Making the transition to the keto diet is a challenge for all of us. That is because the whole basis of our eating since the day we were born has very likely been built around carbohydrates. Keto turns that formula on its head so that now your diet consists of extremely low levels of carbs, high levels of fat and medium levels of protein.
Having the right foods in your house is the single most important factor in determining your success on the keto diet. In order for that to happen, you need to make sure that your keto shopping list is on point. In this article, we will break down your keto shopping list so that you can head to the supermarket with complete confidence.
Your Keto Kitchen Makeover
Before you head down to the supermarket to do your keto shopping, it is vital that you undergo a keto kitchen cleanout in order to rid your home of the high carb food that will never allow you to get into a state of ketosis.
Imagine if you were cutting alcohol from your life. Your first step would be to get rid of any traces of alcohol from your home. Well, it’s the same thing when it comes to cutting out high glycemic index carbs on the keto diet. When you go through the change over process to low carb keto, you will inevitably experience carb withdrawal. During those periods, you will be unable to avoid the temptation to hunt through every nook and cranny of your home for some sugar.
If you have got some secret carbs hidden away, like chocolate or candy, you will find them with the result that you will never succeed on keto.
Here are the foods that you need to eliminate from your home when you go keto:
- Sweetened Drinks
- Processed packaged foods
- Sweetened yogurt
- Vegetable Oil
- High carb fruit like bananas, apples, pears, watermelon
The Keto Friendly Restock
Having cleared all of the high carb food out of your home, you are now ready to carry out your keto shopping restock. In this section, we will provide you with two lists to make your meal plan time much easier. The first is a keto replacement shopping list that shows what to replace the high carb foods that you’ve just thrown out with. The second is a list of keto kitchen and pantry basics that should form the basis of your keto shopping list.
List One: Keto Replacement Guide
|Replace this||With this|
|Sugary Treats||Cheese, Cream|
|Bread, Pasta||Lettuce Wraps|
|French Fries||Cauliflower Chips|
|Flavored Yogurt||Sour Cream|
|Oatmeal||Flax meal Oatmeal|
|Pancakes||Almond Flour Waffles|
|Processed Soups||Fresh Cream Based Soups|
|Rice/ Potatoes||Cauliflower Rice|
|Cookies||Peanut Butter Cookies|
|Fruit Juice / Soda||Water / Smoothie / Green Tea|
|Ice Cream||Low Carb Sorbet|
|Pie Crust||Nut Based Crust|
|Vegetable Oil||Coconut Oil|
List Two: Basic Keto Grocery Shopping Items
Keto Macronutrient Breakdown
Macro VS Micro Nutrients
Macronutrients are those nutrients that your body needs in the largest amounts – carbohydrates, proteins and fats. How you divide up your food intake between these 3 macronutrients and which foods you select from each macronutrient category has a profound effect on your body and your health. Severe restrictions of any of the macronutrients, such as can happen on the ketogenic diet, can lead to nutrient deficiencies and hormonal imbalance. Balancing your protein, carb and fat intake, then, is a foundational principle of wellness nutrition. Your keto diet grocery list should include all three macronutrients.
Micronutrients are the nutrients that your body only requires in small amounts. These include vitamins and minerals. The key to optimum micronutrient intake is, not to be carried away with the latest wonder nutrient or newly discovered super-food but, rather, to ensure that you are consistently providing your body with the right mix of nutrients.
Protein is an essential nutrient whose name comes from the Greek word protos, which means first. To visualize a molecule of protein, close your eyes and see a very long chain, rather like a chain of sausage links. The links in the chain are amino acids, commonly known as the building blocks of protein. In addition to carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms, amino acids contain a nitrogen (amino) group. The amino group is essential for synthesizing (assembling) specialized proteins in your body.
The human body is loaded with protein. They are present in the outer and inner membranes of every living cell. But it’s also in your muscle tissue (in the form of myosin, actin, myoglobin and other proteins), your hair and nails, bones and even your red blood cells (in the form of haemoglobin).
The carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen that are left over after protein synthesis is complete are converted to glucose and used for energy. The nitrogen residue (ammonia) isn’t used for energy. It’s processed by the liver, which converts the ammonia to urea. Most of the urea produced in the liver is excreted through the kidneys in urine.
Every day you re-use more proteins that you get from the foods you eat, so you need a continuous supply to maintain your protein status. If your diet doesn’t contain sufficient amounts of protein, you start digesting the proteins in your body, including the proteins in your muscles and, in extreme cases, your heart muscle.
All proteins are made of building blocks called amino acids, but not all proteins contain all the amino acids you require.
