How to Stock a Keto Fridge

Here's what to keep and what to clear out.

February 12, 2019

Woman taking a bottle of fresh milk from the fridge, nutrition and diet concept

Photo by: Demaerre/Getty Images

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A well-stocked fridge and pantry are your best pathway to success when trying out a keto diet. And trying it is what we’d recommend. Because the keto diet eliminates whole food groups it’s not the best long-term eating plan for most people. But, the diet can be helpful for curing cravings for empty carbs and getting a handle on true hunger.

There may also be some additional benefits in terms of mental focus from going keto for a couple weeks. In recently published animal studies, researchers found promising results for brain health.

If you're interested in giving keto a try, these fridge swaps will make the transition even easier.

Dairy: Milk and yogurt contain natural sugars in the range of 6-13 grams for plain varieties, so they may not fit into keto plans where 20-30 grams of carbs are a typical limit. But yogurt-lovers now have a new option in YQ yogurt — a thick, creamy yogurt with only 2 grams of carbs and beneficial probiotics. For keto-friendly, plant-based beverage options, check out these non-dairy milks. Stock cheese to get eight essential nutrients found in dairy foods, including potassium, which can help calm the uncomfortable diet condition known as keto flu.

Fruit: Sadly, most naturally sweet fruits are off limits. But you can stock up on lemons to squeeze into the copious amounts of water keto dieters need to consume. Stock the freezer with frozen berries, which are available year-round. Frozen raspberries have the more fiber than any other berry and are one of the lowest in natural sugar content (12 grams of carbs in 1 cup). Frozen or fresh blackberries (15 grams of carbs), strawberries (13 grams) or blueberries (16 grams) are also good options. Other lower carb fruits include plums, peaches, cantaloup, and clementine oranges.

Vegetables: It’s important to include mainly anti-inflammation foods when keto dieting. Vegetables are key. This shopping list contains vegetables with 1-4 grams of carbs per serving: spinach, celery, lettuce, arugula, Swiss chard, avocado, asparagus, mushrooms, radishes, cabbage, cucumbers, eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, cauliflower, kale, peppers. Onions and shallots contain 4-6 grams of carbs per 1/4 cup serving, but for zero carbs and onion-y flavor in an anti-inflammation olive oil try FODY Shallot-Infused Olive Oil.

Meat: While high-saturated fat bacon is the poster child for the keto diet, a better bet is lean beef, as it contains potentially beneficial CLA’s (conjugated linoleic acids) and is lower in saturated fats. Equally delicious is lamb. All lamb is grass-fed, so it is also a source of in CLA’s. Of course both of these low-saturated fat meats are high in protein, so smaller amounts may be needed to meet keto protein restrictions.

Fish: Stock up on frozen fillets of oily salmon, mackerel, trout, walleye, sea bass, Barramundi and halibut. These fish are rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats.

Condiments: Toss out sugary condiments like ketchup and barbeque sauce and swap in probiotic-rich options. (Consuming probiotics on a keto diet is especially important because it can improve conditions associated with the diet including constipation and decreased variety of the “friendly” gut bacteria.) Load up your fridge with fermented foods like miso, kimchi, refrigerated sauerkraut, sour pickles and soft cheeses like the crème fraîche, mascarpone, fromage blanc.

Serena Ball, MS, RD is a registered dietitian nutritionist and food writer. She blogs at TeaspoonOfSpice.com sharing Healthy Kitchen Hacks and yummy recipes. Follow her @TspCurry on Twitter.

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