Keto Friendly Substitutes

Transitioning to a ketogenic diet can be challenging, especially when it comes to finding suitable substitutes for your favorite high-carb foods. Fear not, as there are plenty of keto-friendly alternatives that can help you satisfy your cravings without sabotaging your progress. This page will guide you through various keto-friendly substitutes for some common high-carb foods, making your keto journey easier and more enjoyable.

Bread and Bakery Products

Traditional bread and bakery products are usually high in carbohydrates, making them unsuitable for a ketogenic diet. However, there are several keto-friendly alternatives:

  • Almond flour or coconut flour bread: These flours are low in carbs and high in fiber, making them ideal for keto bread recipes. You can easily find recipes online or purchase ready-made keto-friendly breads at specialty stores.
  • Lettuce wraps: Replace bread or tortillas with large lettuce leaves for a low-carb alternative in sandwiches and wraps.
  • Cauliflower-based products: Cauliflower can be used to make keto-friendly pizza crusts, flatbreads, and even bagels.

Pasta and Rice

Traditional pasta and rice are off-limits on a keto diet, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite dishes. Try these keto-friendly substitutes:

  • Zucchini noodles (zoodles): Spiralize zucchini to create a low-carb alternative to pasta that can be used in various dishes, such as spaghetti or stir-fries.
  • Shirataki noodles: Made from konjac root, these noodles are extremely low in carbs and calories. They can be used as a substitute for pasta or rice noodles in various dishes.
  • Cauliflower rice: Grate or process cauliflower into rice-sized pieces for a low-carb alternative to rice. You can use it in recipes like fried rice, sushi rolls, or as a side dish.

Sweets and Desserts

Satisfying your sweet tooth while following a keto diet can be tricky, but there are ways to enjoy desserts without compromising your keto goals:

  • Dark chocolate: Opt for dark chocolate with a high cocoa content (70% or higher) as it has less sugar and more healthy fats.
  • Keto fat bombs: These small, high-fat treats are typically made with ingredients like coconut oil, nut butter, or cream cheese and can be flavored with cocoa, vanilla, or sugar substitutes.
  • Sugar-free gelatin: A low-carb, sugar-free gelatin dessert is a simple and satisfying option. You can also add a dollop of whipped cream for extra richness.
  • Keto-friendly ice cream: There are commercially available low-carb ice creams, or you can make your own at home using heavy cream, almond milk, and sugar substitutes.
  • Berries with whipped cream: Enjoy a small serving of berries (like raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries) topped with sugar-free whipped cream for a light and refreshing dessert.
  • Keto cheesecake: Make a keto-friendly cheesecake using almond flour or coconut flour for the crust and a sugar substitute in the filling.
  • Keto cookies: Use almond flour, coconut flour, or another low-carb flour alternative to make keto-friendly cookies. Sweeten with sugar substitutes like erythritol, stevia, or monk fruit.
  • Keto chocolate mousse: Prepare a rich and creamy chocolate mousse using heavy cream, unsweetened cocoa powder, and a sugar substitute.
  • Chia seed pudding: Combine chia seeds with almond milk or coconut milk, a sugar substitute, and your choice of flavorings (like vanilla or cocoa) to make a simple chia seed pudding.
  • Keto-friendly fruit crumble: Use almond flour or crushed nuts for the crumble topping and sweeten with a sugar substitute. Opt for low-carb fruits like berries for the filling.

Condiments and Sauces

Some condiments and sauces can be high in carbs, so be sure to choose keto-friendly options:

  • Mayonnaise: Opt for full-fat, sugar-free mayonnaise.
  • Mustard: Choose plain mustard without added sugars.
  • Salad dressings: Make your own keto-friendly dressings with olive oil, vinegar, and herbs, or look for sugar-free store-bought options.
  • Coconut aminos: A soy sauce substitute made from coconut sap, it has a similar taste and is a great low-carb option for adding flavor to your dishes.
  • Sugar-free BBQ sauce: Many commercial BBQ sauces are high in sugar, but there are sugar-free options available that use keto-friendly sweeteners like erythritol or stevia.
  • Pesto sauce: Made from fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil, pesto is a flavorful and keto-friendly sauce for pasta substitutes or grilled meats.
  • Chimichurri: This Argentinian sauce, made with fresh parsley, garlic, red pepper flakes, vinegar, and olive oil, is a tangy and low-carb option for grilled meats and vegetables.

