Ever wondered if there are so-called “banned” foods that are actually okay on Keto Zone? Incognito foods allowed on keto? Perhaps you’ve listened to different sources on what to eat or not eat. Or, you’ve been confused by “lazy keto” and those who seemingly eat a big variety of foods and still meet ketosis, health, and weight goals.
Here’s the thing: Depending on your individual keto numbers and goals, there are some surprising foods you may be able to include and still stay in the Keto Zone. And what’s more, many of them offer great nutrition that you don’t want to miss.
Of course, every food decision should be made within the context of your personal keto numbers and goals. If you need to maintain net carbs of 25 grams or less per day, and can’t go a gram over, only limited amounts of these foods will fit into your diet. But still, they can fit.
If you find that you can stay in ketosis, using keto strips or monitors, with up to 40-50 grams of net carbs per day, more can fit.
Either way, the more you include even small amounts of foods you like, the more you can make the Keto Zone a lifestyle.
And of course, portions mean everything when considering grams of carbohydrates, so pay mind to your portions and measure them to be sure. Here are 12 surprising foods allowed on keto.
Plain yogurt, and plain Greek yogurt, are incredibly healthful foods allowed on keto by some. They may fit into your own keto diet. While some keto eaters completely swear off dairy, others tolerate it well and enjoy cheese, butter, cream, and yes, even plain yogurt.
Plain yogurt should not have more than 12 grams of carbohydrates per 8 ounces. And, since these carbohydrates have been fermented by lactobacillus, they are carbs that generally don’t affect blood sugars and insulin levels much.
What’s more, these healthy bacteria promote healthy digestion and healthy bacteria colonies.
How to Include Plain Yogurt: Look for plain yogurt with no more than 12 grams carbs per 8 ounces. Then, eat 1/4 cup for just 3 grams of carbs per day. For 24-hour fermented homemade yogurt, check out this recipe.
By simply looking at a beet, you can hypothesize that it’s full of important nutrients. It’s color, smell, and taste scream “healthy!”
And beets are. Beets are overflowing with antioxidants. They contain phytochemical antioxidants called betanins, which are responsible for their beautiful red hue. Betanins contribute to health-supporting actions including quenching free radicals, reducing inflammation, supporting detoxification of cells, and support of glutathione (1, 2).
Best of all, beets are an example of healthy foods allowed on keto, with portion-control.
How to Include Beets: Use 1/4 cup chopped beets in your salad, smoothie, or other foods for just 4 grams net carbs. Or, get freeze-dried beets and berries in an organic keto fruit powder with low carbs. And, don’t forget the beet greens. These are also great for you and low in carbs.
Dark chocolate is a healthy, semi-low-carb food, as long as you get the right kind. True dark chocolate contains a high percentage of cacao and a low amount of sugar.
Cacao is a true superfood, high in antioxidants. In fact, it contains more than 300 different antioxidant chemical compounds and more than 20 times the antioxidant power of blueberries. What’s more, its antioxidants are stable over time, with studies showing their stability over 75 years (3)! These antioxidants are believed to support stress reduction, good blood pressure, brain health, and more. For more about cacao’s benefits, check out this post.
How to Include Dark Chocolate: Look for dark chocolate that is 85% cacao. Enjoy up to 20 grams (often 2 squares of a bar), for just 4 grams net carbs.
This one likely comes as no surprise: Berries are a healthy food that is high in antioxidants. You can see it with your own eyes: their vibrant colors are dead-giveaway of their antioxidant concentrations. Different berries have different antioxidant concentrations, and all are semi-low-carb.
In terms of health benefits, blueberries have been found to support brain function and healthy blood pressure (4, 5). Lab studies have shown that the antioxidants and other components in raspberries killed 90% may fight stomach, colon, and breast cancer cells in petri dish samples (6, 7).
How to Include Berries: Include just 1/4 cup of raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, or strawberries for just 4 grams net carbs.
Carrots are one of those foods that have been banned by low-carb dieters for years, but maybe not for good reason. In fact, they are an inexpensive, healthy source of beta-carotene and fiber. And guess what, a medium carrot only contains 4 grams of net carbs (61 grams size).
This is not much, especially if you’re being picky about the other foods in your diet.
And while there are lower-carb vegetables, including orange, yellow, and red ones will help you get a variety of nutrients along with the leafy greens.
