Common Foods to Avoid on the Keto Diet: 140+ Foods That’ll Slow Your Fat Loss

Avoid These If You Want To Keep Burning Fat

When following a ketogenic diet, knowing what to avoid is just as important as knowing what to eat. Certain foods will slow down your body’s fat burning ability. And the last thing you want when you’ve worked so hard to get into ketosis, is to be kicked out of!

And who wants to deal with the Keto flu more than once?

To stay in ketosis, your carbs need to remain very low – only around 5% of your total calories should be made up of carbs. For most people, that means 20-30g net carbs per day.

And for protein, that percentage is around 20% of your total calories.

(If you’re new to the keto diet, or need a refresher – have a look out easy guide to keto here.)

To make it easier to know what now to eat, I have broken it down below – along with an explanation of why you should be avoiding those foods.

Before we dive in, however – I want to quickly explain the relationship between carbohydrates and sugar, as it can be a bit confusing.

Carbohydrates can come in two forms – sugars (simple carbohydrates), or starches (complex carbohydrates). A starch – or complex carbohydrate – is a long chain of sugar molecules that are strung together. Digestive enzymes break up the starch once in your system.

This means that no matter if you are eating a piece of chocolate (sugar), a piece of fruit (simple carbohydrate), or a slice of bread (complex carbohydrate), your body ends up turning them all into the same thing (sugar glucose) once it enters your bloodstream.

Foods to Avoid on a Ketogenic Diet: Carbohydrates


All grains should be avoided – even whole grains. We have been taught that whole grains are healthier, but unfortunately all grains are high in carbs.

These carbs will slow down weight loss and kick you out of ketosis.

  • These grains include:
  • Oats
  • Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Corn
  • Millet
  • Sorghum
  • Bulgur
  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat
  • Sprouted Grains

Grain Products

These are processed products that use grain as a base. Not only are they high in carbs, but they tend to be very low in fibre. As with grains, the carbs will slow down weight loss and kick you out of ketosis.

  • These grain products include:
  • Bread (made from any of the above grains)
  • Tortillas (made from any of the above grains)
  • Bagels (made from any of the above grains)
  • Granola
  • Cereal
  • Muesli
  • Oatmeal
  • Crackers (made from any of the above grains)
  • Pasta (made from any of the above grains)
  • Cookies (made from any of the above grains)
  • Pizza Base (made from any of the above grains)

Root & Starchy Vegetables

An easy way to remember which vegetables to avoid, it to think if it grows above or below the ground.

Vegetables that grow below the ground (like potatoes) tend to have a high starch content, while those that grow above the ground (like leafy greens) have very little carbs. (this isn’t the case every single time, but in most cases you can use this to help with your decision.

High-starch vegetables include:

  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Yams
  • Potato
  • Carrots
  • Parsnips
  • Turnips
  • Peas
  • Yucca
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Beetroot
  • Corn

Fruit (Most)

Most fruits are very high in sugar, which can quickly throw you out of ketosis. For example – one medium banana has 14.4g of sugar! Fresh fruit juices are even worse than fresh fruit, as they have even less fibre.

Better fruit options (although even these should be eaten sparingly) are berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries), as they are low in sugar.

Fruits to avoid include:

  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Grape
  • Pear
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Pineapple
  • Watermelon
  • Melon
  • Peaches
  • Citrus (Oranges, Tangerines, Minneolas, Lime)
  • Dried Fruit (Raisins, Dates, and other dried fruit)
  • Fruit Juices
  • Fruit-based Smoothies
  • Fruit Concentrates
  • Fruit Syrups


Sugar appears in food in all sorts of places! It is hidden everywhere. Sugar will kick you out of ketosis, so it is best to avoid it entirely.

Sugars are found in the following types of foods:

  • Sweets
    • Chocolate
    • Cake
    • Candy
  • Sweetened sauces and dips
    • Ketchup
    • BBQ sauce
    • Certain dressings
    • Certain hot sauces
    • Bottled Dressings – especially fat-free
  • Natural Sweeteners & Sugars
    • Maple Syrup
    • Agave Nectar
    • Honey
    • Raw Sugar
    • Turbinado Sugar
  • Added Sugars
    Sugar has 56 names – making it difficult to always know when you are eating products with added sugar. (You can avoid this by avoiding processed food).
    Common names for sugar are:

    • Cane Sugar
    • High-Fructose Corn Syrup

Legumes & Beans

Beans and legumes tend to be quite high in fibre (which is a good thing), but they are also quite high in carbs, which is why they should be avoided.

