Low-carb foods are a crucial part of the keto diet. If carbs are not low in your diet you’re less likely to experience the great benefits of keto.
In fact, the purpose of eating lower carbs is to burn fats for energy in order to enter a metabolic state called ketosis.
The benefits are not just tied to weight-loss. It was proven that the diet also provides a lot of energy and mental clarity to the dieter.
Most people who have tried it have reported increased energy levels and better athletic performance. So, say goodbye to those evening slumps or morning dizziness because on the keto diet you’ll burn calories 24/7.
Other than that, several studies have shown the effect of the diet on blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
By decreasing carbs, you decrease blood pressure which can positively affect chronicle diseases like type 2 diabetes or even reverse it.
Despite all the benefits provided by the diet, it doesn’t imply that carbs are bad. In fact, they are necessary. It’s only digestible carbs (sugar) that we want to minimize.
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Low-Carb Foods On The Keto Diet
Finding low-carb foods is not as hard as it looks. You just have to stick to whole foods, mostly. You’ll notice that there are plenty of them on the list if not all.
Moreover, in this post, we’ll focus on carbs which make less than 5% of the keto diet. That won’t exclude the huge importance of fats and protein which provide respectively 80% and 15% of the calories.
The list includes some high-fat no carb foods which fit perfectly into the keto diet.
Also, these almost no carb foods below are organized by food category. This will make it easier for you to figure out your shopping list for the diet.
Almost every type of meat is very low in carbs. They are also considerably high in proteins compared to other foods.
Of course, there are some exceptions such as liver which contains 5% carbs.
Beef is one of the largest source providers of L-Carnitine which is responsible for transporting fats to the mitochondria for burning.
Also, beef provides vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin B12. Not to mention that it contains zero carbs.
Just like beef, chicken is a great source of vitamin B12 and other nutrients that are involved in brain function. There is no wonder then that chicken can better the mood.
Chicken is a no-carb food and every part of it is different from the other. So, if you’re on keto it’s better to choose fattier cuts like thighs and wings.
Pork is very known for the high amounts of proteins it contains. That’s why it helps build muscles. But did you know that pork is loaded with nutrients?
Not just vitamins such as vitamin B-6, but also nutrients like selenium, phosphorus, and zinc.
Very similar to beef but provides different health benefits.
As for the nutrients and vitamins, this meat is a great source of vitamin B-12, B-3, A, and vitamin D which is considered a global deficiency.
Lamb is another red meat on the list but this one comes from sheep.
It’s great not just because it is loaded with proteins but also it provides several nutrients such as zinc and iron
Meats like bison, turkey, and venison are very similar to the ones listed above. They are packed with proteins and nutrients and provide almost no carbs except for organ meats like liver.
Fish And Seafood
Fish and seafood are not only beneficial for physical health but also for mental health.
Several studies have shown that they can improve a person’s cognitive behavior by providing lots of nutrients.
Also, the best part is that most kinds of seafood are almost zero-carb, just like meat.
Tuna is a very common food in sushi and Asian cuisines. It exists in all world’s oceans in varying species.
Tuna provides a lot of protein and almost no carbs which boost weight-loss and decrease blood pressure.
Also, it’s a great source of vitamin B which is a major component in bone strength.
Salmon is a super healthy food because of the amount of protein and nutrients it contains.
Apart from being very low in carbs, salmon is rich in healthy fats providing a lot of omega 3 fatty acids.
As for the vitamins, this seafood provides a lot of them. There is no wonder that it improves cognitive behavior and strengthen the bones by providing vitamin B.
Salmon and trout are members of the same family but they are slightly different when it comes to the taste.
This food is a great source of niacin which is the essential component that converts food to energy.
Containing almost zero carbs and providing a lot of protein like most kinds of seafood, halibut is also rich in micronutrients.
By eating 4 oz of halibut a day, you can get 100% of your daily needs of selenium. It helps to decrease inflammation and repair cells.
Catfish, flatfish, Bass… The list of keto-friendly seafood is very large and they have one thing in common: Almost all of them contain zero carbs.
For all these reasons, this type of foods shouldn’t be missed from your diet.
Fats & Oils
The products in this category are the most crucial on the keto diet. Not only do they provide 80% of the calories but also they contribute to overall health.
However, there is no denial that unhealthy fats exist in most foods. Those you should stay away from as much as possible.
If you want the best type of olive oil you better choose extra virgin.
In fact, olive oil is very rich in monosaturated fats and antioxidants. Also, it is very low in carbs which adds up to a tiny fraction of the health benefits it provides.
Consuming olive oil with the appropriate amounts can prevent chronicle diseases like strokes and heart diseases.