The Best Quality Proteins
Because an animal’s body is similar to yours, its proteins contain similar combinations of amino acids. This similarity is why nutritionists call proteins from foods of animal origin like meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy products – high quality proteins. Your body absorbs proteins like these more efficiently; they can be used without much waste to synthesize other proteins. The proteins from plants like grains, fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, which often have limited amounts of some amino acids, so that their nutritional content isn’t as high as animal proteins.
The basic standard with which you measure the value of proteins in food is the egg. Nutrition scientists have arbitrarily given the egg a biological value of 100 percent. This means that, gram for gram, an egg is the food with the best supply of complete proteins. Other foods that have proportionately more protein may not be as useful as the egg because they lack sufficient amounts of one or more essential amino acids. Eggs should, therefore, feature highly on your keto grocery list.
An ideal source of protein that should be added to your keto grocery list is free range organic grass fed beef along with free range, organic hormone free chicken and eggs. Sustainable fish is also a great choice (white fish is believed to have the lowest amounts of mercury) that should definitely be on your shopping list. Other good sources of protein to add to your keto grocery list include foods like sheep and goat feta, nuts, legumes, beans, seeds and quinoa.
There is a lot of carb confusion when it comes to the keto diet. The word means carbon plus water – are sugar compounds that plants make when they’re exposed to light. This process of making sugar compounds is known as photosynthesis, from the Latin words for ‘light’ and ‘putting together’.
Carbs come in three varieties: simple sugars, complex carbohydrates and dietary fibre. All are composed of units of sugar. What makes one carbohydrate different from another is the number of sugar units it contains and how the units are linked together.
When you are relying on a diet that is full of useless calories and an abundance of quickly absorbable liquid calories like juices, sodas, vitamin waters, or sports drinks), sugars, and refined carbs, like potatoes, rice, pasta, and bread), the cells in your body slowly become numb or resistant to the effects of insulin and thus require more of it in order to keep the level of blood sugar in your body balanced.
This is what we call insulin resistance. The first symptom indicating that you have insulin resistance is a high insulin level. The level of insulin level in your body determines the severity of your insulin resistance.
As the condition prevails and the problem worsens, your body starts experiencing other changes such as loss of muscle, gaining fat, and you rapidly deteriorate and age. In fact, the phenomenon of insulin resistance is one of the major reasons that lead to premature and rapid aging and all its resultant diseases. These include conditions like stroke, heart disease, cancer, and dementia.
Consuming a 20-oz soda or a large cinnamon bun will cause big spikes in insulin and sugar and an immediate surge in energy. This is often followed by a crash in your system as the level of blood sugar in the body plummets. Of course, you will steer well clear of these foods on the keto diet.
Ultimately, your cells become numb toward insulin that the level of blood sugar stays up and your pancreas fails to produce required levels of insulin to combat against your numb cells and high blood sugar. This is the point where you cross the line towards developing diabetes.
Concentrate on eating natural, unprocessed carbs on keto. Reduce processed refined carbs as much as possible. remove white sugar and flour completely from your keto grocery list. Include a mixture of both starchy carbs and fibrous carbs on your keto grocery list. Eat fruit every day but stick with keto friendly options like berries.
Here are a dozen refined carb and sugar laden foods to avoid like the plague when you are keto grocery shopping:
- French fries and other deep fried foods
- Ice cream and milkshakes
- Doughnuts and pastries
- Sweets and confections
- Sugar sweetened soft drinks
- Sugar sweetened juice drink and energy drinks.
- White bread and flour products
- Bacon, sausage and processed meats
- Hot dogs and fast-food burgers
- Thick crust pizza
- Sugary breakfast cereals
And here are a dozen healthy ketogenic foods to replace them with:
- Berry fruit
- Fibrous vegetables
- Leafy vegetables
- Beans and pulses
- Chicken and turkey breast
- Eggs and egg whites
- Lean cuts of red meat
No one wants to be told to drink more water. It’s too easy – and cheap. Everyone’s looking for some super supplement that will strip away the fat at lightning speed, allowing them to reveal a ripped, shredded, fat free body to startled onlookers. To them, there’s only one worthwhile piece of advice –
Drink more water!
Without it, nothing in your body works properly. On the keto diet, you need even more water. With it, everything in your body works optimally. If you ever find yourself dragging your way through a workout, it’s probably because you’re dehydrated. When you lose just 5% of water weight, your strength level can drop by as much as 30%. And thirst is not a good measure of hydration. So carry a water bottle with you all the time. Sip from it regularly – especially if you suddenly develop a between meal food craving. Shoot for 2.5 liters of water per day on the keto diet.
Fats are the key energy source on keto. It also adds flavor to food. Your healthy body needs fat. It uses dietary fat (the fat you get from food) to make tissue and manufacture biochemical, such as hormones. On the keto diet, your goal is to switch from a glucose burning energy system to a low carb keto fat burning energy system.
