The ultimate keto shopping list for beginners

Keto-friendly avocado boats

You’ve done your research, bought your cookbooks and you’re raring to do your first keto food shop. But there’s one problem: which foods can you add to your keto shopping list?

With carb-heavy foods – and even some fruits and vegetables – off the keto menu, it can be hard to know where to start. Not to worry. This beginner’s keto shopping list will help you to take your trolley from zero to keto hero, minus the stress.

We’ve shared all the keto foods you’ll need to kickstart your new meal routine on the right track. Think storecupboard essentials, fridge & frozen basics and all the fresh meats, fish and veggies you’ll need to create simple, delicious, keto-friendly meals – pronto.

Keto food shopping tips

Want to jump straight into the shopping list? We get it – click here to skip straight to it.

But, if you’re new to keto, hold up for a second. These quick keto food shopping tips will make sure your first low-carb, high-fat supermarket voyage is a breeze!

Plus, they’ll help you to reduce food waste and make the whole keto shopping process much lighter on your purse/wallet. Thank us later.

1. Plan your meals before you shop

As with all things in life, preparation is key. Heading to the shop without knowing which keto foods you’ll actually need to make meals will result in one of two things: too much food (hello, food waste) or not enough food (hello, hunger).

The solution? Meal planning. Sit down with a meal planner (if you don’t have one, a notebook will do), any keto cookbooks you have and/or a phone or laptop with internet access to search for keto-friendly recipes.

Pick which recipes you’ll be cooking for the next 3–7 days and write down the exact ingredients you’ll need to make them. Have a think about what you might have for breakfast and lunch, too (Purition makes a super easy keto-friendly breakfast, if you’re looking for one).

That’s basically your keto shopping list sorted. See, you don’t even need us now.

2. Choose whole foods

Just because something is keto, it doesn’t mean it’s automatically healthy.

These days, it’s easy to find ultra-processed keto foods like keto bars, keto protein shakes, keto ‘bread’ and keto ‘wraps’ in the supermarket.

And while they might be low in carbs, they’re likely to be highly refined and lacking in essential nutrients – like fibre, vitamins & minerals – that you need to feel your best.

So as much as you can, try to pack your shopping trolley with keto-friendly whole foods like veggies, good quality meat and poultry, fish, nuts and seeds.

And remember that consistency beats perfection. If you eat whole foods for the majority of the time, the occasional processed meal or treat is nothing to worry about.

Find more must-know keto tips & information in our beginner’s guide to keto!

3. Know which foods to avoid

You can’t do a keto food shop without knowing which foods are off-limits. If it helps, write these down and bring the list along with you:

  • Cow’s milk
  • Sugary fruits
  • Sugary foods: Fruit juice, smoothies, cakes, pastries, ice cream, sweets etc
  • Starchy foods: Bagels, bread, oats, beans, grains, flour, muffins, legumes, rice, root vegetables, pasta
  • Starchy vegetables: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips etc
  • Processed oils: Sunflower, rapeseed & vegetable
  • Low-fat & diet products: Margarine and low-fat milk/yoghurt etc
  • Sugar alcohols: Check labels for sorbitol & maltitol
  • All-purpose & grain-based flours
  • Honey, maple syrup & agave

Keto shopping list for beginners

If you need to stock up on store cupboard essentials, cooking oils, herbs and spices, your first keto food shop might be more expensive than expected. But don’t worry – lots of these items will see you through week after week, so your next shop is likely to be cheaper.

Remember that you don’t necessarily need every single thing on this keto shopping list. As we said earlier, it’s best to plan your meals in advance and use your plan to create your own personalised shopping list.

Store cupboard staples

Jars in store cupboard/pantry

Some of these items might seem random at first, but they’re the basics you’ll need for many keto-friendly recipes. Plus, having some canned foods – think tuna, olives and sauerkraut – means you’ll be able to whip up a keto-friendly snack plate even if you run out of fresh foods.

