What to Eat on Keto: Your Complete Keto Food List
By: Bulletproof Staff
- Need help figuring out what to eat on the ketogenic diet? Use this keto food list to guide your food choices.
- The keto diet is a high-fat, ultra-low-carb diet that forces the body to burn fat as fuel, by depriving the body of glucose.
- Choose foods that are high in fat, contain moderate protein levels, and have little to no carbs. This keto food list shows you the best foods to eat in every category, plus how to stay Bulletproof while in ketosis, for even more energy and mental clarity.
Not sure what foods you should eat on the keto diet? This keto food list will get you started. By depriving your body of glucose, the high-fat, ultra-low-carb ketogenic diet shifts your body into full ketosis, a state of burning fat instead of sugar or carbs for energy. Take the guesswork out of eating keto, and follow this complete ketogenic diet food list to start dropping weight and feel amazing.
How does the keto diet work?
The high-fat diet includes moderate protein intake and very few carbs (about 75:20:5 by calorie percentage), and can help you shed pounds fast. When your body is unable to get glucose from carbs, your liver kicks in to convert fatty acids into clean-burning ketones. Running on ketones turns off inflammatory pathways, and keeps you away from the energy crashes and blood sugar spikes of a carb-fueled diet. The Bulletproof Diet uses cyclical intermittent keto as a powerful tool to fuel your brain and shed extra body fat, but you may want to try a full ketogenic diet too.
Use this comprehensive keto food list to learn which foods will keep you in ketosis. You may also want to download the Bulletproof Diet Roadmap to keep your keto diet Bulletproof-approved.
Download our keto food list pdf now to print or carry with you on the go.
What can I eat on the keto diet?
One common side effect of a keto diet is dehydration. When your insulin levels drop on a low-carb diet, your body retains less sodium and water, making a keto diet slightly diuretic. Stay hydrated with plenty of water, and reload on electrolytes with bone broths, especially during the “keto flu” in the first few weeks of your diet.
Related: How to Conquer the Keto Flu
Tea and coffee, including Bulletproof Coffee, are completely ketogenic, with bonus points for jump-starting weight loss and focusing your mental clarity. Watch out for sweeteners, fillers, or artificial flavors. While you can drink unsweetened, plant-based milk alternatives in moderation without going out of ketosis, they are not Bulletproof, and are usually loaded with toxic molds — the exception being full-fat coconut milk. If you plan to include them in your diet, beware of carrageenan and BPA-lined containers.
Alcohol is not Bulletproof or ketogenic, but if you’re going to drink, stick to hard liquors in moderation. Beer (y’know, liquid bread), wine, and mixed drinks are bombs of hidden carbohydrates.
Fully keto: Bone broth, Bulletproof Coffee, black tea (no sweeteners), coconut milk (full-fat), coffee, green tea, herbal tea, yerba mate, water (including unsweetened flavored or sparkling water)
Eat moderately: Kombucha (watch for added sugar), nut milks (high carb)
Ketogenic but not Bulletproof: Herbal teas: beware of medicinal effects, flavorings, or any cravings these may cause. Avoid nut milks (often high in mycotoxins).
Veggies can be a sneaky source of carbohydrates on a keto diet. Your keto food list sticks to nutrient-dense, lower-carb veggies, with smaller amounts of those in the moderate zone. In general, if it’s a leaf, you’re good to go. Root veggies are higher in carbs, so limit your use of moderately starchy vegetables like leeks, carrots, beetroot, parsnips, sweet potatoes, water chestnuts and rutabaga, and avoid all other potatoes.
Be aware of the effects of nightshades on your body; while they are permitted in ketosis, they cause inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis in sensitive people. Nightshades include tomatoes, white potatoes, peppers, okra, goji berries and eggplant. For a Bulletproof ketosis, limit onions and garlic, which tend to be moldy and can disrupt your alpha brain waves. Avoid alfalfa sprouts, and be sure to lightly cook oxalate-heavy cruciferous and leafy greens.
Mushrooms, though low-carb, aren’t Bulletproof either; not only do they contain many unstudied or medicinally active compounds, they grow in mold-happy conditions, so mycotoxins are almost certainly present.
Fully keto: alfalfa sprouts, asparagus, avocado, bean sprouts, bitter greens, bok choy, broccoli, celery, chard, chi qua, collards, cucumbers, endive, kale, kohlrabi, leafy greens, lettuce, mushroom, radish, sin qua, spinach, summer squash, zucchini
Eat moderately: artichoke, bamboo shoots, beetroot, bell pepper, bitter melon, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery root, eggplant, fennel, garlic, green beans, jicama, kombu, leeks, nori, okra, olives, onion, parsley root, parsnip, peppers, pumpkin, rhubarb, rutabaga, sugar snap peas, sweet potato, tomatillo, tomato, turnip, water chestnuts, wax beans, winter squash
Ketogenic but not Bulletproof: Raw cruciferous and leafy greens (cook to reduce oxalates), limit nightshades, onions, garlic, and sprouts, and avoid mushrooms.
Oils & Fats
Fat makes up the bulk of a keto diet, to the tune of 70 – 80 percent of your daily calories, so dig in, but stick to smart fats. This keto food list loads you up on saturated and monounsaturated fats such as grass-fed butter, ghee, and lard, plus coconut oil, fish oil, and MCT oil.
Avoid trans fats, hydrogenated fats, polyunsaturated fats and other processed vegetable oils such as sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, canola, soybean, grapeseed, or corn oil. Limit your intake of inflammatory omega-6s, which can hide in chicken skin, grain-fed meats and farmed seafood. If you’re aiming for keto and Bulletproof, choose organic, raw, grass-fed dairy. Beware of oxidation in olive oil, and chicken, duck or goose fat.
Fully keto: avocado oil, Brain Octane Oil, cacao butter, coconut oil, chicken fat, duck fat, egg yolk, fatty fish/ seafood, fermented cod liver oil, fish oil, goose fat, grass-fed butter, ghee, krill oil, lard, macadamia oil, marrow, MCT oil, olive oil, grass-fed tallow, mayonnaise
Eat moderately: grain-fed butter/ghee
Ketogenic but not Bulletproof: Avoid grain-fed butter and ghee. Avoid canola, cottonseed, corn, flaxseed, peanut, safflower, soy, and sunflower oils. Avoid margarine and commercial dressings.
Nuts, Seeds & Legumes
Although excellent sources of fat, nuts add up quickly in protein and carbs, and are often inflammatory. Snack on fattier nuts such as macadamia nuts and pecans, but limit those high in inflammatory omega-6s, like peanuts and sunflower seeds. Only use nut flours (almond, coconut) in moderation, as they are packed with protein. To stay in ketosis, limit high-carb nuts like cashews, pistachios and chestnuts, and avoid most beans.
This is one area where full keto and Bulletproof differ. Except for coconut, all nuts and legumes are suspect on the Bulletproof diet and should be limited. All expose you to high amounts of omega-6s, inflammatory oxidized fats, mold toxins, and phytates (plant anti-nutrients). Peanuts are one of the main sources of mold toxins in our diets, and often trigger allergic responses with inflammatory polyunsaturated fats, lectins and histamines. The Bulletproof Diet also excludes all soy products due to their phytoestrogen content, which messes with your hormones and may promote cancer.
Fully keto: almonds, black soybeans, brazil nuts, chia, coconut, flax seed, hemp, macadamia nuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sesame, walnuts
Eat moderately: almond flour, coconut flour, edamame, hazelnuts, peanuts, pine nuts, sunflower seeds
Keto but not Bulletproof: Limit nuts. Avoid beans, peanuts, peas, flaxseed, brazil nuts, pistachios, pine nuts, hummus, and soy products.
For both keto and Bulletproof diets, opt for full-fat, grass-fed, organic dairy to reap the anti-inflammatory benefits of omega-3s and CLA. Dairy is a great source of fat on a ketogenic diet, but be mindful not over-do the protein. Although milk (yep, even raw, full-fat, or goat milk) is too high in lactose sugars, you can stay in ketosis with foods like butter, ghee, cheeses or greek yogurt. For those with lactose sensitivities, hard, long-aged ferments are easiest to digest. Avoid sweetened or low-fat dairy, evaporated or condensed milk, and buttermilk to keep your blood sugar low, and your fat intake high.
For a Bulletproof ketosis, cheese is not on your plate. The unique flavors in cheese are actually courtesy of mold toxins, both from mold in animal feed, and the molds used in fermentation. Cheeses cause inflammation, which can lead to weight gain.
Additionally, unless you are immunocompromised, opt for raw, unpasteurized dairy. Processed dairy is highly allergenic, difficult to digest, and associated with a wide range of diseases. Plus, pasteurization destroys nutrients and oxidizes fats.
Fully keto: All grass-fed and full-fat: butter, cheese, ghee, yogurt, heavy cream, sour cream
Eat moderately: Cottage cheese, cream cheese, greek yogurt
Keto but not Bulletproof: Avoid cheese, opt for raw dairy.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking ketosis is all fun and bacon. Avoid consuming over 20-30 percent of your calories from protein — any more, and your body will begin converting protein to sugar through a process called gluconeogenesis, taking you out of ketosis. If you stick to fatty cuts of grass-fed, pastured, or wild meats, and wild-caught fish, there aren’t too many rules here.
Other ketogenic protein sources in our keto food list include nut butters and fermented soy products, but steer clear of these options on a Bulletproof track. If you can’t get your day’s protein from animal sources, opt for whey protein concentrate (not isolate), which helps to boost glutathione production. Avoid packaged, factory-farmed or heavily processed meats, and watch out for additives or curing agents in items like bacon or sausages.
Fully keto: Dark meats, eggs (preferably pastured), fish (wild caught), offal/organ meats (lots), pork, shellfish, whey protein concentrate
Eat moderately: nuts/nut butters, fermented soy products, poultry
Keto but not Bulletproof: Avoid nut butters, soy. Limit chicken, turkey, farmed seafood and non-pastured eggs.
In general, the sugar content in fruits can quickly take you out of ketosis. Coconut and avocado are the exceptions, plus antioxidant-packed fresh berries in limited quantities. Avoid starchy fruits such as banana, and steer clear of tropical, citrus, or other sweet fruits such as pineapple, mango, papaya, dragonfruit, tangerine, grape, peaches, nectarine, apple, plum, pear, fig, date, and persimmon. Lemons and limes are relatively low in sugar; use them sparingly for flavoring water or garnishing meats. Fruit juice is sugar water, so if you’re craving a refreshing drink, sip on this Keto Green Smoothie instead.
Fully keto: avocado, berries, coconut
Eat moderately: lemon/lime for flavoring
Keto but not Bulletproof: limit fruit to evenings, buy organic to avoid pesticide residue.
Spices & Seasonings
Beware of added sugars or high-glycemic sweeteners in spice blends or condiments, but other than that, it’s fair game for keto. In spice-heavy dishes, carbs can add up, but don’t drive yourself crazy worrying about your teaspoon of turmeric. Check labels for additives like sugars, milk solids, potato starch, corn starch, or MSG, or make your own blends at home. Table salt often contains undisclosed fillers and anti-caking agents, so it’s best to opt for rock or sea salt instead.
Even after irradiation (the industry standard sterilization process that also destroys any antioxidants and health benefits), spices and herbs can spoil in your home, and often harbor aggressive mold toxins. To spice up your dishes the Bulletproof way, use high-quality, fresh or recently opened herbs and spices. Spices with especially high mold toxin risk include black pepper, powdered garlic, nutmeg, and paprika. Apple cider vinegar is the only vinegar permitted in the Bulletproof diet, as other vinegars and yeasts introduce toxins, and promote yeast growth in your gut.
Fully keto: cocoa powder, coconut aminos, fatty salad dressings, ketchup (no sugar added), mayo, miso, mustard, nutritional yeast, pure powdered spices, soy sauce, tomato sauce (no sugar added), vinegars
Keto but not Bulletproof: Limit black pepper, garlic powder, mustard seed, nutmeg, onion powder, paprika, table salt. Avoid bouillon, commercial dressings, nutritional yeast, soy products, and all vinegars except apple cider vinegar.
Sugar has no place in a Ketogenic diet, but that doesn’t mean entirely cutting out desserts. It’s easy to get a sweets fix using safe sweetener alternatives, just keep it in moderation to reduce temptation. On your keto food list, stick to low-glycemic sweeteners to avoid spikes in blood sugar, and avoid fillers and binders such as maltodextrin and dextrose, which can spike blood sugar and contain sneaky carbs. Sugar alcohols such as maltitol or xylitol may read as no sugar on a label, but be aware that they will still cause moderate glycemic response when digested. Stay away from aspartame (Nutrasweet), acesulfame, Splenda, sorbitol, saccharin, fructose, agave, honey, and maple syrup. Lastly, although pure, liquid sucralose won’t kick you out of ketosis, it will bioaccumulate in your body, and wreak havoc on your gut bacteria.
Fully keto: Erythritol, inulin, liquid sucralose (pure, not splenda), monk fruit (pure), stevia
Eat moderately: Maltitol, xylitol
Keto but not Bulletproof: Avoid sucralose
Download the Complete Keto Food List
A comprehensive guide to the foods you can and can't eat on a keto diet