What Not To Eat On A Keto Diet


If you're on a keto diet, you know that there are specific foods you need to eat in order to lose weight and stay in ketosis. But what about the foods you should avoid? Just like with any other type of diet, there are certain things you should steer clear of if you want to see results. In this post, we'll take a look at some of the biggest no-nos for keto dieters. So read on to find out what not to eat on a keto diet!

Image credit: Total Shape



A low-carb diet is all about limiting your carb intake. That means that you should avoid all high-carb foods, including:

  • Grains

  • Most fruits

  • Sugar

  • Beans and legumes

  • Starchy vegetables

Below, we discuss each of these in detail;


If you want to get into ketosis fast, you must limit your carb intake. And because carbohydrates are the primary component of all grains, the simplest and most effective approach to staying low-carb is to avoid them entirely. 

Rice and corn, for example, contain enough carbohydrates in one serving to meet your entire carb allowance for the day. And while whole wheat bread and oats have fewer carbs than white bread or pasta, they're still too high in carbohydrates to be part of a keto diet.

Most Fruits

Fruits are relatively high in sugar and carbs compared to other food groups. For instance, one small apple contains 19 grams of sugar and 25g net carbs. A single banana has even more sugar and carbs - 20 grams and 35 grams, respectively. So if you're trying to stick to a keto diet, it's best to avoid fruit altogether.


Processed sugar is one of the worst things you can eat on a keto diet. Not only is it high in carbs, but it also causes your blood sugar to spike and crash, which can lead to cravings and overeating. So if you want to stick to your keto diet, make sure you stay away from sugary foods like candy, cake, cookies, and soda.

Beans And Legumes

Beans and legumes are another food group that is off-limits on a keto diet. That's because they contain large amounts of carbs and very little fat. For example, a cup of black beans has around 44 grams of carbs and only 1 gram of fat. So if you're trying to lose weight on a keto diet, you'll need to avoid beans and legumes.

Starchy Foods And Vegetables

While non-starchy vegetables are an important part of a keto diet, starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and squash are off-limits. That's because they contain large amounts of carbs that can kick you out of ketosis.

Proteins To Avoid


In addition to the carbohydrates discussed above, there are specific proteins that you should also avoid on a keto diet. These include:

  • Milk and low-fat dairy

  • Factory-raised meat and animal byproducts, and processed meats

Below, we discuss each of these in detail;

Milk And Low-fat Dairy

The ketogenic diet is fine with full-fat versions of certain dairy products like Greek yogurt, butter, heavy cream, cottage cheese, and sour cream. However, you should avoid other milk and low-fat dairy items that include more carbohydrates and sugar.*We choose to drink full-fat coconut milk.

Other factors to consider include the amount of lactose in the cheese you consume. Lactose levels decrease as cheese ages, with younger cheeses such as mozzarella having more lactose than aged cheeses like cheddar, parmesan, romano, and asiago.

Low-fat and non-fat dairy products are not only higher in carbohydrates but most are difficult to digest for the majority of individuals. They also lack beneficial bacteria and usually contain harmful hormones. 

In modest amounts, raw milk is totally fine (start with less than a serving per day).

Factory-raised Meat And Animal Byproducts

Factory-farmed meats are higher in unhealthy omega-six fatty acids and lower in healthy omega-three fatty acids. They also contain growth hormones, antibiotics, and other chemicals that are bad for your health.

Highly processed meats like ham or deli are off-limits on a keto diet. That's because they're usually high in carbs and low in fat. 

Plus, they contain preservatives and other additives that can be harmful to your health. If you want to eat meat on a keto diet, stick to grass-fed beef, lamb, pork, chicken, or wild game.

Fatty Foods To Avoid

  Olive Oil in a jar

When it comes to fat, there are certain types that you should avoid on a keto diet. These include:

  • Trans fats

  • Inflammatory vegetable oils

Below, we discuss each of these in detail;

Trans Fats

Trans fats are created when manufacturers add hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them solid at room temperature. They're found in many processed foods like margarine, shortening, frozen pizza, cookies, crackers, and more.

Trans fats are bad for your health because they raise your "bad" (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your "good" (HDL) cholesterol levels. They also increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. So if you want to stick to a healthy keto diet, make sure you avoid foods that contain trans fats.

Inflammatory Vegetable Oils

Keto diets should be based on high-quality, nutritious fats. Unprocessed and nutrient-dense coconut oil, virgin olive oil, pasture-raised ghee, butter, and macadamia nut oils are excellent sources of high-quality fats.

Lard and tallow can also give you healthy fat if you want an organic source for your animal proteins. Small fatty fish (such as mackerel and sardines), avocado oil, pasture-raised egg yolks, and avocado-based mayonnaise are all great sources of healthy fats.

Avoid oils like canola, soybean, vegetable, and seed oils. These are typically high in certain fatty acids that can promote inflammation in your body.

Drinks To Avoid

A glass of alcohol 

There are certain drinks that you should avoid on a keto diet. These include:

  • Sugary beverages

  • Fruit juices

  • Alcoholic beverages

Below, we discuss each of these in detail;

Sugary Beverages

It would help if you avoided all sugary beverages on a keto diet, including soda, fruit juice, sweetened coffee and tea, and sports drinks. These drinks are high in carbohydrates and can quickly kick you out of ketosis.

Fruit Juices

Fruit juices are also off-limits on a keto diet because they're high in sugar. A cup of orange juice, for example, has about 24 grams of carbs. That's about the same amount of carbs in a small banana.

Alcoholic Beverages

While you can technically drink alcohol on a keto diet, it's not recommended. That's because alcoholic beverages are high in calories and carbs. Asides from that, alcohol is ethanol, which your body (particularly your liver) will favor breaking down and detoxing. 

What this means is that if you're trying to slim down, your body decreases fat metabolism in order to deal with the alcohol first. And this slows down fat loss.

Packaged And Processed Foods To Avoid 

 Junk food 

You should also avoid all packaged and processed foods on a keto diet. These include:

  • Bread

  • Pasta

  • Chips

  • Crackers

  • Cookies

  • Cakes

  • Pies

  • Packaged breakfast cereals

These foods are usually high in carbs and low in fat, which makes them unsuitable for a keto diet. 

Plus, they often contain unhealthy ingredients like artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. If you want to stick to a healthy keto diet, make sure you avoid all packaged and processed foods.

What If You Eat One Of These Foods Mistakenly?

 Word tiles spelling the word keto 

If you accidentally eat one of the foods on this list, don't worry. Just make sure you get right back on track with your diet and continue following a healthy ketogenic lifestyle.

Tips For Making The Keto Lifestyle Easier

In addition to knowing which foods to avoid, there are a few other things you can do to make the keto lifestyle easier. Here are a few of those things:

Plan your meals in advance: Meal planning will help you stick to your diet and avoid last-minute decisions that could sabotage your progress.

Make sure you have keto-friendly snacks on hand: Having healthy snacks available makes eating keto easier and helps you stick to your diet. Some good keto-friendly snacks include beef jerky, hard-boiled eggs, cheese sticks, pork rinds, nuts, and seeds.

Prepare easy-to-make meals: When you're short on time, having quick and easy meal options can be a lifesaver.

Some good keto-friendly recipes include beef and cabbage, pan-seared cod, and grilled chicken.

Final Thoughts

If you're thinking about starting a keto diet, it's essential to know what keto diet foods to avoid. This blog post has discussed some of the main foods to avoid on a keto diet, including sugary beverages, fruit juices, alcoholic beverages, packaged and processed foods, and inflammatory vegetable oils. By avoiding these foods, you'll be one step closer to success on a keto diet.

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