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Health Benefits of Low-Carb and Ketogenic Diet: Printable Keto Food List

Low-carb diets are controversial for many years. Some people today argue that these ketogenic diets increase cholesterol and lead to heart disease because of their high-quality content. But in the majority of scientific research, low-carb diets show their value as healthful and beneficial. Listed below are recognized health benefits of low carb and ketogenic diets.

Low-Carb Diets Reduce Your Appetite

Hunger will be the worst complication of dieting. It’s but one of the chief reasons why lots of men and women feel unhappy and finally stop trying. But, low-carb ingestion contributes to an automated decrease in appetite. Studies consistently demonstrate that if people cut carbohydrates and eat more fat and protein, they wind up eating fewer calories daily.

Low-Carb Diets Lead to More Weight Loss in First

Cutting carbohydrates is among the easiest and best methods to drop weight. Studies show that individuals on low carb diets shed weight, quicker than people on low-carb diets – even if the latter are restricting calories. This is only because low-carb diets behave to eliminate extra water in the body, lowering sugar levels, also resulting in accelerated weight loss in first week or 2.

In research comparing perfect keto and low-carb diets, individuals restricting their carbohydrates sometimes lose two –3 times as much fat — without even being famished. 1 study in overweight adults discovered a low-carb diet especially effective for up to half a year when compared with a traditional weight loss diet plan. Following that, the difference in weight loss between diets has been insignificant. In a yearlong study in 609 obese adults on low-carb or low-fat diets, the two groups lost significant amounts of fat.

A Greater Proportion of Fat Loss Comes From Your Abdominal Cavity

Not much fat on your body is exactly the exact same. Where fat is preserved determines how it impacts your health and risk of illness. The two chief kinds are subcutaneous fat, and this can be under your own skin, and visceral fat, which then accumulates on your gut and is normal for many obese men. Visceral fat will knock all over your organs. Excessive visceral fat is related to inflammation and insulin resistance – also can drive the metabolic breakdown so typical in the West today.

Low-carb diets are extremely capable of reducing these damaging abdominal fat loss. In reality, a larger percentage of those fat men and women shed on low-carb diets appear to emerge in the stomach cavity. As time passes, this should result in a radically reduced probability of cardiovascular disease and type two diabetes.

Triglycerides Tend to Drop Drastically

Triglycerides are fat molecules that circulate in your blood. It’s well-known that elevated fat triglycerides — amounts from blood after an overnight fast — really are a powerful cardiovascular disease risk element. Among the chief drivers of raised triglycerides in sedentary individuals is carbohydrate intake — particularly the easy sugars. When people cut carbohydrates, they are inclined to undergo an extremely dramatic decrease in blood glucose.

On the flip side, low-fat diets frequently cause triglycerides to grow.

Increased Levels of ‘Good’ HDL Cholesterol

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is frequently called”good” cholesterol. The greater your levels are of HDL comparative to”bad” LDL, the lower your chance of cardiovascular disease. Among the greatest strategies to boost”good” HDL levels is to consume fat — and low-fat diets include a great deal of fat. Because of this, it’s estimated that HDL levels rise dramatically in healthful, low carb diets, whether they are inclined to increase only moderately or perhaps decrease on low-carb diets.

Reduced Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels

Low-carb along with ketogenic diets may also be especially valuable for individuals with diabetes and insulin resistance, which affect millions of individuals globally. Studies show that cutting carbohydrates lowers both blood glucose and insulin levels radically. Some individuals with diabetes that start a low-carb diet might want to cut back their insulin dose by 50% virtually instantly. In 1 study in people with type two diabetes, 95 percent had decreased or removed their glucose-lowering drug in just six months.

Should you take blood glucose medicine, speak with your health care provider before making modifications to your carbohydrate consumption, as your dose might have to be corrected to reduce overeating.

May Lower Blood Pressure

Reduced blood pressure, or hypertension, obesity is a substantial risk factor for several diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, stroke, and kidney failure. Low-carb diets are a great means to reduce blood pressure, which ought to lower your risk of diseases and allow you to live longer.

