Beginners Keto Diet: Complete Nutrition Guide and Food List

Beginners Keto Diet:

Complete Nutrition Guide and Food List

Beginners Keto Diet | Keto Starter Menu | Beginner Keto Diet Plan | Keto Diet Plan Beginners

Keto Starter MenuWhen you are on a keto diet, it is important that you always make right choices as far as the food you eat is concerned. If you know how to go about it, you will know that the approach is very simple.

All it entails is ensuring you strictly follow a low-carb diet, paying attention to the consumption of real food and as much as possible, staying off processed foods, even though they might be low in carbs.

Beginner Keto Diet PlanHowever, if you are a beginner, it is not always easy knowing the right kind of keto foods to eat in order to ensure you get the right nutrition. This includes meals that are free of sweeteners and dairy. With this article, you will be able to better understand what you should eat on a keto diet and what you should not eat. Just as already stated above, you need to eat real foods, including nuts, vegetables, meat, yogurt, eggs, and occasionally, some fruits. As much as possible, avoid foods that contain colourings, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives. It is worthy of note that keto diet is not mainly about shedding excess weight, it is more about embracing a healthier lifestyle that helps you to eat right, always. Listed below are some of the low-carb foods that should be on your menu when on keto diet. They include but not limited to the following:

Meat Sources

Keto Diet Plan BeginnersWhen it comes to the consumption of meat on keto diet, it is not just any type of meat that you consume. The most recommended type of meat is grass-fed which includes lamb, beef, venison, goat, etc. Wild animals are also good sources of meat for keto diet. Some of the organs that are known to be very nutritious include the kidneys, heart, and liver. Pastured poultry and pork are also good as they are known to have a high content of healthy omega 3 fatty acids.

♦ Fish Sources

Beginners Keto Diet

This is another part of a utritious keto diet. Just like your meat sources, it is important that you pay attention to your source of fish.

The most recommended are wild-caught fish and certain seafood which are known to be high in healthy omega 3 fatty acids. As much as possible, stay away from farmed fish as they are not fit to be included in keto diet.

Healthy Fat Sources


Fat is the main source of nutrition in keto diet, making up approximately 70% of your nutritional needs. For this reason, it is important that you get your fat from healthy sources.

Most of your fat intake should be unsaturated fats, both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. They are liquid in room temperature and are obtained mainly from macadamia, avocado, olive, seafood, and fatty fish.

Vegetable Sources


This is another nutritional source for those on keto diet. As much as possible, stay away from starchy vegetables and opt for leafy green veggies including spinach, Swiss chard, lettuce, bok choy, radicchio, chives, etc.

You should also include cruciferous veggies like radishes, asparagus, zucchini, bamboo shoots, kale, celery stalks, cucumber, and others.



You may not know it but lots of condiments out there come packed with lots of starchy nutrients and as such, you should be mindful of the condiments you use when on keto diet.

Some of the recommended condiments include mayonnaise, home-made bone broth, pesto, pickles, mustard, lime/lemon juice, whey protein without any additives or artificial sweeteners, lime/lemon zest, hormone-free gelatin, fermented condiments like sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi, and others. There are recipes for homemade condiments that are devoid of any additives.

♦ Beverage Sources


Unlike other sources of nutrition, the beverages sources in keto diet are very limited.

For your beverages, you can opt for still water, black tea, herbal tea, black coffee, coffee with coconut milk, creamed coffee, etc. Apart from the above listed sources of nutrition, there are certain foods which you can also eat occasionally while you are on keto diet. Some of these foods include but not limited to the following:

♦ Veggies And Fruits


This includes sea vegetables like kombu and nori, bean sprouts, okra, French artichokes, wax beans, water chestnuts, variety of berries, olives, cruciferous veggies like red cabbage, white and green cabbage, broccoli, fennel, cauliflower, turnips, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and root veggies like onion, garlic, pumpkin, mushrooms, and others.