Some of the body fat made from food fat is visible. Even though it is covered by your skin, you can still see the fat in the adipose tissue in the breasts of women, the hips, thighs, buttocks, belly and shoulders. This visible body fat is generally unwanted, yet it does serve some purpose:
- It acts as an insulation blanket that reduces heat loss
- It cushions you skin
- It gives your body shape
- It provides a source of stored energy
- Other body fat is invisible. It’s tucked away from sight in and around your internal organs.
Food contains three types of fat:
Triglycerides – these fats are used to make adipose tissue and are burnt for energy
Phospholipids – Phospholipids are hybrids that act as tiny rowboats, ferrying hormones and fat soluble vitamins through your blood and back and forth in the watery fluid that flows across the membranes
Sterols – These are fat and alcohol compounds with no kilojoules. Vitamin D is a sterole. So is cholesterol, the base on which your body builds hormones and vitamins
If we don’t get enough fat, we won’t be able to absorb fat soluble vitamins that smooth the skin, protect vision, bolster the immune system and keep our reproductive organs functioning. On the low carb keto diet, fat is your key energy source.
An essential fatty acid is one that your body needs but can’t assemble from other fats. You have to get it from foods. The two main essential fatty acids are
Omega -3 (alpha linolenic – LNA)
Omega-6 (linolenic – LA)
The modern Western diet is very high in omega-6 fatty acids, but not in omega-3. In fact, the average person takes in 20 times more omega-6 than they do omega-3. One reason for this huge imbalance is our increased consumption of refined grains and our decreased consumption of omega-3 rich fish in the western diet. Since animals become what they eat, they’re meat is rich in omega- 6. As we consume high omega-6 meats and refined grains we lose the natural balance we once thrived on and begin to suffer from inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases that were once unheard of. By increasing your intake of omega-3 fats, you obtain a long list of health benefits, restoring you to the balance that nature intended.
Here are some benefits of increasing your intake of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on the keto diet:
- Improved insulin sensitivity
- Better absorption of fat soluble vitamins
- Improved joint health
- Enhanced energy
- Better oxygen transfer
- Enhanced cell membrane integrity
- Better suppression of cortisol
- Improved skin texture
- Promotes muscle growth
- Increases your metabolism
- Helps burn fat
To achieve the amazing health benefits listed above and find success on the keto diet, you should seriously consider adding a rich source of omega-3 onto your list of keto foods. Fatty fish is the most keto friendly choice. By adding such fatty fish as salmon, sardines, herring or mackerel to your keto grocery shopping list, you will ensure that you are getting all the omega-3 you require. Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in rich amounts in such keto friendly plant sources such as flax seeds and walnuts. Small amounts can also be found in dark, leafy greens such as kale, cabbage, and broccoli, which should also be on your keto shopping list.
My Keto Grocery List
Many people have asked what goes into my keto grocery basket. So, here is my personal keto shopping list that I use week in and week out . I focus on the whole foods section of the grocery store when completing my keto shopping list.
Food and Quantity:
- Avocados: 7 hard avocados.
- Bacon: 1 pound
- Balsamic vinegar: 1 flask
- Black olives: 1 can
- Butter: 1 pound
- Cabbage, pre-washed, shredded, 1 bag (12 ounces)
- Chicken: 1 rotisserie
- Coffee: 1 pound
- Cold meats: 1 package
- Eggs: 12
- Fish: 2 pounds frozen tilapia fillets
- Frozen broccoli microwave bag: 1 bag
- Frozen cauliflower microwave bag: 1 bag
- Green beans: 1 can
- Green olives: 1 flask
- Ground beef: 1 pound
- Half-and-Half cream: 1 quart
- Heavy cream: 1 quart
- Jalapenos, sliced and pickled: 1 can
- Lettuce: 1 bag (16 ounces)
- Mayonnaise, olive oil based: 1 bottle
- Mustard: 1 bottle
- Olive oil: 1 quart
- Avocado oil: 1 quart
- One gallon Zip Lock bags: 1 box
- One quart Zip Lock bags: 1 box
- Pecans: 1 bag (16 ounces)
- Sausage, cooked: 4 links (1 pound)
- Spinach: 1 can (14.5 ounces)
- Splenda liquid: 1 squirt bottle
- Stevia liquid: 1 squirt bottle
- Sugar free Jell-O: 1 package
- Swiss cheese slices: 1 package
- Roma tomatoes: 7 tomatoes
- Turkey meat: 1 package
- Bone broth: 1 package
- Water bottles: 1 case
When you make the switch to keto diet foods, you need to carefully plan out your keto shopping list to make a success of your new meal plan program. When you hit the grocery store, you need to make sure that everything that goes into your shopping cart is keto diet friendly and low in net carbs. make use of the keto diet grocery list, along with the keto food replacement guide to help smooth your transition to the ketogenic diet.