If you’re anything like us then you’re always pulling up your phone while you’re at the grocery store to see which foods fit into your new diet plan. Lucky for you, we made it simple with these 21 must-have items for your keto grocery list. These are the most basic staple foods of a keto diet, so read through the list and get acclimated with it.
This might come as a shock to you, but butter is actually a health food. That’s right. You’ve been lied to your whole life. Butter has adequate amounts of all of the fat-soluble vitamins as well as CLA. In America, butter is often the most widely available form of quality animal fat. Some good brands to look for at your local grocery store are Kerrygold, Vital Farms and Organic Valley.
If you’re looking for a dairy free alternative to butter, see if you can find some ghee. Ghee is clarified butter which means the milk solids have been removed, so it is suitable for a dairy-free diet. Our favorite brand for ghee is 4th & Heart.
Pro Tip: A deeper colored butter means it is more nutrient dense. Butter will be dark yellow or even orange if the cow is pastured on nutrient-dense grass, rich in carotene.
Coconut oil is high in saturated fat which makes it suitable for cooking with, and it comes with a long list of proven benefits. Coconut oil will go through varying degrees of processing so you will have some decisions to make in the grocery store. We always look for virgin, unrefined and cold-pressed. Cold-pressed is the least processed form, but it will also have the strongest coconut taste. If you prefer a more mild tasting oil, you may want to opt for refined coconut oil. Our favorite brand is Nature’s Way.
Lard or Tallow
We always prioritize animal fats over plant fats as the foundation of our diet, so we are big fans of lard and tallow. Lard is the rendered fat from a pig and tallow is the rendered fat of ruminant animals like cows, sheep and lamb. The low polyunsaturated fat content of tallow makes it our preferred fat for cooking with. Whenever buying animal fats, quality will be more important than when buying plant fats, so take some time to seek out high quality sources. Our favorite brand is Epic Beef Tallow.
Avocados are the perfect keto food. They are an instant high-fat side dish that takes no time to prepare. We always have a bunch on hand for when we don’t feel like cooking a complex side dish. Keto beginners will get confused about the carbs in avocado. They do contain a high amount of carbs, but they also contain a high amount of fiber which can be subtracted when calculating net carbs. A medium avocado will only have around three grams of net carbs.
Nuts are great for snacking on when you start a keto diet. Just about all nuts are keto-friendly in moderation. Refer to the graphic below for specific carb counts. There’s even some interesting studies that show nut consumption is associated with lower rates of type-2 diabetes.
If you’re a coffee lover, then this has to make it on your keto diet shopping list. Instead of using that low-fat, flavored, creamer you’re probably used to, try using heavy cream and some flavored stevia.
Just about everyone loves cheese, and it definitely has its place in a keto diet. With cheese, it is important to seek out quality options because the cheapest options are really devoid of nutrition. We always look for cheese made from raw milk. This can be found at most grocery stores in the United States nowadays. Just look for the words “raw” or “unpasteurized” on the ingredients list.
Beef is our favorite protein source primarily because it has a higher fat content than chicken, fish and most cuts of pork. This makes hitting your keto macros a little easier. An added benefit is that beef has the most bio-available form of iron in high amounts. Check out this handy guide for selecting the most cost effective cuts of steak if you’re trying to do keto on a budget!
Pro Tip: 80/20 ground beef is one of the most cost effective foods you can buy. For only a few bucks a pound, you can get a large quantity of calories and nutrients.
Since 1960 per capita chicken consumption has increased by over 400%. Needless to say, chicken is one of America’s biggest staple foods. Most people will favor chicken breasts over thighs and drumsticks because we’ve been incorrectly told leaner meats are better for us. On a keto diet, you’re going to want to opt for the fattier cuts. Not only are they cheaper, but they taste a lot better too. If you’re looking for new chicken recipes then try the most popular one on our blog – Keto Butter Chicken.
If you don’t like bacon, this might not be the right diet for you. While pork is tasty it also comes along with a strong nutrient profile, most notably in B vitamins.