Legumes & Beans include:

  • Lentils
  • Green Peas
  • Chickpeas
  • Kidney Beans
  • Black Beans
  • Lima Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • White Beans
  • Cannellini Beans
  • Fava Beans
  • Black-Eyed Beans

Foods to Avoid on the Ketogenic Diet: Proteins

The ketogenic diet promotes moderate protein intake – rather than high protein intake (which is a common misunderstanding of the ketogenic diet). However, the focus should be on consuming high-quality protein, as this will impact how your body responds to it.

Milk and Low Fat Dairy

Milk and low-fat dairy has a higher ratio of sugars to fat. Rather stick to full-fat dairy and skip the milk entirely. Additionally – pasteurised milk is difficult for many people to digest, and could be causing you health issues you may not have even been aware of. It is also usually contains hormones that could be harmful.

Milk and Dairy products to avoid include:

  • Low-fat milk
  • Full-fat milk
  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • Low-fat cream cheese
  • Low-fat cheese
  • Shredded cheese (this is because it often has potato starch added)
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Fat-free yogurt
  • Low-fat Whipped Toppings

Factory Farmed Animal Products

Animal products sourced from factory farms have a lower nutrient value, and often contain harmful and unhealthy

Factory farmed animal products to avoid include:

  • Grain-feed meat and dairy
    • These are lower in nutrients
  • Factory-farmed fish and pork
    • These are high in Omega 6, which is inflammatory for the body
    • Factory-farmed fish is usually high in mercury
  • Processed meat
    • Including hotdogs and sausages, as they often are high in nitrates.

Foods to Avoid on the Ketogenic Diet: Fats

fats and foods to avoid on the keto diet

Processed Oils

Processed oils are inflammatory for the body. When the oils are processed, artificial trans fats are formed, and it is these trans fats that cause inflammation. Additional risks of eating trans fats include higher risk of heart disease, increased risk of cancer, reduced HDL cholesterol and increased LDL cholesterol, and it is also bad for gut health.

Processed oils to avoid include:

  • Margarine
  • Spreadable Butter Alternatives
  • Canola Oil
  • Corn Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Soybean Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Safflower Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Peanut Oil

 Foods to Avoid on a Ketogenic Diet: Drinks

foods to avoid on the keto diet - beer

Beverages – Sweetened and Sugary

No matter if they are sweetened with sugar, fruit, or artificial sweetener, rather avoid all sugar and sweetened drinks.

Artificial sweeteners can disrupt your blood sugar levels and ketosis, and they have even been shown to increase hunger!

Beverages to avoid include:

  • Sports drinks
  • Sodas
  • Diet sodas
  • Fruit and vegetable juices
  • Coffee and Tea-based drinks with added sugars/sweeteners/sweetened milks
  • Sweetened Milk (and non-dairy) drinks


Not only does alcohol slow down fat loss, but many alcoholic drinks contain carbs and sugar. If you do need the occasional drink, rather go for the hard liquor.

Alcoholic drinks to avoid include:

  • Beer
  • Wine (especially sweet or dessert wines)
  • Cocktails
  • Mixers (ones containing juices, syrups, and sodas)
  • Flavored Liquors
  • Ciders

Foods to Avoid on a Ketogenic Diet: Processed and Artificial Foods & Ingredients

foods to avoid on the keto diet

Artificial Sweeteners

As mentioned above, artificial sweeteners can disrupt your blood sugar levels and ketosis, and they have even been shown to increase hunger.

Artificial sweeteners to avoid include:

  • Splenda
  • Aspartame
  • Saccharin
  • Equal
  • Acesulfame
  • Sucralose

Processed foods

Processed foods contain all sorts of unhealthy ingredients, such as processed oils, preservatives, trans fat, added sugar, and more.

Rather stick to whole foods and skip the processed foods.

Processed foods to avoid include:

  • Fast food
  • Gluten-free breads, muffins, bagels, waffles, pasta
  • Commercially baked goods, like cakes, cookies, muffins, pastries
  • Commercially made puddings and custards
  • Ice creams

Become the Fat Burner

A keto diet is something that may be difficult to get the hang of at first. Most people don’t understand that their body is a sugar burner. They may lose some weight but they aren’t losing the fat that’ll help keep the weight off their body.

The hardest part of the diet may be cutting out carbs. Sugar is probably easier to cut out because your body may not crave them. People struggle to realize how many carbs they consume in a day. You won’t truly recognize this until you actually cut out carbs from your diet.

For those that are looking to drop weight and keep it off, a keto diet is the way to go.

If you are looking to drop fat and keep it off right now, we have a 28-day weight loss challenge that will do this for you. You’ll drop the fat, become healthier, and have a better overall lifestyle.

More Great Content on Thrive/Strive

Low-Carb Foods To Avoid On The Keto Diet

Not all low-carb foods are created equal! In fact, some can even mess up your keto diet. This post explains which low-carb foods to avoid on the keto diet.

Kundalini Yoga: A Beginner’s Guide

Kundalini Yoga is a well-rounded practice that can greatly benefit your day-to-day life. This beginner's guide gives you the basics you need to get started.

Keratosis Pilaris: Causes and Treatment

Keratosis pilaris is a very common, harmless condition where small bumps appear on your skin. It is annoying, but there are things that may improve it.

How Do You Know If You Have Food Poisoning? Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Food poisoning is an illness caused by eating contaminated food. Learn what symptoms to look out for, and how to treat food poisoning.

7 Natural Ways To Lower Blood Pressure

You can lower your blood pressure without medication. Try these simple lifestyle changes to naturally lower your blood pressure.

Hatha Yoga for Beginners: 5 Basic Poses

Hatha yoga describes a kind of yoga where asanas are practiced. This post on Hatha yoga for beginners is a great introduction to the practice of yoga.

Pneumonia Symptoms, Causes, And How To Treat It

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can cause mild to severe symptoms depending on the cause, your age, and your health. Learn the symptoms of pneumonia and how to treat (and avoid) it.

Meditation for Beginners: A Simple Guide To Get Started Today

Meditation can help you to become more peaceful, more focused, and less worried. If you're new to meditation - check out this post on meditation for beginners.

Breaking Sugar Addiction – How To Do It Safely

Hooked on sugar and don't know how to break free? Quitting sugar is hard - but it can be done. This post helps you with breaking the sugar addiction.

Help! I Have Green Poop!

Seeing green poop can be quite alarming. But don't fear - there is often a very normal reason for your stool turning green.

3 Best Essential Oils For Weight Loss (And How To Use Them)

Essential oils are not a miracle cure, but they do have health benefits. This post explains how to use essentials oils for weight loss.

A Simple Guide to Exercising While on the Keto Diet

Are you doing keto and also want to exercise?

Keto Alcohol Recipes: 7 Drinks Safe for the Ketogenic Diet

If you're looking to drink on a ketogenic diet, look no further. Here are 7 keto alcohol recipes that are going to keep you in ketosis while you're out having fun.

9 Common Keto Mistakes to Avoid

We are never perfect. Everyone makes mistakes, especially starting a new diet like the ketogenic diet. Here are 9 common keto mistakes and how you can avoid them.

11 Keto Fat Bomb Recipes You Need Right Now

Reaching your daily macros on a ketogenic diet can sometimes be hard. Here are 11 keto fat bombs that will help you reach them.

13 Keto Crockpot Recipes You Need In Your Life Now

If you aren't convinced about the ketogenic diet yet, here are 13 keto crockpot recipes that you need to try right now.

Keto Desserts: 13 Simple No Bake Ketogenic Diet Desserts

Looking for some delicious keto desserts? These 13 keto desserts will keep you in ketosis and losing weight.

17 Keto Recipes That’ll Make You Forget You’re On a Diet

I'm always looking for more delicious keto recipes and these are 17 new ones that I'll have to try and make. I love the ketogenic diet! #Keto #KetoRecipes #KetogenicDiet

7 Benefits of a Keto Diet That You’ll Want in Your Life

Thinking about trying the ketogenic diet? You might be wondering what the benefits of keto are. This post goes over the many benefits of keto.

Keto Substitutes: 10 Low Carb Food Swaps to Help You Lose Weight

Switching to a ketogenic diet doesn't mean you have to give up your favorite flavors and textures. These keto substitutes will have you thinking you're eating your old favorites.