Unlike olive oil that can’t be cooked, you can use coconut oil in almost everything. Not to mention the enormous health benefits it provides.
In fact, it contains zero carbs falling easily into the category of low carb foods.
Also, coconut oil is rich in fatty acids that help reduce hunger, improve metabolism, and boost weight-loss. Other than that, it helps improve heart health.
MCT stands for medium-chain triglyceride. These fats chains are mostly extracted from coconut oil, palm oil, and several dairy products.
This fatty oil may provide the same benefits as coconut oil. In fact, it helps you feel full for longer, boost your metabolism, and contains few calories.
All this contributes to a greater weight-loss.
If you use butter everyday you have to change to grass-fed because it’s a lot healthier.
In fact, grass-fed butter is very rich in vitamin A and provides a lot of unsaturated fatty acids.
Not to mention that it’s carb-free which makes it perfect for the keto diet.
Ghee, avocado oil, and animal fats such as lard and tallow are also low carb foods that you can add to the diet.
However, be wary with the amounts of animal fats you eat as most of them are heavy with saturated fats.
Eggs And Dairy Products
Some people exclude eggs and dairy products from their diet. Thus, they miss on a lot of health benefits.
Most of the time, we tend to consider dairy products as unhealthy foods because of sugar added to them. Luckily, there are still some healthy options on the aisle.
Eggs can improve your brain function, build muscles, lower blood pressure, improve heart health, and prevent chronicle diseases…
It is one of the most healthiest foods for the amount of vitamins and nutrients it provides.
If you are familiar with keto recipes chances are you’ve seen heavy cream in most of them. But why is that?
Simply, it doesn’t only enrich the meal but also provides tons of health benefits. It’s loaded with fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K.
Half and half is a popular coffee creamer. It consists of a mixture of whole milk and cream.
Since it’s a full-fat product, it provides several health benefits, especially related to weight-loss.
In fact, one tablespoon of half and half contains 20 calories and 2 grams of fats. Thus, it helps you feel full for longer and increase your ketones.
Cheese exists in a lot of different types (cheddar, mozzarella,…) but they are all good for you.
First of all, 3 oz of cheese contains only 2 g of net carbs and 32 g of fats which makes it great for the keto diet.
Also, it is a great source of nutrients and vitamins. It contains high amount sof vitamins A, B-12, and K-2.
However, it can make you fat. In fact, cheese is very high in fats that are the most caloric dense nutrients. That’s why it is very high in calories.
Cheese can easily add up to your daily calories (405 calories per 3 oz). You just have to be careful with the portions.
Vegetables are the most important part of the keto diet as they provide the most nutrients and the least amount of carbs.
The rule says the everything that grows above the ground is keto-friendly. So, here is a list of them with some exceptions.
Even though eating spinach is not so much fun, it has a lot of benefits. Just look at Popeye and you will realize that.
Apart from being low in carbs, spinach is a great source of several vitamins such as vitaminn A , Vitamin B-2, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin E…
Scientists proved that spinach strengthen your bones and your eyesight. Also, it boosts the immune system and thus helps fighting viruses.
If you are already on a keto diet chances are you’ve already tried asparagus in most of your meals.
If you are not eating this vegetable you should try it and if you’re already eating it you should consume more of it.
One serving of asparagus provides a lot of nutrients and few calories.
Also, it helps with digestive problems, improve heart health, and provides a lot of antioxidants.
Most people argue around classifying zucchini as a fruit or a vegetable but the benefits are the same.
Zucchini is a green vegetable that grows above the ground which makes it a good fit in the list.
Just like most vegetables on the list, zucchini are very nutritious. They are a great source of vitamins such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Vitamin K-6.
Also, they are high in dietary fibers without affecting blood sugar levels which contributes to a healthy digestion.
Broccoli contains 7 grams of net carbs per 3 oz but that does not mean it’s bad on the keto diet.
In fact, provides a lot of nutrients and minerals. It’s tasty and you can eat it cooked or raw. You just have to be careful with the portions you consume.
You may already know that these are not the only low carb foods in this category so here are some other options: Bell peppers, eggplants, watercress, mushrooms, cauliflower…
Even though most fruits are high in sugar, there are still some keto-friendly options.
Some people might tell you to ditch all types of fruits on the keto diet, but you don’t have to. They are very nutritious and you don’t want to miss on that.
Portions are also very important in this food category, especially for the ones that are slightly high in carbs.
There are several types of berries (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries,…) but they are all low in carbs and provide a lot minerals and nutrients.