Full-Fat Dairy And Grain-Fed Animals

Occasionally, you can eat poultry, beef, eggs, and ghee derived from grain-fed animal sources. Try your best to stay away from consumption of farmed pork. This is especially because they have very high content of omega 6. Some of the dairy products you can occasionally consume include cottage cheese, plain full-fat yogurt, cream, cheese, and sour cream. Most dairy products in the grocery stores that are labeled as “low-fat” are actually full of added sugar and starch and as such, you should avoid them. You can also eat bacons as long as they are not loaded with any additives like starches and preservatives.

Nuts and Seeds


Still on the list of foods you can occasionally eat, there are varieties of nuts and seeds that are known to be very low in carbs. Some of these nuts include almonds, macadamia, pecans, pine nuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, walnuts, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, etc. If you must eat brazil nuts, then eat just a few as they are known to contain high levels of selenium.

Fermented Soy Products

If you have a thing for soy products, then you should only go for the non GMO and fermented products. This includes soy sauce, Natto, Tempeh or the paleo-friendly coconut aminos. You can also opt for unprocessed black soybeans and green soy beans.

♦ Alcohol

There are certain times or occasions that require popping of a few bottles. In such situation, you should strictly stick to dry white wine, dry red wine, and unsweetened spirits. If you are on keto diet for weight loss, then you should completely avoid alcohol but if on the diet for weight maintenance, you can take the above mentioned occasionally. Now this brings us to foods that you should COMPLETELY AVOID when you are on keto diet. This includes every food that is rich in carbohydrates, processed foods, and factory-farmed meat and fish sources. Breaking them down as follows:

All Types Of Grains


Yes, this includes even whole meal grains like bulgur, corn, wheat, oats, rye, barley, sorghum, millet, buckwheat, and rice.

You should also avoid white potatoes and quinoa. All products of grains, including pizza, crackers, pasta, cookies, and bread should be avoided.


Sweets and Sugar

You should avoid various types of sugar, agave syrup, sweet puddings, cakes, sweetened soft drinks, and ice creams. As long as it is sugary and artificially sweetened, they are off limits.

Processed Foods

While on the keto program, you should completely stay off processed foods. This is especially almond milk products that are known to contain carrageenan. Most of them also contain wheat gluten, sulphites, etc. In most cases, these substances are not even listed on the content label and the safest bet is to keep off.

Refined Fats & Oils

The examples of refined oils include but not limited to cottonseed oil, canola oil, soybean oil, grape seed oil, sunflower oil, and trans fats like margarine.

♦ Too Good To Be True Labeled Foods

Most of those cans and packs you see labeled as “low-carb”, “low-fat”, “zero-sugar”, and “zero-carb” might really be full of carbs and additives like artificial sweeteners, colours, gluten, etc. Examples are diet sodas, mints, and chewing gums.



If you must take milk while on keto diet, then you should only consume raw and full-fat milk in small quantities. There are lots of reasons why it is recommended that you stay off milk. The first reason is that since the good bacteria has already been eliminated from the product through pasteurization, it is difficult for your body to digest milk. The second reason is that milk is very high in carbs with approximately 4-5 grams of carbs/100 ml. Instead, you should opt for small amounts of cream in your tea and coffee or preferably, raw milk.

♦ Tropical Fruits

Most of the tropical fruits, like banana, mango, pineapple, papaya Also included are, and others are known to be full of carbs. Grapes and tangerines. You should also stay away from juices made from these fruits, even though they are 100% fresh. Instead, you should take small quantities of smoothies as their fiber content makes them more sating.