  • Almond and/or coconut flour: A sub for plain flour
  • Arrowroot powder: Use to thicken up recipes
  • Canned fish/seafood: Anchovies, sardines, tuna etc
  • Canned or jarred olives: Check the label for unwanted sugars
  • Canned coconut milk: Use in keto curries
  • Cocoa powder: Use to add chocolatey flavour to desserts
  • Erythritol: A natural sweetener
  • Ghee & lard: A flavourful alternative to oil for cooking
  • Jarred sauerkraut: A great way to support your gut health
  • Nut butters: Peanut, almond, cashew, pistachio
  • Nutritional yeast flakes: Use as a cheese sub
  • Olive/coconut/sesame/almond oil: Use for cooking/for dressings
  • Red/white/apple cider vinegar: Useful in recipes, as well as dressings
  • Stock cubes: Useful in many recipes and help to replace lost electrolytes
  • Vanilla extract: An easy way to add sweetness/flavour

Meat & fish

Various animal-based proteins like eggs, steak and chicken

Most meats and fish are low in carbs and perfect for the keto diet. Still, you don’t necessarily need to buy all of our suggestions. To prevent waste, it’s best to plan your meals out in advance and only buy the meat and fish you’ll actually need for the week ahead.

  • Bacon
  • Beef mince
  • Chicken thighs
  • Cod/haddock fillets
  • Ribeye steak
  • Sausages
  • Smoked salmon
  • Salmon fillets
  • Whole chicken

Fridge staples

Flat lay of dairy foods like milk, cottage cheese and mayo

Although milk isn’t the best choice for a very strict ketogenic diet, there are so many great keto-friendly dairy options to try. If you’re a big milk drinker, give almond or coconut milk a go instead – they’re lower in sugar and really tasty, too.

  • Almond and/or coconut milk
  • Butter
  • Cheddar
  • Eggs
  • Double & single cream
  • Feta
  • Greek yoghurt
  • Mozzarella
  • Parmesan
  • Sour cream

Fruit & veg

Green vegetables on plate including cucumber, spinach and green pepper

When you cut out carbs, you could accidentally slip back on your fibre intake too. Keep your digestive system healthy by filling half your plate with non-starchy vegetables, such as:

  • Avocado
  • Baby gem
  • Blueberries
  • Butternut squash
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Celeriac
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Chillies
  • Courgettes
  • Cucumber
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  •  Green beans
  • Kale
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Portobello mushrooms
  • Raspberries
  • Red peppers
  • Red & white onions
  • Rocket Spinach
  • Rocket
  • Spinach

Don’t forget that starchy veggies like beetroot, corn, potatoes, peas and turnips are higher in carbohydrates and not strictly keto-friendly.

Nuts & seeds

Variety of seeds & nuts in jars

Nuts & seeds are rich in healthy fats but low in carbs, making them the perfect fit for the keto diet. They’re also packed with fibre and naturally-occurring vitamins to keep you feeling your best!

  • Brazil nuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Pecan nuts
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Walnuts

To keep costs down, you could just buy a big pack of unsalted mixed nuts.

Herbs & spices

Variety of heaped spices on tablespoons

Everyone loves a bit of flavour! There’s a huge list of possible spices you could buy, but here are a few of our favourites. They’ll see you through keto recipe after keto recipe!

  • Chilli flakes
  • Dill
  • Fresh coriander
  • Fresh mint
  • Fresh basil
  • Ground cumin
  • Ground coriander
  • Garam masala
  • Thyme

Keto shopping list with Purition

Keto-friendly Purition serving suggestions

If you’re new to a keto diet, make sure to add Purition to your keto shopping list. It takes just 30 seconds to make one of our 14 all-natural flavours, and you'll have a filling keto meal in an instant.

Providing over 16g protein, 12g healthy fats and 6g fibre at just 2-4g net carbohydrates per meal, Purition makes keto diets easier than ever!

It’s ultra quick and convenient, making it easy to minimise carbs and stay on track with your keto diet when you’re busy!

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