5 Foods to Avoid on a Keto Diet

Keto diet, ketogenic diet, keto weight loss – these are all popular terms for a highly effective weight loss strategy.  More importantly, keto is a lifestyle change.  It may not be easy at first, depending on what you’re used to, but it works.  I know when I first started researching keto diets, it was a bit overwhelming.  And often when we get overwhelmed, we shut down or quit.  So, to make things simpler, I’ve got a list of foods to avoid on a keto diet.  

So often we get caught up in what foods are good, meal planning and prepping, and excitement.  These aren’t bad things to do, but it can be a bit much.  But don’t get too overwhelmed and give up.

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The rule of thumb for a keto diet is high fat, moderate protein, low carbs.  What does this mean?  About 60-75% of your daily calories will come from fat, 15-30% from protein, and 5-10% from carbs.  If you are a Keto Newb as my kids would say, just start with those ratios for the day.  Don’t spend hours pouring over how many fat, protein, and carb grams are in each particular meal.  That’s a good way to get burned out and give up.  Just start with the basics.  Approved foods, non approved foods, snacks, and remember why you’re doing this.  You want a healthier you!

Foods to Avoid while doing a Keto Diet

Before we get to a specific list, here’s what to remember about foods on keto.  You are shooting for only 5-10% of your daily calories coming from carbs.   Or look at it this way – stay at or below 50 grams of carbs per day.    Let’s put that in perspective:

  • One banana – 27 grams
  • Two slices of white bread – around 34 grams depending on your bread
  • One slice of pepperoni pizza – around 34 grams
  • One 12 ounce light beer – 5 grams of carbs
  • One 12 ounce IPA beer – 20 grams or more depending on the brand
  • One glass of wine – 2-5 grams depending on brand
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar – 10 grams
  • Grande Vanilla Latte – 37 grams
  • One 12 ounce coke – 24 grams
  • One apple – 25 grams
  • One medium serving of french fries – 47 grams
  • One baked russet potato – 24 grams
  • One cup of prepared white rice – 45 grams

Just a few examples of how quickly you can exceed your daily carb limit from some common foods/drinks.  Now on to the list.  This list is not all-inclusive.  But, it includes foods that will be best to avoid when you are starting your keto journey.

Non Keto Friendly Foods

Bread/Grains

This one sucks for me to even type.  Bread is one of my faves.  Seriously.  If you give me a choice between a cookie and a slice of bread or roll, I’ll choose the bread 95% of the time.  But breads are loaded with carbohydrates.  And carbs are not what we are filling our diet with when doing a keto meal plan.  There are plenty of keto friendly breads you can make at home, but for the most part, any store-bought breads won’t do you any favors when trying to succeed with keto.   I know –  it’s a lot to take in.  And this is my favorite food group, so I’m with you on the pain of cutting this out.

Grains include wheat, rice, barley, bulgur, oats, corn (although some classify it corn as a veggie) and cornmeal to name a few.  So – what does this mean?  Cereal, rolls, grits, pasta, tortillas, and all the other grainy friends are off the list for keto.

High Carb Fruits

You can have fruits on a keto diet.  You just have to be selective and make the right choices.  For example, grapes and apples – not very keto friendly.  Can you ever have an apple or grape again?  Yes.  Are apples and grapes healthy foods?  Yes.  But, there are lower carb fruits that you can choose from while still enjoying the occasional apple.  One apple has around 25 grams of carbs.  If you are only getting 50 grams of carbs per day, it’s wise to stick to the lower carb fruits majority of the time.

Some of the highest carb fruits include bananas, mangos, apples, raisins, and pineapple.  If you want fruit, stick to the berries on keto.

Potatoes

Ah, potatoes.  How I love you.  French fries, baked potatoes, chips – you and all your friends are delish, but not keto friendly.  One medium baked potato has 37 grams of carbs.  If you are following a strict keto diet, you’ll be around 25-50 grams of carbs for the day.   So, you have to unfriend those potatoes for a while.

Beans/Legumes

Pretty much all beans/legumes are on the “not keto friendly” list.  Black beans, pinto beans, and kidney beans are all exceptionally high in carbs.  Black eyed peas, butter peas, zipper peas, crowder peas, butter beans – all high in carbs.  Green beans are a better choice if you love beans.  They have about 7 grams of carbs per 1 cup serving.

Sugary Desserts

I think the name of this category pretty much sums it up.  Sugar and keto are not friends.  They don’t get along, and the simple truth is you’ve got to get rid of the sugar in your food choices to succeed with keto.  Cakes, doughnuts, cookies, brownies, pies, candy bars, gummy bears – and this list could go on and on.  One of these treats will likely blow the day for you.  Do yourself a favor and avoid them.  If you can’t resist them in the house, don’t buy them.  And, if you normally give your kids a sweet treat in their lunchbox, buy something you don’t like.  If your significant other wants to give you chocolates for a holiday, ask for a cool workout shirt instead.

There are tons of keto friendly recipes to make for desserts like this Keto Vanilla Poundcake or these Keto Peanut Butter Cookies.  You can still have desserts, just not the typical ones you’re used to.

Change Your Habits

Now of course, this list isn’t the end all, completely inclusive list of every food group or food to avoid on a keto diet.  But, these are a few of the major groups that we tend to struggle with when getting healthier diets.  It’s all about changing our habits.

And if you feel discouraged, don’t!  Check out this list of keto diet food that you CAN eat and get inspired.  There’s plenty of delicious and flavor filled foods that are keto friendly.  It will be an adjustment for sure if you’ve got a typical high carb diet, but it’s doable.  Keto is a lifestyle change.  You’ll need to meal plan and avoid those foods that you just can’t walk away from.  Here’s looking at you dinner rolls and doughnuts.

The great news is that you’ll feel full and satisfied on keto.  You won’t get up from a meal feeling hungry or deprived.  And your body will thank you for it!

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