Looking to get started on the ketogenic diet plan? Whether it’s your first time doing keto or you’re just getting bored eating the same foods over and over again, it’s important to pinpoint the best keto diet foods so that you can create your eating plan wisely and see optimal results.
Sadly, many people are unaware of which foods they should eat while doing keto and end up not even doing a keto diet because of it. If you aren’t skilled in macronutrient tracking or have a very keen sense of knowledge of what’s in the foods you eat, it’s very easy to go over the budget allowance for your carb count.
Considering most people on the keto diet are only allowed to be eating 20-30 grams of carbs per day, every gram adds up. Even the net carbs in protein powder can make a significant difference to weight loss.
So that said, which are the perfect keto diet foods? Which should you be focusing on?
Throw out the notion that high fat, calorie dense foods are bad if you want to fat loss.
When on keto, those are actually what you’ll be turning to much of the time. Not all of the time as some high volume foods are important to induce greater satiety, but you will need to get some calorie dense options in there.
Here’s what to consider.
You simply can’t go wrong with cheese on a ketogenic diet.
Cheese is a powerful food because not only is it a food that most people naturally crave, it has a good protein-fat combination that makes it ideal for ketogenic dieting.
While the macros may not be exactly keto (30% protein, 65% fats and 5% carbs) on it’s own, it comes pretty close meaning you won’t need to add a lot to it to get it to the right ratios.
An eating plan that is high in fat with a bit of protein and little carbs helps you stay exactly where you need to in order to hit your macros.
Plus, cheese supplies you with a good dose of calcium. It will help keep your bones strong and healthy. Put it on your list for one of the top keto diet foods.
If you’re feeling especially hungry, egg whites can be a good choice. Per one cup of cooked egg whites, which will give you a lot of food, you’ll take in just 120 calories, all from protein.
You will need to add some fats to this to help make it keto-friendly, but the sheer volume of food you get here is going to help put a dent in your hunger.
While whole eggs are also a fantastic option and studies¹ do show that you can safely eat at least one whole egg per day unless you have pre-existing heart health concerns, you shouldn’t go much over the one or two per day limit.
While most fruits are not permitted on the ketogenic diet plan, avocado is one fruit that you will want to take note of and consider including in your protocol. The reason being this is the only fruit that provides you with a good dose of dietary fat and hardly any sugar.
The carbs found in avocado are primarily fiber carbs, which are important while on keto to help keep you regular. Constipation can be a big problem for many doing this diet, especially right off the start as their body adjusts, so avocado’s will help keep those bowels moving².
Avocadoes are also great for improving your skin’s complexion and will provide a dose of potassium, which helps you maintain stronger muscular contractions during your workout session.
This is again one of the best keto diet foods you could eat.
Plain Greek Yogurt
While your typical fruit-flavored yogurt will definitely not be permissible on your fat loss diet plan, plain Greek yogurt very much is.
The benefit to choosing this is that it’ll provide you with some healthy gut bacteria (probiotics), which are essential for strengthening your immune system³, keeping your digestive system on track, and can also be helpful in assisting with hunger and hormonal regulation in the body as well.
Most people don’t currently get in enough probiotics in their diet plan, so anything you can do to get more is going to be a very good thing.
Think you’re going to get out of eating your greens just because you decided to go keto? Think again!
No diet would be complete without at least some green vegetables and the ketogenic diet is no exception here.
While you can’t go overboard on this diet with vegetables because even vegetable carbs will add up, as noted in the intro, you can’t shun them either. Spinach is a perfect go-to choice.
It can be eaten cooked or raw, provides great volume if eaten raw, and is bursting with nutrition. Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants – all that good stuff can be found in spinach for just 7 calories per cup (that’s right, SEVEN!), and just one measly gram of carbs.
It doesn’t get much better than that when you’re trying to stick to your plan so add this to your list of keto diet foods.
Chances are, you’ve heard the drill on salmon before. You know it’s a wise addition to any diet.
It’s full of omega-3 fatty acids, which help boost insulin sensitivity to help keep you leaner⁴, help improve your brain health⁵, and give your heart a boost – just to name a few benefits. Oh, and it’s also got a high quality protein as well. What more do you need?
Not much, in fact. Salmon should be a go-to protein source on your plan.
It’s very keto friendly given its protein-fat ratio.
Filled your fat quota for the day and still need some protein? If you’re hungry as a horse, shrimp is a perfect bet.
