These are the top 10 keto foods you should include if you're on the diet

  • 4 Minutes Read
Joanna Kriehn
Joanna Kriehn, MS, RDN, CDCES - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES)

If you're on the keto diet, here are the top 10 keto foods to include. Whether you are new to keto or a low carb veteran, finding foods that are keto friendly and tasty can take some effort.

Top 10 keto foods

Here's a list of the healthiest top 10 keto foods that you should include if you're on the keto diet

Just like any other diet plan out there, you are better off consuming a variety of foods (not just the foods on this list) over time. This will help ensure you are eating a balanced diet and meeting your nutrient needs.

1. Salmon

Whether wild or farm-raised, salmon is rich in fat which makes it an important staple in a ketogenic diet. Wild salmon is especially high in omega 3 fatty acids and they both are low in saturated fat. Other notable highlights include the fact that salmon is rich in protein and a good source of vitamin B12, potassium, iron and vitamin D. Here's a quick and easy baked salmon recipe from the MyNetDiary premium recipe collection.

2. Eggs

Eggs are an affordable source of protein and fat. While salmon can be an expensive food to eat multiple times a week when following keto, eggs are on the opposite end of the spectrum. They are versatile and can be incorporated into a keto diet plan in numerous ways. Look out for some classic recipes such as egg cups, quiche, egg salad, frittata or a stand alone hard boiled egg. Eggs are a healthy keto food as they are good sources of selenium, choline, phosphorus and vitamin B 12.

3. Cauliflower (my favorite healthy keto food)

My family will attest, I love cauliflower. It makes its way into our refrigerator every week because it is tasty, nutritious and versatile! If you are new to the low carb scene, you'll want to experiment with cauliflower. It can be mashed in place of potatoes or blended into what looks like snow, also known as cauliflower rice. It can also be used as a snack or mixed with almond meal and made into a pizza crust. It is high in dietary fiber, B vitamins, phytonutrients and more neutral in flavor than broccoli.
Here's a different way to prepare cauliflower:

4. Greens

Greens such as spinach, kale and swiss chard are often hailed as some of the healthiest vegetables. They are rich in vitamins (A, C, E, K), minerals, dietary fiber and phytonutrients and are very low in calories. In fact all greens have less than 5g of net carbs per serving making them very keto friendly. Check out this recipe for smoky collard greens:
Want to learn more about the benefits of dark, green and leafy vegetables? Check out this reference:

5. Avocado

Avocados have a prominent place in the keto diet. They are rich in monounsaturated fats, contain a host of vitamins and minerals (such as potassium) and help keep your eyes healthy with their lutein and zeaxanthin content. One half of a hass avocado contains 1 gram of net carb. Avocados can be mixed into smoothies, sliced on top of a salad or mashed into guacamole. Here's a recipe for a satisfying salad with avocado dressing.

6. Nuts

Pecans, Brazil nuts and macadamia nuts are keto friendly because they are lower in net carbs than other nuts such as cashews and pistachios. They are a good source of mono and polyunsaturated fats, dietary fiber and protein. Brazil nuts are unique in that they are a rich source of the trace element selenium. Enjoy pecans, brazil nuts and macadamia nuts plain or ground into a nut butter and spread on top of celery if you are craving a little crunch.

An important reminder about nuts: For some people nuts can be a trigger food (a food that is difficult to eat in moderation). If you are following the keto diet for weight loss, you'll want to pay attention to your portions of nuts as they are calorically dense. Or, help yourself remain successful when it comes to weight loss by not bringing nuts or nut butters into the home so that you won't be tempted to overeat them!

7. Olive oil

If you are following a high fat diet such as keto you'll want to make sure and stock up on some extra virgin olive oil. This oil can be used as an ingredient in a keto sauce (such as a pesto), homemade salad dressing or used to increase the fat content of a nutritious vegetable dish such as balsamic roasted brussel sprouts . Olive oil is a great source of monounsaturated fats (a very healthy type of fat) and rich in antioxidants.

8. Zucchini

Zucchini or summer squash is a low carb vegetable that is rich in vitamin C and contains some potassium, dietary fiber and manganese. It is a healthy keto food because of these nutrients as well as it's versatility. It can be spiralized into zoodles (for a soup or an entree) or sliced and sauteed with eggs for a quick and tasty breakfast. If you are into trying new recipes and looking for more keto plant-based ideas check out these "meat balls" made with zucchini and walnuts:

9. Snack bars

Sometimes you need an energy boost and aren't able to prepare a keto friendly meal. If you are in a pinch, grabbing a bar may be the next best alternative. One brand that stands out is Dang. Their bars are plant based and contain natural ingredients. The toasted coconut bar has a dense consistency, a hint of sweetness from the stevia and is very satisfying. One bar contains 210 calories, 16g of fat, 11g of carbohydrate, 9g of protein and 6g of fiber.

10. Chia seeds

Chia seeds have been hailed as a superfood and for good reason! Two tablespoons (~1 oz) contain 4g of protein, 11g of fiber and 7g of unsaturated fat. The type of fat they contain is noteworthy as well. They are high in ALA omega 3 fatty acids. In addition, chia seeds are rich sources of calcium, phosphorus and zinc. If your goal is to formulate a healthy keto diet then look out for ways to include more of these nutrient dense seeds in your meals and snacks. You might consider making some chia pudding, adding a tablespoon of seeds to a homemade smoothie, "noatmeal" or preparing a recipe for low carb chia seed crackers.

Bottom Line

There are plenty of processed foods and supplements on the market that claim to be keto. Yet at the end of the day, eating whole foods such as unprocessed meats, seafood, healthy fats, low carb veggies and certain nuts and seeds will ensure you are making healthier food choices when following a keto diet. These top 10 keto foods are not only healthy, but they will make your weight loss that much easier.

To learn more

Should I go keto? 5 Facts you need to know before taking on this diet

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Weight Loss->Diets
Mar 23, 2020

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