A List of 20 Foods to Eat on the Ketogenic Diet (Beginners)

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Beginners starting out on the ketogenic diet are going to need a smart list of foods to eat.

If I were to describe my diet in general, in would most closely resemble that of the ketogenic diet.

My diet is low in carbs, high in protein and healthy fats.

I eat avocados, chicken, nuts and berries almost every day.

My plate almost never has bread on it because my focus is usually on keto friendly vegetables, fruits, oils and meats.

When I was younger, I would consume far too many sugary foods such as ice cream and donuts.

Luckily, after I became older and a bit wiser, I started to scrutinize my diet and found the ketogenic diet one that I could follow on a consistent basis.

I started to feel better, I had more energy, my focus was better, and my overall life experience improved.

I finally found a diet that I could stick to over the long term, and a simple list of foods was all I needed to keep it up.

Now that I’ve found what works for me, let me share with you:

A List of 20 Foods to Eat on the Ketogenic Diet for Beginners

List of Keto Friendly Vegetables

1. Spinach

Spinach is a no brainer and should be number 1 on everyone’s list of foods to eat on the ketogenic diet, regardless of dietary preference.

Spinach is loaded with vitamins and minerals and is a rich source of vitamin K.

Five amazing health benefits of eating spinach include:

  • Stronger bones
  • Stronger immune system
  • Anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties
  • Promotes a healthy heart
  • Gives you energy

Put spinach in everything from salads to soups to casseroles.

2. Kale

Kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods in the world.

Packed with vitamin A, K, C, and manganese, kale’s nutrient value and low-calorie content soar above the rest.

Five amazing health benefits of eating kale include:

  • Can help lower cholesterol
  • Contains cancer fighting compounds
  • Protects the eyes
  • May help you lose weight
  • Is high in antioxidants

Try sneaking some kale into your salads and smoothies for added nutrient benefits.

3. Broccoli

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli need to make your plate on a consistent basis.

They can be mixed into salads, casseroles, soups, or eaten plain, making them a great food to eat on the ketogenic diet.

Five amazing health benefits of eating broccoli include:

  • Cancer fighting properties
  • Better bone health
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Healthy digestion
  • Improve brain function

Many strength and weight loss coaches advise you eat broccoli at least once a day, so make sure you’re eating your share.

4. Cauliflower

Cauliflower has recently been used in a different manner than it has in the past.

People are starting to use it for things like pizza crusts, bagels, cauliflower rice, tortillas and wraps.

Five amazing health benefits of eating cauliflower include

  • High in antioxidants
  • Low in calories
  • A great source of choline
  • Rich is sulforaphane
  • May assist in weight loss

Cauliflower is packed with nutrients, is an easy snack, and should be part of the list of foods you eat on the ketogenic diet.

List of Keto Friendly Fruits

5. Avocado

Avocados are one of the all-star foods to make the list on the ketogenic diet for beginners.

They are full of healthy fats, are nutrient rich and low in carbs.

Five amazing health benefits of eating avocado include:

  • Heart healthy
  • Support bone health
  • Protect against certain cancers
  • Improved digestion
  • Decreased risk of depression

I eat avocados almost every day on salads, as a side with meals, or by themselves as a healthy snack.

6. Berries

Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are all great foods to add to the ketogenic food list.

I try to eat at least a handful of berries a day.

If I’m not eating them by themselves, I throw berries into smoothies or shakes.

Five amazing health benefits of eating berries include:

  • They are packed with antioxidants
  • Help with blood sugar levels
  • Packed with nutrients and fiber
  • Fight inflammation
  • May reduce certain cancer risks

Make it a priority and get your berry fix every day of the year, your body will thank you for it.

List of Keto Friendly Snacks

7. Nuts and Seeds

I am a huge proponent of nuts and seeds and most of them will make it on the list of foods to eat on the ketogenic diet.

I especially like walnuts and almonds.

Packed with protein, healthy fats, and nutrients, nuts and seeds are one of the best things to add to your ketogenic diet food list.

Five amazing health benefits of eating nuts and seeds include:

  • Reduce risk of heart disease
  • Lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol levels
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Promote a healthy brain
  • High in antioxidants

Go to the store and get a big bag of unsalted walnuts, almonds, pecans or pistachios and take them to work with you to eat as a healthy snack.

8. Plain Greek Yogurt

If you’re looking to grab a protein packed snack, look no further than plain Greek yogurt.

Greek yogurt contains about 17g of protein for every cup.

Five amazing health benefits of eating plain Greek yogurt include:

  • Probiotics promote a healthy gut
  • High in calcium
  • High in B-12
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Reduces appetite

Greek yogurt is great eaten as a breakfast food, with chili or soup, or with you protein smoothie or shake.

9. Cheese

Not many people will argue with them about eating cheese.

It is another snack found on the keto friendly food list.

Five amazing health benefits of eating cheese include:

  • Prevent osteoporosis
  • High in calcium
  • Good source of protein
  • Helps build muscle mass
  • Improves immune system

Make cheese that guiltless pleasure and use it to keep your meals interesting.

10. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate with little to no sugar is one of those little-known food items that can positively affect your health.

Just make sure you choose the chocolate with cocoa content 70% or higher.

Five amazing health benefits of eating dark chocolate include:

  • Reduces heart disease risk
  • Elevates good cholesterol
  • Improves blood flow
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Full of antioxidants

It’s hard to find a real, healthy piece of dark chocolate.

Just know once you find one, never let the source of that chocolate go.

One healthy chocolate option is the Lindt Excellence Bar, 90% Cocoa Supreme Dark Chocolate.

This smooth, rich, gluten free bar could be exactly what you’re looking for to increase your mood while getting some much needed antioxidants.

List of Keto Friendly Meats and Protein

11. Steak

Ribeye’s, strips, T-bones, sirloins, and filets make my plate on a consistent basis, medium rare of course.

With about 20 grams of protein per 100 grams of meat, steak is one of those foods that can greatly contribute to your daily protein intake.

Five amazing health benefits of eating steak include:

  • Great source of iron
  • Improved mental health
  • Improved muscle mass and exercise performance
  • Good source of B6, B12, zinc, selenium and niacin
  • Contains conjugated linoleic acid

I often try to grab a steak once every couple weeks as a reward for all my hard work.

12. Eggs

An egg a day is generally considered healthy, and an inexpensive way to get some protein into your diet daily.

Many people consider eggs to be bad for you because of their high cholesterol content.

Truth is, the cholesterol in eggs doesn’t necessarily raise cholesterol in the blood stream.

One study showed that existing epidemiological data demonstrates that dietary cholesterol is not correlated with increased risk for coronary heart disease.

Five amazing health benefits of eating eggs include:

  • Eggs raise good cholesterol in the blood stream
  • Contain choline
  • Improved eye health
  • May reduce stroke risk
  • Reduced risk of heart disease

If you’re a fan of eggs as much as I am, try my hard boiled diet and drop a few pounds in the process.

13. Salmon

I took a trip to Alaska a couple years ago and scheduled a day to go on a guided salmon fishing tour.

We caught 4 salmon that day (limit was 3 per person).

The guide fileted the fish and packed them up for us.

We took the wild caught salmon home and threw them on the grill.

The fresh salmon we caught were some of the best foods I have ever eaten, nothing like the salmon you would buy from the store.

Besides the omega-3 fatty acids we got from the salmon; five amazing health benefits of eating salmon include:

  • High in protein – 23 grams per 3.5 oz.
  • Full of antioxidants
  • Could reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Fights inflammation
  • Protects the brain

Salmon is one of my favorite foods and one of the top foods to make my ketogenic diet food list items.

14. Tuna

Most beginners on the ketogenic diet may think tuna only comes in a can. Try tuna steaks as well! Tuna’s another great source of protein.

I will often eat it straight out of the can over my lunch break or for a healthy snack.

