50 Delicious And Healthy Low Carb Foods

50 Delicious And Healthy Low Carb Foods

When you want to lose fat and show off your lean muscle you need to cut calories. While it is obvious you want to cut fat, you also need to cut your carbohydrates.

Numerous studies show that decreasing your carbohydrate intake is an effective way to maintain and decrease weight [1, 2].

While carbohydrates are important for our energy needs, we should be aware that carbohydrates are abundant in foods and we can overconsume them. That is why we need to eat in moderation refined grains found in white rice or white flour, cereals, or breads [3].

Strive to eat a balance of low carbohydrate and low fat food in your diet for weight loss [4, 5]. The benefits of low carb diets include lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and are effective in decreasing the risk of developing diabetes mellitus [6, 7, and 8].

more: The Best Beginners Low-Carb Diet

But is eating a low carb diet really that hard? No! All you need to do is create your meals focused on consuming these types of 50 low carbohydrate foods.

Be mindful that even though a food is designated as “low carb,” if you eat too much you will get too many carbs and extra calories. You must use appropriate portions. Here is a list of the 50 best low carb foods!

The 50 Best Low Carb Foods

1. Chicken

Chicken is one of the leanest and healthiest foods you can eat, if you love chicken like me, you will try to eat it with every meal! Be careful not to fry it, instead use a grill or bake it to keep those calories low! It also has been shown to help with weight loss and control blood pressure [9]

Carbs: 0g of carbs per 100g serving

2. Beef

Beef contains rich sources of protein, and high concentrations of zinc, phosphorus, iron, omega-3 fatty acids and B-complex vitamins that help build strong muscles, teeth and bones [10, 11]

Carbs: 0g of carbs per 100g serving

3. Lamb

Lamb is a soft and tender food compared to steak, and has similar benefits compared to beef. In addition to increased protein and vitamins and minerals, these foods help prevent anemia due to high iron and maintains skin health and boost the immune system [12].

Carbs: 0g of carbs per 100g serving

4. Pork

Pork tends to get a bad rep, however, this is misguided. If you get lean pork chop slices you get the benefits of protein, B complex vitamins, zinc [13]. However, try to avoid eating pork that is loaded with sugar and salt. Remember, lean portions are best

Carbs: 0g of carbs per 100g serving

more: The Easiest Lifesaving Low Carb Diet Meal Plan And Menu

5. Club Soda/carbonated water

Club Soda/carbonated water has zero calories. So enjoy a refreshing taste of a cool drink!

Carbs: 0g of carbs per 100g serving

6. Tea

Tea has been connected to numerous studies show that it may help with reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and may assist with weight loss [14]. It should be noted that tea contains caffeine so avoid it at night. Whatever tea you have aim to drink those that are unsweet to avoid any extra sugar calories

Carbs: 0g of carbs per 100g serving

7. Eggs

Eggs are full of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and the Harvard School of Public Health reported that cholesterol in eggs does not affect heart health in a negative way [15].

Carbs: 2g of carbs per 100g serving

8. Jerky meat

Jerky meat is meat that has been dried and is does not contain sugar or artificial ingredients. However, since it is processed it usually has lots of salt so best to avoid if you have high blood pressure [16]. But this makes for a great snack. Try jerk mea

Carbs: 0-20g of carbs per 100g serving depending on the meat you purchase (turkey, veal, venison, and bison)

more: 20 Delicious, Healthy, And Filling Low Carb Meals

9. Whey protein

Whey protein is a delicious way to drink protein without any carbohydrates. Try to drink this with water though. If you start adding fruit, even if it is on the low carb list, you will add calories to the drink. If you are cutting stick to just the protein and water. My favorite brands Muscle Milk and Optimum Nutrition.

Carbs: Each scoop serves between 3-6g of carbs with 20-30g of protein depending on the brand and type you get

10. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are sweet and juicy and great to add to almost anything and excellent sources of vitamin C, biotin and Vitamin K [17].

Carbs: 7g of carbs per 100g serving

11. Celery

Celery is a great snack that you can pack in a Ziploc bag and eat at any time, and even dip in peanut butter. It has been linked to lower blood cholesterol, inflammation, and blood pressure, prevent ulcers and protect the liver [18].

