How to Stock a Keto Pantry

Say "goodbye" to rice and vegetable oil and "hello" to almonds and pumpkin seeds.

February 11, 2019

Jars of ingredients on wooden shelves

Photo by: Denis Tevekov/Getty Images

Denis Tevekov/Getty Images

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Planning to cut carbs and go keto? While we don't recommend this diet as a long-term lifestyle, slashing carbohydrates can be an effective way to wean the body from empty carbs. And learning to embrace whole foods, good fats, and to get a handle on hunger could be helpful side effects.

When stocking the healthy keto pantry, keep one thing in mind: think anti-inflammation foods. Anti-inflammation foods include nuts, seeds, fish, oils, fermented foods, and vegetables. Note: High-saturated fat foods like conventional butter and bacon aren’t on the list.

Here’s how to go keto and go with anti-inflammatory pantry staples.

Nuts: All nuts are high in healthy fats, but cashews also have one of the highest carb counts found in nuts (9 grams of carbs per 1 ounce serving). Compare that to almonds (6 grams), peanuts (4.5 grams), walnuts (4 grams) and pecans (4 grams) and you'll see why cashews might not be the best choice for keto dieters.

Seeds: Even though the label may say it contains chia seeds, bottled beverages and granola bars generally don’t have a spot in the keto kitchen. Almost all seeds are low in carbs, full of healthy fats and most importantly are rich in fiber, so stock up on them solo. Chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds are all excellent ways to bulk up the fiber content of a keto diet.

Canned Goods: Sadly, nutrient-rich canned beans are a no-no on the keto diet, but that gives you the opportunity to get more canned sardines into your life. All heart-healthy omega-3 fat-rich tuna and SMASH (salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and herring) fish come in convenient cans or tins.

Starch Substitutes: When going low-carb, healthy whole grain brown rice should be given away to friends. Get your rice fix from frozen cauliflower rice instead. You can also stock up on noodles: Low carb noodles known as shirataki noodles can be found in Asian grocery stores or online and are made with a prebiotic fiber from the konjac plant.

Oils: Following a true keto diet means eating a lot of fat — 75% of calories from fat, to be exact — so get used to the idea of drizzling on lots of oil. Stick to heart-healthy oils like extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil and nut oils like almond oil. Two new oils on the market may also help reach fat goals: Thrive Culinary Algae Oil is made from earth-friendly microalgae and Carlson Olive Your Heart olive oil is supplemented with omega 3 fats, which can be helpful if you’re not a fan of fish.

Snacks: Still craving salt and vinegar potato chips? Try Pizootz Salt & Vinegar Virginia Peanuts (5 grams carbs). A snack that may cure your craving for tomato basil bruschetta is Tomato Italiano SuperSeedz pumpkin seeds. And while an ooey-gooey grilled cheese sandwich isn’t pantry-stable, a Just the Cheese bar certainly is.

Dessert: It’s pretty much a dessert desert on the keto diet. But if your sweet tooth is still strong, keep frozen berries and unsweetened cocoa on hand. Scoop up a bowl of frozen raspberries (they have the more fiber than other berries and are one of the lowest in natural sugar content) and sprinkle your berries with one-ingredient Pascha Organic Dark Chocolate Chips.

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

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