And on the seventh day, god invented Trader Joe’s so she’d have a place to shop before meal prepping. That’s how it goes, right? Eh, close enough.
And good news! You can still shop at the holy land even if you’re on the ketogenic (or keto) diet. While grocery shopping when you’re following the plan gets a little tricky—packaged foods are often filled with off-limits ingredients like pesky grains or sugar—there are some packaged foods you can still grab to indulge your TJ’s habit while staying keto-friendly. Here are some of our go-to R.D.’s favorites.
Skip the mess and save time with this carb alternative. “Trader Joe’s offers pre-riced broccoli and cauliflower at a cheap price, which makes it a no-brainer for me,” says Lara Clevenger, R.D.
Per 1/3 package: 30 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 5 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 95 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein.
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TJs serves up all kinds of nut butter—almond, peanut, mixed—that are 100 percent nuts with no added sugar. “Nut butters are naturally low in saturated fat and carbs and a rich source of heart-healthy fats, vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium,” says Edwina Clark, R.D., head of nutrition and wellness at Yummly. Dip in celery sticks for a 👌🏾 snack.
Per 2 tablespoons: 190 cal, 17 g fat (1.5 g sat), 7 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 7 g protein.
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“Crispy, salty, and a great source of vitamin C and essential iodine, these snacks hit the spot,” says Diana Rodgers, R.D., founder of Sustainable Dish.
Per half package: 30 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 1 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 50 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein.
“These are great for travel or snacking on the go because you don’t have to refrigerate them,” says Jessica Beacom, R.D., co-founder of The Real Food Dietitians.
Per 5 olives (half a pack): 25 cal, 2.5 g fat (0 g sat), <1 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 220 mg sodium, <1 g fiber, 0 g protein.
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“This is my go-to salad topper,” says Rodgers. “Add some pre-washed spinach, roasted red peppers, and a little lemon juice for an easy lunch.”
Per 2 oz drained: 45 cal, 0.5 g fat (0 g sat), 1 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 330 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 8 g protein.
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“I like to put coconut flakes in smoothies for texture,” says Kristen Mancinelli, R.D.
Per 1/4 cup serving: 200 cal, 19 g fat (17 g sat), 7 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 10 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 2 g protein.
“Not only do these make a tasty snack, but they’re a fun addition to a salad or entrée,” says Beacom.
Per half-package: 170 cal, 12 g fat (8 g sat), <1 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 310 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 15 g protein.
“I love the variety of cheeses offered at Trader Joe’s,” says Clevenger. “They’re great for those on a keto diet with food sensitivities.”
Per 1-oz serving: 120 cal, 10 g fat (7 g sat), 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 190 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 7 g protein
“Since they’re in water, you can control the type of oil and how much you use,” says Beacom. Toss onto a big salad with Kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, chopped cucumbers, and feta cheese for lunch.
Per drained can: 130 cal, 7 g fat (1.5 g sat), 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 200 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 17 g protein.
“Nuts are low in carbohydrates and packed with heart-healthy fats, protein, and vitamin E,” says Clark. Choose an unsalted variety for an even healthier snack. “Just don’t overdo it on the cashews though, as they have a higher carb content then other nuts,” Mancinelli advises.
Per 1/4 cup: 180 cal, 17 g fat (2.5 g sat), 5 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 60 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 4 g protein.
“Coconut oil, like any oil, is 100 percent fat with no carbohydrates or protein; over 60 percent is in the form of medium-chain triglycerides, which are highly ketogenic [meaning they increase ketone production],” says Mancinelli.
Per 1 tablespoon: 120 cal, 14 g fat (12 g sat), 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein.
“There’s no chance you’ll be craving a dessert if you finish off your meal with a small wedge of this luxurious cheese,” says Rodgers. “Trust me.”
Whether it’s fresh, frozen, or canned, salmon is packed with protein, omega-3 fats (especially the wild version), B-vitamins, phosphorous, and selenium, says Clark.
“Buying pre-made guacamole can be dicey because if you can’t finish it all in one meal, the leftovers are pretty unappealing,” says Rodgers. “Trader Joe’s single-serve guacamole tastes great and the portions are perfect.”
Per 2 tablespoons: 60 cal, 5 g fat (1 g sat), 3 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 90 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 1 g protein.
“* love these because you can eat the whole avocado without having to worry about half of it turning brown in the fridge,” says Beacom. “They also seem to ripen faster than large avocados.”