Carbs:3g of carbs per 100g serving

12. Onions

Onions contain quercetin which is a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties that help fight chronic disease like heart disease and cancer [19].

Carbs: 6g of carbs per 100g serving

13. Broccoli

Broccoli is used to maintain healthy skin, improves skin immune health, protects from uv sunlight, maintains healthy vision and is loaded with fiber for weight loss [20, 21].

Carbs: 7g of carbs per 100g serving

14. Kale

Kale is high in fiber, aids in weight loss, anti-inflammatory benefits, and anti-oxidants and even reduces your risk of coronary artery disease [22].

Carbs: 10g of carbs per 100g serving

15. Asparagus

Asparagus is a crunchy treat that has high folate content and also low on calories

Carbs: 4g of carbs per 100g serving

16. Mushrooms

Mushrooms provides a natural source of loaded vitamin D and help with lowering cholesterol, stimulates absorption of iron, strengthens bones and teeth and aids in weight reduction [23].

Carbs: 3g of carbs per 100g serving

more: The Complete Beginner’s Guide To The Ketogenic Diet

17. Tangerines

Tangerines are loaded with vitamin C but are still a low calories fruit and great way to get a snack in.

Carbs: 10g of carbs per 100g serving

18. Lemons

Lemons and limes are a great way to add some flavor to your meals or drink. Try squeezing lime onto your grilled chicken or drink water with a lemon.

Carbs: Approximately 5g of carbs per lemon or lime (advise to squeeze this onto food)

19. Avocados

Avocados contain monosaturated fatty acids, specifically oleic acid, which is associated with reducing inflammation and having beneficial effects on cancer [21, 22]. One avocado contains more potassium than a banana [24]!

Carbs: 8g of carbs per 100g serving

20. Cheese

Cheese provides you with strong teeth, increased bone health, and decreases your risk of osteoporosis due to high calcium and vitamin D content [25]. Cheese also is a high source of calcium and B-complex vitamins, and helps prevent strokes and controls anxiety [26].

Carbs: 2g of carbs per 100g serving

21. Yogurt

Yogurt has bacteria that improves your gastrointestinal health to aid in digestion [27]. It will also boost your immune system and contains particularly high amounts of Vitamin B12, Calcium, Phosphorus and Riboflavin [28]. Vegan brands to eat include: So Delicious, Daiya, Amande, Forager Project, Hain Celestial, or Silk.

Carbs: 7g of carbs per 100g serving of plain yogurt

22. Eggplant

Eggplant also aids in digestion given the fiber content and supports weight loss [29]. It has even been linked to reduce cancer and enhance skin tone [30].

Carbs: 7g of carbs per 100g serving

23. Cucumber

Cucumber is not a vegetable, rather it is a fruit! They contain seeds and grow from flowering plants. It contains most water, but also gets some vitamin K, C, magnesium potassium, manganese and vitamin A [31]. Studies show that it may contain components that may assist in cancer treatment therapy [32].

Carbs: 4g of carbs per 100g serving

more: Exactly How To Lose Weight As Fast As Possible

24. Bell Peppers

Bell Peppers are rich in Vitamin C and also contain capsaicin which reduces cholesterol, controls diabetes and bring relief from pain and reduces inflammation [33].

Carbs: 6g of carbs per 100g serving

25. Olives

Olives have been shown to have monounsaturated fat that can decrease blood pressure, and frequent consumption of vitamin E and the monounsaturated fats has been linked with lower rates of colon cancer [34].

Carbs: 7g of carbs per 100g serving

26. Strawberries

Strawberries improve immunity, skin, and help fight cancer. Furthermore, they contain large amounts of fiber [35]. Best of all? You can mix them with anything including protein shakes, yogurt or salads!

Carbs: 8g of carbs per 100g serving

more: Take The Quiz – Do You Know The Unique Veggies That Burn Abdominal Fat?

27. Coffee

Coffee gives you a kick of caffeine which acts as natural stimulant and helps with focus [36]. It is even suggested from a study from the Johns Hopkins University that 200mg of caffeine a day may boost long term memory [37]. However, the Mayo Clinic reports that consuming more than 500-600mg of caffeine a day may lead to insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, and upset stomach, a fast heartbeat and even muscle tremors [38]. Effects may vary from person to person

Carbs: 0g of carbs per 100g serving

28. Heavy cream

Heavy cream has the benefits of dairy products but since it is fat, again, use it sparingly.