Breakfast Cereal

Traditional breakfast cereals are often high in carbs and sugar. Instead, try these keto-friendly options:

  • Keto granola: Make your own low-carb granola using nuts, seeds, unsweetened coconut flakes, and a keto-friendly sweetener.
  • Chia seed pudding: Mix chia seeds with almond milk, a keto-friendly sweetener, and your choice of flavorings like vanilla or cocoa powder for a high-fiber, low-carb breakfast option.
  • Keto Cereal: Most health food grocery stores have low carb options
  • Keto “noatmeal”: Create a low-carb alternative to oatmeal by combining almond flour, ground flaxseed, chia seeds, and your choice of milk, with keto-friendly sweeteners and toppings like nuts or berries.

Milk and Dairy

Regular milk and some dairy products can be high in carbs. Consider these alternatives:

  • Almond milk: A popular plant-based milk made from almonds and water, unsweetened almond milk is low in carbs and calories. It’s a versatile option for smoothies, coffee, and recipes that call for milk.
  • Coconut milk: Made from the flesh of coconuts, unsweetened coconut milk is rich, creamy, and higher in fat, making it an excellent choice for a keto diet. It’s suitable for cooking, baking, and beverages.
  • Cashew milk: Another plant-based milk made from cashews and water, unsweetened cashew milk has a creamy texture and is low in carbs. It works well in recipes that call for milk or cream.
  • Macadamia milk: Made from macadamia nuts, this milk alternative is creamy and low in carbs. It’s suitable for use in beverages, smoothies, and recipes.
  • Hemp milk: Derived from hemp seeds, unsweetened hemp milk is low in carbs and high in healthy fats, making it a keto-friendly option for cooking, baking, or drinking.
  • Flax milk: Made from flax seeds, unsweetened flax milk is low in carbs and calories. It’s a versatile option for smoothies, coffee, and recipes.
  • Heavy cream: Although not a milk alternative, heavy cream is a dairy product that is high in fat and low in carbs, making it suitable for a keto diet. You can use it in recipes, coffee, or whipped as a dessert topping.
  • Greek yogurt: Choose full-fat, unsweetened Greek yogurt for a higher protein, lower carb dairy option. Greek yogurt can be eaten on its own or used in recipes that call for sour cream or regular yogurt.
  • Cheese: Most types of cheese are keto-friendly, as they are high in fat and low in carbs. Opt for full-fat, natural cheeses like cheddar, mozzarella, brie, gouda, or feta. Avoid processed or low-fat cheese products.
  • Sour cream: Full-fat sour cream is low in carbs and can be used in various recipes or as a topping for keto-friendly dishes.

When choosing milk and dairy alternatives, always check the label to ensure that they are unsweetened and have no added sugars or artificial ingredients.


Instead of using traditional wheat flour, which is high in carbs, try these keto-friendly alternatives:

  • Almond flour: Made from ground almonds, almond flour is low in carbs and has a slightly nutty flavor. It’s a popular choice for keto-friendly baking and cooking.
  • Coconut flour: Derived from the flesh of coconuts, coconut flour is high in fiber and low in carbs. It’s highly absorbent and may require additional liquid in recipes.
  • Ground flaxseed (flax meal): Made from ground flaxseeds, flax meal is low in carbs and high in healthy fats and fiber. It can be used in baking or as a binder in recipes.
  • Psyllium husk powder: Derived from the husks of psyllium seeds, this powder is high in fiber and low in carbs. It’s often used as a binding agent in keto recipes and can help improve the texture of baked goods.
  • Sunflower seed flour: Made from ground sunflower seeds, this flour alternative is low in carbs and has a mild, nutty flavor. It can be used in a variety of keto-friendly recipes.
  • Hazelnut flour: Ground from hazelnuts, this low-carb flour alternative has a rich, nutty flavor and is suitable for baking and cooking.
  • Walnut flour: Made from ground walnuts, this flour alternative is low in carbs and adds a nutty flavor to recipes.
  • Sesame seed flour: Derived from ground sesame seeds, this low-carb flour alternative has a mild, nutty flavor and can be used in various keto-friendly dishes.
  • Chickpea flour: While higher in carbs than other alternatives on this list, chickpea flour can be used in moderation for keto-friendly recipes. It’s made from ground chickpeas and has a slightly nutty taste.
  • Pecan flour: Made from ground pecans, this flour alternative is low in carbs and imparts a rich, nutty flavor to recipes.


Refined sugar is a no-go on a keto diet. Replace it with these keto-friendly sweeteners:

  • Stevia: A natural sweetener derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant. It has no calories and is much sweeter than sugar, so you’ll need to use less. Stevia is available in liquid, powder, and granulated forms.
  • Erythritol: A sugar alcohol that has minimal impact on blood sugar levels and is about 70% as sweet as sugar. Erythritol is available in granulated and powdered forms and can be used for baking and cooking.
  • Xylitol: Another sugar alcohol that has a sweetness similar to sugar but with fewer calories and a lower glycemic impact. Be cautious when using xylitol, as it can be toxic to pets.
  • Monk fruit sweetener: Derived from the monk fruit, this natural sweetener is calorie-free and much sweeter than sugar. It’s available in liquid, powder, and granulated forms.
  • Allulose: A rare sugar that is found naturally in small quantities in certain foods. Allulose has a similar taste and texture to sugar but with fewer calories and a minimal impact on blood sugar levels.
  • Swerve: A blend of erythritol, oligosaccharides, and natural flavors, Swerve is a zero-calorie sweetener that measures cup-for-cup like sugar, making it easy to substitute in recipes.
  • Sucralose: A high-intensity artificial sweetener that is 600 times sweeter than sugar. It is available in liquid and granulated forms but may not be suitable for everyone due to its artificial nature.
  • Inulin-based sweeteners: Some sweeteners, like Just Like Sugar or FiberYum, are made from inulin, a soluble fiber derived from chicory root. These sweeteners provide a mild sweetness and additional fiber.

Chips and Crackers

Traditional chips and crackers are high in carbs, but you can still enjoy crunchy keto-friendly snacks:

  • Cheese crisps: Made from baked cheese, these crispy snacks are low in carbs and high in protein and fat.
  • Flaxseed or almond flour crackers: Make your own low-carb crackers using flaxseed meal or almond flour as a base.
  • Nori sheets: Seaweed sheets can be eaten as a crispy snack or used to wrap keto-friendly fillings for a satisfying low-carb alternative to chips and crackers.
  • Chia seed crackers: Similar to flaxseed crackers, chia seed crackers are made by mixing chia seeds with water and seasoning, then baking until crisp. They are low in carbs and high in fiber.
  • Cucumber slices: Fresh cucumber slices make a refreshing and crunchy alternative to chips and can be used to scoop up dips and spreads.
  • Zucchini chips: Thinly sliced zucchini, seasoned, and baked or dehydrated until crisp can make a tasty and low-carb chip alternative.
  • Radish chips: Similar to zucchini chips, thinly sliced radishes can be seasoned and baked or dehydrated to make a low-carb and crunchy snack.

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are high in carbs, but you can still enjoy a similar texture with these alternatives:

  • Cauliflower mash: Steam cauliflower and then blend or mash it with butter, cream, and seasonings for a low-carb mashed potato substitute.
  • Mashed turnips or rutabaga: These root vegetables have a lower carb content than potatoes and can be boiled and mashed with butter, cream, and seasonings for a similar texture.