Soy Products

Apart from the few fermented soy products that are non-GMO and comes with great health benefits, it is recommended that you stay away from most soy products. Before you make use of any soy-based condiments, be sure of how it was processed. The same thing applies to wheat gluten which is found in most low-carb foods. With all that said, we move down to understanding your Net Carbs. This way, you will find it easier to keep track of your daily calories consumption. They are broken down as follows:Beginners_Keto_Diet-16

Animal Products
Source Net Carbs (grams) Serving Size
meat and fish 0 150 g / 5.3 oz
organ meats, liver (average) 3 150 g / 5.3 oz
prawns (cooked) 1.4 150 g / 5.3 oz
eggs 0.7 piece, large
cream (full-fat) 1.6 ¼ cup, 60 ml / 2 fl oz
butter 0 1 tbsp
cheese (hard) 0.4 30 g / 1 oz
cream cheese (full-fat) 1.6 ¼ cup, 50 g / 1.75 oz
Source Net Carbs (grams) Serving Size
lettuce (sliced, average) 0.5 1 cup, 50 g / 1.75 oz
swiss chard, sliced 0.8 1 cup, 35 g / 1.25 oz
collard greens, sliced 0.8 1 cup, 35 g / 1.25 oz
bok choy, sliced 0.8 1 cup, 70 g / 2.4 oz
asparagus 2.7 150 g / 5.3 oz
green beans 6.4 150 g / 5.3 oz
summer squash (zucchini / courgette) 3.2 150 g / 5.3 oz
winter squash (pumpkin) 9 150 g / 5.3 oz
cucumber 2.2 150 g / 5.3 oz
spinach, cooked 1.2 ½ cup, 90 g / 3.2 oz
kale (Italian dark-leaf) 2.1 150 g / 5.3 oz
kale (curly) 5.4 150 g / 5.3 oz
savoy cabbage 4.5 150 g / 5.3 oz
cabbage (white) 5 150 g / 5.3 oz
cabbage (red) 7.9 150 g / 5.3 oz
celery stalk 1.6 3 medium, 120 g / 4.2 oz
peppers (green) 3.5 piece, 120 g / 4.2 oz
peppers (red) 4.7 piece, 120 g / 4.2 oz
tomatoes, chopped 4.8 1 cup, 180 g / 6.3 oz
eggplant (aubergine) 3.5 150 g / 5.3 oz
broccoli, chopped 6.1 150 g / 5.3 oz
cauliflower 4.5 150 g / 5.3 oz
mushrooms, white 3.4 150 g / 5.3 oz
mushrooms, brown 5.6 150 g / 5.3 oz
onion, white (sliced) 2.2 ¼ cup, 40 g / 1.4 oz
garlic 0.9 1 clove
Source Net Carbs (grams) Serving Size
strawberries, sliced 4.7 ½ cup, 85 g / 2.9 oz
raspberries 3.3 ½ cup, 62 g / 2.2 oz
blackberries 3.1 ½ cup, 72 g / 2.5 oz
blueberries 8.9 ½ cup, 74 g / 2.6 oz
avocado 3.7 piece, average (200 g / 7 oz)
Nuts & Seeds
Source Net Carbs (grams) Serving Size
macadamia nuts 1.5 30 g / 1 oz
almonds 2.7 30 g / 1 oz
pecans 1.2 30 g / 1 oz
hazelnuts 2 30 g / 1 oz
walnuts 2 30 g / 1 oz
cashew nuts 7.6 30 g / 1 oz
pumpkin seeds 1.3 30 g / 1 oz
sunflower seeds 3.2 30 g / 1 oz
tahini (unsweetened sesame paste) 1.8 1 tbsp
chia seeds 0.4 1 tbsp
pistachio nuts 4.9 30 g / 1 oz
Condiments & others
Source Net Carbs (grams) Serving Size
almond milk (unsweetened) 0.3 ¼ cup, 60 ml / 2 fl oz
coconut milk 1.6 ¼ cup, 60 ml / 2 fl oz
coconut milk (creamed) 2.7 ¼ cup, 60 ml / 2 fl oz
olives 0.2 30 g / 1 oz
sauerkraut (solids only) 0.5 ¼ cup, 35 g / 1.25 oz
mustard 0.7 1 tbsp
tomato puree 5.7 1 tbsp
apple cider vinegar 0.1 1 tbsp
coconut aminos 1 1 tbsp
dark chocolate (85%) 5.7 30 g / 1 oz
coconut flour 3.2 ¼ cup, 30 g / 1 oz
almond flour 2.2 ¼ cup, 25 g / 0.9 oz
flax meal 0.6 ¼ cup, 38 g / 1.3 oz
psillium hush powder 1.4 ¼ cup, 16 g / 0.6 oz
Erythritol 0.5 1 tbsp
stevia (drops) < 0.1 ¼ tsp
wine (red, dry) 6 1 glass / 5 fl oz
wine (white, dry) 6 1 glass / 5 fl oz
spirits (sugar-free, ~ 40% vol) 0 1 jigger / 1.5 fl oz

