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Last updated on November 28th, 2023.

A Keto diet is more than just a fad diet. It has been proven to help with weight loss and a number of health-related issues, including diabetes and heart disease. However, Keto, unlike most diets, is a full lifestyle choice. It relies on the body’s function to use its backup fat stores as energy instead of other, simpler means. In order to maintain ketosis, the diet must be kept too closely or risk starting over from square one. Therefore, you should eat the right things.

15 things that are safe to eat on a Ketogenic Diet include:

  1. Salmon
  2. Dark Chocolate
  3. Kale
  4. Cauliflower
  5. Olives
  6. Avocado
  7. Butter
  8. Nuts & Seeds
  9. Berries
  10. Greek Yogurt
  11. Coconut Oil
  12. Eggs
  13. Poultry
  14. Grass-fed meats
  15. Cheese

There are many more foods that are appropriate for a Keto diet, including low-carb options of favorite foods such as pasta and breads. However, be wary of highly processed foods marketed towards a Keto diet, as they tend to be worse in the long run and counterproductive. Keep reading for more information about the Keto diet and foods that are safe to eat on it.

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What is the Keto Diet?

A Ketogenic (Keto) diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet. Due to having fewer carbs to burn, the body starts burning fat instead in a metabolic process called ketosis. Sustaining ketosis has been proven to help with weight loss and certain health conditions including diabetes. It is an effective diet in curbing hunger due to the fact it loads the body up on nutrients that are easier for the body to break down and forces it to use its fat stores for fuel instead of other sources like carbs and sugars.

Unlike most diets, a Keto diet cannot be stopped and started on a whim. It is a full lifestyle change as getting into ketosis in the first place requires the body to burn through all other methods of fuel so that it will go into ketosis. Falling out of ketosis will put the body into overdrive and have it storing more fat to compensate.

The good news is that the Keto diet, unlike most others, is not nearly as restrictive. There are a lot of Keto-friendly foods out there, many of which are really tasty and can fit into most lifestyles easily. There are 7 signs to know if you are in ketosis without testing that you coould look into. The biggest thing is to steer clear of carbs and sugars while loading up on fats. This also helps curb hunger in a way most other diets don’t and gives a good source of energy that the body can actually burn effectively.

What Can I Eat on the Keto Diet and Why?

When eating on a keto diet, it is important to look for high saturated fats, low carbs, and low sugars. Denying the body the easier fuel sources puts the body into a sustained period of ketosis and has the liver sending out ketones to use as fuel instead.

eat on the keto diet - What can I eat on a Keto diet and why

Meats, most kinds of fish, nuts, seeds, butter, eggs, cream, dark leafy greens, and many vegetables are excellent choices to include in a Keto diet. These have a lot of nutrients in them while being low on the things that keep the body from maintaining ketosis. Foods high in good fats and proteins are excellent. If you are having trouble with some of these, just remember that eating gluten free has many benefits.  Or, start from whole and natural green foods only!  If you’re a beginner to plant based nutrition there’s ample resources out there to help.

Avoid sweets, including artificial sweeteners, fruits with few exceptions, and most products marketed for a Keto diet, as they are highly processed and rarely effective.  Some exceptions apply, like with brands that really take the time to get it right like Perfect Keto.  (check out our Perfect Keto Review for more info)

Also be sure to avoid all sources of grain including whole grains and starches as these break down into sugars in the system. Be wary of most shellfish, as some have more carbs than others.

Things Safe to Eat on a Keto Diet

When looking for foods that are safe to eat on a Ketogenic diet, the biggest factor is maximizing protein and good fats while minimizing carbs in order to put the body into a state of ketosis. Net carbs refer to the number of carbs minus the amount of fiber within a food, as that is what the body will be able to actively break down and digest properly.


Fish in general tends to be at least low in carbs if not carb-free. Salmon is also rich in B vitamins, potassium, and selenium making it an ideal choice as far as fish goes.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and flavanols, which have been proven to help reduce the risk of heart disease via lowering blood pressure. However, it must be a minimum of 70% cocoa and eaten in moderation due to the added sugar content.


eat on the keto diet - Kale

Non-starchy vegetables are low in both carbs and calories but high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and nutrients. Cruciferous vegetables such as kale have also been linked to decreased risk of cancer and heart disease. A rule of thumb is the darker the greens are, the better they are for the diet. For more information check out plant based nutrition for beginners.


Cauliflower has many of the same benefits of kale while also being a suitable substitute for many other carb-rich foods such as rice and even popcorn. It is a nutrient-dense food with many health benefits, rivaling the antioxidant content found in other superfoods such as blueberries.


