Are you looking to cut down on carbs in your diet? If so, you’re not alone. A low-carb diet is a great way to start losing weight and improving your health.
But where do you start? What sort of foods should you be looking to incorporate into a low-carb lifestyle?
In this blog post, we will discuss the staple foods to eat on a low-carb diet. These foods are healthy, nutritious and best of all, they are low in carbs! We’ll also provide a list of the carb counts for each food item.
So whether you’re following a low-carb diet or just trying to reduce your intake of refined carbs, these 15 best foods will help you reach your healthy eating goals!
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One large egg contains roughly 1g of net carbs. Eggs are a great source of protein and contain many essential nutrients, making them a perfect food for those on a low-carb diet. Plus, they can be prepared in a variety of ways and are foundational to many low-carb recipes.
Here’s a few of our favorite low-carb egg recipes:
Cheese is another good option when it comes to eating low carb. In fact, it’s a great option in that it’s typically high fat, moderate protein and low carb. One ounce of goat, blue or cream cheese all have 1g or less of net carbs.
Plus, cheese adds flavor, texture and variety to your meals. Just remember that cheese should be a balanced part of your diet, as it can be high in saturated fat.
Everyone loves chicken—and with good reason, too! Skinless chicken has zero carbs, little fat and lots of protein: a perfect low-carb food. It also has other beneficial nutrients like iron, zinc and vitamin B12.
Because chicken is low in carbs and high in protein, it’s great to eat by itself or in any number of recipes. Plus, it’s a staple food that’s not hard to find and doesn’t break the bank. Win-win!
Need some chicken dish inspiration? Here’s a few of our favorites:
- Juicy Roasted Chicken and Vegetables
- Chinese Chicken Low-Carb Lettuce Wraps
- Low-Carb Coconut Lime Chicken
Like chicken, salmon is another meat that’s a really good option when eating a low-carb diet.
Salmon is a fatty fish, packed full of healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids. It’s also loaded up with vitamins B12 and D3. Not only that, it’s naturally high in protein and low in carbs, making it a perfect, satisfying addition to any low-carb meal.
BACON! If there’s anything we all wish we could eat more of, it’s bacon! It’s salty, crispy, delicious…our mouths are watering just thinking about it!
The good news is that bacon is a great food option when eating a low-carb diet. It’s high in fat and protein, and low in carbs. It’s an absolutely tasty part of breakfast, either on its own or in a dish.
There is a catch, though! Make sure you don’t overdo it. Bacon is fine in moderation and should be included in your low-carb diet in a balanced way. Also, some bacon is cured in sugar, so make sure you keep an eye out for that as well!
Wow, where do we start? Avocados are an incredible option for low-carb diets because of their impressive nutritional profile.
One large avocado packs 18g of carbs but with 14 of those coming from fiber. So, at 4g net carbs and tons of fiber, avocados are a no-brainer when it comes to eating a balanced, low-carb diet. They also come packed with 15g grams of natural fat and 2g of protein. Avocados are a low-carb wonder-food!
Cauliflower is one of the most versatile and popular low-carb vegetables—and for good reason!
Nutritionally, cauliflower is low in carbs and packed with other healthy nutrients. Each cup of cauliflower has only 5 carbs, with 3 of those from fiber for a total of 2g net carbs. It’s also high in both vitamins C and K, and like other cruciferous vegetables is associated with reduced risks of heart disease.
The other great thing about cauliflower is that it has a very mild taste and can be used as a substitute for potatoes, rice and other higher-carb foods. It’s even a popular replacement for pizza crust!
With just 2 grams of net carbs per ½ cup, broccoli is a major superfood that should be a staple in your low-carb diet. It’s also packed with lots of vitamins, like C and K.
And not only that, it’s high in fiber and protein to keep you fuller, longer, and you can use it in just about anything—stews, soups and low-carb makeovers of your favorite foods like casseroles.
This delicious spring vegetable is a perfect addition to any balanced, low-carb diet.
In just 1 cup of cooked asparagus, you’ll get 2.5g of net carbs and 3g of protein. It’s also packed with gut-filling fiber (2.8g, or 11% of your daily recommended intake) and vitamin C. It’s a delicious, filling vegetable that pairs well with a variety of meats.
Butter is a staple amongst low-carb diets for two reasons. One, it has effectively no carbs, and two, it’s high in fat. This makes butter a great addition to any low-carb diet.
It’s important to note that butter should be included in a low-carb diet in a balanced way—the low-carb lifestyle isn’t one of just “bacon and butter.” That said, it is a helpful staple because of its fat content which your body needs for energy after it switches from using carbs.
Like butter, olive oil is a staple in low-carb diets because it has no carbs and lots of healthy fat. Olive oil is also exceptionally nutritious as well. It’s loaded with antioxidants that can help to keep you healthy by protecting against disease. Olive oil is a great option for cooking in general (just make sure to get “extra virgin” olive oil as it is the least processed version).
Walnuts are not only low in carbs but also loaded with nutrients, including B vitamins, iron, magnesium, zinc, antioxidants and fiber.
One ounce of walnuts contains only 2g of net carbs, and eating walnuts on a regular basis contributes to improved heart health, reduced cancer risk, brain function and even weight loss, in large part due to their polyphenol content.
You can’t go wrong with a handful of walnuts as a snack!
Though often associated with sweet things, pecans are actually a very healthy nut packed with all sorts of nutrients.
Not only are pecans loaded with nutrients like magnesium, phosphorus and zinc, they’re also very low in carbs (the lowest of any nut) and high in soluble fiber. Higher amounts of soluble fiber have been linked to lower blood sugar levels and reduced risk of heart disease. And with only 1g of net carbs per serving, you should feel good about including pecans in your low-carb snacking.
Almonds are a healthy, low-carb snack option. A one-ounce serving of almonds contains just 3g of net carbs and is an excellent source of vitamin E, magnesium, riboflavin, copper, phosphorus and manganese. They’re also high in protein, which helps you stay fuller, longer.
Almonds can also be used to make other low-carb ingredients. For example, almond flour is a popular substitute for traditional all-purpose flour and can be used to create lower-carb versions of recipes like pancakes, muffins and crackers.
So as you can see, there are plenty of healthy and delicious food options to choose from when following a low-carb diet. By including these foods in your meals, you’ll be sure to stay satisfied and on track with your health goals. What are some of your favorite low-carb foods? Let us know in the comments below!
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