Carbs: 5g of carbs per 100g serving

29. Virgin olive oil

Virgin olive oil when regularly consumed can lead to lower rates of cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, stroke, and hyperlipidemia [39, 40, 41].

Carbs: 0g of carbs per 100g serving

more: 28 Evidence Based Weight Loss Tips

30. Salmon

Salmon (my favorite fish too!) is rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, and has been shown to maintain eyesight, replenish skin, keep joints and bones strong, and reduce your cardiovascular risk [42, 43].

Carbs: 0g of carbs per 100g serving

31. Tuna

Tuna is another great food that has similar benefits to salmon and also helps reduce inflammation especially in those with arthritis and gout [44].

Carbs: 0g of carbs per 100g serving

32. Shrimp

Shrimp is tiny and great to eat as a snack. It is meat and you can eat it as part of the main course or as an appetizer. Shrimp also contains omega-3 fatty acids to help reduce the chance of heart attacks, and helps in bone degeneration and improve brain health [45].

Carbs: 1g of carbs per 100g serving

33. Zucchini

Zucchini contains potassium, vitamin C, and has been linked with lowering blood pressure and protecting against clogged arteries [46].

Carbs: 3g of carbs per 100g serving

34. Brussel sprouts

Brussel sprouts contain glucobrassicin which has been shown to fight inflammation as well as high levels of vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acids [47].

Carbs: 2g of carbs per 100g serving

35. Cauliflower

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that has iron, vitamin C, folate, vitamin A and vitamin K [48].

Carbs: 5g of carbs per 100g serving

36. Green string beans

Green string beans improve your vision since they contain high amounts of carotenoids, and vitamin K which helps regular bone metabolism [49].

Carbs: 7g of carbs per 100g serving

37. Pumpkin seed and oil

Pumpkin seed and oil is known for its link on decreasing blood pressure and blood sugar [50, 51]. It has also been linked to decreasing and possibly treating breast cancer but this data is limited so much more research needs to be done [52].

Carbs: 5g of carbs per 100g serving

more: The Best Low Carb Diet For Diabetes

38. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate in small qualities can give your brain better focus, improve eyesight, reduce inflammation and help protect your skin [53, 54]. It may even lower blood pressure [55]. Be mindful that there is also fat so use this as a snack in moderation.

Carbs: 20-40g of carbs per 100g serving depending on the brand so read the label

39. Herbs, spices and condiments

Herbs, spices and condiments can be thrown onto anything to spice up your meats or salads while you diet. You can try salt, pepper, ginger, oregano or just buy a new herb on the aisle your next grocery store visit.

Carbs: 20-40g of carbs per 100g serving depending on the brand so read the label

40. Watermelon

Watermelon is 92% water so it will help you rehydrate but you will also benefit from the carotenoids, including beta-carotene and lycopene [56].

Carbs: 0g of carbs per 100g serving

41. Soy beans

Soy beans are a rich source of various bioactive plant compounds. These include isoflavones, saponins, and phytic acid [57, 58].

Carbs: 10g of carbs per 100g serving

42. Tofu

Tofu is great for protein! Except for soybean sprouts, tofu has the lowest ratio of any other known plant food.

Carbs: 3g of carbs per 100g serving

43. Grapefruit

Grapefruit contains lycopene which may improve hdl (healthy cholesterol) and reduce ldl (bad cholesterol) [59]. Please note that if you are eating grapefruit it may interact with some medications so discuss this with your physician.

Carbs: 12g of carbs per 100g serving

44. Almonds

Almonds may have 20g of carbs per 100g serving, but keep in mind that one serving contains 12g of fiber! Fiber is non-digestible so it doesn’t count towards your energy total. In addition, 10-15% of the fat from almonds is not digestible [60]. They also help reduce blood pressure and control sugar in diabetics [61, 62].

Carbs: 20g of carbs per 100g serving

45. Walnuts

Walnuts are similar to almonds in that they contain lots of fiber (7g). It has many of the benefits seen in almonds including that it has been linked to improving male fertility by improving sperm quality [63].