How to Include Carrots: Include a small carrot (40 grams) for just 3 grams of net carbs.
Officially, cranberries are a type of berry, but they are a sour one with different nutrition make-up than other berries. So, they get their own entry.
This nutrient-packed, vibrantly-colored fruit should be a part of year-round diets, not just Holidays. In fact, cranberries support healthy cholesterol levels and support heart health, aid urinary health, contains strong antioxidants and phytochemicals, and have anticancer agents (8). All of this for just 4 net grams carbohydrates per 1/2 cup.
How to Include Cranberries: Include 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup cranberries in smoothies or other dishes for just 2-4 grams of net carbs. Try Keto Zone Cranberry Jam or cranberries in our Keto Zone Overnight Super Seed “Oatmeal” recipe.
Another fruit, another surprising keto option.
While it takes some work to enjoy pomegranates, they are worth it! For every 1/4 cup arils (seeds), they only contain 5 grams of net carbs.
What else do they contain? Pomegranates are packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, and nutrients that fight fat cells promote heart health and better memory, support anti-cancer action, and help with pain reduction and inflammation in joints (9, 10).
How to Include Pomegranate Seeds: Add 1/4 cup arils to salads, dips, and more for just 5 grams net carbs. If you’re sure how to open one, try this method and retrieve the seeds with no mess in just minutes.
Thank goodness, cashews are an option, mostly just because they taste great. They are high in carbs than most nuts, so you will have to measure the portion. But, keep it to just 2 tablespoons cashew nuts or 1 tablespoon cashew butter, and you’ll only get 4 grams net carbs.
You’ll also get a good source of copper and magnesium, both of which are important for overall health and energy levels.
How to Include Cashews: Add 2 tablespoons cashews to a salad for a good crunch, use 1 tablespoon cashew butter in place of peanut butter, or try cashew cream if you are dairy-free (it works great in soups, sauces, and more!).
Hopefully, this one makes you smile: 1/4 cup of homemade cooked pumpkin only contains ~3 grams of net carbs. Canned may contain ~5 grams.
What’s this mean to you? Pumpkin spiced lattes (made with a low-carb sweetener), keto pumpkin pie, keto pumpkin cookies, and more are still on the Keto Zone menu!
What’s more, pumpkin offers many great nutrients including fiber, beta carotene, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients, and more.
This one might be a bit controversial, but still, it comes down to your keto numbers and portions.
Tomatoes are not actually that high in carbs. If you want a thick tomato slice on your keto burger, you’ll only eat about 1 gram net carb. Or, if you’d love to add 5 cherry tomatoes to your salad, you’re looking at 3-4 grams net carbs.
Not bad for a
How to Include Tomatoes: Add sliced tomatoes to your keto burger, or use a handful (about 5) cherry tomatoes in your salad. No guilt necessary.
There are many, many amazing Keto Zone baked goods that can satisfy your cravings. As long as they use a keto-friendly sweetener and grain substitute, many of your favorites can be included in your keto diet.
How to Include Keto Baked Goods and Treats: AUse the Keto Zone recipes on this site and cookbook for baked goods and treat that utilize low-carb sweeteners (like erythritol or stevia) and grain substitutes (like coconut flour and nut flours). Make sure to double-check the nutrition information for carbohydrate totals.
While “fiber” as a keto food may not surprise some, it’s amazing how many people continue to claim that the keto diet is a low-fiber diet.
This simply isn’t true.
First, keto eaters replace most grains with higher-fiber coconut and nut flours. Second, they go out of their way to find high-fiber vegetables and foods to reduce net carbs and promote ketosis (by reducing available glucose in the bloodstream).
Lastly, they can use fiber powders for health benefits and digestion support.
How to use fiber: Utilized coconut flour, almond flours, and other grain-alternatives in baked goods. Look for high fiber fruits and vegetables (like berries and greens). If needed to increase fiber intake, try a fiber powder supplement with inulin and psyllium.
Always consider your own keto numbers, goals, and sources when choosing healthy “keto foods.” There may be surprising foods allowed on keto that you’re missing. If you want to include them, watch your portions and add them in. Enjoy a variety of healthy foods every day and make Keto Zone your lifestyle.
And, for more recipes, Keto Zone tips, and ideas, start our Free Keto Zone 21-Day-Challenge today!