The Keto diet is quite popular at the moment. It has been for the last few years and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere soon. However, figuring out where to begin can often be the most challenging part. But the first step will be creating a keto shopping list.
No matter what, this is going to be a significant change, and you don’t want to get scared away before your diet even begins. Luckily, there are so many options. Unfortunately, it can be incredibly challenging to figure out where to start.
If you haven’t started following this diet yet, you might think this is ridiculous. How could you have that many options? Aren’t you cutting most things out?
Returning to Basics
We have always had a plethora of whole foods to choose from. They have been around since the beginning of time, and are all we have ever needed. But instead of taking advantage of them, processed foods have taken over our pantries.
That’s because they are the easiest thing to grab and prepare, but they’re also far from the healthiest choice.
Unfortunately, many of the processed options are also fairly dangerous, although it’s hard to pinpoint just how dangerous they can be. Many have long-term side effects that are impossible to identify because the list of ingredients is a mile long.
That is why people are interested in keto or paleo diets now. It’s an excellent way to return to the food options we would have had before all these processed foods took center stage.
Keto shopping can be stressful because there are so many temptations around you. Stressful but not impossible. All you need to do is learn what to add to your keto shopping list.
The Benefits of the Keto Diet
We have mentioned that a ketogenic diet focuses on whole food and avoids processed junk food. We also said how dangerous junk food can be, at least based on the unnatural ingredients and copious amounts of sugar that they contain.
But we haven’t gotten around to just how incredible the keto diet can be for losing weight. At least, if that’s your goal. Even if it isn’t, it’s a nice bonus.
For almost the majority of us, losing weight and keeping the pounds off are the reasons for dieting in the first place. By cutting down on carbs, calories, and sugar, you are forcing your body to burn the fat that you already have.
While exercise is crucial, keeping a proper diet is going to make it much easier to maintain a healthy body weight. You won’t have to exercise as hard or as often to get rid of unwanted body fat.
Instead of doing extreme fat-burning exercises that burn you out, you can stick to a simple daily routine to build strength slowly. In our experience, this is the most effective method for those of us who have lost all motivation. After all, you don’t want to over-do a workout and go back to swearing off exercise entirely.
Rules to live by
There aren’t as many rules to the keto diet as you might think. But the ones that exist are crucial to your success.
First of all, you should only be eating whole foods. In other words, you need to pick food that only has one ingredient or at least a concise ingredient list. For instance, if you get marinated meat, you should make sure that it only uses oils and spices. Avoid added sugars or unpronounceable preservatives.
Therefore, many fruits and most vegetables qualify, as well as meats, dairy, spices, and herbs.
Then again, that only gives you a general idea of what you should be adding to your keto shopping list. There are restrictions within each of these categories that you should get used to before you write up your keto shopping list. We will be breaking down further as we go.
Since you will mainly be making your food at home, you should pack your fridge full of beneficial ingredients. You should also get rid of junk food that can lead you astray in moments of weakness.
Of course, these are just some general rules, and they won’t give you the full picture of what your keto shopping will entail. We will be breaking down this list further to help you plan ahead.
Please remember that we are not nutritionists or experts in any way; we are just doing as much research as possible to give you the information you need. We also won’t be able to cover everything you need to know. We just want to provide you with a head start on your keto shopping list.
Everything You Need to Add to Your Keto Shopping List
So, what should you put on your keto shopping list?
Once you browse this list and gain a better understanding of what to look for and what to avoid, you’ll be well on your way.
Fortunately, there isn’t much to learn. After you know the rules that come with all the different foods, it will only be a matter of finding what you like. That can be one of the major hangups of starting a diet like this one. If you’re a picky eater and set in your ways, you may have a harder time sticking to your diet.
As you wean yourself off of the sugar and bold artificial flavors, it will get a bit easier to enjoy seemingly bland vegetables. You will actually be able to appreciate their natural flavors for once.
Vegetables are about to be your best friend
Many vegetables are free game. They are packed full of the things your body needs. However, there are a few restrictions. To give you an idea of that best and worst vegetables for your keto shopping list, we just wanted to cover the bases. You will find some of the most readily available vegetables and their benefits or shortcomings below.
- Arugula: High fiber content, B vitamins, antioxidants, and essential minerals.
- Spinach: Vitamins A and C, fiber, folic acid, protein, iron, and minerals.
- Eggplant: Low in calories and high in fiber.
- Mushrooms: Fiber, protein, B vitamins, selenium, potassium, copper, and vitamin D.
- Broccoli: Calcium, vitamins A, K, and C, phosphorus, and zinc.
- Cauliflower: High in fiber and B-vitamins. Also makes a great substitute for many starches, including potatoes and rice.
- Zucchini: High in fiber, vitamins B6, C, and K, riboflavin, folate, and minerals, including manganese and potassium.
- Bell peppers: Rich in vitamins, antioxidants, vitamin C, and carotenoids.
- Cabbage: High in vitamins C and K. Plus, it makes a fabulous substitute for a wrap or keto pocket.
- Celery: Contains vitamin A, K, C, and 12 different kinds of antioxidants. Plus, there’s nothing better than a celery stick and a bit of healthy peanut butter.
- Brussel sprouts: Rich in folates, fiber, Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
- Asparagus: An excellent source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E, and K. It also includes chromium, which enhances insulin’s ability to transport glucose.
- Onions: Rich in vitamin C and B vitamins, as well as fiber, potassium, and essential antioxidants.
- Lettuce: Focus on romaine rather than iceberg. It’s high calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. It’s also packed with vitamins C and K.
As you can probably imagine, these aren’t the only vegetables on the market. But if we cover them all, we’ll be here all day.
