These Keto Foods at Whole Foods Can Make Meal Prepping Easier
Keto Meal-Prep Lunches
When you're on the low-carb keto diet, you probably know which healthy, high-fat keto foods you should be eating a lot of—avocado, full-fat dairy, nuts and seeds, fatty fish, and more. But actually turning those foods into meals? Well, that can be a little challenging for keto newbies. Luckily, Whole Foods has the situation on lock. The healthy grocery chain has plenty of meal ingredients you can mix and match to create easy keto meals in no time flat. (And BTW, if you're a total newbie, check out this keto meal plan for beginners.)
Veggie Noodle Co. Zucchini Spirals
So, what should be at the top of your keto foods meal-prep grocery list? These ready-made zucchini noodles ($5.99), which are a staple for many keto eaters. "They only take three to four minutes to prepare, and you still get to enjoy your 'spaghetti,' but with a different twist," says Annie Reed, a registered dietitian. "Treat these zoodles exactly how you would a traditional spaghetti dinner. Top them with a marinara sauce and meatballs or enjoy with only olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and garlic for a lighter dish."
Creminelli Prosciutto & Aged Mozzarella
Consider this prosciutto and mozzarella pack ($5.99) the adult, keto-friendly version of a Lunchable—perfect for toting to work for lunch or for a quick, no-cooking-necessary dinner at home. "Who doesn't like charcuterie platters?" says Sarah Ashman, a registered dietitian who specializes in digestive disorders and sports nutrition. "I would pair this with some roasted, salted almonds or macadamia nuts, and a side of fire-roasted tomatoes."
Justin's Classic Almond Butter Packets
"When following a keto diet, it's important to mix up protein sources for a more diverse nutrient intake," says registered dietitian Christina Jax. In other words, you don't want all your fat coming from bacon and cheese (a common keto mistake).
"Justin's Classic Almond Butter packets ($1.69 each) are a portable plant-based protein, with 7 grams of protein and only 7 grams of total carbs," says Jax. "There is always one in my work and gym bag for when the 'hangries' hit." Stick some packets in your gym bag, or add them to your meal-prep lunches for the week for an extra hit of delicious, plant-based fat.
365 Organic Riced Cauliflower
"Riced cauliflower ($1.99) is low in carbs and a great substitute for white or whole grain rice, which makes it a perfect food if you're following a keto diet plan," says Reed. And when it comes already riced, you don't have to spend the extra time grating an unwieldy head of cauliflower. (And FYI, even if you're not doing keto, there are still some healthy eating tricks like this that anyone can steal.)
The best part? "You can still enjoy your favorite rice dishes, such as stir-fry, using cauliflower rice instead. Or try a different spin by preparing a chilled tabbouleh salad," she says. "It's a perfect dish for summer cookouts."
Taylor Farms Organics Veggie Tray
"The keto diet is about eating more fat and fewer carbs, but it's also super important to still get your fiber in every day," says Ashman. And while cutting veggies isn't that laborious, if you're really pressed for time, premade platters can be a game-changer. This veggie tray ($14.99) gives you a variety of veggies to pick from, so "there's something for everyone, and your net carbs are negligible," she says.
(Heads up: Eating more fiber can help with the dreaded keto diet constipation.)
Whole Foods Market Mixed Berry Cup
This mixed berry situation is full of fiber and antioxidants, says Reed. "Fruit, particularly berries, are great on the keto plan because they are low in sugar and carbs. Try pairing a high-fat food, such as walnuts or a string cheese, with the berry cup for a delicious snack or breakfast." (Want to round out your keto lunch meal prep? Check out these healthy packaged keto snacks you can buy.)
Kite Hill Artisan Almond Milk Yogurt (Plain)
"Whether following a keto diet or facing food sensitivities, Kite Hill's Almond Yogurts ($1.99) check the boxes," says Jax. With only 5 grams of total carbs in the plain/unsweetened version, you won't have to give up your morning yogurt habit to stay in ketosis, and you'll also have a dairy-free source of probiotics for gut health, she adds. Pair it with some low-carb fruit (like that mixed berry cup) and you'll be good to go.
Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil
Oils are an essential source of healthy fats, so it's a good idea to have a go-to when you're prepping keto meals. "Not only is avocado oil ($12.99) high in oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid, but it also has antioxidants that help fight inflammation," says Reed. Plus, it's a great substitute for olive oil because it has a higher smoke point, meaning you can cook foods at higher temperatures without burning and losing the benefits of the oil. It's also a great ingredient for quick homemade salad dressings. "Combine avocado oil, Dijon mustard, black pepper, and apple cider vinegar to make a vinaigrette dressing," suggests Reed.
Organic Valley Stringles Organic Cheddar Cheese
"I really like the use of dairy products, particularly full-fat dairy, in keto diets because they tend to have higher protein and fat, with little to no carbohydrate content," says Ashman. That's what makes these string cheese sticks ($6.99) the perfect snack or protein addition to a prepared meal, particularly if you pair with a nice high-fiber veggie, or a lower-carb fruit like berries or tomatoes, she says.
Doctor In the Kitchen Flackers Organic Flax Seed Crackers Sea Salt
You probably don't think of crackers as being keto foods, but these flax crackers ($5.99) fit the bill. "The net carbs here per serving are only 1 gram per 6 crackers, so no need to feel like you can't enjoy a treat from time to time," says Ashman. "The additional benefit of these is the high fiber content from the flax seeds, as well as the high omega-3 content from the ALA (alpha-linolenic acid)." Stash these at your desk or in your car for a mid-afternoon power snack, or make a meal out of them with the aged mozzarella and prosciutto pack above.
365 Black Chia Seeds
When in doubt, sprinkle some chia seeds on whatever you're eating for an added fat and protein boost. "Chia seeds ($9.99) top the list of superfoods due to the high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber," says Reed. "These are a must-have on the keto plan because they give other foods a little extra texture and flavor. Try sprinkling them on cooked vegetables, baking them into a keto-approved dessert recipe, or adding them to salads or keto smoothies."
Spence & Co. Fish Smoked Salmon Pinwheels
"These smoked salmon pinwheels ($6.99) will make you feel like you're enjoying a gourmet food, yet there is absolutely no prep involved," says Reed. "They come already prepared and require refrigeration, but that's it. Salmon is super high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have proven heart benefits and help fight inflammation. By adding the cream cheese, you have a meal or snack high in fat that will leave you feeling satisfied and healthy."
(Thinking of jumping on the keto diet? First, read everything you need to know about the keto flu.)