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There are incredible benefits to eliminating carbs from your diet. It is proven to reduce hunger and food cravings significantly (a).

It is one way to lose weight automatically without having to count calories (b).

Low-carb diets lead to more weight loss than low-fat diets. As many as 23 studies have confirmed this claim. You can sometimes lose 2 to 3 times as much weight as you do on a low-fat diet (c, d).

Reducing or eliminating carbs provides many other health benefits for your metabolic system (e).

Some of these benefits include the lowering of blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and triglycerides levels. It also boosts HDL (good cholesterol) levels among many other benefits (f, g, h, i, j).

healthy low carb foods

The good news is that making the switch to a low-carb diet can be a simple process.

It is a simple case of eating more “real foods” with low carbs. Do this and see your weight drop and your health improve drastically.

I have put together this list of 40 low-carb foods that are mostly healthy, full of nutrients and good-tasting.

Net Carbs vs. Total Carbs

I have provided the carb content for each food item in this list. I have provided this information for a standard serving of the food and a 100-gram portion of the food.

What you should know is that some of the food items contain high levels of fiber. The “net” (or digestible) carb content of such food items may, therefore, be much lower than stated.

1. Eggs (Negligible)

Eggs are very healthy and contain a lot of nutrients.

They are high in many nutrients, such as protein, fats, and plenty of micronutrients that benefit the brain and eyes (k, l).

Carb content (negligible)

Meat Ingredients

Meat products have negligible quantities of carbs in them. Their carb content is pretty much non-existent. Organ meats like liver are the only types of meat products that contain about 5% carbs (m).

2. Beef (Zero carbs)

Beef makes you feel satisfied for a longer period than carbs. It also contains plenty of essential nutrients like vitamin B12 and iron. Beef also comes in many different types, such as ground beef, steak, and burger patty.

Carbs content: Zero

3. Chicken (Zero carbs)

Chicken is one of the most consumed meats in the world. It contains high levels of many essential nutrients. It is also a good source of healthy proteins.

If your diet is low-carb, we recommend that you choose the parts of the chicken that are high in fats. These include the thighs and wings.

Carbs content: Zero

4. Jerky (Normally zero carbs)

Jerky is basically meat cut into thin, short strips and dehydrated (dried). Unprocessed jerky (without additives such as sugar and other artificial flavorings) is a low-carb snack and contains zero carbs.

However, the chances are if you buy your jerky from the store, it is highly-processed. This makes it quite unhealthy. It is best that you make them yourself if you are looking for a healthy jerky.

Carb contents: This depends on how it is made. Unprocessed jerky, without added sugars and preservatives, contains almost zero carbs.

5. Lamb (Zero carbs)

Lamb is also widely consumed around the world. It is high in essential nutrients like vitamin B12 and iron. Most of the lambs around the world feed on grass. They, therefore, contain high levels of the essential fatty acid known as CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) (n).

Carbs content: Zero

6. Pork (including bacon) (Normally Zero)

Pork is also widely consumed around the world. It is a delicious and nutritious meat and a firm favorite with people on low-carb diets because of the high-fat content.

Most bacon meats are highly-processed and, therefore, not considered a “healthy” food. However, it is perfectly alright to eat small amounts of it when you are on a low-carb diet.

Wherever possible, you should buy bacon that does not have artificial ingredients added to it.

Carbs content: Zero. However, if you buy bacon cured with sugar, it ceases to be a low-carb food.

Other meat products that are low in carbs:

  • Venison
  • Veal
  • Bison
  • Turkey
  • Other poultry meat

Fish and other seafood

Seafood, including fish, are some of the healthiest and most nutritious foods in the world.

They contain high levels of essential minerals and other micronutrients like vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids, and iodine. A lot of people lack these essential nutrients.

Fish and other seafood contain zero carbs unless they are processed with other ingredients.

7. Trout (Zero carbs)

Trout is a delicious and fatty fish that has high levels of the essential fatty acid, omega-3. It also has several essential micronutrients and is an excellent source of protein.

Carb content: Zero

8. Salmon (Zero carbs)

Salmon is one of the most consumed fishes in the world. It is touted as a healthy source of protein and essential micronutrients like omega-3 fatty acids.

It also has high levels of vitamin B12 and iodine as well as good levels of vitamin D3.

