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Keto Food Staples: 5 Low-Carb Foods That You Need!

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  Published on September 4th, 2020
  Reading time: 4 minutes
  Last modified April 15th, 2021

Every keto dieter has favorites, preferences, and pantry staples. Some keto-compliant foods are convenient, versatile, practical, and tasty to have on hand and ready-to-go in your keto kitchen. Stocking and preparing your kitchen and pantry can make following a ketogenic diet a little easier. Here are some of the top keto food staples you need in your kitchen:


Keto Food Staple #1: Cheese

Different cheeses contain varying amounts of fats, protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins. Here are the macronutrients of some popular cheeses:

  • 1oz American cheese – 8.9g total fat, 6g protein, and 0g carbs
  • 1oz Cheddar cheese – 9.4g total fat, 7g protein, and 0g carbs
  • 1oz Mozzarella cheese – 4.5g total fat, 7g protein, and 1g carbs
  • 1oz Swiss cheese – 7.9g total fat, 8g protein, and 2g carbs

Unless, of course, you’re dairy-free, cheese is an excellent high-fat, low-carb food for your keto diet. Lactose is the sugar present in milk and cheese. Aged cheeses like cheddar usually contain little to no lactose, making them a better choice for keto [1].

Keto-friendly cheeses include cream cheese, gruyere, brie, Feta, and goat’s cheese. Cheeses with a slightly higher carb count, like cottage cheese, can probably be consumed in smaller amounts as part of your ketogenic diet.
Be wary of packaged shredded cheeses since many of these have fillers and anti-caking agents that add to the carb count. If you’re in doubt, you can shred your own keto-compliant cheese.

When it comes to cheeses on keto, it’s best to:


  • Highly processed cheeses
  • Low-fat cheeses with added fillers


  • Full-fat or higher-fat, lower-carb options
  • Aged or matured cheeses, such as swiss

Keto Food Staple #2: Pork Rinds

Pork Rinds is the culinary term for the skin of a pig. Pork rinds can be rendered, roasted, or fried in fat to produce pork cracklings or scratchings. The pork rinds are typically served in small pieces as a side dish or snack [2,3].

You can choose from different types of pork rinds or try to make your own! Fried pork rinds have a crispy and fluffy texture, similar to certain potato chips, whereas pickled pork rinds have a buttery, rich taste.

You can also find low-carb seasoned pork rinds in flavors like white cheddar, pizza, jalapeno, dill pickle, and more! With how versatile pork rinds are, it’s no wonder they are a keto food staple.


Keto Food Staple #3: Nuts

Whether you’re a fan of almonds, macadamia nuts, or walnuts, nuts make a perfect high-fat, low-carb keto food. You can use nuts for snacking, salad topping, roasting, or adding to your delicious keto dishes. Try this French toast and sprinkle it with your favorite nuts.

Keto Food Staple #4: Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is high in saturated fat, so it’s an excellent choice for keto and cooking at higher temperatures. Use coconut oil to make these fluffy frittata muffins.Coconut oil is a top pantry staple for keto dieters! The many uses of coconut oil go beyond your kitchen!

To get more fat in your diet, you can also use MCT oil — a medium-chain triglyceride oil typically made from coconuts. Either take a teaspoon or tablespoon of MCT oil by itself or incorporate MCT oil into your diet by adding some to your salad dressing, tea, coffee, or smoothie. MCT oil is tasteless and easy to blend into some of your favorite tasty beverages and dishes.

Keto Food Staple #5: High-Quality Meats

Quality meats can be a snack, a main dish, or a side dish when you’re following a ketogenic diet. Steaks are a great protein source on keto. The fattier the cut of meat, the better, which makes sirloin and ribeye steaks ideal! If you’re eating meats on keto, you have lots to choose from, including:

  • Salmon and other fatty fish
  • Canned tuna, salmon, and sardines
  • Shrimp and other crustaceans, such as lobster and crab
  • Chicken
  • Bacon
  • Beef, such as ground beef, ribs, and steaks
  • Charcuterie, such as prosciutto, pepperoni, and salami
  • Hams (avoid glazed ham and hams with lots of added sugar)
  • Clams
  • Hot dogs and sausages
  • Eggs
  • Pork, such as pork chops and ground pork


What Keto Food Staples Do You Always Have in Your Kitchen?

Do you make sure you never run out of coconut oil? Do you prefer cheese, pork rinds, or nuts and seeds as a keto snack? Share your keto kitchen and pantry tips with other keto dieters.




1.    Dairy Council of California. Cheese. https://www.healthyeating.org/nutrition-topics/milk-dairy/dairy-foods/cheese

2.    United States Department of Agriculture. Snacks, Pork Skins, Plain. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/167961/nutrients

3.    Janer, Z. (2008). Latino Food Culture. Food Cultures in America (in Italian). ABC-CLIO. pp114. https://books.google.com/books?id=KxYTgVXvc3oC&pg=PA114#v=onepage&q&f=false

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