Updated: Sep 26, 2020
Try as much as possible to avoid the following foods:
Food rich in carbohydrates, factory-farmed meat and processed foods
Sugar: This is the big no-no. Cut out all soft drinks, fruit juice, sport drinks and “vitamin water” (these are all basically sugar water). Avoid sweets, candy, cakes, cookies, chocolate bars, donuts, frozen treats and breakfast cereals. Read labels for hidden sugars, especially in sauces, condiments, drinks, dressings and packaged goods. Honey, maple syrup, and agave are also sugars. Ideally try to avoid or limit artificial sweeteners as well.
Starch: Bread, pasta, rice, potatoes (including sweet potatoes), French fries, potato chips, porridge, muesli and so on. Avoid wholegrain products as well.
Legumes, such as beans and lentils, are high in carbs too. Small amounts of certain root vegetables (other than potatoes and sweet potatoes) may be OK, but be careful as the carbs can quickly add up. Note that there are many good potential replacements for these foods, that work on a keto diet. Here are a few of them: – Keto breads – Keto “pasta” – Keto “rice” – Keto porridge
Beer: Liquid bread. Full of rapidly absorbed carbs. But there are a few lower-carb beers
Fruit: Very sweet, lots of sugar. Eat once in a while perhaps. Treat fruit as a natural form of candy. Learn more
Margarine: It’s industrially produced imitated butter with a very high content of omega-6 fat. It has no obvious health benefits, and many people feel that it tastes worse than butter. Although the evidence is weak, there is a suggestion that it might be linked to asthma, allergies and other inflammatory diseases, possibly because of the high omega-6 content.
The ketogenic diet has recently become very popular, and many food companies want to cash in by putting a “ketogenic” or “low carb” label on a new product. Be very cautious of special “keto” or “low-carb” products, such as pastas, chocolate bars, energy bars, protein powders, snack foods, cakes, cookies and other “low carb” or “ketogenic” treats. Read all labels carefully for natural low carb ingredients. The fewer ingredients the better.
These packaged products generally do not work well for weight loss and for correcting metabolic issues. They may have hidden carbs not declared on the label, or they may keep you attached to cravings and even addictions to the high-carb foods they attempt to replace.
Analyze the labels. Often you will see that a product is full of additives, sugar alcohols and other sweeteners. They are often in essence an ultra-processed junk food with a “keto” label.” And the labels may even lie. For example, a few years ago a large pasta company was fined $8 million for lying about the carb content of their products.
Don’t replace high-carb junk with heavily processed keto products. If you want a treat, make a low-carb version of a dessert or treat yourself, using our dessert or treat guide. You will likely have more life-long success on the keto diet if you adapt your palate so that you no longer want, need, or crave these sorts of foods.
Beware of labels that say “net carbs”. That might sometimes be a form of creative marketing to hide the true carb content.