FoodTips & Advice

Keto Cheat Sheet – What to Eat, What to Avoid

Here’s a keto cheat sheet that gives you a quick summary of what you can eat and what you should avoid on the keto diet.

No hunger pangs with the keto diet

Notice, keto is not a calorie-restrictive diet. Provided you’re eating the correct foods, you can eat as much as you want. That’s right – you can eat all the correct foods you want under keto so there’s no need to starve yourself. Hunger pangs are a non-issue under the keto diet. This makes keto a sustainable, easy way of eating. It is well-known that calorie-restriction is not sustainable: your body will simply rebel against it and, sooner or later, you will go back to eating the amounts you have always done. Self-deprivation is not a long term solution.

“Keto is not a calorie-restriction diet. Provided you’re eating the correct foods, you can eat as much as you want. This makes the keto diet easy to follow and stick to.”

(It’s no coincidence that almost all contestants who appeared on the TV series, The Biggest Loser went on to become obese again. This is one reason why there was never a reunion or “where are they now?” program. It may also be why Jillian Michaels – one of the earlier trainers in the series – has been a vocal critic of the keto diet, as it embarrasses the Biggest Loser’s calorie-restriction approach to weight loss – which just doesn’t work!)

Foods you can eat under keto

You can eat as much as you want of the following foods under keto. Please note, this is not an exhaustive list. For any foods that are not listed, the general rule is, if the food item has less than 6g of net carbs per saving, it’s OK. 

Net carbs = Total carbs – Fiber

(You can use a keto calculator to work out the amounts of carbs and fiber of food items if you’re not sure).

Finally, do not exceed 20g of carbs in a day.

(Some items appear with amounts in parentheses – you can have a maximum of three servings of this size per day):

Eggs, Meat and Seafood

(Avoid breaded, cured or sugar/honey glazes)

  • Bacon
  • Beef (all cuts)
  • Chicken
  • Lamb
  • Pork (all cuts)
  • Rabbit
  • Duck
  • Shrimp
  • Crab
  • Turkey
  • Salmon
  • Lobster
  • Tuna
  • Trout
  • Cod
  • Halibut
  • Pepperoni, bologna, salami, beef jerky, (3 oz)
  • Clams, oysters, scallops (3 oz)

Vegetables

(Eat raw or lightly steamed. No starchy vegetables such as potatoes or beans)

  • Asparagus
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Collards
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Radish
  • Zucchini
  • Chard
  • Cabbage
  • Avocado (1)
  • Eggplant (1 cup)
  • Mushrooms (1/2 cup)
  • Squash (3/4 cup)
  • Tomato (1 large or 10 cherry tomatoes)
  • Artichoke (1)
  • Bell pepper (1)
  • Pumpkin (3/4)
  • Snap peas (1/2)
  • Onions (1/4)

Condiments, Herbs & Spices

  • Blue cheese dressing
  • Ranch
  • Italian
  • Cesar
  • Buffalo sauce
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Horseradish
  • Mustard
  • Pickle
  • Olives
  • Salsa
  • Vinegar
  • Sriracha
  • Hot sauce
  • Taco sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Hummus
  • Salt & pepper
  • All herbs, all spices

Fats & Oils

(Avoid breaded, cured or sugar/honey glazes)

  • Butter
  • Bacon grease
  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Walnut oil
  • Mayonnaise
  • Lard
  • Cacao butter
  • Ghee

Dairy

(No milk. Nothing low-fat or fat-free)

  • Blue cheese
  • Brie
  • Butter
  • Cheddar
  • Feta
  • Cream cheese
  • Provolone
  • Mozzarella
  • Parmesan
  • Gouda
  • Asiago
  • Double cream (1/2 cup)
  • Cottage cheese (3/4 cup)

Nuts & seeds

  • Almonds (25)
  • Brazil nuts (15)
  • Pecans (1/2 cup)
  • Pumpin seeds (1/4 cup)
  • Cashews (9)
  • Macadamias (1/2 cup)
  • Walnuts (3/4 cup)
  • Pistachios (1/3 cup)

Fruit

  • Blackberries (3/4 cup)
  • Blueberries (1/3 cup)
  • Cherries (1/3 cup)
  • Cranberry (3/4 cup)
  • Raspberries (3/4 cup)
  • Strawberries (5)

Drinks & Desserts

(Select alcohol. Only unsweetened beverages. No fruit juice)

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Teas
  • Club soda
  • Seltzer water
  • Sugar-free jell-o
  • Dark chocolate (70% cocoa, 20g)
  • Reddi-whip
  • Liquor (5 oz)
  • Wine – Red or White dry (6 oz)
  • Champagne (8 oz)
  • Coconut water (3/4 cup)

As you can see, the keto diet is incredibly flexible and forgiving. You can practically have anything you want, within reason. The main things to avoid are carbs and sugar. Beyond that, you really are spoiled for choice. Let your imagination run free but if you’re not the creative cooking type, check out our done-for-you custom keto meal plans!

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