Meat, eggs, and seafood are low in carbs. You can also eat certain vegetables, including broccoli and eggplant, as well as fruit, such as avocado and apricots, on a low carb diet.
Many people follow a low carbohydrate diet to lose weight, lower blood sugar levels, or treat certain diseases. It may be challenging for people who are just starting out to prepare nutritious low carb meals. But eating low carb doesn’t have to be complicated. There are plenty of low carb foods to choose from that promote health and overall well-being.
Here are 63 low carb foods, most of which are healthy, nutritious, and delicious.
When it comes to the low carb community, there is an ongoing debate about whether to consider net carbs or total carbs.
For processed foods, you also need to subtract a portion of sugar alcohols.
It’s important to note that some natural foods such as oils and fats contain no carbs at all, resulting in 0 net carbs when consumed.
Examples of animal protein include:
Note that bacon and jerky are processed meats, so some bacon products may contain additional ingredients that raise their carbohydrate content. It’s important to check the nutritional content of any bacon products before adding them to your diet.
Fish and other seafood tend to provide incredibly nutritious and healthy benefits.
They’re particularly high in B12, iodine, and omega-3 fatty acids — all nutrients many people do not get enough.
Like meat, almost all types of fish and seafood contain next to no carbs. They include:
Most vegetables are low in carbs. Leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables have particularly low levels, and most of their carbs consist of fiber.
On the other hand, starchy root vegetables like potatoes and sweet potatoes are high in carbs.
The following vegetables have about 3–9 grams (g) of carbs per 100 g in their raw, unprocessed forms.
While many fruits are rich in nutrients, people following a low carb eating plan find them highly controversial when it comes to deciding whether they’re acceptable dietary options.
That’s because most fruits are high in carbs compared to vegetables.
Depending on how many carbs you aim for, you may want to restrict your fruit intake to 1–2 pieces per day.
However, this does not apply to fatty fruits like avocados or olives. Low sugar berries, such as strawberries, are another excellent choice.
The following fruits have about 6–15 g of carbs per 100 g in their raw forms.
Nuts and seeds are very popular on low carb diets. Some are low in carbs but high in fat, fiber, protein, and various micronutrients.
Nuts are often eaten as snacks, while seeds can add crunch to salads or recipes. The following options contain 10–17 g of carbs per 100 g. Other options may contain more so make sure to check the food label before you purchase an item.
If you tolerate dairy, full fat dairy products are excellent low carb foods.
The following options contain about 2–11 g of carbs per 100 g. Nonetheless, be sure to read the label and avoid anything with added sugar.
Most sugar-free beverages are acceptable on a low carb diet. Keep in mind that fruit juices are very high in sugar and carbs. It’s important that people wishing to limit carbs be mindful of this.
The safest beverages to drink are water, coffee, and tea because they contain no carbs. You can also drink carbonated water if it’s sugar-free.
Lastly, some foods do not quite fit any other category.
Herbs, spices, and condiments
Be careful of condiments like ketchup, BBQ sauce, sweet relish, or honey mustard. These usually have added sugar, so consume them in moderation. Look at their nutrition labels and select condiments with no sugar, such as plain mustard, for example.
That said, there is an almost endless variety of delicious herbs and spices that you can use to add flavor to your food. Most of them are very low in carbs but pack a powerful nutritional punch while adding flavor to your meals.
Some notable examples include salt, pepper, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, mustard, and oregano.
What foods can I eat on a low carb diet?
On a low carb diet, you want to eat foods that are high in protein and healthy fat and lower in carbs. These can include meat, fish, leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, full-fat dairy products, and some fruits, like avocados.
What carbs should I eat to lose belly fat?
Losing belly fat usually involves overall weight loss. A low carb diet may help some people reduce their overall calorie intake and lose weight. On this eating plan, concentrate on eating proteins and healthy fats, along with getting carbs from leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli.
How do I start a low carb diet for beginners?
To start following a low carb diet, you typically need to increase the amount of protein and healthy fats in your diet and decrease the amount of low fiber, high carb foods that you consume. You can follow a low carb diet meal plan to guide your meal prepping as you get started.
How can I lose weight without cutting carbs?
To lose weight, you typically need to create a calorie deficit between the calories you eat and the calories you burn daily. Many people do this by eating fewer calories, increasing their physical activity, or a combination of both. You can lose weight while still eating carbs, but choosing nutritious carbs, like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, over highly processed foods can be helpful.
Eating fewer carbs can have significant health benefits, and it’s a process that doesn’t have to be complicated.
Most low carb foods are healthy, nutritious, and delicious.
They’re highly diverse, covering many major food categories, including meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, and many more.
A health-promoting, low carb diet based on real foods can help you lose weight and improve your health.