If you’ve decided to adopt a low carb or even a ketogenic lifestyle but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Changing the way you eat as a lifestyle takes some practice but it has to start with how to stock a low carb kitchen.
To be successful, planning is must! Until your new eating habits are just that, habits, you need to think about what to eat when at home, out to dinner or even at parties to minimize temptation. Once you have been low carb for 4-6 weeks, being around carbs and sugar won’t be much of a distraction.
I’ve arranged the content based on pantry, refrigerator and freezer items to make shopping that much easier! If you stock your kitchen based on this list, you will not only be satiated with each meal, you will position yourself to overcome some of the initial sugar cravings we all have while we are detoxing.
Feel free to comment on your favorite low carb kitchen staples!
Stocking a low carb kitchen pantry, refrigerator & freezer
free printable below
If you cook, grill or bake, there are basic low carb pantry items that will you find yourself going back to time and time again. Obviously, these suggestions are based on personal taste so take them with a grain of salt, so to speak. Keep in mind that many of these items are used for main meals, snacking and desserts but I only have them listed in one category.
You may notice that this list is also gluten free. I am big proponent of a gluten free diet and in fact, adopted that lifestyle more than a year ahead of this latest low carb stint. The benefits of being wheat free are many but I will save that for another day.
Main meals are the staple of a ketogenic diet. A well formulated low carb or ketogenic diet includes plenty of veggies! It’s easy to get satiated on just meat, but we need a variety of vegetables for nutrients as well as fiber and too much protein will kill your progress. Beware!
Also, while the ideal situation is to have all of my vegetables fresh, the reality of life is that I often don’t have what I need (or want) for the meal, at hand, unless I stock a variety frozen. I like to be prepared for most anything. Some, who have seen my kitchen, would argue that I am even prepared for an apocalyptic event! No judging please:-)
While I don’t consider myself a recipe blogger, on occasion I will post a favorite dish. Here are a few of them. Enjoy!
- Low carb stuffing (in honor of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday!)
- Cinnamon Cream Cheese Fathead Pancakes
- Four Cheese Low Carb Chicken Bake
I encourage snacking when beginning a low carb diet. I find this helps keep my mind off of the foods I can’t have and focuses it more on those that I can. Because you will naturally level off daily caloric intake as you become keto adapted (if going keto), there really isn’t much reason to care about how much you eat. It tends to figure itself out.
Eating less than 3-4 hours before bed can be a progress killer so make every attempt to limit late night snacking.
I’ve included a link to my LCHF Ketogenic Snacks where you can find tasty snack recommendations like cheese chips, parmesan pizza puffs, italian roll-ups, no bake brownie bites, bacon cream cheese bombs, cheesy keto breadsticks, a variety of fat bombs as well as on the go snack suggestions. Make this change easier for you. Tap your resources!
As a low carber, you will likely get really good at satisfying your sweet tooth with homemade sweets and desserts. Some are quick and easy like mug cakes or fat bombs, while others may take a little more effort. I have a really good low carb sugar cookie recipe that can be easily modified with chocolate chips, cinnamon or peanut butter. Other dessert recipes can be found on my LCHF Ketogenic Dessert Recipe Pinterest board. When you find yourself craving something sweet you will benefit from having the following pantry items readily available.
Depending on the severity of metabolic syndrome you may be experiencing, non-sugar sweeteners may also cause a spike in insulin regardless of a preceding increase in blood sugar. This is suspected to be because of the body being conditioned to release insulin when tasting sweetness via the taste buds. If eating non-sugar sweeteners disrupts your ketogenic state, I recommend limiting or even eliminating them, at least initially.
Low carb grocery list
- Canned tuna, salmon & chicken
- Low sugar peanut butter, Nutella & almond butter
- Various olives (stuffed or otherwise)
- Low sugar marinara sauce
- Low sugar beef jerky (Mingua)
- Ranch dressing mix (mix with sour cream for veggies dip)
- Nuts - almonds, macadamia, pecan, walnuts, peanuts & cashews (in moderation)
- Seeds - Sunflower and pumpkin
- Flours - flax seed, coconut, almond
- Condiments - Full fat mayo (no soy), sugar free ketchup, mustard & hot sauce
- Spices - salt, pepper, garlic, onion powder, parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, italian, celery seed & other
- Broth or bouillon
- Sugar free pickle relish
- Explore Cuisine - black bean and Edamame pastas
- Sugar free jams (or easily make your own)
- Baking - Vanilla, lemon & orange extracts, unsweetened coconut flakes, chocolate or cocoa powder, non-sugar sweetener (Swerve, Monk fruit)
- Coffee, tea & water
- Olive, avocado & coconut oils
- Dairy - full fat milk, cream, butter, cottage cheese, sour cream, cheeses, ricotta, low sugar yogurt
- Fruit (in moderation) - Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries & cantaloupe or honeydew melon
- Organic leafy greens i.e. spinach, swiss chard, kale, mustard greens, romaine
- Snacking veggies - organic celery, organic carrots (in moderation), radishes, cucumbers, cauliflower, organic peppers
- Other veggies - tomatoes, eggplant, artichokes, mushrooms, cabbage, brussel sprouts, asparagus, garlic & onions
- Unsweetened almond, rice or coconut milk
- Salami (salami chips) & other deli meats (as tolerated)
- Seafood including salmon, various white fish, tuna, scallops, shrimp & other shellfish (as tolerated)
- Grass fed steak, ground beef, hamburgers, roast, brisket, sirloin tips & stew meat
- Antibiotic free, pasture raised chicken: whole, thighs, drums, breasts & wings
- Pork loin, chops, belly, bacon & sausage
- Gluten free meatballs (Cooked Perfect - Natural style)
- Organic mixed veggies (for soups and stews)
- Riced cauliflower (to replace dishes with traditional rice)
- Spiralized zucchini (pasta replacement)
- Organic spinach, broccoli, green beans,
I hope you found this comprehensive list helpful. I’m sure I’ve missed some good stuff so please comment and share how you stock your low carb kitchen!
I wish you luck, along with all of the amazing benefits, on your low carb journey!
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Take care and, as always, stay healthy!
*Remember to check with a healthcare professional before making changes to your diet, including the introduction of supplements.
**These claims have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Association.