Keto Staples List: Ultimate Shopping Guide

Keto Staples List: Ultimate Shopping Guide

March 26, 2024 12 min read

If you ask any keto dieter what the most challenging part of observing the diet regime is, they’ll say it’s knowing how to start. You’re familiar with the basics: eat more fat and protein and limit carb consumption. But what about broader categories of food? If you don’t want to read the label on every food package you buy, is there a way to know what broadly meets the keto profile?  

Lucky for you, we’ve made a comprehensive list of keto staples that you can put on your shopping list. If you’re buying any of the foods listed below, you can rest assured that you’ve made a keto-friendly choice and don’t even have to read the label. 


First up are your proteins. The keto diet macros require that 10-20% of your daily calories come from protein sources. Here are the staples to shop for. 


Your main meat options for keto are beef, chicken, and pork. Many keto dieters prefer beef because of its higher fat content than other protein sources, making it easier to hit keto macros. But depending on your preference, you can also opt for chicken or pork — or better yet, mix up your proteins throughout your meal plan.

  • Beef: You can choose any steak cut from strip to sirloin, but you can’t go wrong with good old ground beef. 100 grams of 80/20 beef contains 17.2 grams of protein, 20 grams of fat, and zero carbs. It’s also a good source of iron, selenium, zinc, and vitamins B3, B6, and B12.
  • Chicken: For the keto diet, opt for fattier cuts of chicken, like wings and drumsticks. 100 grams of chicken wings contain 14 grams of protein and 11 grams of fat, while 1 drumstick contains 22 grams of protein and 8.2 grams of fat. Both cuts are carb-free.
  • Pork: Pork is another excellent option to add to your meal plan. All cuts of pork, from bacon to tenderloin, have a strong nutrient profile. For example, 100 grams of pork loin contains 27.3 grams of protein, 13.9 grams of fat, and zero carbs. Pork is also particularly rich in B vitamins.


On days when “land-meats” are getting too bland for your liking, you can switch it up with fish. Keto practitioners highly recommend adding fatty fish to your diet to supply your body with omega-3 fatty acids, healthy fats that play a role in heart health. At the minimum, nutritionists say you should eat at least two servings of fish per week. Some high-fat fish you can consume include:


Seafood lovers, rejoice! Seafood is naturally suitable as a protein source for the keto diet because of its high fat and low carb content. Shrimp, crab, and oysters are popular tasty options.

  • Shrimp: 100 grams of cooked shrimp has 99 calories, 24 grams of protein, 0.28 grams of fat, and 0.2 grams of carbs.
  • Crab: A cooked Alaska king crab weighing 100 grams contains 97 calories, 19.4 grams of protein, 1.54 grams of fat, and zero carbs.
  • Oysters: 100 grams of raw oysters contains 51 calories, 5.71 grams of protein, 1.71 grams of fat, and 2.72 grams of carbs. If you want to eat oysters on the keto diet, watch your serving size to avoid going above your daily carb allowance.


No diet, keto or not, is complete without eggs! A staple food in many diets, eggs are an essential source of protein, choline, heart-healthy unsaturated fats, and other vital nutrients.

An excellent option for your keto diet is high-quality pasture-raised eggs. One pasture-raised egg contains 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fat and is absolutely free of carbohydrates.

Fats and Oils

Now, let’s get to the main star of your keto diet regime: fats. On keto, a whopping 70-80% of your daily calories should come from fat sources, such as oils, butter, nuts, and seeds.

Healthy Oils

Here’s a little cheat that keto dieters swear by - add extra fat to your keto meals by cooking, frying, or dressing them with. Some of the most popular keto oils include:

Butter and Ghee

Butter is a staple in the keto diet, and proponents use it to add not only flavor but also extra fat to their keto meals. A tablespoon of unsalted butter has a whopping 11.5 grams of fat and a meager 0.009 grams of carbohydrates.

 You might have heard that butter is unhealthy, but it’s actually a good source of fat-soluble vitamins and conjugated linoleic acid, a type of fat with multiple health benefits. Research associates CLA with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. 

Keto dieters also occasionally substitute butter for ghee, a form of clarified butter where milk solids are removed to make it suitable for those allergic or intolerant to dairy.

Some famous butter or ghee options in the market for the keto diet include:

Nuts and Seeds

The final sources of fat on our list are nuts and seeds. While most nuts are considered keto-friendly because of their high-fat content, practitioners highly advise you to consume them in moderation because they can also have a significant amount of carbohydrates. Control your portion sizes of these nuts and seeds when on keto:


Beginner keto dieters think that keto is all about consuming meat and meat alone. But vegetables form an important part of the diet regime. Not all vegetables are keto-friendly, though. Here are the staples you can buy and consume.

