There is a LOT to learn. FIRST, Please keep in mind that health is always found around the outside perimeter of your grocery store, where they keep the REAL FOOD; meats, fish and fruits/veg. Its important to learn the difference between
FOOD – something a farmer grows.
PRODUCT – something that is made in a factory or business.
The more you steer away from core FOOD items, the more crap you’re putting in your body. While you can lose weight with a belly full of chemicals and additives, you can never reach optimal health without a steady source of clean fuel/food.
There is a pantry switch over that occurs when you start a healthy lifestyle. Clearing out (and restocking your pantry) should be a learning process that starts with INGREDIENTS FIRST! If what’s in your pantry is full of additives, starches, carbs and crap…its GOTTA go!
That being said, we recommend that you slowly ramp up your specialty items, as you slowly slip into a healthier lifestyle, instead of doing a whole/fast switch. Our bodies (and our wallets) really don’t like rapid changes, so tale your time. Also VERY worth knowing that these food items are not requirements for keto cooking and you can keto quite easily without them. The food items listed below would mostly be considered extra items.
Sometimes it’s a case of choosing the cleanest that you can find. Us the what to avoid file and ingredients label on each product to determine which is best for you.
If you notice any food items missing from this list, please shoot me a message HERE
*Please use google to see packaging for these items. Packaging and brands will vary*
ACV – Apple Cider Vinegar, may be subbed for any cider vinegar, or alternate vinegar.
Almond and coconut flours – Health/organic section of bigger grocery stores and some health stores, select Bulk barns and Costco
Bake Apple – Berry native to Northern US, Canada, Greenland, also known as the Cloud berry, Nordic berry and Knot Berry. Looks like a peach coloured raspberry. May be subbed out for any berry. *This is NOT a baked apple it is a berry*
Brown Sugar Sweetener – Choose Besti Brown or Lakanto Golden, which is monk fruit based. Health stores, and bigger grocery store in health section. * Swerve brown sugar and Sukrin Gold both have questionable ingredients.
Buffalo Mozza – Round/ball shaped specialty Buffalo cheese, usually suspended in liquid. Larger grocery stores in with the fancy cheeses or Costco (two pack tub)
Celery seeds – Spice section and bulk barn
Chantie/Chanterelle – Locally foraged mushroom. May be subbed out for any mushroom.
Chili garlic sauce – A starch-free sriracha replacement. Look for it in the international aisle of the supermarket.
Chocolate – Bakers unsweetened and Compliments unsweetened. Baking section of your grocery store. Not Lily’s, it has soy.
Chocolate chips – Lily’s blue bag only. Health food stores. Alternatively, just chip/cut up unsweetened bakers’ chocolate. Avoid Lily’s brown bag, it has soy which is inflammatory and is also a hormone interrupter that’s nasty for women in particular.
Coconut milk – Canned milk from a coconut, usually in a can in the international section. *Not Coconut sauce
Coconut sauce – can be known as coconut aminos. This is a soy sauce replacement that enhances flavour. May be omitted in most recipes. Health/organic section of bigger grocery stores and select health stores and Bulk Barns *Ensure the one you buy is fermented* . *Not Coconut milk.
Confectioners sweetener – powdered sweetener, can be purchased in confectioners or powdered form, or you can grind up granular sweeteners. Many of these sweeteners don’t break down the same way as regular sugar, so we powder all of ours as soon as we get ours home.
Cream cheese – Blocks only, not the tubs. Any grocery store, Costco
Cream of Tartar + baking soda – Replacement for baking powder. Baking section or spice section of your grocery also Walmart (great value brand) Costco (BS) (**Formula-For every tsp of BP use ½ tsp CofT and ¼ tsp BS**)
Creme Fraiche – Can be swapped out for any alternate creamy item in most cases; cream cheese, clean sour cream and 35% whipping cream. Bigger grocery stores. Ask for this to be brought into your store.
Essential oils – Make certain to choose a high-quality food grade oil** Lor-anns at bulk barn, Colemans or Michaels usually baking section.
Fish sauce – this is a Worcestershire sauce replacement and a flavour enhancer. May be omitted in most recipes. International section of bigger grocery stores and some health stores (Thai Kitchen, Blue Dragon brands) You will notice a minimal amount of sugar here. The amount is not an issue for the small amount used.
Flax meal – ground flax, or seed (powdered)-Health/organic section of bigger grocery stores, bulk barns and some health stores
French cheese – In the fancy cheese section of bigger grocery stores, Costco. Swap this out for cream cheese with garlic and parsley. Boursin brand
Garam masala/Cardamom – Indian spices that help to build Asian flavours. Spice section or bulk barn (GM may be swapped out for allspice in a pinch)
Gay Lea (gold) sour cream – Most others contain starch which is equivalent to a super sugar and should be avoided. Walmart, Bigger grocery stores. Crème Fraiche can be subbed here.
General healthy oils – Avoid inflammatory veggies oils. Use lard, bacon fat, tallow (beef fat), olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil or other cold pressed oil. Usually with the oils and vinegars in your store. Oils and vinegar section of your grocery store, health stores, Costco (some) *Choose unflavoured and liquid coconut oils for most coconut oil recipes. )
Gooseberries – Similar to a currant. A bush berry that grows in NL, can be swapped out for any berry.
Halloumi – Specialty cheese that can be grilled, fried or deep fried. With the fancy cheeses of larger grocery stores, Costco.
Himalayan pink, or natural sea salt – With the spices in your grocery store and Costco
Keto products – commercially available keto bread, crackers, bars and all other products, in general need to be treated as suspect. Please check ingredients for these items at all times. MOST of these products will probably NOT REALLY KETO;No grains, wheat, oats rye, gluten. Never blindly trust, always check ingredients yourself. Don’t trust your keto to anybody else, especially a marketing company whose job it is to sell you.