Carb content: Zero

9. Shellfish (4 to 5%)

Shellfish are nutrient-packed. It’s such a pity that most homes do not include shellfish in their regular meals. Pound for pound, it is one of the most nutritious meats on the planet.

Shellfish are low-carb meats; however, they do contain some carbs.

Carb content: A 100-gram portion of shellfish meat contains about 4 to 4 grams of carbs.

10. Sardines (Zero carbs)

Sardines are popular sources of protein around the world. They are small, oily fish and often consumed whole.

They are highly nutritious foods. Sardines are said to contain almost every single nutrient required by the humans.

Carb content: Zero

Other fish and seafood that are low in carbs:

  • Haddock
  • Herring
  • Catfish
  • Shrimp
  • Tuna
  • Lobster
  • Cod

Low-carb Vegetables

Almost all vegetables contain low levels of carbohydrates. However, there are a few that have high carb contents.

The vegetables with the least amount of carbs are the leafy greens and cruciferous ones. Most of the carbs in these types of vegetables consist of fiber.

The vegetables with high-carb content are of the starchy roots variety, such as potatoes (including the sweet variety).

Here are a few low-carb vegetables

11. Tomatoes (4% carbs).

Technically, tomatoes are not vegetables. They are fruits or berries. However, most people eat them as a vegetable.

They have high levels of potassium and vitamin C.

Carb content: There are about 4 grams of carbs in a 100-gram portion of tomatoes.

12. Broccoli (7% carbs)

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable. It is a delicious vegetable packed with essential micronutrients like vitamins C and K. It is also high in useful fiber and contains a plant compound that is potent in fighting cancer.

Broccoli can be consumed raw or cooked.

Carb content: There are about 7 grams of carbs in a 100-gram portion of broccoli.

13. Brussels Sprouts (7% carbs).

Brussels sprouts are another vegetable that contains plenty of nutrients. It bears close relations to broccoli and kale. It has high levels of vitamins C and K and some B vitamins.

Brussels sprouts also contain many essential plant compounds that are good for your health.

Carb content: There are about 7 grams of carbs in a 100-gram portion of Brussels sprouts.

14. Onions (9% carbs)

Onions are one of the most widely used vegetables in the world. They are used in cooking to add flavor to food. But besides giving food good taste, onions have good antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

They are also very high in useful fiber.

Carbs content: There are about 9 grams of carbs in 100 grams of onion.

15. Eggplant (6% carbs)

Eggplant is high in useful fiber. It is technically a fruit but is commonly treated as a vegetable.

Carbs content: There are about 6 grams of carbs in a 100-gram portion of eggplant.

16. Cauliflower (5%)

Cauliflower is consumed widely around the world. It is known for its versatility and often used in a variety of ways in cooking.

It has high levels of vitamins C and K as well as some B vitamins.

Carbs content: There are about 5 grams of carbs in a 100-gram portion of cauliflower.

17. Cucumber (4%)

Cucumber is a widely-consumed vegetable around the world despite its misplaced usage in the beauty industry. Technically, it is also a fruit but most commonly treated as a vegetable.

It has a very mild flavor and is mostly made up of water. But it has small levels of vitamin K.

Like many vegetables, cucumber can be eaten raw or cooked.

Carbs content: There are about 4 grams of carbs in a 100-gram serving of cucumber.

18. Kale (10%)

Kale is widely touted a “healthy” food by those in the healthy eating niche. It has very high levels of vitamins C and K, fiber and carotene antioxidants. There are many health benefits of kale.

Carbs content: There are about 10 grams of carbs in 100 grams of kale.

19. Asparagus (2%)

Asparagus is a spring flowering vegetable eaten widely around the world. It has high levels of fiber, vitamin C, as well as some B vitamins.

It also contains high amounts of carotene antioxidants and vitamin K.

Asparagus is high in protein and also a good source of plant protein relative to other vegetables.

Carbs content: There are about 2 grams of carbs in a 100-gram portion of asparagus.

20. Bell Peppers (6%)

Bell peppers are mild-flavored peppers. They are not hot and taste delicious. Bell peppers are high in fiber.

They also contain high levels of carotene antioxidants and vitamin C.

Carbs content: There are about 6 grams of carbs in a 100-gram portion of bell pepper.

21. Mushrooms (3%)

Technically, mushrooms are not vegetables or plants at all. However, most people treat it as a veggie.