You should take note that your protein source must not necessarily be meat alone. There are lots of plant-based protein sources for you to choose from. You should also understand that the more fat you find in meat, the less protein such meat would have.

Meat, Fish & Seafood
Source Protein (grams) Serving Size
turkey / chicken breast 37 150 g / 5.3 oz
chicken thighs 29 150 g / 5.3 oz
beef, lean steak 31 150 g / 5.3 oz
beef steak, ribeye 28 150 g / 5.3 oz
pork loin (chops) 31 150 g / 5.3 oz
venison steak 32 150 g / 5.3 oz
lamb chops 28 150 g / 5.3 oz
duck (meat only) 30 150 g / 5.3 oz
duck (meat and skin) 17 150 g / 5.3 oz
bacon 12 3 slices / 90 g / 3.2 oz
chorizo salami 22 90 g / 3.2 oz
salmon 32 150 g / 5.3 oz
tuna 37 150 g / 5.3 oz
cod 27 150 g / 5.3 oz
sardines 30 150 g / 5.3 oz
mackerel 28 150 g / 5.3 oz
sea bass 28 150 g / 5.3 oz
sea bream 36 150 g / 5.3 oz
prawns, shrimps, mussels, clams 22 150 g / 5.3 oz
octopus 19 150 g / 5.3 oz
squid / calamari 23 150 g / 5.3 oz
lobster 25 150 g / 5.3 oz
gelatine 6 1 tbsp

If you are a vegetarian, it means that you will be on the look-out for meat-free sources of protein. That should not be a cause for worry as there are lots of vegetarian protein sources for you to choose from.

Eggs & Dairy
Source Protein (grams) Serving Size
eggs, chicken 6.3 piece, large
eggs, duck 9 piece, large
cream (heavy whipping) 1.1 ¼ cup
cream (soured) 1.2 ¼ cup
cream cheese 3.5 ¼ cup
hard full-fat cheese (e.g. cheddar) 14.2 60 g / 2 oz
mozzarella 13.8 60 g / 2 oz
feta 8.1 60 g / 2 oz
mascarpone 3.6 ¼ cup
ricotta 6.9 ¼ cup

When it comes to protein consumption, there are chances of you boosting your level of protein intake through the use of top-quality protein powders, including whey protein powders. These nuts and seeds listed below are great sources of protein.

Nuts & Seeds
Source Protein (grams) Serving Size
almonds 6 30 g / 1 oz
walnuts 4.3 30 g / 1 oz
pecans 2.6 30 g / 1 oz
hazelnuts 4.2 30 g / 1 oz
macadamia nuts 2.2 30 g / 1 oz
cashew nuts 5.2 30 g / 1 oz
pistachio nuts 5.7 30 g / 1 oz
brazil nuts 4.1 30 g / 1 oz
pine nuts 3.9 30 g / 1 oz
pumpkin seeds 8.6 30 g / 1 oz
sunflower seeds 5.9 30 g / 1 oz
sesame seeds / tahini paste 5 30 g / 1 oz
Veggies, Fruits & Others
Source Protein (grams) Serving Size
broccoli 2.6 1 cup, chopped
broccoli raab 1.3 1 cup
sugar-snap peas 1.7 1 cup
green beans 1.8 1 cup
bean sprouts 1.5 1 cup
spinach 5.3 1 cup, cooked
kale 2.2 1 cup
artichoke 4.2 medium piece
asparagus 2.9 1 cup
cauliflower 2.1 1 cup, chopped
mushrooms, average 1-2.5 1 cup, sliced
coconut 1 ¼ cup, shredded
coconut milk 1.1 ¼ cup
avocado 4 piece, average
tempeh (fermented soy – paleo if non-GMO) 7.7 ¼ cup
sun-dried tomatoes 1.4 ¼ cup
seaweed (e.g. wakame) 10 1 cup