Leafy Greens

Nutritionists say that all types of leafy greens are generally keto-friendly, especially green vegetables that are lower in carbs than their colored varieties. Stock up on these leafy greens to add as supplements to your fat and protein sources:

  • Spinach: 100 grams of spinach contains 23 calories, 2.86 grams of protein, 0.39 grams of fat, and 3.63 grams of carbohydrates. It’s also a good source of essential nutrients like calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, fiber, phosphorus, and thiamine.
  • Swiss Chard: Swiss chard is rich in micronutrients that help support overall health. These include calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin K, and alpha-lipoic acid, among others. 100 grams of Swiss chard contains 19 calories, 1.8 grams of protein, 0.2 grams of fat, and 3.74 grams of carbs.
  • Celery: Raw celery only contains 14 calories, 0.69 grams of protein, 0.17 grams of fat, and 2.97 grams of carbohydrates per 100-gram serving. It’s rich in dietary fiber and vitamin K and has small amounts of calcium, iron, and vitamins A and C.
  • Lettuce: There are many varieties of lettuce, each with its own nutritional profile. However, almost all of them boast an abundance of vitamin A and small amounts of iron, vitamin K, and vitamin C. 100 grams of lettuce has 17 calories, 1.23 grams of protein, 0.3 grams of fat, and 3.29 grams of carbs.
  • Cabbage: At a serving size of 100 grams, cabbage contains 25 calories, 1.28 grams of protein, 0.1 grams of fat, and 5.8 grams of carbs. Cabbage is also jam packed with nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin C, and folate.
  • Broccoli: Broccoli is the go-to leafy vegetable for keto dieters because it absorbs the healthy oils and fats it is cooked in. Aside from that, it also provides the body with minerals and fiber. A 100-gram serving of broccoli contains 34 calories, 2.82 grams of protein, 0.37 grams of fat, and 6.64 grams of carbs.

Low-Carb Vegetables

Aside from leafy greens, you can also add low-carb vegetables to your ketogenic diet. Keto dieters love using the following as side dishes for their proteins:

  • Asparagus: 100 grams of asparagus contains 20 calories, 2.2 grams of protein, 0.12 grams of fat, and 3.88 grams of carbs. It’s also rich in fiber, vitamins C and A, and folate.
  • Brussels sprouts: A hundred grams of Brussels sprouts have 43 calories, 3.38 grams of protein, 0.3 grams of fat, and 8.95 grams of carbs. Brussels sprouts are abundant in nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin C, fiber, carotene, and folate.
  • Zucchini: Zucchini is rich in antioxidants and several important nutrients like manganese, vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. 100 grams of zucchini has 17 calories, 1.21 grams of protein, 0.32 grams of fat, and 3.11 grams of carbohydrates.
  • Cucumber: One of the most nutrient-rich foods, cucumber can supply your body with fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K. A 100-gram serving of cucumbers only has 15 calories, 0.65 grams of protein, 0.11 grams of fat, and 3.63 grams of carbs.

Dairy and Cheese

The right types of dairy can be keto-friendly. The same goes for cheese. As always, the important thing when staying in keto is to choose a low-carb option.

Below, we will give you the dairy and cheeses you can add to your grocery list.


Here’s some good news for our cheese-loving readers. Nutritionists and keto experts agree that cheese is not completely off the table in the keto diet regime. It’s only a matter of consuming the suitable varieties and opting for full-fat options. Here are some cheeses that have received the keto seal of approval:

  • Blue cheese: Contains 353 calories, 21.4 grams of protein, 28.7 grams of fat, and 2.34 grams of carbs per 100-gram serving.
  • Cottage cheese: Contains 98 calories, 11.1 grams of protein, 4.3 grams of fat, and 3.38 grams of carbs per 100-gram serving.
  • Cream cheese: Contains 350 calories, 6.15 grams of protein, 34.4 grams of fat, and 5.52 grams of carbohydrates per 100-gram serving.
  • Goat cheese: Contains 364 calories, 21.6 grams of protein, 29.8 grams of fat, and 0.12 grams of carbohydrates per 100-gram serving.


Keto practitioners say that there are certain types of dairy products suitable for the keto diet. Some examples include heavy cream, sour cream, and Greek yogurt (unsweetened!).

  • Heavy cream: 30 grams (1 fl. oz) of heavy cream contains 101 calories, 11 grams of fat, 0.9 grams of protein, and 0.8 grams of carbs. Add it to your coffee or other keto beverages!
  • Sour cream: You can flavor your meals with sour cream, which only contains 198 calories, 19.4 grams of fat, 2.44 grams of protein, and 4.63 grams of carbohydrates per 100-gram serving.
  • Greek yogurt: For a quick keto snack, unsweetened Greek yogurt can be suitable, with a 100-gram serving containing 100 calories, 4.7 grams of fat, 8.7 grams of protein, and 5.3 grams of carbohydrates.


Many processed beverages contain sugar, a form of carbohydrate, making it best to avoid them on keto. However, keto practitioners say you don’t have to limit yourself to water. There are a handful of low-carb beverages that can fit well with your keto diet.