Raspberries and blackberries are the lowest ones in carbs providing only 4 g of net carbs. Also, they are high in dietary fibers which helps with digestive problems.
Well, that’s true. Avocado is a fruit and if we have to talk about the benefits it provides I don’t think I’ll ever stop.
First, let’s take a look at the amount of healthy fats this fruit contains. This makes it a great source of energy if you are on a keto diet.
Also, Avocado is very low in carbs. Sugar or digestible carbs are almost nonexistent. Fibers are the most dominant type of carbs.
Lemon is a great source of vitamin C with almost no net carbs. It can promote weight-loss by making you feel full for longer.
Also, it was proven that eating foods high in vitamin C reduces the risk of chronic diseases like heart diseases and stroke (*).
The best part about lemon is that you can eat it with everything. Most people make lemon juice and mix it with hot water.
Kiwi is a small fruit packed with nutrients and amazing flavor.
Even though it’s slightly high in carbs (7g per cup), kiwi can be added to the diet in small portions.
In fact, it’s bad that you miss on fruit that boosts your immune system, manages blood pressure, and helps prevent sickness…
As we get to our last fruit on the list, we have the highest one in carbs on the list. But don’t worry! Small portions with tons of benefits will do a lot on your diet.
Not only apricots are very tasty but also they are loaded with vitamin C and potassium.
As we mentioned, the list of low carb fruits is very large. So, if none of the above suits you you can still find other options such as Melon, grapes,…
However, always be aware of the amount of carbs as you try to keep below 50 net grams (ideally 20 grams).
Sweeteners are not mandatory on the keto diet, but they can make any meal a lot more fun. That’s why I highly recommend them.
You might be overwhelmed by the number of options out there so I picked three of my favorite low-carb sweeteners here.
Monk fruit was mainly used as a medicine for the common cold and digestive remedies. But now it is found in markets as a low-carb sweetener.
Monk fruit doesn’t affect your blood sugar, its glycemic index is 0. It contains 0-25 grams of net carbs depending on the product in the market. These properties make it great for keto.
Packed with nutrients and antioxidants, monk fruit provides a lot of health benefits, that’s why it is recognized as safe by the FDA.
Stevia is another natural zero-carb sweetener. It was discovered by native south Americans when they found a plant with very sweet leaves.
Just to paint you a picture of how sweet it is, if you haven’t tried it, it is 200-300 times sweeter than table sugar.
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol. It is significantly low in carbs and calories compared to table sugar. It provides 0-5 grams of net carbs and 20 calories per 3 ounces.
It’s easy to get out of ketosis just by eating nuts on a keto diet. In fact, they promote weight gain, most of the time.
However, you might be a nut lover as I am. I don’t blame you. They are so delicious and it’s hard to give up on them.
Luckily, some nuts are low carb foods but you should eat it in moderation. A handful is a maximum recommended daily (about 30 grams).
One ounce of pecans provides 196 calories, 20g of total fats, 2.6g of proteins, and 4g of carbs of which 2.7 are fibers.
They are an excellent source of minerals like manganese which helps the metabolism to function properly.
Brazil nuts are so large in size. One serving consists of 3 pieces but very nutritious.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), one serving of Brazil nuts provides 99 calories, 2.15g of proteins, 10.06g of fats, and 1.76g of carbs of which 1.1g are fibers.
With 204 calories, 23g fats, 2g proteins, and 1g of net carbs in one ounce, macadamias are one of the most calorie-rich nuts. High in healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.
When it comes to drinks, water is one of the perfect low carb foods. However, it can be boring sometimes.
Luckily, there are a lot of low-carb drink options. All you have to do is to be careful with the sizes.
Plain, unsweetened coffee is very welcome. Black coffee is keto-friendly too. It keeps focused, alert and has a lot of health benefits.
For those who can’t live without a coffee creamer, heavy cream is a great substitute. Two tablespoons provide 0-2 grams of carbs.
Green tea is the best option here. Not only because it is low in carbs but also because it is a great source of antioxidants.
In fact, green tea combined with exercise enhances weight loss and provides other health benefits.
Most alcoholic beverages like beers are not low carb foods. This is not good for dieters as it gets you out of ketosis temporarily.
Also, you may get drunk faster on a keto diet, that’s why you need to be hydrated before you go for any drink.
Liquors like rum, gin, tequila, and whiskey are the best options as they contain 0 grams of carbs. They have to be consumed in moderation.
Wondering what to eat on a keto diet?
We provide you a 7-day keto plan with our top picks dishes. We made sure that you will get low-carbs and high-fat meals with the most tasty flavors. And, of course, we want it to be for everyone, that is why it is a Plan on Budget.