Carbs: 14g of carbs per 100g serving

46. Peanuts

Peanuts have high satiety and evidence shows that they may be included in the diet, in moderation without posing a threat for weight gain [64, 65].

Carbs: 16g of carbs per 100g serving

47. Chia seeds

Chia seeds are unprocessed whole-grain containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium [66].

Carbs: 44g of carbs per 100g serving but of that 38g is fiber! So only 6g of carbs will contribute to your energy level

48. Butter

Butter is loaded with fat, so use it sparingly, but it has zero carbs!

Carbs: 0g of carbs per 100g serving

49. Red wine

Red wine has been extensively studied and linked to improving heart health, cholesterol levels and diabetes control [67, 68, 69]. Try to drink a glass of red wine every other day for the benefits. However, avoid heavy alcohol use, and if you find yourself getting dependent please see your doctor for addiction abuse. Overall, if you are a light drinker you will have lower overall coronary artery disease risk than lifelong abstainers [70].

Carbs: 3g of carbs per 100g serving

50. Water

Water is essential for us to survive. Do I have to say more? The Institute of Medicine recommends that an adequate intake (ai) for men is about 13 cups (3 liters) of water a day, while women it is about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day [71].

Carbs: 0g of carbs per 100g serving

The 50 Best Low-Carb Foods

  1. Chicken (0g carbs)
  2. Beef (0g carbs)
  3. Lamb (0g carbs)
  4. Pork (0g carbs)
  5. Club Soda/carbonated water (0g carbs)
  6. Tea (0g carbs)
  7. Eggs (2g carbs)
  8. Jerky meat (0-20g carbs)
  9. Whey protein (3-6g carbs)
  10. Tomatoes (7g carbs)
  11. Celery (3g carbs)
  12. Onions (6g carbs)
  13. Broccoli (7g carbs)
  14. Kale (10g carbs)
  15. Asparagus (4g carbs)
  16. Mushrooms (3g carbs)
  17. Tangerines (10g carbs)
  18. Lemons (5g carbs)
  19. Avocados (8g carbs)
  20. Cheese (2g carbs)
  21. Yogurt (7g carbs)
  22. Eggplant (7g carbs)
  23. Cucumber (4g carbs)
  24. Bell Peppers (6g carbs)
  25. Olives (7g carbs)
  26. Strawberries (8g carbs)
  27. Coffee (0g carbs)
  28. Heavy cream (5g carbs)
  29. Virgin olive oil (0g carbs)
  30. Salmon (0g carbs)
  31. Tuna (0g carbs)
  32. Shrimp (1g carbs)
  33. Zucchini (3g carbs)
  34. Brussel sprouts (2g carbs)
  35. Cauliflower (5g carbs)
  36. Green string beans (7g carbs)
  37. Pumpkin seed and oil (5g carbs)
  38. Dark chocolate (20-40g carbs)
  39. Herbs, spices and condiments (20-4-g carbs)
  40. Watermelon (0g carbs)
  41. Soy beans (10g carbs)
  42. Tofu (3g carbs)
  43. Grapefruit (12g carbs)
  44. Almonds (20g carbs)
  45. Walnuts (14g carbs)
  46. Peanuts (16g carbs)
  47. Chia seeds (44g carbs)
  48. Butter (0g carbs)
  49. Red wine (3g carbs)
  50. Water (0g carbs)

healthy low-carb foods

Rajiv M Mallipudi, md, mhs is an internal medicine resident physician, personal trainer, athlete and author. He has over a decade of personal training experience and helped hundreds of clients of all levels achieve their weight loss and fitness goals. This inspired him to work as a clinical researcher at the nationally recognized Johns Hopkins Hospital Weight Management Center. During medical school he and his classmates created the health and wellness organization, medfit, which provided personal training and nutrition counseling to the medical student body. In his spare time, Dr. Mallipudi enjoys playing ice hockey, dancing, and training for his next bodybuilding and powerlifting competitions. Dr. Mallipudi serves as a contributing writer for the Diet and Fitness sections.

disclaimer: Vixen Daily and its authors may offer health, fitness, nutritional advice but this is designed for educational and informational purposes only. All the information contained on Vixen Daily and its articles is not intended to constitute the practice of medicine. The information provided in articles on Vixen Daily should never be relied on, or used as a substitute or replacement for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Vixen Daily and its authors are not responsible for any actions or inaction, safety or liability on a User’s part based on the information that is presented in the Site. If you seek medical advice, speak to a health professional in person about your particular issues.

