Foods To Avoid On The Ketogenic Diet


Keto diets have been well-publicized throughout social media cable TV, blogs, and cookbooks. Some information is good and some information… not so good.

This article will describe the foods to avoid on the ketogenic diet.

There are so many terms associated with keto diets

  • Dirty keto
  • Dirty lazy keto
  • and Clean keto.

No wonder why there is so much confusion. You almost need a keto urban dictionary to keep up with all the jargon.

Not to worry. I’ll help you through the terms without leaving you in the ketogenic cloud of confusion.

The ONLY difference between these diets is how you acquire your food.

Dirty keto diets: involve fast or high caloric food such as burgers and hot dogs from fast food places like McDonald’s or Wendy’s.

Dirty lazy keto: is similar to dirty keto but the followers avoid the carbs without doing the blood tests or calculating their macros. They are lazy and don’t care about measuring the number of calories they are consuming.

Clean keto: involves recipes from keto cookbooks or low carb meals. As the name implies you are eating “Healthy Wholesome meal” or clean foods. Which involves controlling the number of carbs as well as the calories.

Clean keto is the healthiest way to go and highly recommended. Ideally, you want to choose meats that are organic, grass-fed and pasture-raised. The eggs should come from your local farmer or free-range hens. Choose grass-fed butter and organic creams, cheese, fruits, and vegetables.

I know some of these items may be hard to get or expensive. (Especially the “organic ingredients”). The non-organic food items are fine too.

The good thing about dirty keto is as long as you remove the bun and the other high carb items you are golden. This means you don’t have to cook, bake and measure the Macros.  You just have to keep the carb consumption to 20 grams per day. So if you don’t like to cook or bake this can be a great option. But it’s not the healthiest. Even though you’re removing the carb-loaded ingredients doesn’t mean that you can eat them all the time.

The other problem with dirty keto is that you are not restricting your caloric intake which could be problematic if you are trying to lose weight.


A Toothy Fish that knows what foods to avoid eating while on a ketogenic diet
I love ketogenic diets. Care to join me for dinner?

Luckily for you, setting up a keto-friendly food list is EASY.

Just don’t eat the carbs!!

Simple right?

Yes, it is.

But for a newbie the can diet can be challenging.

Let’s see how that translates to a typical daily American carb-loaded meal.

  •  1 medium order of french fries or 117 grams contains 50 grams of Carbs!
  • 2 slices of bread contain 24 grams of carbs.
  • 3 pancakes contain 33 grams of carbs.

So you can see that a typical American meal contains lots of carbs. People who have been raised to eat a normal All-American food will find the keto diet hard to follow. Experts and other proponents of the diet say to wean off the carbs until you get used to eating a low carb diet.


Ketogenic grocery list
This is the keto-friendly shopping list


The Cold Reality of Starting a Keto Diet and the Foods To Avoid

At first maintaining a low carb intake can be downright cruel, especially, if you have your favorite high carb “comfort foods”.

You know what I am talking about.

A Man eating a plate of Spaghetti. Foods To Avoid while on the ketogenic dietThe foods you eat when you are feeling stressed out or you just have those uncontrollable cravings.

I completely understand.

We all have those cravings. It’s called emotional eating.  So be prepared for some dietary setbacks. They are part of the journey to the keto zone.

Here are some ideas to consider when the cravings hit.

Consider the consequences of not following the diet.

Everybody’s goals are different and you want to be well motivated. Make sure you remind yourself every day what you will achieve once you reach your goals.

  • Clothes will fit better
  • You’ll be ready for beach season
  • You’ll have more energy to spend quality time with loved ones.

Second, be aware of what will happen to you if you don’t follow your diet.

  • Health may decline
  • Weight loss may never be achieved
  • Or you may be too tired to spend time with your family.


Sacrifice High Carbs Now To achieve your long term dieting goals Later

Getting support or joining a health-related group is VERY important to maintain any kind of fitness goals. It’s easy to get caught up on the latest and greatest fitness craze and not achieve any results. That’s why you need to stick to your fitness plan and not get caught up with other plans that may not work.

Get on social media and listen to what others have said when they started out. When you feel like giving up, some people’s stories can be very inspiring and will help you maintain the keto/low carb diet.

Foods to Avoid Like the Plague.

Foods To Avoid Like the plague
Oh no! The Carbs are coming! Run for your life


  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Anything that contains dough, like pizza, bagels, doughnuts, muffins.
  • Corn
  • Potatoes
  • Rice
  • Legumes (beans, quinoa)
  • Chips, snacks, and candy bars.
  • Most fruits: apples, pears, bananas, etc.
A plate of Spaghetti
Replace this pasta dish with Zoodles or Spaghetti squash. Your taste buds won’t miss the pasta!


I can hear you moaning and groaning already.