Effective Against Metabolic Syndrome

Cardiovascular disease is a disorder tremendously related to your risk of diabetes and also cardiovascular disease. Actually, metabolic syndrome is a collection of symptoms, including:

Abdominal obesity
Elevated blood pressure
Elevated fasting blood glucose levels
High levels
Low”good” HDL cholesterol levels
But a low carb diet is remarkably powerful in treating most five of those signs. Under this type of diet, such ailments are almost eliminated.

Improved ‘Bad’ LDL Cholesterol Levels

Individuals who have large”bad” LDL are way more likely to get heart attacks. On the other hand, the dimensions of these particles are vital. Smaller particles have been connected to a greater chance of cardiovascular disease, whereas larger particles have been associated with reduced risk. It ends up that low carb diets raise the dimensions of”bad” LDL particles whereas decreasing the number of overall LDL particles on your blood.

Therefore, lowering your carbohydrate intake may improve your overall health.

Therapeutic For Several Brain Disorders

Your brain requires sugar, as several pieces of it may simply burn this kind of sugar. That is the reason your liver produces glucose from protein in case you don’t eat any carbohydrates. However, a huge portion of your mind may burn ketones, that can be formed through starvation or any time carbohydrate intake is extremely low. This can be the mechanism supporting the ketogenic diet, that has been utilized for a long time to deal with epilepsy in children who do not respond to medication therapy.

Oftentimes, this diet may treat kids with epilepsy. In 1 study, more than half of those kids on a ketogenic diet advocated a higher than 50% decrease in their amount of seizures, whereas 16 percent became seizure-free. Very low carb and perfect keto diets are presently being analyzed for other brain ailments too, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

The Bottom Line

Few things have been also recognized in nutrition science because of the huge health benefits of low carb and the ketogenic diet. Not only do these diets enhance your cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels, but they also lower your appetite, promote weight reduction, and reduce your glucose levels. If you are interested to improve your well-being, these diets might be well worth considering.


Leafy greens are the primary vegetables in a low carb diet. They are filling, packed with fiber and nutrients, and very low in both carbs and calories.

Arugula1 cup (20g)0.4
Beet greens1 cup (38g)0.2
Bibb lettuce1 cup (55g)0.6
Bok choy1 cup (70g)0.8
Broccoli rabe1 cup (40g)0.0
Butter lettuce1 cup (42g)0.5
Cabbage1 cup (89g)3.0
Chard1 cup (36g)0.8
Collard greens1 cup (256g)0.5
Endive1 cup (50g)0.1
Iceberg lettuce1 cup (57g)1.2
Kale1 cup (67g)3.4
Mustard greens1 cup (56g)0.8
Spinach1 cup (30g)0.4
Sprouts1 cup (33g)2.3
Romaine1 cup (47g)0.6
Watercress1 cup (34g)0.2


Most vegetables are great for a low carb diet, with a few exceptions. This list includes a range from moderate to very low carb vegetables.

Learn more about keto vegetables here, including the best ones to eat, recipes, and which ones to avoid.

Serving size volumes vary depending on produce size and chopping style, if any. For exact measurement, go by weight.

Artichokes1/2 cup (84g)5.2
Asparagus1 cup (134g)2.4
Bamboo shoots1 cup (151g)4.6
Bell peppers1 cup (92g)3.6
Broccoli1 cup (91g)3.6
Brussels sprouts1 cup (88g)4.6
Cauliflower1 cup (107g)3.2
Celeriac1/2 cup (78g)5.8
Celery1 cup (101g)1.4
Chili peppers1 pepper (1.4g)1
Cucumbers1/2 cup (52g)1.6
Eggplant1 cup (82g)2.3
Fennel1 cup (87g)3.7
Garlic1 clove (3g)0.9
Green beans1 cup (100g)4.3
Jalapeno peppers1 pepper (14g)0.5
Jicama1 cup (130g)5.1
Kelp noodles4 oz. (113 g)0
Leeks1/2 cup (45g)5.5
Mushrooms1 cup (86g)2.2
Okra1 cup (100g)4.3
Onions1/2 cup (58g)4.3
Poblano peppers1 pepper1.9
Pickles1 large (135g)1.9
Pumpkins1 cup (116g)6.9
Radishes1 cup (116g)2
Rhubarb1 cup (122g)2
Rutabagas1 cup (140g)8.9
Scallions (green onions)1 cup (100g)4.7
Shallots1 cup (10g)1.4
Shirataki noodles1 cup0
Snow peas1 cup (98g)4.9
Spaghetti squash1 cup (101g)5.5
Turnips1 cup (130g)6.1
Zucchini1 cup (113g)2.4
Yellow squash1 cup (113g)2.6


You can enjoy fruit in moderation on a low carb or perfect keto diet. The following low carb fruits list includes the best ones to choose from. Avoid high-sugar tropical fruits.

