Low Carb Grocery Shopping Guide with GAPS Recommendations
To succeed on your diet you need to start with a list of acceptable foods. See the tips and grocery list for a low carb or ketogenic lifestyle. For people (like me) who are following the Full GAPS diet as well, foods that are not permitted have been deleted or have a GAPS notation.
Grocery Shopping Tips
- Establish a routine — and stick to it
Stock up on essentials to avoid trips to the store.
Ensure your weekly shopping is always done by blocking out time that works best in you.
- Always shop with a grocery list
Plan meals and snacks for the week (or more) before shopping to make sure you buy everything you need.
Stick to your list so you will avoid temptations.
- Avoid shopping on an empty stomach
If you shop hungry, you may be tempted and suffer the consequences of a lapse.
- Focus on the perimeter of the store
The perimeter has non-starchy vegetables, berries, eggs, dairy, meat, fish and poultry.
Skip the inner aisles with processed carbs like chips and cookies.
Fresh fruit and vegetables is preferred but the next best frozen.
Shop inner aisle only for the diet-friendly condiments and oils, etc.
- Think twice about specialty “low carb” and “sugar-free” products
While a ketogenic lifestyle might include occasional low carb specialty products, the majority of your grocery bounty should be minimally processed, whole, nourishing foods.
When in doubt, read the nutrition label and ingredients list to make sure a product won’t derail your progress toward your health goals.
- Take advantage of online shopping
No time. Most chain grocery stores offer curbside pickup or home delivery services.
Use a saved or “Favorite” list on their shopping platform ahead of time to make ordering easier.
Key Items to Add to Your Grocery List
Berries (strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry)
Beans (green, yellow, wax)
Lettuce (Romaine, arugula, spring mix, iceberg, endive, escarole)
Peppers (green, red, orange/yellow)
Meat, Fish and Poultry – Free Range if possible
Deli meat (cured meats, e.g., salami and prosciutto) * GAPS: Look for a source that makes it from free-range meats and chemical free.
Canned tuna, salmon – Try Vital Choice for mercury-free https://www.vitalchoice.com/#smile-home
Chicken (opt for skin on)
Ground beef (opt for 12% fat or greater)
Pork steaks and chops
Shrimp and shellfish
Wild game (e.g, bison, deer, elk)
* Always scan the nutrition label, these often contain starchy fillers and/or added sugars.
GAPS has recommendations for dairy to support intestinal health:
Asiago cheese Yes May be used occasionally.
Blue cheese Yes May be used occasionally.
Brick cheese Yes May be used freely.
Brie cheese Yes May be used occasionally.
Camembert cheese Yes May be used occasionally.
Cheddar cheese, mild, medium, Yes Use freely
Cheddar cheese, sharp Yes May be used occasionally.
Colby cheese Yes May be used freely.
Cottage cheese, uncreamed (dry curd) Yes May be used freely.
Cream cheese No
Edam cheese Yes May be used occasionally.
Eggs – Yes Free-range.
Gorgonzola cheese Yes May be used occasionally.
Gouda cheese Yes May be used occasionally
Gruyere cheese Yes May be used freely.
Half and half – No
Havarti cheese Yes May be used freely.
Heavy cream – No
Limburger Cheese Yes May be used occasionally.
Manchego cheese Yes
Monterey Jack cheeseYes May be used occasionally.
Muenster cheese Yes May be used occasionally.
Natural cheeses Yes
Parmesan cheese Yes May be used occasionally. Grate it, check to endure no added milk solids. You make your own crisps.
Port du Salut cheese Yes May be used occasionally.
Provolone cheese Yes Although not listed with the other cheeses on page 140 of Breaking the Vicious Cycle, provolone cheese is legal.
Romano cheese Yes May be used occasionally.
Roquefort cheese Yes May be used occasionally.
Sour cream – No
Stilton cheese Yes May be used occasionally
Swiss cheese Yes May be used freely.
Yogurt – No, Make you own if possible. See the GAPS book for the recipe.
Nuts And Seeds
All natural peanut and almond butter*
*Look for ‘natural’ nut butters with no added sugar and avoid those containing hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. Peanuts have a higher carb content than some other nut options, so proceed with caution when it comes to portion sizes.
Oils/Cooking Fats, Salad Dressings and Mayonnaise
* Avoid added sugar and additives by making your own salad dressings from oils with higher saturated and monounsaturated fat contents, such as olive, or avocado oil.
Canola oil – GAPS, not recommended.
Olive oil, extra virgin
Safflower oil, high oleic
Almond milk (unsweetened)
Bouillon cubes – GAPS, not recommended.
Condiments: Ketchup, BBQ sauce, etc. (check the labels for sugar and chemicals)
- Low Carb Grocery Shopping Guide (Grocery List Print Out is in the website)
Anna Barnwell, MPH, MSW Anna Barnwell, MPH, MSW on August 6, 2018
- Breaking the Vicious Cycle™ Legal‐Illegal List (for GAPS and SCD) http://media.btvc.webfactional.com/media/editor_uploads/2013/11/btvc_legalillegal_list.pdf
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