  • Tea: Tea is naturally low-carb, with most varieties only having less than 1 gram of carbs per cup. Green tea, in particular, has zero carbs per 8 fl. oz. serving, while black tea contains a meager 0.71 grams of carbs for the same serving size.
  • Coffee: You can drink coffee while on keto, but avoid adding sugar — opt for a keto-friendly sweetener instead. A cup of brewed coffee (8 fl. oz) contains zero carbohydrates.
  • Sparkling water: Sparkled water is carbonated using carbon dioxide gas. Most options are unsweetened and contain zero carbs, making them suitable for the keto diet.

Condiments and Seasonings

Your keto diet meals don’t have to be flavorless. Here are some condiments and seasonings that won’t cause you to exceed your daily carb allowance.

Herbs and Spices

Herbs and spices are the cornerstone of cooking, which means you absolutely need them to prepare tasty keto meals. Here are the herbs and spices most popular among keto dieters:

  • Paprika: 6.49 calories, 0.324 grams of protein, 0.297 grams of fat, and 1.24 grams of carbs per 1 teaspoon serving.
  • Chili powder: 7.61 calories, 0.365 grams of protein, 0.386 grams of fat, and 1.34 grams of carbs per 1 teaspoon serving.
  • Ground cumin: 10 calories, 0 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat, and 1 gram of carbohydrates per 1 teaspoon serving.
  • Sea salt: 0 calories, 0 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat, and 0 grams of carbs per 1 teaspoon serving.
  • Ground black pepper: 5.77 calories, 0.239 grams of protein, 0.075 grams of fat, and 1.47 grams of carbs per 1 teaspoon serving.


While plenty of condiments have added sugars, there are also a few options that are low-carb and, therefore, keto-friendly. These include:

  • Avocado oil mayonnaise: Avocado oil mayonnaise has 100 calories, 11 grams of fat, 0 grams of protein, and 0 carbs per 1 tablespoon serving.
  • Sugar-free ketchup: The Heinz Sugar-Free Ketchup contains 10 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of protein, and 1 gram of net carbs per 1 tablespoon serving.
  • Buffalo sauce: For a 1 tablespoon serving, buffalo sauce contains 1.8 calories, 0.1 grams of fat, 0.2 grams of protein, and 0.1 grams of carbs.
  • Apple cider vinegar: A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar contains 3 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of protein, and 0.1 grams of carbs.

Keto-Friendly Snacks

Now, onto the fun part — grocery shopping for snacks! Keto dieters make it a point to stock up on keto-friendly snacks to satisfy their cravings and keep them full until their next meal. Popular snack foods for keto include:

  • Pork rinds: Made from pig skin, 100 grams of pork rinds contain 544 calories, 61.3 grams of protein, 31.3 grams of fat, and absolutely zero carbs!
  • Keto snack bars: There are several brands offering keto bars in the market, each with its own unique nutritional profile. Generally, though, keto bars contain no added sugar and have minimal carbs, not exceeding 5 grams per bar.
  • Meat jerky: Meat jerky can be a filling snack to munch on in between meals. Beef jerky variations contain 82 calories, 6.64 grams of protein, 5.12 grams of fat, and 2.2 grams of carbs per large piece (20 grams).
  • Parmesan crisps: Parmesan crisps are meant to serve as low-carb substitutes for potato chips. Member’s Mark Parmesan Crisps contains about 170 calories, 14 grams of protein, 12 grams of fat, and 1 gram of carbs for every 20 crisps (30 grams).
  • Keto chocolate chip cookies: Brands have also come up with keto-friendly versions of chocolate chip cookies. Substituting high-carb ingredients with low-carb alternatives, most keto chocolate chip cookies contain less than 3 grams of net carbs.


Sugar is a no-no in the keto diet. Luckily, there are a few keto-friendly sweeteners you can use to add sweetness to your beverages, snacks, and dishes. The following are absolute must-haves for your keto-focused pantry:

  • Monk fruit sweetener: A packet (0.8 grams) of monk fruit sweetener contains 0 calories, 0 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat, and 0.8 grams of carbs.
  • Allulose sweetener: Allulose contains 90% fewer calories than table sugar while being 70% as sweet. It’s also low in carbs, with some products even having zero carbs per serving. 
  • Erythritol: In crystal form, 1 teaspoon of erythritol contains 0 calories, 0 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat, and 4 grams of carbs.
  • Stevia: Derived from the Stevia rebaudiana plant, stevia is a natural, zero-calorie sweetener that’s well-loved by keto dieters. 1 teaspoon of stevia contains 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of protein, and 4.7 grams of carbs.


And there you have it — we just gave you your entire grocery list for your next trip to the supermarket. After learning all the keto-friendly food items you can consume, you’re in a much better position to kickstart your keto diet and pave the way to success (whether that means weight loss or improved health for you)!

Keto Staples List: Frequently Asked Questions

What are some staples of the keto diet?

The staples of the keto diet include proteins, fats, vegetables, dairy, condiments and seasonings, keto-friendly snacks, and sweeteners. Our complete list above provides you with your options for each category so you can kickstart your keto diet confidently.

What should my keto shopping list include?

Your keto shopping list should include fats like oil and nuts, proteins like meat and fish, low-carb vegetables and dairy, and keto-friendly beverages, condiments, sweeteners, and snacks for your pantry.