Serving size volumes vary depending on produce size and chopping style, if any. For exact measurement, go by weight.Search:

Avocados1/2 fruit (100g)1.8
Raspberries1/2 cup (61.5g)3.3
Blueberries1/2 cup (74g)8.9
Blackberries1/2 cup (72g)3.1
Coconuts, flesh1/2 cup (40g)2.5
Cranberries1/2 cup (55g)4.6
Currants1/2 cup (56g)5.3
Strawberries1/2 cup (76g)4.3
Lemons1 lemon (58g)3.8
Limes1 lime (67g)5.2
Olives1/2 cup (67g)2.2
Tomatoes1 cup (180g)4.8
Watermelon1/2 cup (76g)5.5


Healthy fats are crucial in a low carb & keto foods list! They keep you full and satisfied. If you are keto, they also help you stay in ketosis.

All pure fats/oils are 0 carb, but it’s recommended to avoid soy, corn, canola, “vegetable”, and cottonseed oils. These are usually GMO and highly processed. When choosing fats for cooking, consider the smoke point to avoid exposure to carcinogens. Avocado oil and refined coconut oil have some of the highest smoke points. Any extra virgin oil, like extra virgin olive oil, will have a lower smoke point.Search:

Avocado oil1 tbsp (14g)0
Butter1 tbsp (15g)0
Cocoa butter1 tbsp (13.6g)0
Coconut oil1 tbsp (13.6g)0
Ghee1 tbsp (13g)0
Lard, other animal fats1 tbsp (12.8g)0
MCT oil1 tbsp (14.5g)0
Olive oil1 tbsp (13.5g)0
Other nut & seed oils1 tbsp (~13.5g)0


Meat and poultry is the main source of protein on a low carb or keto diet. Especially for keto, choose fattier cuts of meat when you can. Grass fed, pasture raised meat and poultry is the healthiest choice, if possible.Search:

Bacon & sausage4 oz (113g)0
Beef – ground, steak, roast, veal4 oz (113g)0
Deli meats – beef, chicken, turkey, ham, etc. (no sugar added)4 oz (113g)0-1.7
Game meats – bison, venison, etc.4 oz (113g)0
Lamb – ground, chops, etc.4 oz (113g)0
Liver & other organ meats4 oz (113g)0-4.4
Pork – ground, chops, loin, ham, etc.4 oz (113g)0
Poultry – chicken, turkey, duck, quail, etc.4 oz (113g)0


Fish and seafood are great sources of protein. Fish also provides an excellent source of healthy omega-3 fats. Watch for carbs in shellfish, which can be a little higher in carbs than other protein types.Search:

Fish – cod, flounder, halibut, mahi-mahi, salmon, sardines, sea bass, snapper, tilapia, trout, tuna, etc.4 oz (113g)0
Shellfish – clams, crab, lobster, mussels, oysters, scallops, shrimp, squid, etc.4 oz (113g)0-3


For those that can tolerate dairy, it makes a great addition to a low carb keto food list. Choose full-fat dairy over fat-free or low-fat, which is higher in carbs.

Coconut cream is not dairy, but makes a great substitute and is included here. It’s thick and creamy, and often works instead of heavy cream, yogurt or even sour cream in recipes.

Eggs are also not dairy but are listed in this section for convenience. They are found in the dairy section of the grocery store, but you can still enjoy them if you are dairy-free.