French Fries

Traditional French fries are high in carbs, but you can still enjoy a tasty alternative:

  • Zucchini or eggplant fries: Cut zucchini or eggplant into fry-shaped pieces, coat them in almond flour or grated Parmesan cheese, and bake or air-fry for a low-carb alternative to traditional fries.
  • Jicama fries: Peel and cut jicama into fries, toss with oil and seasonings, and bake for a crispy, low-carb snack.


Popcorn is high in carbs, but you can enjoy these keto-friendly crunchy snacks:

  • Pork rinds: These crunchy, high-fat snacks are a great low-carb alternative to popcorn.
  • Roasted seaweed snacks: Available in various flavors, these low-carb snacks can help satisfy your craving for something crunchy.


Traditional pizza crust is high in carbs, but you can still enjoy a keto-friendly pizza:

  • Cauliflower crust: A popular low-carb option, cauliflower crust is made by combining cauliflower rice, egg, and cheese. The mixture is then formed into a crust shape and baked before adding toppings.
  • Almond flour crust: Almond flour, along with eggs and cheese, creates a low-carb crust that has a texture similar to traditional pizza crust. Some recipes may also include other ingredients like coconut flour, flaxseed meal, or psyllium husk powder.
  • Coconut flour crust: Made with coconut flour, eggs, and cheese, this crust is low in carbs and provides a slightly sweet, nutty flavor.
  • Fathead dough crust: A popular keto-friendly dough made from almond flour or coconut flour, cream cheese, shredded cheese, and eggs. Fathead dough can be used to create a low-carb pizza crust that holds together well and has a nice texture.
  • Meat-based crust: For a high-protein, low-carb option, you can create a crust made from ground chicken, turkey, or beef, mixed with egg and seasoning. The meat mixture is pressed into a crust shape and baked before adding toppings.
  • Egg-based crust: Whisked eggs and cheese are combined and baked into a thin, flexible crust that can be used as a low-carb pizza base.
  • Portobello mushroom caps: Large portobello mushroom caps can be used as individual pizza bases. Remove the stem and gills, bake the caps briefly, then add toppings and bake again until the cheese is melted.
  • Zucchini pizza boats: Slice zucchini lengthwise, scoop out some of the flesh to create a small well, and add your favorite pizza toppings before baking.
  • Eggplant rounds: Slice eggplant into rounds, bake them briefly to soften, and then add toppings and bake again.

Soft Drinks and Juice

High in sugar and carbs, soft drinks and fruit juices are not keto-friendly. Instead, try these alternatives:

  • Water: Drinking water is essential for overall health and hydration. You can infuse it with fruits, cucumber, or herbs for added flavor without adding significant carbs.
  • Sparkling water: Opt for unsweetened sparkling water or flavored varieties without added sugar for a bubbly and refreshing drink.
  • Tea: Unsweetened green, black, and herbal teas are all keto-friendly options. You can enjoy them hot or cold, and you can add a sugar substitute if you prefer a sweeter taste.
  • Coffee: Black coffee or coffee with a splash of heavy cream or unsweetened almond milk is a low-carb choice. Avoid sugary syrups and sweeteners.
  • Sugar-free soft drinks: Choose diet or zero-calorie soft drinks made with sugar substitutes like erythritol, stevia, or sucralose. Be mindful that some people may find these drinks can affect ketosis or cause cravings.
  • Vegetable juice: Opt for low-carb vegetable juices, like those made from leafy greens, celery, or cucumber. Avoid high-carb juices made from fruits or starchy vegetables like carrots.
  • Keto-friendly smoothies: Make low-carb smoothies using unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk, ice, and low-carb fruits like berries or avocado. Add in some spinach or kale for extra nutrients.
  • Bone broth: Sipping on warm bone broth can be a savory and comforting low-carb drink option that also provides essential nutrients.
  • Electrolyte drinks: Choose sugar-free electrolyte drinks or make your own by mixing water with a pinch of salt and a sugar substitute, along with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice.
  • Keto lemonade or limeade: Make your own keto-friendly lemonade or limeade with fresh lemon or lime juice, water, and keto-friendly sweeteners.