Vegetables to avoid
There are only a few vegetables you need to steer clear of, but it will be easier to look out for them if you understand why.
Root vegetables: potatoes, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, and parsnips. Onions are sworn off by many people in a keto diet as well. But I think it’s a little easier to eat them in moderation than other root vegetables, so I left them off this list.
Legumes: Otherwise known as beans, lentils, and peas of any kind, are too high in carbs for a keto diet.
Tofu: I know tofu isn’t a vegetable, but it is made of soy and often found in the produce section. So roll with me here. But soy products are far too processed and can affect your hormone levels.
Butternut squash: While most forms of squash are suitable for a keto diet, butternut squash isn’t one of them. It’s too high in natural sugars and carbs.
Fruits can be tricky
Fruits are lovely and healthy treats. However, when you’re on a keto diet, you should be avoiding sugars. Fruit can corrupt your whole plan if you aren’t careful. Bananas, apples, peaches, pears, tropical fruits, and so many more are packed full of natural carbs and sugars.
In reality, it is easier to give you a shortlist of fruits that won’t throw your progress down the gutter.
We know that the last two drift between a list for fruits and veggies, depending on who you ask. But since they’re technically fruits, we’re going to drop them here. Avocados are an excellent source of fat for your keto diet. It’s a fantastic snack if you want to stay full for a more extended period of time.
The more meats, the merrier
Meat, fish, and eggs are essential for this diet, but there are a few rules. Rather than giving you a list of all the acceptable meats, we’d rather give you some rules to keep in mind.
For one thing, you should stay away from lunchmeats of any kind. They are highly processed and often contain sugar, not to mention the endless list of ingredients and preservatives.
Instead, you should focus on cooking your own meats and pay attention to the meat that you purchase. Steer clear of anything that has preservatives or added sugars. It’s more of a concern with bacon or ham or anything else that has been cured. You may be better served by going to the butcher for those items.
Grass-fed, organic, or free-range cuts are the best option for your keto shopping list as well. They are rich in protein, all-natural, and free of hormones or antibiotics. They have a ton of other benefits as well, which are worth a little research if you’re interested.
Boost your day with some dairy
When it comes to dairy, you have some freedom. Make sure you’re buying full-fat products, rather than their low-fat alternatives.
Other than that, you need to make sure you’re avoiding sugary options as well, such as yogurt. You can still eat plain greek yogurt, but you should add keto-friendly fruit yourself.
You can also enjoy cream, butter, cream cheese, cottage cheese, and cheese. Just make sure that these items aren’t processed alternatives, such as American cheese, Velveeta, or cheese dips.
You also should skip regular milk. Instead, you can use cream or nut milk. Regular milk is relatively high in sugar, and since all the fat has been removed to create the cream. Therefore, it won’t be much use to you. With this in mind, make sure to avoid sweetened kinds of milk.
The right oils make all the difference
Oils are another thing you might not think about when drawing up your keto shopping list. However, they can be handy for adding flavor and cooking. There are also so many oils that people don’t take advantage of regularly.
Consider some new options such as:
- Coconut oil
- Avocado oil
- Nut oils
- Coconut butter
- Extra virgin olive oil
There isn’t much to say about the different oils. The more natural they are, the better they will be for you. It’s time to step away from canola and vegetable oil and try something new.
Picking the right condiments
Even though you won’t be making sandwiches, you are going to need some keto-friendly condiments to make your diet a little more bearable. Salad dressings will actually be one of the most dangerous things to watch out for. Many of us add them to our salads, assuming they will be as healthy as the lettuce and toppings that lay beneath the flood.
Unfortunately, that isn’t entirely true. Salad dressings often contain sugar and are high in carbs. Therefore, you need to choose carefully. Pick things that mainly have oils and seasonings, rather than some of the creamy alternatives.
You could also consider:
- Olive oil mayonnaise
- Unsweetened ketchup
- Soy sauce
- Hot sauce
- Full-fat ranch
- Blue cheese
- Sugar-free barbeque sauce
There are other options as well, but this seems like a good little list to begin with. It should at least give you some idea of what you can add to your keto shopping list. There’s no need for a bland salad or dry chicken salad after all!
Make sure to add snacks to your keto shopping list
Even though you won’t have the same snacking options as someone free from the grasp of a diet, you will still have some choices.
For one thing, just about every kind of nut or seed is free game. They are a wonderful source of fat that fends off hunger beautifully — pecans, macadamia, and Brazil nuts are the best choices of all. However, cashews and pistachios shouldn’t be added to your keto shopping list. It’s tragic, but they are high in carbs, and just a handful of cashews will reach your daily allowance.
You can also get all-natural nut butters to spread on your celery for a delicious snack.
However, you don’t need to stick to little nuts and seeds. There are plenty of keto-friendly snacks you can take advantage of as well, such as toasted cheese snacks, pork rinds, and snack bars in one form or another.
You can also use the lists above to create delicious snacks using some fruits and Greek yogurt, vegetables, and keto-friendly dips, or anything else you can think of. All you have to do is use a bit of creativity and expand your keto shopping list as you find things you enjoy.
Now Make Your Diet a Breeze
It can be challenging to get used to a new diet. It’s a big change, but no matter what reason you have for going on a diet, it is a good thing. That is, as long as it’s safe.
The keto diet is helpful if you are trying to lose weight, but you should still exercise. No matter what diet you’re on, it’s always crucial to pair it with exercise. The combination will enable you to maintain a healthy weight, give you more energy, and eventually, fewer cravings.
Nailing down a keto shopping list is going to take you a long way on your weight-loss journey. You finally won’t have to stare at shelves at the grocery store, wondering where to start. Finally, you can go in with a game plan.
We would love to hear about unique items you add to your keto shopping list in the comment section below!