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  • Writer's pictureRock Rousseau

HOW TO Find Keto Ingredient Alternatives

The ketogenic diet (or keto diet, for short) is a very low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet that offers many health benefits. In fact, over 20 studies show that this type of diet shares many similarities with the Atkins and low-carb diets which can help you lose weight and improve your health. Ketogenic diets drastically reduces carbohydrate intake and puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. During ketosis, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain.

Keto diets can cause massive reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels which is closely linked to type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Eating fewer carbs can have impressive health benefits as most low-carbs foods are healthy, nutritious and incredibly delicious. What’s more, they’re highly diverse, covering many major food categories, including meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, and dairy products.

Studies have now shown that a healthy, low-carb diet based on real foods can help you lose weight and improve your health as well produce benefits for a wide variety of different health conditions:

  • Heart disease: The ketogenic diet can improve risk factors like body fat, HDL cholesterol levels, blood pressure and blood sugar.

  • Cancer: The diet is currently being used to treat several types of cancer and slow tumor growth.

  • Alzheimer's disease: The keto diet may reduce symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and slow its progression.

  • Epilepsy: Research has shown that the ketogenic diet can cause massive reductions in seizures in epileptic children.

  • Parkinson's disease: One study found that the diet helped improve symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome: The ketogenic diet can help reduce insulin levels, which may play a key role in polycystic ovary syndrome.

  • Brain injuries: One animal study found that the diet can reduce concussions and aid recovery after brain injury.

  • Acne: Lower insulin levels and eating less sugar or processed foods may help improve acne.

Keto diets exclude the following foods with high carbohydrate content from their diets:

  • Sugary foods: Soda, fruit juice, smoothies, cake, ice cream, candy, etc.

  • Grains and starches: Wheat-based products, rice, pasta, cereal, etc.

  • Fruit: All fruit, except small portions of berries like strawberries.

  • Beans or legumes: Peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.

  • Root vegetables and tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc.

  • Low-fat or diet products: These are highly processed and often high in carbs.

  • Some condiments or sauces: These often contain sugar and unhealthy fat.

  • Unhealthy fats: Limit your intake of processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc.

  • Alcohol: Due to their carb content, many alcoholic beverages can throw you out of ketosis.

  • Sugar-free diet foods: These are often high in sugar alcohols, which can affect ketone levels in some cases. These foods also tend to be highly processed.

​The lists below takes the foods with high-carb and starch content and provides some Keto-friendly alternatives for replacing these ingredients when cooking.

(Source information provided by WebMD, HealthLine, and Medical News Today)



Avoid the following foods as they are very high in carbs:

  • Bagels

  • Buns

  • Bread

  • Breadcrumbs

  • Cakes and cupcakes

  • Cookies

  • Crackers

  • Donuts

  • Muffins

  • Pancakes

  • Pasta

  • Pizza

  • Rice

  • Rolls

  • Sandwiches (unless used with Keto bread)

  • Sushi (unless used with Keto Rice)

  • Waffles

There are many brands of Keto breads, pastas, and rice available at many supermarkets that provide excellent low-carb alternatives.



Starchy root vegetables are higher in carbs and should be eaten in moderation:

  • Beets

  • Carrots

  • Corn

  • Green Peas

  • Onions

  • Parsnips

  • Potatoes. This includes french fries, potato chips, mashed potatoes.

