What many thought would be another fad diet, is showing some major signs of sticking around. Why is that exactly? Well, because it’s success rate is incredibly high, not only for fast weight loss but for improved brain function. Dating back to the 1940’s this diet relies on healthy fats to generate energy, instead of carbs (and sugar). The only problem is, in order for the diet to be successful, you have to eat incredibly diligently with foods low in net carbs (carbohydrates minus fiber), and high in fat. That’s a tall order when you’re starting out, or trying to sustain for a longer period of time. Most of us get used to avoiding high-fat foods, so it can be jarring when you suddenly have to seek them out and make them 75% of your diet intake. To make things easier, here’s a list of 20 foods you definitely should be picking up on your next run to the grocery store. With these foods, you will limit the “slip ups” of accidental carb intakes, and be able to maximize your success on this low-in-carbs, high-in-energy diet. Pepperettes Snacking gets awkward when you’ve removed your carb-laden snacks from your diet. Packing a quick protein source like pepperettes, sometimes called “snacking sausage” can be incredibly helpful. Make sure you’re reading your labels for no extra sugars or carbs added in, but in most cases, you’re good to go. Have a few on hand at all times, and you can easily cut your cravings quickly with a couple of these delicious meaty snacks. Avocados Potentially an obvious choice, but regardless, they are without a doubt a very big essential part of the keto diet. In terms of a good, clean, healthy fat – you can beat the benefits of an avocado. While they may be pricier to buy, they are easily made into everything from a dip for veggies, to a bowl to bake eggs into. Or, if you’re like me – just sprinkle with salt & pepper and eat right out of the skin with a spoon! When you need a quick boost of energy with a healthy fat, avocados will be your new BFF. Grass-Fed Beef Opting for a grass-fed, organic beef option when shopping for meat is more important than you think. By opting for organic and grass-fed beef, you’ll be limiting toxins and hormones within the meat, with may impact your overall health. Enjoy a lettuce wrapped burger, or some surf & turf complete with a side of low-carb vegetables such as broccoli for a complete meal that is going to help you hit your targets for fats & proteins. Cheese Yes, cheese! Often thought of as a rather unhealthy food option, gets a gold star on the ketogenic diet! Cheese is high and fats and likely zero carbs. One of the best ways to enjoy cheese on this low-carb diet is to bake them into crisps. This way, you’ve removed the need for carb-laden crackers. Perfect for high-fat dips and snacking! Eggs When you’re looking for a good, clean source of protein and fats – eggs is definitely a great place to start. Easily adaptable to many recipe creations, eggs are a wonderful addition to your ketogenic diet. Whether you enjoy them in an omelet, fried, poached or scrambled, you certainly won’t get bored with the number of eggs you may start eating. Looking for an easy way to enjoy while on the go? Try boiling some eggs in advance, and packing them for easy snacking. The more prepared you are, the less likely you’ll be tempted to grab a slice of toast, instead. Unbreaded Chicken Wings These aren’t making the list because they are the best or healthiest of options. They are, however – something you can order at almost any restaurant to make dining out an ease, without having to order steak salad every time. The biggest warning with chicken wings is to make sure they aren’t breaded. You can often simply request this to your server. Additionally, try and avoid classic bbq sauces and opt for a hot sauce instead (such as a Frank’s Red Hot). Fish Opting for a fish in your diet is a win on so many levels. Mild in flavor and texture, fatty fish like wild salmon has ripples of fat that will keep you sustained, and energized because it’s also rich in protein. Fish pairs perfectly with vegetables and creamy sauces such as hollandaise (another great way to get those fats in) or perhaps even a pistachio crusted oven baked fillet. With so many different ways to serve up a fish dinner, there’s no getting bored. Dark Chocolate We aren’t going to sit here and deny that you will have cravings for the sweet stuff. You’re human, it happens. If you’re already turning your nose up to the suggestion of dark chocolate because you’re more of a milk chocolate kind of person, hear me out. When you remove sugars from your diet, your palate may just change. When you haven’t been eating sweets, you begin to pick up the taste of sweets so much stronger without needing a lot of sugar at all. With 85-90% dark chocolate, you will be shocked at the richness, creaminess and sweet taste of what likely tasted a little too strongly in the past. Read your labels, but in most cases, a high percentage dark chocolate will be less than 5grams of net carbs per serving! Dips A curious addition, that’s for sure, but dips, for the most part, get a green light on the keto diet. That’s because most dips are cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise-based. Next time you’re feeling snacky, try breaking out some celery and enjoying anything from guacamole, to artichoke and spinach dips. Always read your labels as not all dips are alike, but it may be something you’re surpringly “allowed”. Raspberries Missing fruit? No wonder. Cutting out sugars from your diets takes away one of nature’s greatest gifts – fruit. Since almost all fruit lands on the no-no list