Olives and olive oil are high in oleic acid which has been found to decrease the risk of heart disease. They also contain antioxidants found to help decrease inflammation and improve artery function. Additionally, there are studies that suggest olives may help prevent bone loss and decrease blood pressure. All this while providing no carbs whatsoever when in their oil form. Olives themselves are half fiber though, so it works out.


Due to the high fiber content of an avocado, only about 2 grams worth of the 9 contained in a medium half is counted. They are also high in vitamins, minerals, and potassium. They have also been shown to improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels.


Butter is full of good, saturated fats and linoleic acid with only trace amounts of carbs. Studies have also shown that the moderate consumption of high fat dairy can help actually reduce the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and strokes. It can also be used to add flavor in foods that would otherwise be lacking.

Nuts & Seeds

Nuts are very high in fat while also being low in carbs while also being linked to reduce the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, depression, and other chronic illnesses. However, their overall carb content varies based on the kind of nut. Seeds have a lot of the same benefits of nuts, with some being rich in vitamins and minerals found in few other places such as Omega-3.


Berries are low in carbs and high in fiber, with raspberries and blackberries negating their carb count with their fiber count. They’re also full of antioxidants that have been found to help with inflammation and protect against all sorts of diseases. They are the main exception from the no fruit rule and help add a bit of sweetness to the diet.

Greek Yogurt

Plain and unsweetened Greek yogurt has 4 grams of carbs and 9 grams of protein while also being proven to promote a feeling of fullness. Additionally, it makes a solid additive to many dishes to add an extra bit of flavor which might be lacking and is even required in some curries.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains MCTs and lauric acid which have been shown to promote sustained levels of ketosis. It is one of the best superfoods on the market, with 2tbs a day being proven to help with weight loss. It also is useful in many other things, not just the diet so it’s always a good thing to have on hand.


eat on the keto diet - Eggs

Eggs are another superfood that lends itself perfectly to a Keto diet. The entire egg should be consumed, both the whites and the yolks. They are nutrient-dense foods with high levels of protein. While the yolk does contain cholesterol, it’s not actually enough to cause much issue. They have also been proven to reduce LDL particle size that helps reduce the risk of heart disease.


Poultry is high in protein and has no carbs. If possible, avoiding grain-fed poultry will also help add extra nutrients. Poultry is high in B vitamins, high-quality protein, and a number of minerals. Any kind of poultry will do, from chicken to turkey, duck, goose, and more.

Grass-Fed Meat

While all meat contains no carbs, grass-fed meats also contain higher levels of omega-3 fats, conjugated linoleic acid, and antioxidants. Along with poultry, it is a good source of high-quality protein, B vitamins, and minerals. Opting for grass-fed meats whenever possible is just a better use of the process and helps add more density to the meal.


Cheese is almost always low in carbs and high in saturated fat. It also contains conjugated linoleic acid which has been found to help with fat loss, reducing age-related loss of muscle mass and strength, and improve body composition. Most cheeses work excellently, with very few exceptions.

5 Things You Can’t Eat on a Keto Diet

Sugars are limited from most diets in general. With keto, that isn’t limited to processed sugars and includes starchy food which will break down sugars into the body. These foods are also extremely high in carbs, which also really need to be avoided in order to maintain sustained ketosis. Also be sure to avoid most products marketed towards a keto diet due to them being highly processed and lacking in nutrients.

eat on the keto diet - Pastries

Baked Goods

Pastries and other baked goods have both too much sugar and too many carbs for a keto diet.

Most Fruit

Most fruits have too much sugar unfortunately.


Honey is a natural sweetener which is essentially all sugar. Sugar itself was initially used as a replacement for honey in the first place.


Honey is a natural sweetener which is essentially all sugar. Sugar itself was initially used as a replacement for honey in the first place.


Cereals, both sugary breakfast cereals and those marketed as healthier, have too many sugars and carbs for a keto diet.


Even whole-grain bread will break down into sugars in the system.

If you are interested in learning more about the keto diet and helping other people on their journey to becoming a healthier version of themselves, there are plenty of options. You can become a certified ketogenic nutritionist to help make meal plans and specialized diets for people, or you can get a keto coaching certification to coach people through their diet.


A Ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet meant to put the body into a sustained state of ketosis in order to promote weight loss. It has also been shown to help with a number of chronic health issues, including diabetes and heart disease. Unlike most diets, Keto is pretty open as far as what can and cannot be eaten on it, but it is more strict on needing to stick with it and therefore is more of a lifestyle change than most people give it credit for.

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