Keto Shopping List: Drinks
- Dry Farm Wines: Yes, you CAN have wine on keto! BUT you must make sure that it's sugar-free and carb-free. The only place I know that tests their natural, organic and biodynamic wines to also be free of carbs and sugar is Dry Farm Wines (they even have sugar-free sparkling, too!). Get your first bottle for just a penny here!
- Bone broth: use the code RRHQ15 for 15% off your purchase of Kettle & Fire's slow simmered, grass-fed + grass-finished bone broth!
- sparkling water and club soda with a fresh squeeze of lemon or lime
- electrolyte powder
- Zevia stevia sodas
- kombucha (in moderation, it does have natural sugars so hardcore ketoers don't drink kombucha, but others say some is okay in moderation)
What are your favorite keto staples? Let us know in the comments below!