7 Foods You Should Absolutely Avoid on a Ketogenic Diet

Having a list of foods to avoid on a ketogenic diet is important in reaching ketosis. 

This is because getting into ketosis is all about minimizing carbs intake and upping fat.

Ketosis in case you are coming in new is a state where your body switches from burning carbohydrates to fat. 

This is almost the sole purpose of a keto diet. 

But to get to this magical state of burning fat as a fuel rather than glucose takes a well-formulated eating habit. 

Factually speaking, it’s a balance of three macros: fats, proteins, and carbs. 

But where most people mess up is the carb intake since it’s the most restricted macro people love to eat. 

On a Keto diet plan, 65-75 % of all your calories should come fat, 20-30% from protein and 5-10% from carbohydrates. 

For some people, this equates to 20-30 grams of carbs a day, while others may be allowed up to 50 grams. 

Going over this carb budget is too easy and any slip up can cost your place in ketosis. Simply put, your body no longer fuels on fats at that point. 

So staying low on carbs is absolutely non-negotiable on a keto. 

Needless to say, having a keto food list is crucial in your keto diet success. 

But more often than not, it’s more helpful to know what foods you absolutely can not eat on a keto diet. 

It prevents accidental slip-ups that can bring you out of ketosis. 

So here are 7 foods you absolutely need to avoid when trying to reach ketosis.

 7 Foods to Avoid On a Keto Diet for Ketosis

As you probably guess, any food high in carbohydrates should get avoided or limited.

1. Carbohydrate Foods to Avoid 

All-grains and starches should be avoided. 

These include whole grains, wheat (bread, flour), pasta, rice, granola, and corn. 

Even healthy ones such as millet, rye, buckwheat, amaranth, and oats are too high in carbs to be a keto.   Even grain-free crops like quinoa are off-limits for being too high in carbohydrates.

Wheat(1 slice)14g3g1g
Barley1 cup44g4g1g
Oats1/2 cup27g5g2g
Rice1 cup45g5g3.5g
Rye (1 slice)15g2.7g1.1g
Corn1 cup32g4g1g
Quinoa1 cup39g8g4g
Millet1 cup41g6g2g
Sorghum1 cup39g5g1g
Bulgur1 cup33g5.60.4
Amaranth1 cup46g4g4g
Sprouted Grains1 slice15g4g0.5g
Buckwheat1 cup33g6g1g

2. Sugary Foods And Sweeteners

Sugary and sweeteners need to be avoided on a ketogenic meal plan. While there are certainly healthier options available, sugar is sugar. 

When it enters your body, it’s glucose and will kick you out of ketosis. 

These include soda, fruit juice, smoothies, cake, ice cream, candy, etc. 

Honey1 tbsp17g0g0g
Agave Nectar1 tbsp14g0g0g
Maple Syrup1 tbsp14g0g0g
Raw Sugar1 tbsp12g0g0g
Turbinado Sugar1 tbsp12g0g0g
High-Fructose Corn Syrup1 tbsp14g0g0g
Cane Sugar1 tbsp12g0g0g

3. Beans and Legumes

While beans and legumes are healthy and have many health benefits, they are not keto-friendly. 

That’s because they are high in starch and carbs. 

While on a keto diet, avoid beans and legumes.

Beans and LegumesServingCarbsProteinFat
Kidney Beans1/2 cup18.5g7g0.75g
Chickpeas1/2 cup20g6g2g
Black Beans1/2 cup23g7g0.5g
Lentils1/2 cup19g8g0g
Green Peas1/2 cup14g4g0g
Lima Beans1/2 cup19g6g0g
Pinto Beans1/2 cup20g7g0g
White Beans1/2 cup18g6g0.5g
Fava Beans1/2 cup17g6g0g
Black Eyed Peas1/2 cup14g2g0g

4. Fruits

The fruit is healthy, right?

Sure, but that doesn’t mean they’re keto-approved.  

Fruits are high in sugar and carbs, making them a no-go on the keto diet. 

This includes tropical fruits, dried fruits, and fruit smoothies (for the most part).

The only exceptions are berries such as blackberries and raspberries. 

Avocados and olives are less obvious fruits that are keto. 