Mushrooms are high in potassium. They also have small amounts of some B vitamins.

Carbs content: There are about 3 grams of carbs in a 100-gram serving of mushrooms.

22. Green Beans (7%)

Technically, green beans are also not a vegetable. They are a legume, but most people consume them as a vegetable.

Green beans are a low-carb food. But they contain high levels of several nutrients like protein, magnesium, fiber, vitamins C and K, and potassium.

Carbs content: There are 7 grams of carbs in 100 grams of green beans.

Other vegetables that are low in carbs:

  • Swiss chard
  • Celery
  • Cabbage
  • Spinach
  • Zucchini

It’s almost impossible to go over your carbs limit from consuming too many vegetables. This is because almost every vegetable is low in carbs. The only exceptions are the starchy, root vegetables.

Fruits and Berries

In the world of low-carb diets, followers view fruits with high suspicion even though they are seen as healthy food.

The thing is fruits contain high levels of sugars and often contain more carbs than vegetables.

If you are on a low-carb diet, you should consider limiting your daily fruit consumption to 1 or 2 a day.

However, some fruits are very low in carbs. Fruits such as avocados and berries like raspberries are low-carb foods.

23. Olives (6%)

The olive fruit is high in healthy fats.  It also contains high levels of micronutrients like copper and iron. It also has good levels of vitamin E.

Carbs content: 100 grams of the olive fruit contains about 6 grams of carbs.

24. Avocado (8%)

Avocados are another one of the high, healthy fats fruits. It contains very high amounts of fiber. It is also high potassium and contains several other micronutrients.

Carbs content: 100 grams of avocado contains about 8 grams of carbs.

25. Grapefruit (11%)

Grapefruits are close relatives of the orange fruit. It belongs to the citrus family of fruits which include tangerine, orange, and lemons.

Grapefruits are high in fiber and vitamin C. They also contain good levels of carotene antioxidants.

Carbs content: About 11 grams of a 100-gram serving of grapefruit is carbs.

26. Apricots (11%)

Apricots are a delicious and low carb fruits. They have high levels of vitamin C and potassium.

Carbs content: 100 grams of an apricot fruit contains about 11 grams of carbs.

27. Strawberries (8%).

Strawberries are very high in nutrients are low in carbs. They also contain very high levels of micronutrients like vitamin C and manganese.

They are also known to have potent antioxidant properties.

Carbs content: 100 grams of strawberries contain about 8 grams of carbs.

List of other low-carb fruits:

  • Raspberries
  • Lemons
  • Mulberries
  • Oranges
  • Kiwi Fruit

Seeds and Nuts

Nuts and seeds are higher in carbs compared to vegetables, meats, and fruits. But they are also high in healthy fats. They also have high levels of protein, fiber, and several micronutrients.

They are consumed widely around the world as a food staple.

Nut and seed flours are often used as substitutes for traditional wheat flours in making low-carb bread and other baked foods.

Here are a few nuts and seeds that are low in carbs.

28. Walnuts (14%)

Nuts are delicious, and walnuts are no different. It contains high levels of the omega-3 fatty acid, ALA (Alpha-linolenic acid). It also contains protein, fats and various micronutrients.

Carbs content: 100 grams of walnuts contain about 14 grams of carbs.

29. Almonds (22%).

Almonds are touted as a “healthy” food in the healthy eating and weight watchers world. They are very delicious.

They have high levels of fiber, and vitamin E. Almonds are also one of the best sources of magnesium in the world.

A few studies have shown that almonds can help you lose weight (o, p).

Carbs content: There are about 22 grams of carbs in a 100-gram serving of almonds.

30. Chia Seeds (44%)

There probably isn’t a health and weight loss guru out there that is not recommending chia seeds to their clients. It is one of the most popular “superfoods” in the healthy eating and weight loss niche.

Chia seeds are also extremely high in dietary fiber.

They are highly nutritious seeds packed with essential nutrients. Chia seeds are very versatile in how they are used in meals.

Carbs content:  100 grams of chia seeds contain about 44 grams of carbs. However, most of the carbs are in the form of dietary fiber.

31. Peanuts (16%).

Peanuts are incredibly delicious. Technically, it is not a nut but a legume. But I doubt anyone can convince any of us that it is not a nut… So a nut it is.

