7 Low-Carb Foods to Avoid on the Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet, also known as the keto diet or the high-fat diet, strictly limits how many carbohydrates a person can consume to follow the diet for optimal results. Too many carbohydrates make it impossible for the body to enter a state of ketosis, which is essential for overall health and weight loss on this diet plan. Low-carb is the way to go here, but not every low-carb food item is a smart addition to any keto diet plan. The seven food items below should be eliminated from your diet as soon as possible if you want to have the utmost success on the ketogenic diet.

Processed Cooking Oils

You will want to eliminate any cooking oils that are processed from vegetables and seeds, such as canola oil, vegetable oil, and soybean oil. These oils contain unhealthy Omega-6 fatty acids that, when not countered with an adequate amount of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, can contribute to weight gain and inflammation. Instead, consider using coconut oil or avocado when cooking. You could even use fresh bacon grease instead of veggie and canola oils!

Artificial Sweeteners

These sweeteners are almost exclusively composed of carbohydrates, so despite their zero-calorie quality they are still unfit for the ketogenic diet. Aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame and saccharin are often found in diet drinks and sugar-free candies and gum but are not advised for those who are serious about dedicating themselves to keto.

Stevia, however, is a naturally-derived sweetener that can be used in any situation where you would otherwise use sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Diet Soda

Since diet soda is free of carbs and low in calories, you’d think that it would be an adequate addition to the keto diet – at least every once in a while. However, these sodas are packed with artificial sweeteners that make them unhealthy on the keto diet. Consider drinking sparkling water if you’re craving carbonation, instead.

Energy/Diet Bars

Energy bars are often sold as a healthy alternative to many other snacks, and while this may be true that doesn’t mean that they are a good fit for the ketogenic diet. Processed energy bars are often loaded with hidden carbs, artificial sweeteners and certain oils that contradict the keto diet and can keep you from obtaining a state of ketosis.


While dairy can be enjoyed in moderate amounts on the ketogenic diet, is often all too easy for dieters to accidentally overindulge in these items. It is best to limit or eliminate one’s consumption of milk, butter, cheese, and cream in order to get the best results on any diet.

Fortunately, there are several alternatives that dieters can take advantage of, such as:

  • Coconut oil instead of butter
  • Almond milk instead of cow’s milk
  • Cashew cheese in place of regular cheese

Starches and Legumes

Starches like potatoes and pasta are high in carbohydrates, as are many legumes, and should be avoided for this reason. Even wholegrain alternatives are not keto-friendly and should be eliminated from your diet. Fortunately, there are many keto-approved substitutes available on the market today!


While carbs aren’t the issue with margarine, Omega-6 fatty acids are. There is no such thing as healthy margarine, in any amount.

Prepackaged Snacks

Anything that is sold in a package is likely not to provide the nutrients that you need even if the carb count falls into keto-friendly range.  These are essentially empty calories, even when they’re low-calories, and are often packed with artificial sweeteners and oils that aren’t keto-approved.

Read Your Labels When on the Ketogenic Diet

Some food manufacturers try to be tricky about how they market their food products. Sometimes, an item will be sold as a health food – only for it to be anything but healthy! When on the ketogenic diet, it isn’t enough to simply take the manufacturer’s word for it and assume that “low carb” equals “keto-friendly.”