30 Essential Keto-Friendly Groceries to Stock Up On — Whether or Not You’re Doing Keto

updated Jan 14, 2020
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If it feels like everyone is going — or has successfully gone — keto, you’re not wrong: U.S. News & World Report just ranked it the Number 3 diet in their Best Fast Weight-Loss Diets category. Here’s what you need to know and what our essential grocery list would look like, if we were starting keto tomorrow.

What Is the Keto Diet?

Short for ketogenic, this diet is incredibly low in carbohydrates — about 5 percent of your calories come from carbs; the majority of your calories (about 60 to 70 percent) come from fat; and the rest (around 25 to 35 percent) come from protein. The idea is simple: When you scale back your carb intake to such a low amount, your body goes into ketosis, which means it burns fat for energy. And the benefit — so long as you follow it, of course! — is that you will lose weight. (While plenty of experts have mixed opinions on keto, there is some research to support the weight loss aspect.)

What Do You Eat on the Keto Diet?

Carb-rich foods like bread, pasta, and rice are all no-gos. Most fruits are also verboten on a keto diet plan, though high-fiber berries like raspberries and blackberries are okay in small amounts. Instead, what takes center stage on a keto diet are fattier animal proteins, such as bacon, red meat, and poultry with the skin on. Oils and other fats like avocados, butter, and ghee, as well as nuts are also keto staples. Lower-carb veggies help you up the volume of your meals and add some fiber (both of which help to keep you feeling full), but also keep carbs in check.

More on the Keto Diet

Got it? Here’s our essential grocery list if you’re ready to give it a try.


The key here is to stick to lower carbohydrate choices.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Meat, Poultry, Eggs, and Other Proteins

In this category, you want to choose the fattier versions (think: chicken thighs with the skin on instead of boneless, skinless breasts). 


As with the protein category, go with higher fat options, not leaner (aka, fat-free or low-fat) versions. 

Credit: The Kitchn

Pantry Staples

Keep these things on hand for sweetening, adding flavor, and cooking. (In that order!)

Credit: Amazon


Be sure to select snacks that are free of any added sugars, which could quickly put you out of ketosis. See even more keto snacks here.

Are you going keto? What’s on your grocery list?