Learn about prohibited foods on the keto diet and how to replace them on a daily basis


The keto or ketogenic diet is one of the most widely used alternatives today to lose weight or define muscle. It is a proposal rich in fat and protein but very low in carbohydrates, so there are many foods that should be avoided with your practice. We tell you what are the prohibited foods in the keto diet and how to replace them on a day-to-day basis.

Foods not suitable for a keto or ketogenic diet

To achieve ketosis or the formation of ketone bodies, which is what is intended with the keto diet, it is essential to reduce to the maximum the intake of carbohydrates that constitute the main energy fuel of our body.

Thus, carbohydrates, which are the nutrient that contribute the most calories to a healthy diet and are therefore so popular, cannot be present in amounts greater than 10% of the day's calories.

Therefore, among the prohibited foods in a keto diet are the main sources of carbohydrates such as the following:

Sugars and everything that includes it

Of course, one of the main sources of carbohydrates in today's diet is sugars, so everything that includes them should be avoided on a keto diet.

From sugar as a sweetener to sugary drinks, fruit juices, sweets, buns, commercial ice creams, sauces, commercial snacks, cookies and the like are foods not suitable for a keto diet and of course, unhealthy too.

Cereals and derivatives (including whole grains)

Grains are one of the great sources of carbohydrates in our diet and they are recommended as a source of energy along with legumes. However, in the keto diet, even in minimal quantities are not allowed, we should even avoid whole grains.

Thus, no rice, oatmeal, breads, whole or refined flours, barley, rye, or pseudo-cereals like quinoa are allowed on the keto diet.

Due to the elimination of this large group of popular foods in our diet, the keto diet is not easy to carry out.


Although they have a lot of plant proteins and fiber, legumes are also a great source of carbohydrates. Therefore, except for peanuts, which have a very low amount of carbohydrates and rather provide protein and fat, the rest of the legumes are not allowed in the keto diet.

Of course, legume derivatives such as soy flour, textured soy or chickpea flours, or vegan legume-based "cheeses" are also not accepted on the keto diet due to their richness in carbohydrates.

Fresh and dehydrated fruits

Fruits are generally a good source of carbohydrates, especially natural sugars in addition to other components that are beneficial to health. Therefore, they are not allowed on the keto diet.

Sometimes we can use a minimum of fresh tomato, which is a fruit reduced in carbohydrates, or a bit of a fruit rich in water such as lemon or lime. But in general they are not allowed on the keto diet except for oily fruits that are very low in carbohydrates such as olives, capers or avocado.

Of course, dehydrated fruits that concentrate their carbohydrates or sugars even more are not allowed at all in the keto diet.

Vegetables (especially starch)

Vegetables, like fruits, are a source of excellent quality carbohydrates. However, most of them exceed 5% carbohydrates and therefore are not allowed in the diet.

Ketosis can be maintained and therefore eventually allow yourself to eat a minimum amount of zucchini, lettuce or aubergines, which are vegetables rich in water and reduced in hydrates. However, in general its presence in the usual diet should be avoided.

Alcoholic drinks

Because alcoholic beverages provide ethanol that is used as a priority as an energy source, its intake hinders ketosis or what is the same, the burning of fats that is the ultimate goal of the keto diet.

Therefore, no drink with alcohol inside is allowed on a ketogenic diet.

Milk, vegetable drinks or sweetened yogurts

Believe it or not, milks and yogurts, even vegetables, can be severely limited or banned entirely on the keto diet. Above all, sugary or flavored alternatives, which are those with the highest proportion of hydrates, are not allowed.

Milk and unsweetened and natural yogurt can be included in small proportions because they are also a source of natural sugars as is the case with fruits.

Therefore, the dairy that always predominates in keto diets is cheese in all its variants.

As we can see, the diet is limited to meats and fish in general, eggs, cheeses, nuts, seeds, oils and avocados, olives, peanuts and capers.

The best replacements for a keto diet

Since we will miss cereals for breakfast, or derivatives of these such as bread, as well as we can miss the intake of a fruit or vegetable salads, the ideal is to look for replacements to the same ones suitable for the keto diet.

So, for example, some suggestions are:

  • Cloud bread or cloud bread: it is ideal to replace traditional bread rich in carbohydrates and to have an option to make sandwiches or spread with peanut butter for breakfast.

  • Chocolate and almond nougat with olive oil: it is a good option to calm the anxiety that the absence of sweets or chocolates with sugar can generate, especially if we are used to their consumption.
  • Avocado truffles: it is like the previous option, a "sweet" alternative, suitable for the keto diet.
  • Hake salad: for those who miss salads, this is a good protein alternative in which we recommend reducing the vegetables and fruits present among the ingredients by half or more.
  • Lettuce wrap or tacos with sauteed beef: to replace wheat or corn tortillas we can use fresh lettuce leaves that in the small amounts used do not interfere with ketosis. Of course, we recommend reducing the vegetables used in the recipe.

  • Roasted pumpkin seeds or seeds: ideal as a snack or snack between meals and ideal to replace French fries or other commercial options with flour and sugars included.

We already see that to follow a keto diet and that it is not difficult for us given the large number of prohibited foods it includes, it is important to be creative and go to the kitchen.

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