Ketones, exogenous – Classified also with keto shakes, keto coffees, keto powders and keto pills. Avoid these at all costs. These are a WASTE OF MONEY and are not keto! Chemical shitstorm. This is equivalent to going to a gym and spraying sweat on yourself to get a workout. It doesn’t work that way; you need to make the ketones yourself by restricting carbs.
Konjac (noodles) – Shirataki, from the Konjac root of South America. Health/organic section of bigger grocery stores, bulk barns and some health stores. *Caution here- ensure these are not soy (Zero-oodles are not keto)
Lard – Baking section of your grocery store. Walmart, Costco. Usually bottom shelf.
Liquid Smoke – With the other sauces in your grocery store. Often bottom shelf.
Maple extract – Winners, Homesense, Marshalls, Bulk Barn in the baking section.
MCT – Medium chain triglycerides. Health stores, organic/health section of larger grocery stores, Costco. *This is not just coconut oil*
Monk Fruit – Sweetener, also known as Lo Han Guo or Swingle fruit. From a small round fruit native to southern China.
Mung beans – Split pea alternate. Slightly high in carbs, but the only anti-inflammatory bean/lentil. Bulk barn, health store. Must be soaked overnight. In moderation only.
NL Savoury – Summer Savory, used in NL stuffing (Dressing) May be swapped out for thyme or any other green herb.
Parmesan cheese – Blocks of hard cheese that need to be hand shredded. Avoid preshredded, its loaded with starches. Starches are super sugars, avoid starches always. *Not shaky cheese
Partridgeberries – Small red berries that grow in Eastern North America and resemble a small cranberry, also known as lingonberry. Can be swapped out for any berry.
Pineapple Weed – member of the chamomile family. Google will show you what this looks like. May be swapped out for any berry.
Psyllium husk – Health/organic section of bigger grocery stores, bulk barns and some health stores *Do NOT use PH from the pharmacy section.
Pork Belly – Uncured bacon cut of meat. Ask at the butcher counter for this, or Costco. We recommend 2×4 squares, cut at home.
Pork Rinds – Baconets by Frito Lay, Bacon Puffs by Old Dutch, (Walmart and select grocery stores) and Costco Utz Tubs Avoid flavoured rinds, most are full of nasty ingredients **No, do NOT eat the Sunasia pork rinds in the international section or bulk barn!! They taste nasty and are full of MSG.**
Protein shakes – Avoid! These are not keto! Most have whey base which causes a blood glucose spike. Most would be classified as a chemical shitstorm. Eat real food instead. Quality matters, especially in protein.
Korean Chili Flakes – Asian grocery or international section of larger grocery stores.
Salt Beef – In NL cooking, salt cured beef, similar to pickled cottage roll or American corned beef.
San Marzano Tomatoes – Any clean canned tomatoes can be used here; the Marzano/Roma just have a little extra flavour. Costco in a six pack or a huge can and larger grocery stores.
Sausage – Normal to see small amounts of sugar here that is used in the curing process. Avoid starches and wheat here
Scrunchions/Salted fat pork – Salt cured fat pork from the belly of a pig, that is usually fried up crispy.
Soda Steam – Use only as a source of carbonated water or with keto friendly water enhancers. *Soda Stream syrups are not keto.
Sugar Free syrups – Stevia sweetened ONLY. Found at Winners/Homesense/Marshalls. Most others contain sucralose and other uglies, and should be avoided.
Sweeteners – Check ingredients for all sweeteners before purchasing, these are not all equal. *In particular avoid; Stevia in the Raw, all baking blends, yellow sugar twin, Acesulfame-Potassium, Splenda, Aspartame**
Sweetener is usually powdered. Our sweeteners can be grainy and don’t perform the same way sugar does so we powder them ourselves. Buy granulated form, and use a compact blender to powderize them before use. Brown sweeteners (clean) are often even harder to find, and most often these can be swapped out with a regular powdered sweetener with little difference to a recipe.
Swerve – Stevia/erythritol based brand name sweetener. Can be swapped out for any other keto friend; sweetener. Sweeten to taste in most cases. Health stores, bigger grocery store in health section and bulk barns. Careful swapping sweeteners! Its important to know your sweetener and how each particular one behaves.
Veggies – Daikon Radish, Jicama, Celeriac/Celery Root, Lemon Grass, Chayote Squash- Located in bigger grocery stores. Ask for this to be brought into your store. Google will show you what these items look like.
Water enhancers – Stur and Presidents choice, liquid only- do NOT use powdered varieties. *Avoid Sucralose, aspartame, and acesulfame potassium in water enhancers – always avoid these ingredients.
White Balsamic vinegar – Taste like regular balsamic only much less sugar. Located with the vinegars in bigger grocery stores, Walmart. Ask for this item to be brought into your store.
Xanthan gum – this is a Keto friendly thickening agent for soups, stews, gravies etc. Health/organic section of bigger grocery stores and some health stores and bulk barns. Packaged cello packs.
Xylitol – **Extremely toxic to pets, exercise caution here ** Can be swapped out for any other keto friendly sweetener. Sweeten to taste in most cases. Located in health stores, bigger grocery store in health/organic section and bulk barns. We won’t even bring this into the house. This ingredient is also found in many gums *Danger to pets!!*
Zevia – Sparkling/Carbonated water that is sweetened with Stevia. (also, Bubly, La Croix)
Zeroodle – Usually soy based! Soy is inflammatory and also a hormone interrupter. Soy is particularly nasty for women. Avoid!
Zoodles– Spiralized veg such as zucchini.