Your Keto Shopping List Cheat Sheet for Beginners

The keto diet always sounds like a great idea - that is - until you have to do it.

You can have the best diet plan in the world, but if you head to the grocery store sans shopping list - you might end up in a world of hurt.

That's why we want to equip you with the best keto shopping list so you know exactly what you need to do to plan for success and get in, get out and get on with your keto lifestyle - without getting distracted by the shiny objects and sugary temptations rife in the grocery store.

Planning Your Keto Shopping List Macros

Keto is slightly different from it's sister diet paleo. Unlike paleo, on keto you should care about macros - at least a little bit. If you don't - you're probably going to get all the worst part about keto without any of the good parts. Oof. That's no good.

Fat - 70% of Calories

Fats contain about 9 calories per g of fat so it may be easier to hit this number than you think.You should aim to get 70% of your diet from healthy fats. Unprocessed fats from fish, steak, and other high quality meats. You should also focus on quality oils (olive, coconut, and avocado oil) and make sure you avoid typical processed oils.

Protein - 25-28% of Calories

Protein only contains 4 calories per g so you should aim to get about 25%

On the low end, you should make sure you're eating at least .8g protein per kg of weight (.36g). This is likely very low on a keto diet, but as we said - that's the absolute floor.

Carbohydrates - 2-3% of Calories

Carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram, so you should be aiming to have less than 50g (200 calories) in your daily diet in order to stay in ketosis. You can play around with this (some people try to go to absolute zero) and some people can maintain ketosis at slightly higher levels - but you can need to experiment for yourself.

Once you know roughly how many calories you need to eat and how you want to break them down - it's time to head to the grocery store!

What To Include on Your Keto Shopping List

This is a pretty comprehensive keto food list, but in leiu of naming every keto food in the known universe, here's a tried and true grocery list that should get you through the local supermarket.

Eggs

Eggs are incredible. They're cheap, nutritious and go incredible with everything. Fried, scrambled, or over-easy next to a steak. You can't go wrong by making this a staple of your shopping cart.

Fish

Depending on where you are in the world, this may be more or less available. A great source of Omega 3s, you're in good shape with these making a regular appearance on your shopping list.

Poultry

Fish, duck, turkey (on Thanksgiving) and other flying animals. Eat 'em up. They're delicious.

Meat

Any other animal you can think of probably goes here. But, in our opinion, nothing really compares to a classic ribeye - medium please.

Full Fat Dairy

While processed dairy is sometimes higher in sugar than fat and can actually spike your glucose, full fat dairy is the way to go. Whole milk, cheese, yogurts and more. If they agree with your stomach - give them a shot.

Vegetables

While some keto advocates avoid vegetables - they're still good for you! Our favorites are greens like asparagus, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and more. Sautee them up with coconut oil and garlic and you have an awesome side for your favorite steak.

Nuts & Seeds

Always great for a portable snack. Be careful to not overdo these (they're super high in fat), but they can be filling - especially while you're on a road trip or jaunting through airports.

What to Exclude on your Keto Shopping List

Here's a few things you should avoid putting on your keto shopping list - if you want to stay in ketosis all day.

Bread

Bread is off the menu. Essentially one step removed from processed sugar, if you're trying to stay keto - bread is not going to help.

Grains

Other grain based foods - like pasta - are also off the list - sadly.

High starch vegetables

Depending on how they're prepared - high starch foods like potatoes, etc can spike your glucose levels. The best way to tell this is to monitor yourself and see if they knock you out of ketosis. If they do - avoid them!

Super sugary fruits

Most fruits are great and just fine to eat, but you may notice that some fruits like mangoes (darn) might raise your

Processed Foods

There's no space for processed foods on a keto diet! Find some better options on our keto snack list instead.

Candy

These are tasty - but again - there are better options on a keto diet.

The Keto Shopping List "Donut" Shopping Hack

One of the ways to hack the system when it comes to shopping on your keto diet is to use the "donut" hack. Unfortunately there aren't any real donuts involved. Instead, visualize the grocery store as a donut with a hole in the center. Utilize the outside of the store - that's where you're going to find most of the keto friendly items.

Key Keto Tips + Themes

  • Try to eat real food as much as possible.
  • When deciding between sugar and fats, tend toward full fat from real foods.
  • Make your list before you go to the store and stick to it.
  • If you don't see the "keto" label, look for "low carb" or "diabetic" friendly labels.
  • Eat around the outside of the grocery store. Avoid the processed food center of the store!

Other Keto Friendly Resources

Other keto helpful resources you might enjoy:

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Joel Runyon

About the Author

Joel Runyon

Joel Runyon is the founder of Ultimate Meal Plans. Joel is an ultra endurance athlete and entrepreneur. He's also the founder of Ultimate Paleo Guide, MoveWell and is the founder of IMPOSSIBLE ® - a lifestyle performance brand helping people push their limits in fitness and life.

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