What can’t you eat on keto?

In this brief article we will answer the query,”What can’t you eat on keto?” We will look into different foods that you should avoid or limit when on a keto diet.

What can’t you eat on keto?

In order to answer this we need to first understand what a keto diet is and why you should avoid some foods. A keto diet is one that comprises low carbohydrates and high fats. The ultimate goal of a keto diet is to reach a state of ketosis whereby the body relies on and burns fat as its source of energy as opposed to carbs.

Therefore it is prudent that you steer clear of foods that are high in carbs so as to reach the state of ketosis. Some of these foods are pasta, bread, rice and refined flour, honey and syrups, juice, beer and mixed drinks, sugary sodas, light or low fat margarine, potatoes and other starchy veggies among others. Let’s look deeper into the foods & why you should avoid them.

Which foods should I avoid or limit on the keto diet?

Honey and syrups

Honey and syrups such as maple or agave are mainly just concentrated sugars. They do not add a lot of nutritional value and can easily add your carbohydrates intake. For instance, honey contains 17 grams of carbohydrates in just a tablespoon which is the equivalent of 21 grams.

Maple syrup packs about 13 grams of carbs in just a tablespoon. Although they do contain potent antioxidants they can have a detrimental effect of spiking blood sugar levels and getting you out of ketosis.


Juice is another food that you should steer clear off in a keto diet. Juice does come loaded with various essential vitamins and minerals as compared with honey and syrup mentioned above. However it also contains a lot of naturally occurring sugars.

Juice also lacks dietary fiber which is a very important nutrient required for proper digestion and is hard to get in a keto diet. Fiber is important as it delays the movement of food along the digestive tract thereby assisting with blood sugar control.

If you require ketosis, avoid any foods that have high carbs and low dietary fiber such as juice as they can cause blood sugar levels to spike.

Sugary sodas

Sodas mainly consist of just sugar in water that has been carbonated and have essentially no nutritional value with just a high carbohydrate count.

Just one drink of soda can easily exceed your daily carbohydrates requirement. It is recommended that you stick to drinking water or if you cannot do without soda opt for sugar-free soda.

You can as well go for sparkling water or water which has been infused with lemon, mint or cucumber.

Potatoes and other starchy veggies

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of essential nutrients such as Potassium, Vitamin C and dietary fiber but they should be avoided in a keto diet because they contain high amounts of carbohydrates.

Other vegetables with high amounts of carbs that you should avoid are corn and peas. You can however eat starchy veggies with few carbs per serving such as carrots and beets moderately.

A good way of consuming starchy veggies is by grating them lightly onto a salad instead of making them the main dish. 

Sweetened yogurt or dairy

Dairy products and natural yogurt can have different amounts of carbohydrates. If you plan on adding dairy into your diet stay away from flavored or sweetened varieties such as flavored yogurt and cottage cheese which contribute to the carbohydrates count. 

Whole milk contains 11 grams of carbohydrates in a cup equivalent to 244ml, in comparison unsweetened almond milk contains only 3 grams of carbohydrates in the same serving making it a keto friendly substitute.

Try as much as possible to take plain full fat yogurt or cottage cheese. Strained versions such as Iceland skyr and Greek yogurt are good options. Coconut milk based yogurts that are not sweetened are also good options, they usually contain less carbs and more fats.

You can read about more foods that are recommended on a keto diet and those that you should avoid here.


In this brief article we have answered the query,”What can’t you eat on keto?” We have looked into different foods that you should avoid or limit when on a keto diet.