When you’re short on time and energy, you can grab pork rinds and sugar-free protein bars almost anywhere.
But these aren’t necessarily the best choices for your health. Hunt a little smarter and you’ll find better options to stay low-carb and avoid last-minute cheating.
Know what to look for ahead of time and you’ll be set up for success — especially if you start the day off right.
The best keto convenience foods help you stay in ketosis without much time or effort. Here’s a list of the best keto convenience foods on the market and how to prepare for busy days.
Most people on a keto diet aren’t hungry for breakfast as soon as they wake up. The same goes for people combining ketosis with intermittent fasting.
In a way, the most convenient aspect of keto is the ability to bypass breakfast without losing energy, focus, or drive.
Not fasting or in ketosis yet?
Until you reach that glorious milestone, use these keto convenience breakfast foods to rise and shine:
#1. Keto Instant Coffee
You can find a black cup of coffee at almost every gas station, convenience store, or fast food chain. Enjoy as is or add heavy cream to give your body fat for fuel.
What you won’t always find is coconut oil, grass-fed butter, or MCT oil to make a keto coffee.
So consider picking up individual packets of powdered MCT oil to add to your brews on-the-go. Bursting with medium-chain fats from coconuts, you’ll have sustained mental and physical energy levels and appetite suppression until lunch.
Better yet, stash a single-serve packet of Perfect Keto Instant Coffee in your gym bag or purse. It already has powdered MCT oil mixed in. So all you need is water for a high-quality keto coffee in seconds.
If coffee isn’t enough to silence your AM hunger pangs, grab a bowl of keto-friendly, no-carb cereal.
#2. Low-Carb Cereal
You don’t have to erase cereal from your low-carb diet meal plan. The Cereal School offers high-protein, low-carb cereal creations in flavors like Cinnamon Bun and Fruity.
Each bag is portioned for an individual serving so you can take them on-the-go. And the macros beat most protein bars: 16 grams for zero grams of carbs!
The cereal is gluten- and grain-free and made with all natural ingredients. You won’t find any soy, nuts, artificial sweeteners, or fake colors either.
If you don’t have time to make your own keto cereal, these will become your favorite keto breakfast or late-night snack.
Rather start your day on a savory versus sweet note?
Let the mighty egg lead the way.
#3. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Eggs are one of the best low-carb foods. A single egg delivers 5g of fat and 6g of protein for zero carbs[*].
Find hard-boiled eggs in the refrigerated section at the gas station, corner store, or grocer. Choose organic, pasture-raised eggs without hormones or antibiotics when possible.
Seeds are another easy, nearly zero-carb food you can nosh in the morning.
#4. Seeds and Seed Butter
Seeds and seed butter can help you lose weight thanks to their healthy plant-based fats and filling fiber.
Look for seeds such as hemp, pumpkin, and sunflower when you’re out and about. Raw or dry-roasted options are healthier than those roasted at high heat in inflammatory oils.
You can also make this easy chia seed pudding for a convenient low-carb breakfast option or keto-friendly snack.
Many of the health benefits of seeds overlap with the next food.
#5. Nuts and Nut Butter
Don’t pigeonhole nuts as simply low-carb snacks. You should also add them to your meal plan for breakfast.
Raw or dry-roasted nuts will provide your body with fat, protein, and fiber. Stick to the best keto nuts for the lowest carbs, such as:
Combine these nuts with seeds and sugar-free dark chocolate chips for a convenient keto trail mix you can take anywhere.
Nut butters made from those nuts are also an easy grab. Just watch out for added sugar and hydrogenated oils. And stay away from peanuts and peanut butter for all these reasons.
Perfect Keto Nut Butter blends macadamia nuts, cashews, and MCT oil for an ultra creamy, healthy keto treat.
The next food works on its own and also makes a delightful partner for other foods on this list.
Avocado is the perfect way to start your day with fat instead of protein. A whole avocado contains 21g of fat and over 9g of fiber.
Its subtle flavor also makes avocado easy to pair with other quick options on this list. Think: adding a sprinkle of chia seeds or eating alongside eggs and nuts.
You could eat half an avocado with breakfast and the other half for lunch with these next foods.
Convenience wears many hats when you’re talking keto lunch and dinner.
You could swing by the drive-thru for the top keto fast food options.
Or learn how to make keto casseroles, the ultimate homemade convenience food.
With those, you just grab a baking dish and dump in a protein like chicken, a low-carb veggie like broccoli, and a creamy fat like cream cheese. Mix and bake and you’ll have multiple servings for lunch and dinner all week.
Not in the mood to cook?
These other options are ready to grab-and-go:
#1. Deli Meats and Cheese
Check the refrigerated section at the gas station or grocery store to create your own keto-friendly charcuterie board.
Cold cuts like ham, turkey, and chicken will provide between 10g and 15g of protein per serving. Make sure they’re free of added sugars, nitrates, and nitrites.
Look for full-fat cheese slices or string cheese (if you can tolerate dairy). Reduced fat or low-fat options have more carbs and sugar, which you don’t want.
Look for keto-approved snacks like salami, prosciutto, and pepperoni and mozzarella or provolone. Always choose organic, grass-fed when possible with no added nitrites or nitrates.