Five amazing health benefits of eating tuna include:

  • Heart friendly omega-3’s
  • Improves the immune system
  • Provides energy
  • Improves skin appearance
  • Reduces risk of cancer

Try adding some low carb, high protein tuna to your ketogenic diet plan.

15. Chicken

Another obvious choice for your ketogenic food list should be the high protein chicken breast.

Inexpensive and easily prepared, chicken should make your plate at least every other day.

Five amazing health benefits of eating chicken include:

  • Helps increase muscle mass
  • High in vitamins
  • Low in sodium
  • Low carbohydrates
  • Helps reduce cancer risk

I like my chicken baked in olive oil and spices, paired with a mixture of baked veggies.

16. Bacon

Oh, how great is that irresistible smell of bacon in the morning.

I used to not eat a lot of bacon in my younger years but have gradually increased my intake over the later years.

Bacon isn’t the best choice for meats in the ketogenic diet, but it’s something that’s hard to leave out when that weekend breakfast or brunch comes around.

Five amazing health benefits of eating bacon include:

  • Bacon is full of nutrients including B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B12
  • Contains heart healthy oleic acid
  • Good source of Omega-3
  • Mood enhancer
  • Good for the brain

Although bacon does have some healthy and tasty aspects to it, you have to be careful not to eat too often due to the high salt, saturated fat and high cholesterol values.

List of Keto Friendly Oils

17. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

One of the best foods on my list of foods to eat on my ketogenic dies is extra virgin olive oil. We put olive oil on many of our dinner dishes.

We especially use it for baking meats, vegetables, and on salads and breads.

Extra virgin olive oil is one of the best things for you, packed with antioxidants and healthy fats.

Five amazing health benefits of eating extra virgin olive oil include:

  • Reduced risk of heart disease
  • Protects against stroke and Type-2 diabetes
  • Protects against cancer
  • Improved brain health
  • Highly nutritious

So, get your hands on the fresh, healthy olive juice, made without the use of solvents or extreme temperatures.

Grab the high rated 68 ounce bottle of Pompeian Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

This extra virgin olive oil is has a robust flavor, is farmer-crafted, is imported, and first cold pressed.

18. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil, often considered a healthy superfood, is full of healthy fatty acids with strong medicinal properties.

People who eat a large amount of coconut oil are often much healthier than people who don’t.

Five amazing health benefits of eating coconut oil include:

  • Reduced risk of heart disease
  • Boosts fat burning
  • Provides energy
  • Raises good cholesterol
  • Protects skin and hair

Coconut oil is also beneficial against bacterial, viruses, fungi, and the harmful rays of the sun.

List of Keto Friendly Drinks

19. Coffee

Beginners may not think coffee makes the list of foods on the ketogenic diet, but here it is. Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world.

Over 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed in the world daily and it continues to grow every day.

Coffee is a great drink for the ketogenic diet, and here are five amazing health benefits of drinking that morning latte:

  • Improves energy
  • May lower Type-2 diabetes risk
  • Fights depression
  • Lowers risk of cancer
  • Big source of antioxidants.

One popular forms of coffee is the

20. Green or Black Tea

Last, but not least, is tea.

Since tea can served hot or cold, tea is the perfect drink for any time of the day.

Five amazing health benefits of drinking tea include:

  • Large amount of antioxidants
  • May reduce risk of heart disease
  • Promotes cancer prevention
  • Assists in weight loss
  • Improves gut health

Whether green or black tea, I try to drink at least one cup sometime during the day.

And as the final item on the ketogenic det food list, tea saves one of the best for last.  

If you don’t fully know what the ketogenic diet is and what it does for the body, check out my #1 Ketogenic Diet Guide.

Conclusion: A List of 20 Foods to Eat on the Ketogenic Diet (Beginners)

The ketogenic diet is ideal for beginners and for those looking to lose a little bit of extra weight. Use this list of keto friendly foods to remember what you need to add to your diet. If you find other foods that meet the ketogenic diet criteria, make sure to put it into your own list of acceptable foods.  Remember with anything, consistency will be key in meeting the food, health and nutrition goals that you set out to accomplish.

What foods would you add? Let me know below!

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