Low Carb Grocery Shopping Guide with GAPS Recommendations.

Low Carb Grocery Shopping Guide with GAPS Recommendations

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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

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Avoid shopping on an empty stomach

If you shop hungry, you may be tempted and suffer the consequences of a lapse.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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)

Bok choy


Brussels sprouts







Green beans

Greens, collard

Greens, spinach




Lettuce (Romaine, arugula, spring mix, iceberg, endive, escarole)



Peppers (green, red, orange/yellow)

Snow peas

Spaghetti squash


Zucchini/summer squash

Meat, Fish and Poultry – Free Range if possible


Beef steaks

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.

Dairy Section

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*

Macadamia nuts




Sunflower seeds

Pumpkin seeds


*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.


Avocado oil

Beef tallow


Canola oil – GAPS, not recommended.

Coconut oil



Olive oil, extra virgin

Palm oil

Safflower oil, high oleic

Miscellaneous Extras:

Almond flour

Almond milk (unsweetened)

Bouillon cubes – GAPS, not recommended.

Coconut flour

Coconut milk

Condiments: Ketchup, BBQ sauce, etc. (check the labels for sugar and chemicals)

Pork rinds

Sugar-free gelatin

Xanthan gum


  1. 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


  1. 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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Author: 2healthyhabits

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