The next meaty idea doesn’t require refrigeration.
#2. Beef Jerky
Jerky can be tricky on a keto diet because so many use sugar for flavoring. Lots of others use artificial ingredients, MSG, and preservatives to keep them shelf-stable.
But when you find a low-carb jerky you like, you can take it everywhere.
Keto beef jerky should have less than three carbs per serving (ideally zero). And protein should be near the 15g per serving range. It should also be made with organic, grass-fed meat.
Canned seafood makes another simple protein choice that requires little effort or thought.
#3. Sardines, Tuna, or Salmon
A can of sardines, tuna, or salmon won’t seem that special until you check the nutrition facts. These tins are loaded with high-fat, zero-carb protein.
And when you grab a can of fish packed in olive oil, you’ll score even more healthy omegas.
Eat your fish with salt and pepper or use it to top this next quick food.
Premade salads-in-a-bowl come with everything you need except a fork. Look for the made-ahead Caesar salad and ditch the croutons. Always double check the carbs in the dressing.
While many salads come with strips of grilled chicken, you can add extra protein with deli meats, cheese, or high-fat, protein-rich fish in a can.
#5. Cooked Chicken (Rotisserie, Grilled Strips, Etc.)
Almost every grocery store offers fresh rotisserie chicken. Grab one of these and you’ll have more than one meal.
Packages of grilled, skinless chicken strips or nuggets are also becoming easier to find. Pair them with a salad or an avocado and you don’t even have to warm anything up, like this next choice.
#6. Premade Chicken, Tuna, or Egg Salad
Low-carb protein (like chicken, tuna, or eggs) plus mayo equals keto meat salad. It’s a stellar combination of fat and protein to get you through a hectic day or end one the easy way.
Always check the net carbs because sometimes additions like fruits, sauces, or veggies increase the carb count.
These options all work well for lunch or dinner on-the-run.
But a protein bar comes in handy if you don’t know when you’ll actually get to eat.
It’s hard to find healthy keto meal replacement bars because so many include sketchy high-carb fillers and artificial sugars. These raise your blood sugar levels and may knock you out of ketosis.
After Perfect Keto founder Dr. Anthony Gustin tested a few of the most popular low-carb protein bars, he decided to create his own.
Made with grass-fed collagen and zero fillers or sugar alcohols, Perfect Keto Bars help you stick to keto when you’re most tempted to cheat.
And these bars come in four flavors so you’ll never get bored: almond butter brownie, lemon poppyseed, sea salt caramel, and chocolate chip cookie dough.
You can also sip on protein during your commute, after the gym, or running errands.
Protein shakes are the easiest and most convenient way to sneak in a meal’s worth of nutrients when you don’t have time to sit down to one
Keto meal replacement shakes may not be at your local convenience or grocery stores.
But making protein smoothies at home before you leave the house takes all of five minutes and one blender pitcher to clean.
Plus, they travel well, satiate quickly, and offer tons of variety in the flavor department to keep your diet interesting.
Consider these two popular options:
#1. Collagen Protein Shakes and Smoothies
Think of collagen protein shakes like a happy addition to your keto diet.
Collagen strengthens your bones, joints, and ligaments. It also improves your gut lining and connective tissues. It even helps your skin glow.
A serving of Perfect Keto collagen has 10g of protein from collagen peptides, 5g of MCT oil powder, and zero carbs. It contains 1.5 grams of acacia fiber, a prebiotic fiber for gut health, as well.
When you need more than 10g of protein and all those critical amino acids, whey protein is still the king of convenience.
#2. Whey Protein Shakes and Smoothies
Whey protein is considered a complete protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids your body needs but can’t make.
And studies show adding whey protein to your diet may:
- Boost muscle growth[*]
- Preserve lean muscle mass during weight loss[*][*]
- Improve recovery after hard workouts[*]
- Suppress your appetite and increase satiety[*]
So a whey protein shake is ideal for pre-workout, post-workout, and days you need protein quickly.
The Perfect Keto whey protein powder contains 15g of protein and 5g of MCT oil powder for just 3g of carbs. That’s all the convenience of a protein bar in a delicious, easy-to-digest shake.
You’ll never run out of recipes with this guide on keto protein smoothies for all day domination.
The next choice requires even less work.
Hiding behind the aisles of potato chips and candy bars you’ll find keto snacks like pickles, olives, kale chips, and more.
Start your quest for the top keto snack foods by checking these resources:
- The Ultimate Healthy Keto Snack List
- The Best On-the-Go Keto Snacks
- Healthy Keto Snacks You Can Buy Today
Though maybe not as affordable as making fat bombs, ice cream, or keto cookies at home, these healthy snacks prove keto can be convenient.
The Takeaway: Keto Convenience Foods Can Be Healthy
Meal prepping is still the best approach for meeting your health and weight loss goals on a ketogenic diet.
But you can find quick grab-and-go options to stay low-carb when you’re low on time or energy. And you don’t have to take a dirty keto or lazy keto approach to do so.
These options are healthy, readily available, and a no-brainer when you’re stumped about what to eat next.
When you’re ready to master a few keto recipes, start with these first: