Ketogenic Diet Food List

Provide your patient with a ketogenic diet food list when they’re interested and are medically approved to try out the popular diet. Click here for a free template copy.

By Patricia Buenaventura on Feb 29, 2024.

Fact Checked by Nate Lacson.

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What is a Ketogenic Diet Food List?

A ketogenic diet, characterized by high fat, moderate protein, and very low carbohydrate intake, involves a specific selection of foods to induce a metabolic state called ketosis. 

To help patients stick to the diet, a ketogenic diet food list is provided to remind them of the types of food they may eat, must limit, or completely avoid. On this resource, one can expect an inclusion of diverse food groups that ensure a balance of essential nutrients while adhering to the diet's principles.

  • Animal Proteins: Seafood, such as fish and shellfish, is integral to the ketogenic diet due to its richness in B vitamins, potassium, and selenium. Meats and poultry are also staples, providing ample protein and essential nutrients.
  • Dairy: Dairy products, which must be consumed in moderation, contribute to the diet's fat and protein content.
  • Non-Starchy Vegetables: Non-starchy vegetables are low in carbohydrates and calories but abundant in nutrients. This category includes leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, and others suitable for maintaining a low-carb profile.
  • Other Plant-Based Foods and Milk: Certain plant-based foods can be incorporated, aligning with the diet's macronutrient ratios.
  • Fats and Oils: Healthy fats and oils are primary energy sources essential to the ketogenic diet. Such examples are olive oil, avocado oil, and butter which are commonly used for cooking and dressing.
  • Drinks: Select low-carbohydrate beverages, such as water, tea, and coffee, are permissible.

Printable Ketogenic Diet Food List

Download this Ketogenic Diet Food List to remind patients of the types of food they may eat, must limit, or completely avoid.

How does it work?

Step 1. Acquire the template

To procure a digital and printable ketogenic diet food list, do one of the two steps below:

  • Select either the "Download Template" or "Use Template" button.
  • Utilize the search feature within Carepatron's template library, accessible on the website or app, by entering "Ketogenic Diet Food List" as the search query.

Step 2: Look over the content

The primary objective of this chart is to function as a valuable point of reference for individuals seeking information on foods to eat plentifully, in moderation, or not when participating in a ketogenic diet. 

Step 3. Develop your meal plan

Collaborate with your client to brainstorm a meal plan, leveraging the template as a resource—record preliminary dish ideas in the notes section accompanying the list of foods.

Alternatively, you can document your meal plan on a separate sheet, which you can securely store and access on Carepatron—a software designed for managing electronic patient records. Rest assured, Carepatron adheres to HIPAA-compliant standards, ensuring the confidentiality and security of details discussed during your consultation.

Ketogenic Diet Food List example (sample)

We have crafted a PDF document featuring a comprehensive example of utilizing the ketogenic diet list template effectively. This document is conveniently accessible in both digital and printable formats for your convenience.

It is crucial to highlight that all the information presented in this template is entirely fictional and is provided exclusively for explanatory purposes. Furthermore, it is essential to remember that our sample template showcases just one of the numerous ways you can leverage the blank template. Feel free to explore alternative approaches that align with your specific practice requirements.

Reviewing the provided sample template or clicking the "Download Example PDF" button can easily access this resource. By doing so, you will access a fully completed version of the template, serving as a practical point of reference in your professional pursuits.

Download this Ketogenic Diet Food List Example:

Ketogenic Diet Food List example (sample)

When would you use this list?

The utilization of a ketogenic diet food list is recommended in various situations, primarily for individuals following the keto diet who are seeking weight loss and addressing specific health conditions. 

Assisting weight management or loss

A ketogenic diet, characterized by low carbohydrate and high fat intake, proves effective for weight loss without inducing hunger. This dietary approach and the list accompanying it is especially beneficial for individuals grappling with excess body fat and those aiming to enhance conditions such as type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome.

Managing health conditions

Beyond weight management, the keto diet and its list have effectively helped manage diverse health conditions. Notably, it has been applied to improve cognitive function and memory, address psychiatric disorders, and exhibit potential benefits in conditions like Alzheimer's disease, autism, and certain cancers, such as glioblastoma.

Addressing medical conditions

Individuals commonly turn to the ketogenic diet to address medical conditions like epilepsy, heart disease, specific brain disorders, and even acne. However, these patients are those who have consulted with a healthcare professional or doctor during scheduled healthcare visits to personalize their food lists and consider their pre-existing health conditions or individuals on medication before embarking on their ketogenic diet journey. 

As a final reminder, remember that personalization is key in the diet and the food list, as nutritional needs and responses to diets vary among individuals. Consulting with a healthcare professional ensures the ketogenic diet is suitable, safe, and implemented effectively based on individual health needs, preferences, and lifestyle

Research & evidence

While a growing body of research supports the ketogenic diet and, by association, the ketogenic diet food list, it is essential to scrutinize various studies to comprehend the breadth and depth of its potential health benefits. Here are the findings from some of them.

According to a narrative review entitled “The Potential Health Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet: A Narrative Review,” low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets, such as the ketogenic diet, exhibit promising diverse health aspects like “weight loss, visceral adiposity, and appetite control” (Dowis & Banga, 2021). Aside from those, it also shows promise in its impact on “[increasing] genetic diversity of the microbiome, [reducing] HbA1c and . . . the need for insulin” (Dowis & Banga, 2021). Finally, the keto diet is also “used as an adjuvant treatment to starve cancer cells.” (Dowis & Banga, 2021)

In an article on ketogenic diets posted on the Harvard Health Blog, “previous research shows good evidence of a faster weight loss when patients go on a ketogenic or very low carbohydrate diet compared to participants on a more traditional low-fat diet . . .” (Harvard Health, 2022) In connection to this, another review article entitled “Ketogenic Diets and Chronic Disease: Weighing the Benefits Against the Risk,” the diet also may “provide short-term improvement and aid in symptom management for some chronic diseases” (Crosby et al., 2021). 

Although all of the aforementioned studies and articles present promising results, there are still caveats that a healthcare practitioner must be aware of, such as its effectivity or lack thereof and its long-term effects on one’s overall health. Therefore, before embarking on a diet plan, healthcare practitioners are highly encouraged to conduct further research into the diet and consider the patient’s current condition before recommending it.


Crosby, L., Davis, B., Joshi, S., Jardine, M., Paul, J. L., Neola, M., & Barnard, N. D. (2021). Ketogenic diets and Chronic Disease: Weighing the benefits against the risks. Frontiers in Nutrition, 8.

Dowis, K., & Banga, S. (2021). The Potential Health Benefits of the ketogenic Diet: A Narrative review. Nutrients, 13(5), 1654.

Harvard Health. (2022, August 9). Ketogenic diet: Is the ultimate low-carb diet good for you?

Why are Ketogenic Diet Food Lists helpful?
Why are Ketogenic Diet Food Lists helpful?

Commonly asked questions

Why are Ketogenic Diet Food Lists helpful?

Ketogenic Diet Food Lists offer valuable information that aids in educating patients about the keto diet. Specifically, the referring physician can employ the ketogenic diet food list to assist clients in distinguishing this diet from other low-carb diet alternatives.

When are Ketogenic Diet Food Lists used?

The primary purpose of the ketogenic diet food list template is to serve as an educational resource or reference.

How are Ketogenic Diet Food Lists used?

The duration of adherence to the ketogenic diet food list varies based on individual goals and preferences, as well as the discretion of the referring physician, considering the patient's condition.

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