Getting your head around the keto diet can be a tricky one (“What, so I’m allowed to eat cheese when I’m supposed to be on a DIET?”), but one of the most difficult things is knowing what to put on your shopping list. We’ve made it simple for you.
The first thing that you need to do is make sure that you are eating good quality, whole foods and aren’t just doing what some refer to as “dirty keto” where you fill up on processed snacks (even if they are high fat low carb).
So, lets take a look at the meats, proteins, fats, sweeteners, veggies and fruits that you should be adding to your shopping basket at the supermarket.
When you can, buy grass-fed beef, free range poultry and fresh fish. These fresher cuts of meat have fewer preservatives in them and not only taste better but also ensure that you are reaching the right fat-protein-carb macros for the keto way of eating.
If you can’t find top quality beef or find these options too expensive, a cheaper alternative is to buy a leaner cut of beef, but ensure that you cook it in more fat to keep the fat content high.
You can get your proteins from the same places that you get your fats (i.e. meat and vegetables). If you do find that you aren’t reaching your target protein intake, then there are SOME keto diet whey protein powders available, but always check the ingredients to make sure they haven’t tried to sneak any sugar in!
Health organisations across the globe have always told us to avoid fats. For many years we have believed “fat makes us fat”. However, this is a false message which needs to be acknowledged: faties a necessary part of the diet, and sugar is the enemy. Aim to shop for fatty foods (that contain Omega 3 oils) such as:
Cod liver oil
Grass-fed and finished beef
It is also worth remembering that if you are really aiming at increasing your Omega 3 intake, stock up on oily fish. Whilst seeds and nuts DO contain some Omega 3, fish contain even more!
For those of us that have a sweet tooth and need an alternative to sugar, sweeteners are an essential part of the keto shopping list.
Here are the main examples that are OK for this diet:
Truvia(Erythritol + Stevia)
Swerve (Erythritol + oligosaccharides)
Be careful of other alternatives, as these can raise your blood glucose levels and kick you out of ketosis.
Many vegetables are fine on keto. Just avoid any that are high in starch or sugar including potatoes, carrots, and various other starchy root vegetables. The best bet for keto is to aim to eat a lot of GREEN veggies. They’re low carb, meaning that you can have a lot on your plate and satisfy your hunger for longer.
As the keto diet is all about controlling your sugar intake, you need to be very careful with the amount of fruit that you buy. The following fruits are allowed, but you really need to weigh out the portions so that you don’t go over your daily carb allowance.
Berries likes raspberries
When you can, opt for quality dairy products such as grass-fed dairy foods. Don’t buy cow’s milk – it’s got a lot more sugar in it than you realise. However, there are so many other nut milks, cheeses, creams and butters this diet won’t even feel like a diet when you’re walking down the dairy aisle! Here are just a few of the things that you can grab at the supermarket:
Heavy Whipping Cream
Plain Greek Yogurt
If you want to commit to this way of eating but are CONVINCED that you absolutely could not give up snacking, then there are keto snack options available to you.
If you’re longing for something with a bit of crunch, pork rinds/scratching can be satisfying. They’re zero carb, but high in protein, so tread carefully so that you don’t go over on your protein macros.
If you love something sweet, then there are thousands of recipes online of cookies, cakes and fat bombs that you can make to satisfy your sweet tooth as well!
Or if you simply find that you’re hungry having already eaten, make enough food so that there are leftovers. Even if you don’t eat that leftover creamy curry as a snack, it’ll make a great lunch tomorrow!
Two things to keep in mind when keto shopping are nuts and flour.
Nuts: Any thing with a coating is going to be high in sugar, so make sure you buy untreated, plain nuts. Here are the best nuts for keto that are not only low carb, but also high in fiber (and therefore easier for your body to digest):
Flour: There are many options for keto-friendly flour. The most important thing to remember is to read the ingredients and nutritional information on the back of the packet to ensure that you are getting a low carb option. Almond and coconut flour are particularly popular for baking keto breads, pancakes, cookies and cakes
Psyllium Husk Flour
Ground Flax Seed
Ground Chia Seeds
Beginner to Keto?
Don’t be scared. Every body has got to start somewhere! Just make sure that you stick to the lists above to begin with, and keep it simple.
BONUS TIP: Search for simple keto recipes online so that you can shop in the supermarket with particular ingredients in mind!