Pro Tip: Buying bacon can be confusing since most of them are cured using sugars. If you’re willing to pay a premium, you can find sugar-free bacon in most grocery stores these days, but we personally don’t mind buying bacon with a small amount of sugar.
Fish and other seafood is important for providing omega-3 fatty acids which most Americans are not getting enough of. Some of the highest fat fish are salmon, mackerel, sardines and herring. We like to make sure to get at least 1 serving of seafood per week at a minimum and typically more like 2-3 servings.
Pro Tip: If you’re looking for travel snacks that are packed full of nutrients, then pick up some canned fish like sardines, tuna, salmon, clams and oysters. Be sure to check what kind of oil they are canned with. Look or olive oil and try to avoid soybean oil.
Eggs are another budget friendly food that are packed full of nutrients. They are rich in choline, which most Americans do not get enough of. Four Eggs can cover the daily choline needs.
What type of eggs should you buy? Typically the more you pay the better quality the eggs will be, so do the best you can. One way to save money on high quality eggs is to get them from a local farmers market instead of the grocery store. That way you’ll save a few dollars per dozen of pasture raised eggs. Our favorite brand at the grocery store is Vital Farms.
Pro Tip: As with butter, the darker colored yolk indicates a higher concentration of nutrients.
Almond butter and most other nut butters are great for a treat once in a while. If you’re doing a keto diet for weight loss, you may want to avoid these calorie dense, highly palatable foods. The secret when buying nut butters is to look at the ingredients list on the back. The only ingredients you should see listed is the type of nut and salt. The cheaper brands like JIF and Skippy will have sugar added. We don’t want that!
When including fruit in your keto diet, you have to be selective or the carbs can start to add up. Low-sugar berries are going to be your best low-carb fruits. Berries are full of antioxidants and can bring a refreshing flavor to a keto diet. One of our favorite after-dinner snacks is berries and cream.
Pro Tip: Buy fresh berries when they are in season and freeze them! The only time we buy fresh berries at the grocery store is when they are in season, otherwise we will go with the berries from the frozen section.
Raspberries are a good keto diet snack, coming in at 7g of carbs per cup. As with all berries, they are high in antioxidants and flavonoids, but more importantly they are delicious!
Broccoli is one of our favorite vegetables for a keto diet because it really soaks up all of the fat we cook it in. We’ll usually use butter to give the broccoli some flavor, which makes it easy to hit our fat macros for the day. Not to mention, broccoli is a good source of minerals and fiber.
It is a good idea to pick up your favorite type of leafy green vegetable on your first keto shopping trip. Kale, collard greens, cabbage and spinach are all good options. We like spinach because it is among the most nutrient dense vegetables and contains high amounts of minerals. It’s great for mixing into salads and omelettes.
Pro Tip: Find out what type of vegetables grow local to your area and prioritize those. We live in Georgia so we will often choose locally grown collard greens over spinach. Even if you’re at a grocery store like Publix, Kroger, or Whole Foods they will usually have some local brands.
Interestingly, asparagus is one of the only wild plants that we still consume en masse today. It also pairs nicely with a perfectly cooked steak, and for that reason we eat quite a bit of it. A cup of asparagus only has around 2g of net carbs.
The carbs in Brussels sprouts can add up quickly, but they are so tasty we had to include them on this list. If you’re not familiar with how to prepare them we have a super flavorful recipe that you have to try. Brussels sprouts contain around 8g of net carbs per cup, so keep that in mind when formulating your meals.
Cauliflower is truly the wonder food of the 21st century. We turn it into pizza crusts and rice to make healthier versions of the foods we love. It’s high-fiber content allows cauliflower to be shaped into a variety of healthy dishes that may help you stick to a keto diet, while eating all of your favorite foods. Cauliflower is rich in minerals and antioxidants which make it a nutritious substitution for grains.