of foods, it’s important to note at least one that stands out as an exception. Raspberries are relatively low in net carbs. At only 3 grams of carbs for 10 raspberries, while you can’t go crazy on them, that’s a handful of fruit that will certainly feel like a huge treat. Nuts & Seeds Perfect for on the go snacking, many nuts and seeds are high in fat, and low in carbs, just not all of them. Since they don’t need any refrigeration, they’ll easily be packed to curb any unplanned for snacking. Try eating mixed nuts in the shell, for a longer snacking experience, especially if you’re used to chips and popcorn snacks in the evening. When choosing nuts and seeds to enjoy, make sure you’re choosing ones that are low in net carbs (not all are alike!). Great options are macadamia nuts, sesame seeds, almonds, pecans, and walnuts. Shirataki Noodles Shirataki noodles are a spaghetti-like pasta made from the konjac yam. They are incredibly low in calories (almost not even worth counting), and a great substitute for your regular spaghetti noodles. They are different in a few ways, though. First of all, they come packed in liquid. So to prepare them, you must strain them out first. Next, heat up a skillet and cook for several minutes until most of the liquid is evaporated from the noodles, leaving a firmer and more pasta-like texture. Top with your favorite sauces (watch for sugar!) and whatever toppings you choose. They work especially well in a stir-fry! Mayonnaise The egg & oil based popular spread is often frowned upon as an unhealthy addition to your diet. However, with the keto diet – it NEEDS those fats. Making dips, spreads and salad dressings with a mayonnaise base, is truly a miracle sauce for your taste buds. Try making a homemade tuna, chicken or seafood salad and enjoying with celery as a quick and easy snack option when you’re struggling to find something to sustain you. Coconut Oil When it comes to good healthy fats, coconut oil will be something you’ll be keeping closeby for your cooking and baking needs. Coconut oil is a clean source of fat that solidifies in room temperature, yet liquid when heated. It’s not only great for spreading, it’s great for high-heat cooking. If you’re looking for ways to implement more fats into your diet, try a tablespoon of coconut oil in your morning coffee. It adds not only flavor but a creamy texture all the while giving you an extra bit of energy boost you’ll love. Stevia When it comes to cutting out sugar, of course, your first reaction is to seek a replacement. Sweeteners are not created equal and it’s important to substitute with one that is reputable for not disrupting your body’s health overall. Going for an all-natural sweetener solution like stevia is a great way to ease off the sugar cravings. Stevia won’t raise blood sugar levels, and is a naturally occurring sweet leaf, that just so happens to be carb-free, no sugar and no calories! While many struggle with an aftertaste of stevia, it’s something that most people adjust to over time. Stevia typically comes in a drop or granular form. Flax Seed Ground or whole, flax seed is a fatty seed that’s so high in fiber, it cancels out the carbs in it! Versatile to use and easy to add into many recipes or substitute for breadcrumbs when you’re craving a crispy breaded roasted vegetable. Another amazing way to use flax is to take ground flax, mix it with a milk of choice and microwave to create a porridge. It thickens just like oatmeal, and can be made into a sweet or savory meal in no time! Almond Flour Giving this some spotlight away from the nuts & seeds category – almond flour is something you absolutely must pick up, because, with almond flour, you can make some incredible things. Almond flour, combined with a little bit of oil, baking powder, and one egg, can be microwaved into BREAD in one minute. Yes, bread. Yes, one minute. Low-Carb Veggies I think vegetables are going to land on every diet list ever, but on the ketogenic diet, you’ll have to make sure you’re eating the right kinds of vegetables. Ones that are particularly low in carbs, and bonus points if they’re high in protein. Great options are broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach, cucumber, zucchini, sprouts and my personal favorite – spaghetti squash. Whether you stir-fry, roast, steam or barbecue them – these vegetables are basically a free for all when it comes to your meals. Vegetables to avoid include carrots, potatoes, and some starchier options such as butternut squash. Bulletproof Coffee Bulletproof coffee may be something you’ve heard about, but not quite understood. Bulletproof coffee is a combination of coffee, butter and MCT oil (a derivative of coconut oil). What’s the deal with bulletproof coffee? Well, coffee has caffeine – which gives you a burst of energy. On the ketogenic diet, your body will be fueled by good fats, such a grass-fed organic butter. Making a morning coffee concoction of all of these makes for a powerhouse drink you’re sure to be running circles around your friends with. Natural Nut & Seed Butters Another one that is imperative that you read the labels because not all nut and seed butters are alike. First off, start with a natural nut butter, which means it won’t have the additives including sugars. If you’re used to the classic smooth peanut butter, for instance, going natural may be a little bit of a taste adjustment…but one you’re likely to fall in love with quickly, not unlike when you convert from milk to dark chocolate. There are several nut and seed butters to choose from, but your safest bets are sunflower seed butter, peanut butter & almond butter.