I am a meat and potatoes man myself. So I feel your pain.

How can you have steak or turkey without potatoes or hashbrowns?  Well, you can.

There are a lot of great recipes and alternative low carb food items that can replace potatoes and rice.

Here’s a table of substitutes to use in place of high carb items.



This list is not extensive but it will get you started on what is OK to eat on a ketogenic diet.

Before you shop,  prepare a keto-friendly grocery list and don’t deviate from the list at all.

Period. Get in and get out!!

Which means, no wandering around the store and being tempted by all the snacks and chips in the middle aisles.

In fact, consider middle aisles in the grocery store the toxic zone. That’s where the high carb food items are located. Stick to the produce and deli areas or the outer edges of the store that’s the keto zone. There is no sense tempting your self with the snacks, sweets, and treats.


Consider bakeries and doughnut shops TOXIC environments as well. Unless someone is clever enough to open up a low carb bakery or restaurant.

Hmm …. I am getting some ideas.


Tips To Help You Socialize Without Being Anti-Social.

Vacations and socializing are temptation zones for the high carb treats.

Remember keto diets are just as much of a lifestyle as it is a diet and you have to come up with a strategy for socializing and traveling. Just tell people that you have food allergies and you can’t eat anything that contains a lot of carbs.

If that doesn’t work tell them that you’ll go into anaphylactic shock and someone will have to drive you to a hospital for life-saving treatment. Most civilized people will respect your dietary wishes.

You can bring a keto meal to family parties. There are a lot of crowd-pleasing keto-dishes on this site and other keto cookbooks that others will enjoy. After sampling your keto cuisines they may choose to follow you.

I am Sorry,

Yes you have to avoid most alcoholic beverages

...But you can indulge if you can control yourself. 

To be honest it’s better to avoid beer and mixed drinks even if they are low calorie. Drinking copious amounts of alcohol may tempt you into eating carb-loaded foods. Not only does alcohol lower inhibitions but it also increases the appetite. When somebody orders a plate of Nachos you may be tempted to indulge.

Just walk outside when the food comes around. Get some air, run in place do jumping jacks, and push-ups, etc. Anything that will get your mind off the tempting food. Better yet, avoid the situation all together if you can.

At restaurants tell the waiter not to bring a bread basket or breadsticks to the table. Stay away from the salad bar and don’t use any of the condiments. There are a lot of hidden carbs in those items as well.

Low Carb/Keto Cookbooks to the Rescue!

There are plenty of appetizers and dessert recipes that can combat those high carb cravings. You won’t be left to suffer. With a little discipline and lots of support following a keto diet is not that bad.

Planning your meals goes a long way in maintaining a keto diet or any diet. For example, do all your shopping on one day and make all your meals on another day. Then store all the meals in the freezer for the rest of the week and you won’t be left wondering to eat again.

I recommend joining a keto group or get involved with social media. Lots of veterans can offer tips, support, and great recipes to the newbie keto follower.

You on a great journey to a whole new life!


Picture of Sharks looking for keto friendly food
This place looks keto-friendly to me


Don’t let some silly cravings derail your new lifestyle!

The keto/low carb diet is not about eating. The “keto zone” is about designing a whole new lifestyle. Just think in a few months you’ll lose weight, become more energetic, achieve mental focus and just be all around happy person.

People will notice and ask what your secret is.

Guess what?  You may become a “keto guru” and write your own book or build a website describing all the benefits you achieved following a keto diet!

I Hate Planning Meals

If you really are not into meal planning then a food service will be the next option.

But they can be expensive especially if you want all your meals prepared.

Keto meal clubs like Diet Doctor or Ruled provide low carb and ketogenic meals for you which takes the guesswork out of meal planning.  They provide breakfast, lunch and dinner options if you want to spend that kind of money.

You will pay for that Convenient Keto Meal Plan

Some plans can cost up to three hundred dollars a month for a single person!! But I can recommend some reasonably priced meal companies that won’t cost too much if you are willing to do some cooking.  There are things to consider before joining a meal club.

One Final Tip

If you are just starting out. I recommend you ease into the keto diet at first. Get used to cutting out some of the carbs that you are used to eating. Like bread and cereals. Cook some ketogenic meals and eat some ketogenic snacks. You don’t have to go all keto yet.

Eating habits are hard to break and I am a big proponent for breaking into the Keto diet slowly.  Take your time and slowly wean yourself off of the high carb food items.

There are some great alternatives to potatoes and you will be amazed at how similar mashed and riced cauliflower tastes like the real thing.

Keto diets can be hard to follow at first but with a gradual transition to the keto zone, the diet should become tolerable. Remember to focus on your weight loss goals and everything else will follow.

Here’s to good eating!!!

Please include some of your ways to cope with the keto diet in the comment section. Beginners will appreciate your advice.