They say there’s no time like the present, and that’s never been more true for those looking to make the switch to the keto diet in 2020. Not only is it a brand new year, it also happens to be National Keto Day, making it the ideal time to ditch the carbs and embrace a healthier you — with the help of a few good keto food alternatives, that is!
Adjusting to the Keto Diet
For those who’ve never tried the keto diet, some adjustments will be necessary. After all, switching to a diet that consists of 70 to 80 percent healthy fats and moderate proteins, and just 5 to 10 percent carbohydrates, can be a big lifestyle change that’s difficult for many to adapt to. For all of its savory allowances, such as fatty cheeses, seafood, and unsweetened caffeine, there are some tough dietary sacrifices involved— namely, anything with carbs or sugar.
Before you throw in the towel, however, hear us out: Your beloved breads, pizza, and even pasta noodles don’t have to be erased from your food vocabulary for you to become a keto master! Thanks to a slew of keto-friendly food alternatives that are hitting the market en masse, it will be easy to incorporate healthy versions of all your favorite dishes into your new eating regimen.
Easy Keto Food Alternatives
If you’re willing to experiment with your grocery list just a little bit, your keto dining options will be far, far less restrictive. There are plenty of keto-approved ingredients that will allow you to continue whipping up those famous breaded meatballs you love, for instance, without hindering your weight goal progress. For ladies-on-the-go, there are even pre-packaged options available, making it a total breeze to fill up without becoming weighed down.
While you may have already been turned onto some of these simple keto swaps — i.e. almond milk ($23.98, Amazon), which has become a popular alternative to carbohydrate-packed cow’s milk — we think others just might surprise you (we’re looking at you, pork rind breadcrumbs!).
We scoured the web for 15 of the easiest — and most highly rated! — food goods around to help you stay steadfast to your diet without depriving yourself of the joy of eating. Keep scrolling for Woman’s World’s picks for the best keto food substitutes around.
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Best Keto Tortilla Alternative
NUCO Coconut Wraps
Where to buy: From $7.39, Amazon
Boasting just 4 net carbs and 70 calories, these new-age wraps are comprised from just three ingredients — coconut meat, coconut water, and unrefined coconut oil. Needless to say, these keto- and paleo-friendly tortilla alternatives are quickly amassing a cult following.
More than 500 customers have given them a five-star rating on Amazon, saying they don’t sacrifice flavor: “These are delicious,” one gushed, with another raving, “They are tasty.”
Best Keto Bagel Alternative
ThinSlim Zero Carb Bagels
Where to buy: $12.99, Amazon
If you typically reach for a bagel in the morning instead of bacon or eggs, check out ThinSlims. While there are some carbs to be found here (14 grams), their net gram equates to zero when you subtract the 14 grams of fiber — a carbohydrate which has no impact on your energy value or your blood sugar — found within. These breakfast delights, which come in cinnamon or plain flavors, are so good, they nabbed Amazon's No. 1 best-seller for bagels against even non-keto options.
Best Keto Rice Alternative
Nature’s Earthly Choice Cauliflower Rice
Where to buy: $19.75 for a 6-pack, Amazon
With five grams of carbs per serving, or three net carbs, cauliflower rice, aka cauliflower that has been has minced into little rice-size pieces, has roughly 86 percent less of your daily intake than a standard box of rice. What’s more, its star ingredient — cauliflower — is one of the healthiest veggies you can eat. This cruciferous vegetable is a great source of fiber and vitamins, and ingredients found within, such as phytonutrients (chemical compounds made up by plants) and antioxidants, may help strengthen bones, boost the cardiovascular system, and prevent cancer, according to Medical News Today.
Best Keto Pizza Alternative
Real Good Foods Cauliflower Crust Pizza
Where to buy: From $45.99 for a 4-pack, Amazon
Cauliflower pizza crust may be all but taking over your local grocery store aisles, but don’t be fooled by all that feel-good packaging — not all of them are great choices for a keto diet. Industry leader Caulipower ($49.99, Amazon), for instance, uses brown rice flour and has 37 grams (20.6 net) of carbohydrates in its three cheese pizza per serving. Realgood pizza, by contrast, is made with almond flour and has just 9 total carbohydrates (6 net) per serving, making it the better choice for a keto diet.
Best Keto Peanut Butter Alternative
Kevala Creamy Almond Butter
Where to buy: $12.05, Amazon
As with cauliflower pizza, sneaky flavor additives found in many almond butters can take them from a keto-approved product to one to avoid. Experts recommend choosing an almond butter that’s free of soybean, palm, canola, sunflower, and hydrogenated oils, like this Kevala spread, which has just one ingredient to speak of: dry roasted almonds.
Best Keto Pasta Alternative
Cece’s Veggie Co. Zucchini Noodles
Where to buy: $4.99, Target
Zucchini noodles, or zoodles, as they’re often called, are higher in carbs than some lighter food items on the list, but when eaten in moderation, they can quell a pasta craving. Cece’s makes theirs with 3 grams of carbohydrates per serving, 1 of which is offset by fiber. As an added bonus, these organic noodles are chock-full of B vitamins to boost your mental health and have a perfect 5-star review from Target shoppers, who love them for their low-maintenance cooking and taste.