They are a high-fiber food and contain other nutrients such as protein, fats, magnesium, vitamin E and many other essential micronutrients.

Carbs content: 100 grams of peanuts contain about 16 grams of carbs.

Other seeds and nuts that are low in carbs:

  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Flax seeds
  • Cashew nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Coconuts

Dairy Foods

Not everyone is dairy tolerant. However, if you are one of those that are tolerant to dairy products, they are excellent low-carb foods.

The key is to make sure they do not contain added sugars.

32. Heavy Cream (3%)

Heavy cream is a low-carb, low-protein and high-fat food. People on low-carb diets love adding it to their meals.

For a tasty low-carb dessert, add heavy cream to a bowl of berries.

Carbs content: 100 grams of heavy cream contains about 3 grams of carbs.

33. Cheese (1.3%)

Cheese is a very delicious low-carb food consumed by many around the world. It is highly versatile and used in a variety of ways in meals. It can also be eaten raw on its own.

Cheese is packed with nutrients. A small slice of cheese can contain as many nutrients as a glass of milk.

Carbs content: 100 grams of cheddar cheese contains only 1.3 grams of carbs.

34. Greek Yogurt (4%)

You can easily differentiate between Greek yogurt and regular yogurt by looking at the thickness. Greek yogurt is thicker.

Greek yogurt contains high levels of protein and other essential nutrients.

Carbs content: There are about 4 grams of carbs.

35. Full-fat yogurt (5%)

Some people think full-fat yogurts are unhealthy. However, this is not true. It is a highly healthy food, packed full of nutrients.

Its nutritional content is like that of whole milk. However, yogurts containing live cultures have high levels of useful probiotic bacteria.

Carbs content: 100 grams of full-fat yogurt contains about 5 grams of carbs.

Fats and Oils

For many years, fats were demonized in the food industry. That reputation is gradually changing, and we now know that fats and oils can be healthy.

And several fats and oils are good to consume with a low-carb diet.

The key is to steer clear of refined vegetable oils, such as corn oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, etc.

36. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Zero)

Extra virgin olive oil is healthier than any other fat in the world. It is highly used in Mediterranean diets and a staple in many parts of the world.

It has very potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Olive oil is also known to be good for the heart.

Carbs content: zero.

37. Coconut Oil (Zero).

Coconut oil is also one of the most recommended cooking oils in the healthy eating and weight loss industry.

Studies have shown that they can help with belly fat loss (q, r, s, t).

Carbs content: zero

38. Butter (Zero)

Butter was once the most vilified fat on the planet because it is high in saturated fats. It is slowly changing its reputation. It is by no means a healthy food, but it contains plenty of nutrients and can be good for you when consumed in moderation.

The key is to look for grass-fed butter.

Carbs content: zero

Other fats and oils that are good for low-carb diets:

  • Tallow
  • Lard
  • Avocado

Low-carb friendly beverages

Most processed beverages are not low-carb friendly because of their high sugar contents. Drinks such as soda, packaged fruit juice, and sugar-sweetened beverages should be avoided at all costs.

It is, however, alright to consume sugar-free beverages when on a low-carb diet.

39. Coffee (Zero)

Coffee is one of the most studied beverages out there. This doesn’t come as a surprise because it is one of the most consumed beverages in the world.

Coffee is packed with loads of antioxidants. There are a few studies that claim that regular drinkers of coffee tend to live longer. They also reduce their risk of contracting many illnesses like Parkinson’s, diabetes type-2 and Alzheimer’s disease (u, v, w, x, y, z).

Do not add sugar to your coffee.

Carbs content: zero

40. Water (zero).

Well, water is just water. It is the most consumed “beverage” in the world and should be your first option anytime you need to quench your thirst.

Carbs content: zero

Other low-carb foods to consider

  • Tea (green tea can boost fat burning (a1, b1))
  • Dark Chocolate (Read our article about the benefits of dark chocolate).
  • Club Soda or Carbonated Water (This is simply water infused with carbon dioxide).
  • Herbs, Condiments, and Spices (Read our article about 10 healthy herbs and spices).

Final thoughts

This list is by no means an exhaustive list of low-carbohydrate foods. There are tons of other options out there.

If you’ve got your own suggestions, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

In the meantime, you can read all our articles about low-carb diets:

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