Chocolate lovers, you’re in luck. Dark chocolate is the perfect ketogenic sweet treat after a long day. When buying chocolate you have two options. You can stick with high cocoa percentage chocolates, all the way up to 100% (although 85%-95% will be more palatable). The other option you have is chocolates that are sweetened with keto friendly sweeteners. The most common brand of these chocolate is Lily’s, but there is a few others such as Choc Zero and Choco Perfection.
Pro Tip: Dark chocolate may take some getting used to since the stuff we eat these days has lots of milk and sugar added to it. Try starting at 70% dark chocolate and work your way up. Anything above 85% is going to be low enough in carbs to include regularly in your keto diet.
A Full Keto Day of Eating
Now that you have all your grocery items, it’s time to plan your meals for the week so you have an idea of how much to buy. Here is an example of a typical day of keto meals using our keto diet shopping list.
Keto Diet Shopping with KetoConnect
If you need ideas for certain stores in particular, take a look at all of the keto grocery shopping lists we have for different stores. We even have videos showing you some of our favorite purchases from grocery stores across the united states like the one below we filmed at Costco.
Costco Keto Shopping List
- Almond Flour – Kirkland Brand is the cheapest option for this keto baking staple.
- Sardines – High in Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Powdered Bone Broth – All the bone broth benefits for just $1 per packet.
- Protein bars – Costco protein bars are keto friendly and cheaper than Quest bars.
- Cheese Crisps – Costco carries Moon Cheese and Cello Whisps, our favorite travel snacks.
Trader Joe’s Keto Shopping List
- Bacon Ends and Pieces – Great fat content.
- Mahi Mahi Burgers – Only one carb per burger and delicious!
- Nuts – Low prices!
- Sunflower Seed Butter – The best alternative to nut butters and perfect for fat bombs.
- Pre-Cooked Pork belly – Delicious and easy to make. Just heat it up and serve.
Whole Foods Keto Shopping List
- Grass-fed Marrow Bones – Great for making bone broth.
- Kelp Noodles – Crunchy keto noodles for asian style salads.
- Primal Kitchen Mayonnaise – Made with avocado oil, not refined vegetable oils.
- Marinara Sauce – Victoria Vegan and Rao’s Sauces are both low-carb and tasty.
- Zevia – We drink these all the time. Sugar-free and no artificial colors.
Sprouts Keto Shopping List
- Keto Yogurt – Kite Hill is a great low-carb brand of yogurt.
- Keto Baking Supplies – Great deals on chocolate chips, flours, and sweeteners.
- Low-Carb Chips – We love Quest Chips as a late-night snack or for munching on the road.
- Keto-Friendly Chocolate bars – Our favorite is Lily’s!
Publix Keto Shopping List
- Whipped Cream – Great for when we’re in a pinch and need whipped cream.
- Little Chorizo Sausages – The brand is called Quijote Chorizos Caseros and we love them as a movie snack.
- Real Good Foods Products – Publix carries keto-friendly frozen foods like pizza and enchiladas.
- Low-Carb Ice Cream – Their best keto option is Enlightened brand.
Walmart Shopping List
- Duke’s Sausages – Our favorite flavor is Original.
- Mac’s Pork Rinds – Cheapest and tastiest. We like the barbecue flavor.
- Adobo Peppers – Essential to our favorite mexican shredded chicken recipe.
- Chicken Thighs – We prefer thighs over breasts for the higher fat content.
- Baker’s Chocolate – Great for fat bombs, snacking, and baking.
Aldi Keto Shopping List
- Babybel Cheese – These little cheese snacks are great for on-the-go keto.
- Avocados – Our favorite fatty fruit.
- Lemons – Great for cooking with chicken and fish.
- Heavy Whipping Cream – An essential for many of our keto baking recipes!
- Flaxseeds – The main ingredient in our Pumpkin Flax Crackers.
- Choose a high quality fat source and make it a staple of your diet.
- Buy fattier cuts of meat over leaner cuts like chicken breast for a better keto macro ratio and cheaper prices.
- Have snacks on hand like nuts, cheese and dark chocolate, especially when first starting a ketogenic diet.
- Prioritize seasonality and where the food was grown/raised when possible.