Best Keto Potato Alternative
Birds Eye Mashed Cauliflower
Where to buy: $3.69, Target
Not only will you save big on carbs by making the switch from white mashed potatoes to mashed cauliflower (about 10 grams per 1/2 cup, or 12.6 net carbs), you'll also cut your calorie count by about 25 percent. The texture and taste is shockingly similar, and Birds Eye's mixture offers up one serving of vegetables per container for added nutritional support.
Best Keto Chip Alternative
Rhythm Superfoods Kool Ranch Kale Chips
Where to buy: From $20.99 for a 4-pack, Amazon
For all of our good intentions, even the most die-hard keto follower is bound to succumb to a snack or two from time to time. Luckily, you can make it a healthy one thanks to these delectable kale chips with hints of garlic and dill. They will satiate your cravings at a far lower carb count than you're likely to find in a potato chip — 6 gram (4 net) per serving, to be exact. Kale, which is loaded with good fats, antioxidants, and vitamins A, C, and K, also just so happens to be a superfood.
Best Keto Flour Alternative
Anthony's Almond Flour
Where to buy: From $16.95, Amazon
Almond flour checks all the keto boxes due to its high fat, low carb (5 total grams per 28), and protein moderate (6 grams per 28) composition. More dense than other alternatives, such as coconut flour, it tends to have a 1:1 ratio with regular flour, making recipes a breeze to follow. Anthony’s almond flour, made with 100 percent California almonds, has an 88 percent five-star rating from Amazon shoppers.
Best Keto Butter Alternative
4th & Heart Ghee
Where to buy: From $8.04, Amazon
“Ghee” means “fat” in Hindu, so it should come as no surprise to those familiar with the keto diet that this is a top substitution for regular butter. Essentially, ghee is clarified butter (butter from that has been heated to separate out water and milk, or lactose solids, leaving only the butterfat behind), that’s been cooked longer than normal. It also has a high smoke point of 400 to 450 degrees, making it a great pick for cooking. This particular jar has been grass fed from pasture-raised, hormone-free cows in New Zealand and has a 4.5-star rating among many dieting communities.
Wrote one satisfied customer: “Doing a keto cycle for the first time and added this with MCT to make keto coffee. This makes it taste amazing! I've now added it to my cauliflower rice and it really has made a flavor difference.”
Best Keto Breadcrumb Alternative
Pork King Pork Rind Crumbs
Where to buy: $12.95, Amazon
Unlike breadcrumbs, which tend to be high in carbohydrates, pork rinds have an impressive count of zero, net or otherwise. Ground down into crumb form, pork rinds are just the thing for coating chicken, eggplant, meatballs, or any other keto-approved protein found in your kitchen. “I’m very impressed with the flavor and texture and I especially like the low carbs,” wrote one happy customer.
If you're worried about the cooking texture, allow this shopper to set your mind at ease. “My cutlets actually came out better than when I used breadcrumbs!" she wrote. "I can’t wait to try other recipes with these!”
Best Keto Sugar Alternative
Lakanto Monk Fruit Sweetener
Where to buy: $6.99, Amazon
With zero calories, zero carbohydrates, and zero sugar, monk fruit, which is approximately 150 to 200 times sweeter than sugar, and has been stamped safe for consumption by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Lakanto, which is the Amazon top-choice for keto sugar, also steers clear of the maltodextrin found in some monk fruit sweeteners, which is known to spike blood sugar levels. It's also a customer favorite, with a whopping 6,000-plus reviews — and counting.
Best Keto Dairy Alternative
Almond Breeze Unsweetened Almond Milk
Where to buy: $23.88 for a 12-pack, Amazon
Cow's milk may be high in calcium, but it's also high in carbs, making it a no-no for those following a keto diet. A wiser choice for a cooking or cereal additive is unsweetened almond milk, like Almond Breeze. With 1 carb per serving and no added sweeteners, it's ideal for keto and lactose-intolerant shoppers alike. It's also free of any hormonal concerns associated with other milk substitutes, such as soy.
Best Keto Cereal Alternative
Diabetic Kitchen Almond Butter Granola
Where to buy: $12.83, Amazon
If you're not quite ready to give up your daily bowl of cereal, not to fret: This almond butter granola, which can also be eaten dry for snacking, makes for a good keto dupe when paired with an almond milk.
"Great nutty flavor, very filling and satisfying," a happy camper raved. As another pointed out, however, you'll want to exercise caution with your serving sizes to keep your carb count down — 1/3 of a cup equals out to four net carbs.
Best Keto Vegetable Oil Alternative
Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Where to buy: $13.98, Amazon
Olive oil is beloved by keto enthusiasts for its high dosage of monosaturated, or healthy fats, which increase your “good” high-density lipoproteins (HDL) cholesterol — which carries cholesterol back into your liver — and decrease “bad” low-density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol, which clogs your arteries. In fact, the FDA even supported a claim in 2005 that olive oil may reduce coronary heart disease when replacing a similar amount of saturated fat and not increasing your calorie count. Olive oil is also high in vitamin E and antioxidants that protect your cells from damage.