Going on keto diet might seem like a tedious task but if you know how to go about it, you can make low-carb eating work for you, anywhere and anytime.Beginners_Keto_Diet-15Here are some tips to help you ensure you stick to your diet when eating outside your home, at a restaurant or buffet. They are as follows:

♦ Do Away With The Starch:

This entails crossing off the pasta, bread, rice, and even the potatoes. Instead, substitute these starchy foods with extra veggies or salad. For your sandwich, you can substitute the bun with lettuce wraps. Just let the restaurant know beforehand what you want and where there are no substitutes, then you can simply eliminate the starchy culprits.

Include Healthy Fats:

If you have noticed that you rarely feel satisfied when you eat out, it is simply because most restaurant meals are low in fat and as such, you might be tempted to take on more carbs in order to feel full. Don’t give in to this temptation, instead, you should ask for and melt extra butter on your meat or vegetables. If you ordered salads, you can request for and drizzle extra olive oil over the salads.

♦ Be Sure Of Sauces and Condiments Content:

While there are sauces that have high-fat content, there are others that are full of carbs and some contain both. When you are not sure of the components of your sauce, don’t hesitate to ask questions. Sauces and condiments that contain flour or sugar are off the list.

♦ Be Careful With Your Choice Of Drinks:

You can never go wrong with the water, whether it is still water or sparkling water. However, if you decide to be adventurous and need something stronger, like tea or coffee, make sure you make use of raw milk or cream instead of pasteurized milk. If you are opting for alcoholic beverages, then you should go for dry white or red wine, champagne, or very light beers.

Don’t Look At Dessert Twice:

If you still feel a little hungry after you are done eating, you can fill up with a cup of tea or coffee, instead of munching on desserts. You can also fill up with berries dipped in heavy cream. You can get as creative as you want, as long as you stick to your keto diet.


♦ Set Rules:

This especially applies if you are going to a buffet. There is no denying the facts that there are lots of food choices to make at the buffet and as such, without any set rules, you might just end up forgetting you are on a healthy-eating journey. Stay away from grains, sugars, and potatoes.

♦ Use A Smaller Plate:

If you are working on losing weight, then this tip is especially for you. It would be better for you to use a smaller plate and while you can always go back for the extra food, you should be careful not to over-indulge.

Fix Your Attention On The Healthy Food:

Yes, these are the fats, protein, and vegetables. Check out the vegetable platter, salad bar, seafood spreads and other healthy food spots at the buffet. Don’t forget to add a recommendable quantity of healthy fats to your selection. If there are none, don’t hesitate to draw the attention of the servers.Beginners Keto Diet

Don’t Rush Your Food:

In order to ensure you don’t end up engorging yourself with more calories than you should, don’t be in a rush in consuming your food. Take your time to eat as this will give your body the opportunity to gradually digest your food and help you understand how full you are before ordering extra food.

Brief Takeaways for Beginners 

If you are yet to go into ketosis after all your efforts, it is possible that you are not getting something right. Check to determine if you are consuming too many carbs or too much protein. When this happens, it becomes difficult for your body to go into ketosis.

When you eat less protein, fewer carbs, and at the same time, fast intermittently, it helps to significantly promote weight loss and also, lowers your insulin which in turn raises ketones. Also note that the more you add fat to your diet, the less weight you will lose. When you are at crossroads on your keto diet program, you can always seek professional guidance. Don’t forget, when you eat healthily, you remain healthier.

Beginners Keto Diet | Keto Starter Menu | Beginner Keto Diet Plan | Keto Diet Plan Beginners


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