Like egg whites, it’s a high volume food, meaning you can eat a lot of shrimp for few calories. This makes it a great idea to help take the edge off.
Shrimp is virtually fat free, making it nearly 100% pure protein.
Eat nuts and seeds in moderation, as they do contain some carbs and those carbs can add up quickly. That said, they should not be omitted.
Nuts are a fantastic source of unsaturated fat. They are also a source of dietary fiber we spoke about above that will keep you from getting uncomfortably backed up. While many turn to almonds as their nut of choice, walnuts are actually a superior option when on the ketogenic diet plan.
Walnuts contain more dietary fat and fewer carbs than almonds do per 100 calories. They also provide more of those important omega-3 fatty acids.
While they may not be as neat and tidy to eat as almonds are, if you can choose them more often, you’re ahead of the game.
Zucchini is another vegetable you might want to have in your list of keto diet foods.
Many like zucchini because they can be made into ‘noodles’. They can help satisfy any pasta cravings. If you love carbs, cutting pasta out when on the ketogenic diet can be very challenging. So, anything that even remotely resembles pasta may make your life easier.
Zucchini is still quite low in calories overall with just 19 calories per cup and 4 grams of carbs, so almost everyone should be able to fit it into their ketogenic diet plan.
Yam noodles are another option if you crave noodles. You can purchase them in your grocery store and they contain virtually no calories and no carbs.
These noodles are nearly all fiber and will pass through the body unabsorbed. That’s why people often call them ‘miracle’ noodles.
Do watch your portion sizes, though. If you eat too many of these, you may suffer from gastrointestinal distress.
Many diets typically shun beef. However, on the ketogenic diet, it’s actually a welcomed food. This is great news. Beef provides many nutrients that you need to developed strong muscles.
Zinc will help ensure your testosterone levels are optimized for each and every workout⁵. Iron will help keep your endurance up and maintain energy. Vitamin B12 will also help with proper metabolic processes and energy processing in the body.
Many men fall short in these nutrients because they start cutting out beef when dieting. Bringing meat back into your eating plan is a huge bonus. Try and choose leaner cuts. Do this even while on the keto plan as the fattier cuts contain high volumes of saturated fats.
While some saturated fat is important on your ketogenic diet to maintain testosterone, you don’t want to go overboard. The focus should still be on unsaturated at and omega-3 fats.
Speaking of fats, coconut oil is another must-have when on the ketogenic diet plan.
This oil is unique because it contains medium chain triglycerides, which react differently in the body compared to normal fats. Rather than breaking down slowly and releasing energy over time, they release energy almost immediately.
When on a very low carb diet like this, energy comes at a premium. It can be hard to have the motivation to do your workout sessions, so energy from coconut oil becomes very beneficial.
Coconut oil is also excellent for lowering inflammation, boosting the immune system, and for controlling hunger while promoting a decrease in body fat⁷.
Finally, one last protein source to consider is cottage cheese.
Cottage cheese is a terrific choice because it’s rich in casein protein, which digests slowly over time. It will deliver a steady stream of amino acids to your body for the hours ahead. When dieting, this can help prevent catabolism and hunger, making it easier to stay on the plan and see great results.
So there you have the top 13 keto diet foods to help you lose fat. How many of these do you have in your plan?
- Rong, Ying, et al. “Egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies.” Bmj 346 (2013): e8539.
- Voderholzer, Winfried A., et al. “Clinical response to dietary fiber treatment of chronic constipation.” American Journal of Gastroenterology 92.1 (1997).
- Yan, Fang, and D. B. Polk. “Probiotics and immune health.” Current opinion in gastroenterology 27.6 (2011): 496.
- Popp-Snijders, C., J. A. Schouten, and R. J. Heine. “Dietary supplementation of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids improves insulin sensitivity in non-insulin-dependent diabetes.” Diabetes Research (Edinburgh, Scotland) 4.3 (1987): 141-147.
- Fontani, Giuliano, et al. “Cognitive and physiological effects of Omega‐3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in healthy subjects.” European journal of clinical investigation 35.11 (2005): 691-699.
- Prasad, Ananda S., et al. “Zinc status and serum testosterone levels of healthy adults.” Nutrition 12.5 (1996): 344-348.
- St‐Onge, Marie‐Pierre, et al. “Medium‐chain triglycerides increase energy expenditure and decrease adiposity in overweight men.” Obesity research 11.3 (2003): 395-402.
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