It’s so easy to think about what you can’t eat on keto, but it’s much more fun to focus on all the things you can enjoy. Here’s a chart you can reference when you’re in need of some inspiration.


Eat: Zoodles, spaghetti squash and shirataki noodles

Avoid: Pasta

Eat: Use almond flour, unsweetened coconut flakes and pork cracklings

Avoid: Bread crumbs

Eat: Cauliflower rice, shirataki rice

Avoid: Rice, couscous

Eat: Heavy cream and cheeses (mozzarella, cheddar)

Avoid: Milk

Eat: Low-carb tortillas and keto bread

Avoid: Bread, wraps, tortillas

Eat: Puréed cauliflower

Avoid: Mashed potatoes

Eat: Zucchini fries

Avoid: French fries and sweet potato fries

Eat: Berries; use lemons and limes for flavor

Avoid: Sweet citrus (oranges, grapefruit, clementines), tropical fruits (bananas, mango, pineapple), all dried fruits

Eat: Meat, poultry, seafood, eggs

Avoid: Beans, tofu

Eat: Stevia, monk fruit

Avoid: Sweeteners (honey, maple syrup, sugar)

Eat: Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, butter, ghee, sesame oil (in small quantities)

Avoid: Sunflower, grapeseed, canola, peanut, safflower oils, margarine, vegetable shortening

Eat: Parmesan Crisps

Avoid: Chips and sweet/salty snacks

Eat: Water (key for staying hydrated), coffee, tea

Avoid: Sugary drinks (soda, juices), alcohol

The Keto Kitchen

Leading up to starting intermittent keto, it’s important to make sure your pantry aligns with your new eating goals. Those new goals might also be at odds with the rest of the members in your household, be they family or roommates. If so, clearing out all the carb-laden foods, sugary snacks, and processed foods might not be a possibility. In that case, it’ll be an exercise in self-control for you, especially during the first week or two, when cravings might be tricky to manage. Don’t fret. You can still claim an area of the kitchen and set up a keto-friendly zone to make sticking to the plan easier. And by all means, if you live on your own, or if your partner/family is doing this with you, go full throttle and use an out-with-the-old, in-with-the-new approach. Instead of discarding unwanted items, donate them to a local food pantry (check expiration dates first), or give them to your neighbors.

Once you’ve got a clean slate, it’s time to start filling the pantry with all the foods you can enjoy. Here are staple ingredients you’ll want to add to your first shopping list.

Fermented foods (make sure veggies are lacto-fermented): pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut, plain full-fat yogurt

Oils: avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, cold-pressed or virgin coconut oil, ghee, MCT oil

Nuts and seeds (and flours made from them): almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, pecans, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, almond flour or meal, coconut flour

Canned goods and other shelf-stable items (make sure all nut milks are unsweetened): coconut cream, coconut milk, almond milk, olives, dark chocolate (Lily’s dark chocolate chips are sweetened with stevia), cocoa powder, tea and coffee (plain, unflavored), pork rinds, baking powder (see note below)

Spices and sweeteners: red pepper flakes, basil, oregano, bay leaves, smoked paprika, sea salts, black pepper, cumin, curry powder, everything-bagel seasoning, whole-grain mustard, stevia, monk fruit sweetener (read the label to make sure it’s not a blend mixed with sugar)

Perishables: bacon and sausage (be sure to buy sugar-free varieties), eggs, coconut wraps, low-carb tortillas, sugar-free mayonnaise, heavy cream, butter, cheese


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