30 comments… add one
  • gigi February 27, 2018, 12:08 pm

    i love olives and bell peppers! i’m glad to know they’re low in carbohydrates and those others on this list. thanks for always sharing valuable information.

  • luna February 26, 2018, 2:25 pm

    i love this list! it gives me more option to choose from and i think i can really make something out of 2 or more of these. i’ll definitely try them all out.

  • brea February 22, 2018, 7:22 pm

    it will never be hard for me to look for veggies that are low in carb, thanks to this wonderful article. these vegetables will definitely provide me the low-carb diet benefits i need.

  • yesenia February 21, 2018, 7:44 pm

    i am always looking for new low-carb meal recipes. i am so delighted i found this article.

  • gina February 20, 2018, 7:59 pm

    i can’t give up carbohydrates because i need energy for my daily activities. Thanks for sharing these low carb foods. it will now be easier for me to prepare my meals.

  • julie February 19, 2018, 2:14 pm

    i always have celery, cucumbers and chia seeds. these are proven to be healthy and to help keep your healthy diet.

  • frederika February 19, 2018, 11:46 am

    always be mindful. even though these foods are low in carb, if you didn’t eat in moderation you will still get extra calories and a large number of carbs.

  • reagan February 16, 2018, 7:53 pm

    always be mindfool. even though these foods are low in carb, if you didn’t eat in moderation you will still get extra calories and a large number of carbs.

  • nathalie February 15, 2018, 8:36 pm

    these low carb foods are easy on the pocket and easy to prepare. my favorite? dark chocolate.

  • paige February 14, 2018, 2:54 pm

    i am always looking for a healthy low carb food/ingredient. i will pin this article.

  • violet February 13, 2018, 7:07 pm

    this list is just awesome! i now have more options to choose from and i think it will also be good to incorporate some of them together and make new recipes.

  • serenity February 12, 2018, 1:34 pm

    nope. you don’t have to say more. we all need water to keep us hydrated and help digest food.

  • april February 12, 2018, 2:42 am

    it’s very important to keep a low carb diet of you want to lose weight and keep a healthy diet. this list of food is great help for me and other for sure!

  • grace February 8, 2018, 6:35 pm

    thanks for sharing what you know. i always look forward to your health and fitness tips.

  • carmela February 7, 2018, 3:16 pm

    i love whey protein, it really does have lots of great benefits in it.

  • dorothy February 6, 2018, 12:59 pm

    great list i can really use for my diet meal plans.

  • avril February 4, 2018, 10:31 pm

    wow! this article will make eating on a low carb diet easy!

  • ebony January 29, 2018, 9:35 pm

    my family will surely enjoy these low carb foods.

  • annabelle January 25, 2018, 4:43 pm

    i’ve been wanting to do a low-carb diet. appreciate you sharing.

  • mindy October 10, 2017, 1:34 am

    i never thought that pork, beef and lamb would be included in this list.

  • wilma October 2, 2017, 9:09 pm

    these are all awesome..i’ll try combining some of them in my menus.

  • camille September 30, 2017, 4:51 pm

    jerky meat? wow, i’ll try that!

  • dowen September 27, 2017, 2:24 pm

    these are perfect! try these and see results in no time!

  • darleen September 25, 2017, 12:34 pm

    great ideas i can easily make for me and my family. thanks! =)

  • vivian September 18, 2017, 6:46 am

    some of these i didn’t even realize were low in carbs

  • christina September 14, 2017, 11:48 pm

    i love veggies, this is how i keep a healthy diet

  • moira September 8, 2017, 6:59 pm

    this is perfect since i’m planning to do a low-carb diet

  • andrea September 7, 2017, 1:44 pm

    wow..really awesome list! thanks for sharing!

  • erinia September 5, 2017, 1:08 pm

    i love this! i’m really going to start eating healthy and this will definitely help me with my diet

  • catalina August 29, 2017, 1:23 pm

    this list is very helpful. thanks for sharing!

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