When on a keto diet, avoid the following list of fruits on the table below.

Bananas1 small18.5g0.9g0.2g
Pineapples1/2 cup18g1g0g
Papaya 1 small15g0.9g0.2g
Apples1 medium22g0g0g
Oranges1 medium17g1g0.3g
Grapes1 cup27g1g0g
Mangos1 medium50g3g1g
Tangerines1 medium12g1g0g
All Fruit Juices1 cup orange juice26g2g0g
Dried Fruits1 cup57g3g0g

5. Vegetables

Most veggies are healthy and should be part of any clean diet, just not on a keto diet. 

This has to do with their carb content. 

Some vegetables are higher in carbohydrates than others, and they need to be avoided.  

The rule of thumb is if they grow under the ground, restrict. Instead, eat leafy greens abundantly. 

Vegetables to avoid include potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc.

These root vegetables have a high starch, high carb content and can get in the way of reaching ketosis. 

Here’s a complete list of all the vegetables you need to avoid.

Starchy VegetablesServingCarbsProteinFat
Sweet Potatoes 1/2 cup14g1g0g
Yams1/2 cup19g1g0g
Potatoes1 medium baked28g3g0.3g
Carrots1/2 cup6g1g0g
Parsnips1/2 cup15g1g0.3g
Peas1/2 cup14g4g0g
Yucca1/2 cup39g1.5g0g
Cherry Tomatoes1 cup6g1.3g0.3g

6. Dairy Products to Avoid

Low-fat dairy products are highly processed and contain added sugar to make up for the taste.

Not only you want to go with whole-fat options to load up on fats, but also low-fat choices are often carb-heavy. 

While dairy is popular in any keto diet, avoid any low-fat or reduced-fat varieties. 

Avoid the following dairy products on the table below:

Dairy ProductsServingCarbsProteinFat
Milk1 cup 2% milk12g8g5g
Shredded Cheese1/2 cup2g14g18g
Fat-Free Butter Substitutes 1 tbsp0.63g0g0.4g
Low-Fat Cream Cheese1 cup1g2g2.6g
Evaporated Skim Milk1 cup14g10g0.2g
Low-Fat Whipped Topping2 tbsp3g0g0g
Fat-Free / Low-Fat Yogurts1 container16g0g0g

7.  Unhealthy Fat Foods to Avoid

Coconut oil, MCT oil, virgin olive oil, avocado oil, and macadamia nut oils are great sources of healthy fat. By all means, they should be part of your keto diet menu planning.

But that does not mean you should consume any fats and oils. 

In fact, you need to avoid a handful of oils and oil-based products.
Avoid harmful processed vegetable oils and mayonnaise at all costs. 

Avoid the list below:

Unhealthy Oils 
Soybean OilPeanut Oil
Canola OilSesame Oil
Corn OilSunflower Oil
Grape Seed OilSafflower Oil

Proteins to avoid

While you eat a moderate amount of protein on keto, you should avoid low-quality proteins. 

They include processed meats like lunch meats, frozen patties, and hot dogs. 

Also while protein powders may be allowed, some contain high sugar. Read the label to find a low-carb, low-sugar protein powder. 

Alcohol to Avoid

Other foods to avoid on a ketogenic meal plan is alcohol, but not all thankfully. 

Most alcoholic drinks are high in sugar and carb, which is less favorable for keto dieters. 

But few alcoholic drinks are low in carbs and can be enjoyed occasionally while eating keto. 

These include:

  • Pure spirits like whiskey,
  • Brandy
  • Cognac
  • vodka
  • Tequila 

They all contain zero carbs and are all fine on a keto diet.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right foods on a keto diet is extremely important in reaching ketosis.

It’s because getting and staying in ketosis takes a drastic cut in carb intake. 

Only by depleting the glucose supply by cutting out carbs, you can switch the body’s fuel source to fats. 

For some, this means reducing carbs to 20-30grams a day. For others, it’s 50 grams. Regardless of your carb budget, one bite of the wrong food can quickly jeopardize your efforts. 

To ensure you reach ketosis and stay there to burn fat for energy, be sure to stay away from these foods on this list. 

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