We often get asked how to begin stocking a low carb keto kitchen when you first begin this lifestyle. When you first start a low carb keto plan there are some vital steps you should do. This includes a thorough examination of your pantry and fridge. Before you begin is the time to really look at those labels and decide what can stay and what you should donate. This will ensure you always have the right foods within reach and avoid foods that will trip up your journey.
So where do you start? First, let’s get rid of all the junk food. Your going to have to take a deep breath and be fierce here. Start with the obvious candy and packaged snacks and then move to other processed foods. Why? Because most of these are loaded with hidden sugar, which translates into poor carbs.
Now for the fun part, restocking. On a low carb keto plan you will be eating more fresh produce and other perishable foods. Make sure you plan accordingly. Next, comes the part where you need to be extra careful, condiments. This is where reading your labels is a must. You will have to reevaluate your sauces and make sure that they are not loaded with sugar. Generally, you’ll find that low fat dressings are the worst offenders.
Once you replace your condiments with low carb options, move on to stocking your baking pantry. When it comes to baked goods most will not meet the low carb standard. This is where low carb flours can make this transition easier.
Notice, I did not say gluten free. Not all gluten free flours are low carb. In fact, many gluten flours are made with potato or rice starch which are extremely high in carbs. So read your labels well. You will find that almond and coconut flour will be your go to flours.
Exactly which staples should you include? Let’s start with the obvious liquids. Water should be at the top of your list as well as tea and coffee. Some people have mixed views on diet drinks, you need to do what’s best for you. My theory is that transforming our eating habits overnight can be difficult without having some transition foods. You can wean off these as you move forward. These however should not be an everyday treat.
Regarding dairy products, choose from a huge selection. From the gourmet to the humble there is plenty to choose from. Eggs will be a big part of your diet, and we are talking about the real thing here. Ditch those egg white substitutes that comes in a box. Use real butter not fake margarine, as our bodies cannot recognize them.
When it comes to vegetables your best bet is vegetables that grow above ground. Leafy green vegetables should be your first choice.
As far as meat is concerned, the sky is pretty much the limit. Be willing to try new meats, as all are allowed including fowl, fish and shellfish. Cold cuts are accepted too, but avoid those containing nitrates and check the label for gluten, sugar and starch fillers.
Some people find that including low carb products help their transition. Tread lightly here, since many of these can stall your progress. Again, use only in the first few weeks and aim to ween off.
You will need to learn to embrace fat. In a low carb keto plan your body uses fat for fuel so adding natural fats to your diet makes sense. You should not fear fat. What spells disaster is when we eat these saturated fats with a high carb diet. It’s the carbs that are responsible not the fat. Make sure you use oils high in omega 3, and avoid partially hydrogenated oils like canola, margarines and all other man-made oils.
Have you been delaying making this lifestyle change because of the transition into burning fat for fuel versus sugar? Allow us to introduce to you to Keto//OS a supplement that is making the transition for many in our community easy. The 4 minute video below explains how it works. You can order your Keto/OS here.
Feel free to contact us with any of your questions.
Low Carb Keto Grocery List
Low Carb Vegetables 5g carbs per ½ cup cooked or 1 cup raw
- Artichoke Hearts
- Asparagus Beans (green, wax, Italian)
- Beets (small amounts)
- Brussels sprouts
- Green Onions
- Green beans
- Mixed Vegetables (no corn or peas or potatoes)
- Pea Pods
- Salad Greens
- Summer Squash
- Water Chestnuts
Meat / Protein (0g carbohydrate and 7g protein per ounce
- Tuna, fresh or canned in water
- Shellfish (shrimp, crab, lobster, etc.)
- Sausages ( look for nitrite free and gluten free)
- Cheese: hard cheeses such as cheddar and parmesan
- Cheese: soft cheeses such an muenster and farmer
- Greek yogurt, plain, full fat. Carb count should be less than 7 per serving.
- Sour Cream
- Cream Cheese
- Whipping cream
- Whip cream
- Half and half
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Avocado oil
Nuts and Seeds
- Macadamia nuts
- Pecan halves
- Almond butter
- Cashew butter
- Canned tuna, salmon, crab, shrimp, sardines, anchovies
- Tomato products: canned tomatoes and tomato paste (look for the brands with the lowest carb count)
- Canned vegetables: green chilies, roasted red peppers, chipotle peppers, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, sun- dried tomatoes in oil, hearts of palm
- Chicken, beef, vegetable stock
- Sugar-free dill pickles or relish
- Mustard (no honey mustard)
- Cider and wine vinegars (use balsamic vinegar sparingly)
- Most bottled hot sauces (such as Tabasco)
- Most salsas
- Tamari soy sauce (avoid soy sauce if you are gluten sensitive)
- Mayonnaise – look for the brands with the lowest carbs or make your own at home.
- Sugar-free salad dressings
- Lemon or lime juice (1 gram of carb per tablespoon)
- Almond milk
- Coconut milk
- Diet drinks (limited amounts)
- Miracle noodle (shirataki noodle) a no calorie, no carb product
- Low carb tortillas (limited amounts and not for those who are sensitive to wheat)
Cooking or Baking Ingredients
- Whey protein powder, plain, vanilla and chocolate flavors
- Splenda or Truvia
- Erythritol , like Swerve
- Herbs and spices (but watch for mixtures with added sugars)
- Extracts (vanilla, lemon, almond, etc.) – avoid the ones with sugar.
- Broth or bouillon
- Cocoa powder which is unsweetened
- Gelatin (plain)
- Xanthan gum for thickening and binding
- Almond flour
- Coconut flour, keep in fridge
- Flax meal
- Unsweetened coconut
- Coconut milk
- Almond milk
- Pork rinds
- Beef jerky or beef stick
- Sugar free Jello
This is not a complete list but it’s a great place to begin. We encourage you to do your own research. If you are first starting this lifestyle we recommend that you keep your carbs between 20-30 net carbs. Once you meet your goals you can raise this carb count and see how your body responds.