Low Carb Food List – An In-depth Breakdown
Healthy Fats & Oils: Coconut oil, butter, lard & bacon fat, olive oil, avocados, fish oil, flaxseed, chia seed. Stay away from bad fats like vegetable oils.
Meats: All are fine. Chicken, beef, lamb, pork, venison, etc. Grass-fed is the healthiest.
Fish & Seafood: All are fine. Salmon, cod, shrimp, octopus, tuna, tilapia, bass and others. Wild-caught is the healthiest.
Vegetables: All non-starchy veggies are fine. Spinach, zucchini, yellow squash, broccoli, mushrooms, cucumbers, onion, garlic, cherry tomatoes, spaghetti squash, etc. Vegetables other than potatoes, corn and large tomatoes are low in carbs and should be consumed multiple times daily.
Eggs: Omega-3 enriched, pasture-raised organic are best.
Full-fat Dairy: Cheeses, unsweetened almond milk, heavy cream, yogurt, butter. Any dairy low in carbs and high in saturated and/or monounsaturated is generally good.
Nuts and Seeds (in small amounts): Almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, cashews, sunflower seeds.
Flour Replacements: Almond flour, almond meal and coconut flour. If you’re allergc to nuts, try using Cassava flour, Plantain flour, or Sunflower Seed Flour.
Berries (in small amounts): Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, lemons, limes.
Sweeteners & Sugar Alcohols: Erythritol, stevia, Truvia, xylitol. It’s recommended to consume sweeteners with minimal calories, no carbs and a low Glycemix Index (GI) because they won’t count toward your net carbs or spike your blood sugar levels. Every body is different though, so try these sweeteners and see how you feel!
* Berries, nuts and seeds should be eaten in small quantities. Berries do contain sugar and can easily take you over your carb limit if you don’t track your portion sizes; however, they are packed with vitamins and can be a good treat from time to time. Nuts are calorie dense and the serving size is generally extremely small.
Low Carb Indulgence Food List
Now that you have your list of safe and delicious low carb foods, you’re probably asking: “What about treats? Can I cheat a little but still be somewhat healthy?” Great question! We know what that’s like and it’s important to be flexible. Here’s a few foods you can indulge in from time to time:
Dark Chocolate: 70% cocoa or higher has about 10 carbs per ounce.
Ice cream? Did someone say Ice Cream? Check out the ice cream recipe here.
Sugar-free Jello w/ Whipped Cream: Simple but sweet and keeps you low in carbs.
Quest Bars: These aren’t too high in carbs but may spike blood sugar according to some people. Try putting them in a toaster oven for a few minutes on each side (until lightly browned). You’ll love them!
Peanut Butter: Always good but in small doses. Buy an all-natural brand with only two ingredients: peanuts, salt. Justin’s is my favorite!
Pizza (toppings only): If you can’t live without pizza (and don’t want to make a keto pizza), just eat the toppings and sauce. Those are the best parts anyway! Or make your own Low Carb Pizza! I use Rao’s sauce!
Low Carb Drinks (non-alcoholic)
Water, water, water! You need to drink more water on keto, or any healthy lifestyle, for that matter. Staying hydrated is extremely important. Here are a few options you can enjoy while keeping your carbs and sugar in check:
Protein shakes (watch the carbs on these! We have a great low carb shake here)
Vegetable Juices (fresh squeezed and unsweetened)
Carbonated water or soda
Bai5 or other erythritol/stevia sweetened beverages
Low Carb Alcoholic Drinks
You can have alcohol on keto! The stronger liquors are 0 carbs. They will add to your caloric intake but keep your carb count low. Below is a list of liquors and lower carb beers and wines for easy reference when picking your poison!
Rolling Rock Green Light (2.4 carbs)
Michelob Ultra (2.6 carbs)
Bud Select (3.1 carbs)
Miller Lite (3.2 carbs)
Coors Light (5 carbs)
Amstel Light (5 carbs)
Reds (per glass on average)
Merlot (3.7 carbs)
Pinot Noir (3.4 carbs)
Cabernet (3.5 carbs)
Chardonnay (3.7 carbs)
Pinot Grigio (3.2 carbs)
Riesling (5.5 carbs)
Champagne (1.5 carbs)
Losing Weight or Simply Eating Right
Regardless of the reason you switched to a low carb diet, it’s important to be mindful of your daily macros and caloric intake. Watch alcohol intake because it is additional, and empty, calories and will hinder you reaching your goals. Alcohol metabolization stalls fat burning until it’s out of your system.
Being healthy is all about getting the right nutrients and vitamins from your food so always include variety in your diet. Have plenty of meat (or fish), dairy and veggies on a daily basis. Use coconut oil and olive oil when you cook and in your salads (respectively) and have a handful of nuts or berries from time to time.
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Toni Sweeney is a Triple Certified Ketogenic Diet and Primal Health Coach and weight loss expert who personally lost 80 pounds while making a total lifestyle change. The founder of TS Transformations, her formulas and plans has helped thousands of women lose weight and keep it off forever.