There are plenty of foods which you can enjoy that work well with your keto lifestyle but to make life a little easier for you I’m going to list the main foods to avoid on the keto diet.
The keto diet is amazing, effective and healthy but it does require that you avoid certain foods if you want to get into ketosis and enjoy all the health benefits it has to offer.
One or two of them might surprise you, but if you make an effort to remember these, you will avoid many of the mistakes that newbies make while they’re still getting into the swing of everything.
If you do slip up, just count it as a lesson learned and move on. There really isn’t any need to do anything else.
Definitely don’t cut back on your food to “make up” for the error.
The keto diet works so well that a mistake will at the most it will put you back just a day or so.
Chances are, it will only affect you for the rest of the day in which you ate the wrong food.
Remember hidden ingredients. You’re unlikely to accidentally eat a slice of bread, but flour can be hidden in the most unexpected places such as :
- Canned soups – flour and/or starch is often added as a thickener in the sauce.
- Many instant hot drinks such as coffee or chocolate, but check the ingredients list as it varies between makes. (coffee black or with cream is keto friendly)
- Ketchup and some mayonnaise
- Some ice cream
- Lunch meat and hot dogs, sausages and meat patties often contain wheat flour
- Sweets. Even chewing gum and chocolate can contain wheat
Always check the labels. Look at the carb count too.
If it’s suspiciously high on a normally low carb food such as meat, that’s a sign that there is added wheat or sugar lurking in there somewhere.
So, let’s take a closer look at what you can’t eat:
You already know not to touch sugar, but I’ve included it to remind you to look for hidden sugars, which are in just about every ready meal and drink.
That includes the sugars in fruit juices and other “healthy” vegetable juices too.
Other hidden sugars can be found in:
- Energy bars – the energy in these bars usually comes from added sugar.
- Protein bars
- Bottled sauces
- Sports drinks
All grains are off limits, and this includes:
- Sprouted grains
These will be found in many foods such as:
- Rice dishes
- Breakfast cereals
- Spice mixes
- Beans – all types: Adzuki, black, soybeans, pinto, fava, garbanzo, lime and kidney.
- Peanuts (yes they are officially Legumes)
- Peas – green, snow, snap, mung, black-eyed and split peas
- Lentils – of all colors: yellow, green, brown, black or orange.
Avoid below the ground vegetables:
- Sweet potatoes
Most fruits contain a lot of sugar and carbs and cannot be eaten on a keto diet.
If you do crave some fruit stick to the berries.
Apart from berries, assume that all fruit is off the keto friendly list.
Any alcohol over 40% is normally keto friendly, if not exactly healthy!
Brandy will vary depending on the make, so always check. Alcohol to avoid includes:
- Beer, unless made as low carb, but still check the label.
- Dessert wine
- Fortified wine
To read more about keto and alcohol visit can you drink alcohol with the keto diet
Unless they are sugar free, all soft drinks should be avoided.
Remember that all sweeteners are not considered healthy, so if you do want the sugar free version of your favourite, do your homework and know which sweetener is used.
Artificial sweeteners are best avoided, and include:
All the sugars and carbs that are in fruit don’t just go away once you’ve juiced them.
On top of that, you now are losing out on the benefits of eating the whole fruit.
All fruit juice needs to be avoided on the keto diet.
So now you know which foods contain too many carbs and/or sugar to be able to fit in with your keto diet.
However, there is another category of foods which you should avoid even though they are low carb.
In this group are foods that are not good for your health.
Low carb or not, if you include them in your diet you’re going to be missing out on a lot of the health benefits of keto.
These foods are either not healthy, or outright bad for you.
Just don’t go there.
Seriously, just don’t.
Its completely artificial and full of additives. Butter is healthy and tastes nicer.
- Sunflower Oil
- Soybean Oil
- Corn Oil
- Canola Oil
- Safflower Oil
- Cotttonseed Oil
These oils have too much omega 6, which can cause inflammation that has been linked to numerous diseases.
Avoid buying foods that have been fried in these oils or have them on the ingredients list.
Stick with the healthy oils such as Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil or butter.
Artificial sweeteners can play havoc with our reward centers in the brain and gut.
This can trigger a craving for more sugary foods and carbohydrates in general.
There is a lot of evidence that says these sweeteners are bad for your health too, and they can affect your metabolism.
There are some healthy sugar alternatives such as Erythritol which is a sugar alcohol. This can be used in place of sugar.
Due to the fact that it has no effect on blood sugar or blood/glucose levels, this is a sweetener that is both healthy and keto friendly.
There are dozens of these low-carb bars on the market, but not all of them are the Keto-friendly, healthy option you might believe them to be.
Read the list of ingredients and its possible that they include vegetable oils, artificial sweeteners, and additives.
These can completely derail your health and weight loss goals.
There is every chance that these energy bars obtain most of the energy producing properties from pure sugar which would destroy your ketone levels in no time.
They also tend to be on the small side, and its far too easy to eat three or four of them which could also affect your health goals as well as pushing you out of ketosis.
As they can be so easy to over eat, it’s probably best to not even buy one of these bars.
The most keto friendly way to enjoy this type of snack would be to make them at home.
You could then be sure that all the ingredients are whole foods and fit in with your keto goals.
Most energy bars are simply junk candy bars pretending to be good for your health.
Low Carb Desserts
Here’s a quick test for you: Look at the picture above.
If just looking at it is making your mouth water, you are the sort of person who is triggered by sugar or sweet tasting alternatives.
You need to be honest with yourself. Some can make a few keto friendly desserts, and they find that these will help settle their sweet tooth.
However, if you’re not one of these people, its best to keep away from these for all the same reasons you should keep away from artificial sweeteners and energy bars.
This is another item that is all too easy to over eat.
If you can manage just a few bites of something sweet, make keto friendly desserts at home that you know contain only healthy ingredients.
Protein foods to avoid
Many processed meats are full of preservatives and/or sugar.
You need to take care when choosing a processed meat, and read the label.
Many of these meats will also contain wheat.
The biggest offenders here are:
- Corned beef
- Canned meat
- Hot dogs
When it comes to protein, you need to stay within your protein macros.
Many meat products can easily take you too high if you’re not checking the labels and weighing.
The take home message
This list might look long, but take comfort from the fact that all the foods here are not healthy.
There is a lot of evidence that carb rich foods are inflammatory and contribute to many if not all diseases.
These foods are not just bad for your weight loss goals. They could seriously damage your long term health goals too.
Many of these foods have so many artificial ingredients in them that can hardly be described as food at all.
They will use up or exceed your carb allowances in no time, and leave you with fewer carbs to use when it comes to eating foods that are nutritionally dense and fit in with your keto diet.
Always remember that the list for foods you can eat is just as long, and full of the sorts of food that will provide you with all the nutrients your body needs, as well as helping you to reach your goals.
Good quality, nutrient rich food also tends to keep you full for longer, the exact opposite of the effect that many of the foods on this list will have.
As a rule of thumb, always choose home made food over store bought foods, especially when it comes to the dessert/ cake type of food.
Anything bought in a store needs to have its ingredients list carefully read.
Check if the carbs stated are net or total. This is often used by manufacturers to hide the true carb count of their product.
Also, this will give you plenty of healthy snack ideas quick keto snacks