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Foods to avoid on a keto 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 it, 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 cereal. 

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.

Grains Serving Carbs Protein Fat
Wheat (1 slice) 14g 3g 1g
Barley 1 cup 44g 4g 1g
Oats 1/2 cup 27g 5g 2g
Rice 1 cup 45g 5g 3.5g
Rye  (1 slice) 15g 2.7g 1.1g
Corn 1 cup 32g 4g 1g
Quinoa 1 cup 39g 8g 4g
Millet 1 cup 41g 6g 2g
Sorghum 1 cup 39g 5g 1g
Bulgur 1 cup 33g 5.6 0.4
Amaranth 1 cup 46g 4g 4g
Sprouted Grains 1 slice 15g 4g 0.5g
Buckwheat 1 cup 33g 6g 1g

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. 

Sugars Serving Carbs Protein Fat
Honey 1 tbsp 17g 0g 0g
Agave Nectar 1 tbsp 14g 0g 0g
Maple Syrup 1 tbsp 14g 0g 0g
Raw Sugar 1 tbsp 12g 0g 0g
Turbinado Sugar 1 tbsp 12g 0g 0g
High-Fructose Corn Syrup 1 tbsp 14g 0g 0g
Cane Sugar 1 tbsp 12g 0g 0g

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 Legumes Serving Carbs Protein Fat
Kidney Beans 1/2 cup 18.5g 7g 0.75g
Chickpeas 1/2 cup 20g 6g 2g
Black Beans 1/2 cup 23g 7g 0.5g
Lentils 1/2 cup 19g 8g 0g
Green Peas 1/2 cup 14g 4g 0g
Lima Beans 1/2 cup 19g 6g 0g
Pinto Beans 1/2 cup 20g 7g 0g
White Beans 1/2 cup 18g 6g 0.5g
Fava Beans 1/2 cup 17g 6g 0g
Black Eyed Peas 1/2 cup 14g 2g 0g

4. Fruits

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.

Fruits Serving Carbs Protein Fat
Bananas 1 small 18.5g 0.9g 0.2g
Pineapples 1/2 cup 18g 1g 0g
Papaya  1 small 15g 0.9g 0.2g
Apples 1 medium 22g 0g 0g
Oranges 1 medium 17g 1g 0.3g
Grapes 1 cup 27g 1g 0g
Mangos 1 medium 50g 3g 1g
Tangerines 1 medium 12g 1g 0g
All Fruit Juices 1 cup orange juice 26g 2g 0g
Dried Fruits 1 cup 57g 3g 0g

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 Vegetables Serving Carbs Protein Fat
Sweet Potatoes  1/2 cup 14g 1g 0g
Yams 1/2 cup 19g 1g 0g
Potatoes 1 medium baked 28g 3g 0.3g
Carrots 1/2 cup 6g 1g 0g
Parsnips 1/2 cup 15g 1g 0.3g
Peas 1/2 cup 14g 4g 0g
Yucca 1/2 cup 39g 1.5g 0g
Corn 1/2 32g 4g 1g
Cherry Tomatoes 1 cup 6g 1.3g 0.3g

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 Products Serving Carbs Protein Fat
Milk 1 cup 2% milk 12g 8g 5g
Shredded Cheese 1/2 cup 2g 14g 18g
Fat-Free Butter Substitutes  1 tbsp 0.63g 0g 0.4g
Low-Fat Cream Cheese 1 cup 1g 2g 2.6g
Evaporated Skim Milk 1 cup 14g 10g 0.2g
Low-Fat Whipped Topping 2 tbsp 3g 0g 0g
Fat-Free / Low-Fat Yogurts 1 container 16g 0g 0g

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 Oil Peanut Oil
Canola Oil Sesame Oil
Corn Oil Sunflower Oil
Grape Seed Oil Safflower 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 a 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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