Cheeses, all kinds – blue, brie, cheddar, dubliner, feta, goat, gouda, gorgonzola, gruyere, jack, mozzarella, parmesan, swiss, etc.1 oz (28g)0-1.5
Coconut cream1 tbsp (15g)1.7
Cream cheese1 tbsp (14.5g)0.8
Eggs1 egg (56g)0
Half & half1 tbsp (15g)0.7
Heavy cream1 tbsp(15g)0.4
Mascarpone cheese2 tbsp (28g)0.6
Sour cream1 tbsp (12g)0.6
Whole milk Greek yogurt1 cup (100g)9.7
Whole milk cottage cheese1/2 cup (105g)7.1
Whole milk ricotta cheese1/2 cup (62g)3.7


Enjoy nuts and seeds in moderation on a keto or low carb diet. They can be easy to overendulge on, so portion control is important. Still, they make great snacks or additions to keto recipes.Search:

Almond butter2 tbsp (32g)2.7
Almonds1/4 cup (28g)3
Brazil nuts1/4 cup (33g)1.4
Chia seeds1 oz (28.35g)2.1
Coconut flakes3 tbsp (22.5g)3
Flax seeds2 tbsp (20.6g)0.4
Hazelnuts1/4 cup (34g)2.3
Hemp seeds3 tbsp (30g)1.4
Macadamia nuts1/4 cup (33g)1.7
Other nut butters – hazelnut, macadamia, pecan, walnut, etc.2 tbsp (~32g)0.5-3
Peanut butter2 tbsp (32g)4
Peanuts1/4 cup (36g)4.7
Pecans1/4 cup (36g)1
Pine nuts1/4 cup (36g)3.2
Pistachios1/4 cup (31g)5
Poppy seeds1 tbsp (8.8g)0.8
Pumpkin seeds1/4 cup (32g)3
Sesame seeds1 tbsp (9g)1
Sunflower seed butter2 tbsp (32g)5.7
Sunflower seeds1/4 cup (11.5g)1.3
Walnuts1/4 cup (30g)2


Whenever possible, drink water! It is by far the best beverage. You can change it up by adding lemons or cucumber slices.

That being said, there are other options that should be included in any complete low carb food list. Almond and coconut milk make great low carb alternatives to dairy milk that is high in carbs. Coffee and tea are perfectly fine, too.

Drinking alcohol can stall weight loss, but is okay to enjoy in moderation. Skip the fruity, sugar-laden drinks and beer; stick to either hard alcohol and dry wines.Search:

Almond milk, unsweetened1 cup (240ml)1.5
Broth – chicken, beef, bone1 cup (241g)0-0.9
Broth – vegetable1 cup (221g)2
Coconut milk, canned, unsweetened1/2 cup (113g)3.2
Coconut milk, carton, unsweetened1 cup (240ml)1
Coffee1 cup (248g)0.5
Hard liquor1 fl. oz (27.8g)0
Tea1 cup (237g)0
Water1 cup (235ml)0
Wine, red or white, dry5 fl. oz (147g)3.1-3.7


Here at Wholesome Yum, we recommend only natural low carb sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are more likely to spike insulin and have less known long-term effects. For a more detailed look at low carb or keto sweeteners, see my low carb sweetener guide & conversion chart.

All the sweeteners in this list have 0 net carbs, because they either do not get absorbed or do not metabolize well. Serving sizes can vary by brand, depending on blend/concentration.Search:

Allulose1 tsp (4g)0
Chicory root1/2 cup (45g)0
Erythritol1 tsp (4g)0
Monk fruit1 tsp (4g)0
Stevia1 tsp (4g)0
Xylitol1 tsp (4g)0


Who says you can’t enjoy baked goods on a low carb or keto diet? You can! Of course, they are still best in moderation, but it’s definitely doable and can help you stay on track.

Below is a list of common low carb flours and baking staples, such as thickeners and extracts. Always check labels to make sure no sugar or artificial additives are included.