  • Quinoa

  • Rutabaga

  • Sweet Potatoes

Most vegetables are lower in carbs, especially these Low-Carb alternatives:

  • Asparagus

  • Bell peppers

  • Broccoli

  • Brussels sprouts

  • Cabbage

  • Cauliflower

  • Celery

  • Cucumber

  • Eggplant

  • Green beans

  • Kale

  • Mushrooms

  • Spinach

  • Tomatoes

  • Zucchini



Many fruits are higher in sugar and natural carbs and should be eaten in moderation:

  • Apples

  • Bananas

  • Blueberries

  • Cantaloupe

  • Cherries

  • Coconut

  • Grapes

  • Kiwis

  • Mangoes

  • Oranges

  • Peaches

  • Pineapple

  • Plums

  • Watermelon

The following fruits are excellent Low-Carb alternatives:

  • Apricots

  • Avocados

  • Grapefruit

  • Lemons

  • Olives

  • Raspberries

  • Strawberries


Meat items are excellent Low-Carb foods, including:

  • Beef

  • Bison

  • Chicken

  • Cold Cuts. Salami, ham,

  • Eggs: Use pastured or omega-3 whole eggs.

  • Jerky. Avoid jerky that contains added sugar or artificial ingredients.

  • Lamb

  • Pork, Including Bacon. Avoid bacon that is cured with sugar.

  • Turkey

  • Veal

  • Venison



Seafood and shellfish are excellent Low-Carb foods, including:

  • Catfish

  • Crab

  • Cod

  • Haddock

  • Halibut

  • Herring

  • Lobster

  • Mussels

  • Salmon

  • Trout

  • Tuna

  • Mackerel

  • Oysters

  • Sardines

  • Shellfish

  • Shrimp



Some nuts, seeds, and beans are higher in carbs and should be avoided, including:

  • Almonds

  • Beans. Kidney, Lentil, Baked, Black, Chili.

  • Cashews

  • Chickpeas

  • Pistachios

The following nuts, seeds, and beans are low in carbs, and are high fiber, protein-rich alternatives:

  • Coconuts

  • Chia Seeds

  • Flaxseeds

  • Macadamia nuts

  • Peanuts

  • Pecans

  • Pumpkin seeds

  • Sunflower seeds

  • Walnuts


Avoid dairy items that are high in carbs or sugar. Avoid refined vegetable oils as these are very unhealthy when consumed in excess:

  • Butter substitutes

  • Margarine

  • Soy Milk

  • Soybean oil

  • Corn oil

If you tolerate dairy, then full-fat dairy products are excellent low-carb foods. Be sure to read the label and avoid anything with added sugar:

  • Butter and cream: Use grass-fed when possible.

  • Cheese: Unprocessed cheese like cheddar, goat, cream, bleu or mozzarella.

  • Cream Cheese

  • Eggs: Use pastured or omega-3 whole eggs.

  • Heavy Cream

  • Yogurt, Sugar Free or Greek. Avoid Low Fat or Fat-Free

  • Avocado Oil

  • Coconut Oil

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil



Try to avoid beverages with added sugar or are high in carbs:

  • Beer. Use a low-carb variety instead.

  • Coconut water

  • Cocktails with added sweeteners and fruit juices

  • Energy drinks

  • Flavored coffees and frappachinos

  • Orange juice

  • Soda with added sugar

  • Sweet iced teas

  • Vitamin waters

Most sugar-free beverages are acceptable on a Low-Carb diet, including these alternatives:

  • Beer, low carb brands

  • Brandy

  • Champagne

  • Club Soda / Carbonated Water

  • Coffee. Black or with sugar alternative and heavy cream or full fat milk.

  • Soft drinks, diet. Use ones with preferred sweeteners instead of sugar.

  • Tea, Green

  • Vodka

  • Whisky

  • Wine, dry



Avoid these items that are high in carbs or fructose:

  • Agave

  • Barbecue Sauces. Use Sugar free alternatives.

  • Chocolate, Milk or White

  • Equal sweetener

  • Honey

  • ​Jams and Jellies

  • Ketchup

  • Maple syrup

  • Molasses

  • Splenda sweetener

  • Sugar, white, brown, coconut

  • Sweet N' Low sweetener

These items are low in carbs or fructose and are good alternatives:

  • Dark Chocolate

  • Erythritol

  • Herbs and spices

  • Mayonnaise

  • Monkfruit

  • Mustard, dry

  • Stevia sweetener

  • Tabasco or Hot Sauces

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