Learning to bake with low carb flours takes time, because they behave differently from traditional wheat flour. Get started by following tried and true recipes. I have lots of low carb dessert recipes for you to try!Search:

Almond flour1/4 cup (28g)2
Cocoa/cacao powder1 tbsp (5.4g)1.1
Coconut flour2 tbsp (14g)2
Hazelnut flour1/4 cup (28g)2
Macadamia nut flour1/4 cup (28g)2.9
Peanut flour1/4 cup (15g)2.8
Flax seed meal (plain or golden)2 tbsp (11g)0
Gelatin1 tbsp (7g)0
Glucomannan1/2 tsp (2g)0
Protein powder(whey,
collagen, etc.), unsweetened
1 scoop (~30g)0
Pork rinds1/2 oz (14g)0
Psyllium husk powder1 tsp (4g)0
Pure extracts – vanilla, fruit1 tsp (4.2g)0.1
Sunflower seed meal1/4 cup (28g)4
Chocolate, unsweetened
baker’s or w/sweeteners above
1 oz (29g)2.9-3.4
Xanthan gum1/2 tsp (0.7g)0


All fresh herbs can be used as part of a keto or low carb diet. They are one of the best ways to add flavor to any dish!

Carbs listed below are based on *fresh* herbs, chopped. If using dried herbs, the conversion is 3:1. That is, 1 tbsp fresh = 1 tsp dried.Search:

Basil2 tbsp (5.3g)0
Bay leaves1 tbsp (0.6g)0.3
Chives1 tbsp (3g)0.1
Cilantro1 tbsp (1g)0.1
Dill1 tbsp (0.6g)0.1
Marjoram1 tbsp (0.6g)0.2
Mint1 tbsp (1.6g)0.1
Oregano1 tbsp (3g)0.3
Parsley1 tbsp (3.8g)0.1
Rosemary1 tbsp (1.7g)0.2
Sage1 tbsp (0.7g)0.1
Savory1 tbsp (1.4g)0.4
Tarragon1 tbsp (0.6g)2.1
Thyme1 tbsp (2.4g)1.2


Including spices and seasonings in your food makes it a lot more interesting. Most spices and seasonings are keto and low carb friendly, but watch for added ingredients. Some spices or mixes add cornstarch or sugar, so you will want to avoid those. Most seasoning mixes can be made at home without the weird ingredients.Search:

Allspice, ground1 tsp (1.9g)1
Black pepper1 tsp (2.3g)0.9
Cardamom1 tsp (2g)0.8
Cayenne pepper1/4 tsp (0.5g)0.2
Celery seed1 tsp (2g)0.6
Chili powder1 tbsp (8g)1.2
Cinnamon, ground1 tsp (2.6g)0.7
Cloves, ground1 tsp (2.1g)0.7
Cream of tartar1 tsp (3g)1.8
Cumin, ground1 tsp (2.8g)0.4
Curry powder1 tsp (2g)0
Fennel seed1 tbsp (5.8g)0.7
Garlic powder1 tsp (3.1g)2
Ginger, ground1 tsp (1.8g)1
Mustard, ground1 tsp (2g)0.4
Nutmeg, ground1 tsp (2.2g)0.6
Onion powder1 tsp (2.4g)1.5
Paprika (regular or smoked)1 tsp (2.3g)0.4
Red pepper, crushed1 tsp (2g)0
Salt (sea salt, Himalayan, etc.)1 tsp (6g)0
Turmeric1 tsp (3g)1.3


There are plenty of condiments that you can enjoy as part of your keto food list. Just watch for added sugar where you might not expect it, and skip high-sugar ones like pre-made ketchup or sweet dressings.

For any store bought items below, the numbers are based on those without added sugar. If possible, it’s better to make your own using low carb ingredients, and sugar-free or no sweetener.Search:

Chimichurri sauce1 tbsp1
Coconut aminos1 tbsp (15ml)6
Dressings, oil or vinaigrette2 tbsp (~30g)2-3
Dressings, creamy (ranch, blue cheese, Caesar, etc.)2 tbsp (~30g)0-2
Horseradish1 tsp (5.6g)0.5
Hot sauce (sriracha, buffalo, red pepper sauce, etc.)1 tsp (6.5g)0.1
Lemon juice, lime juice2 tbsp (31g)0.7/2.5
Marinara sauce1/2 cup (132g)7.4
Mayonnaise1 tbsp (13.8g)0.1
Mustard1 tsp (5g)0.1
Pesto sauce1/4 cup (61g)2.8
Salsa2 tbsp (36g)1.7
Vinegar – white, apple cider1 tbsp (15ml)0
Vinegar – balsamic1 tbsp (16g)2.7

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