The Ultimate No Carb Food List: Zero Carb Keto Made Easy
Technically speaking, almost every natural food contains at least a small trace of carbs. The only foods that literally have zero carbs are fats/oils . For this reason, many of the foods on this zero carb list actually have trace amounts of carbs at fractions of a gram.
To make our zero carb list, the particular food, beverage, or ingredient in question must meet these criteria:
- It contains less than one gram of net carbs per serving.
- It isnt commonly consumed in large enough quantities for it to make a substantial impact on your daily g carbs intake.
If a specific item contains more than a gram of net carbs per serving or is typically consumed so much that itll cause your carb intake to climb, then it will likely be found on the almost zero-carb list.
Most keto dieters can add these zero carb foods to their diet without worrying about the trace amounts of net carbs. For those of you trying to keep carbs as low as possible, however, make sure you track your servings as trace amounts of carbs can really add up at the end of the day.
Weve broken the list down into multiple categories based on item type and practical use on the keto diet.
Here is a clickable table of contents for your convenience:
Heres a clickable table of contents list for your convenience:
- Dried meat products
Practical Applications: How To Use The Zero Carb And Almost Zero Carb Food Lists For Keto Success
There are dozens of ways to use this guide for keto diet success. Here are some practical suggestions you may find helpful:
No matter what you decide to do, always keep your health and the sustainability of the diet in mind. The results you get mean nothing if your dietary approach is worsening your health & wellbeing or if it is too difficult for you to stick with for the long-term.
Instead of forcing yourself to follow a strict diet, focus on finding weight loss strategies that may improve your health and fit better with your lifestyle and experiment with them to see if they work for you. The zero carb and almost zero carb lists, for example, may be one of these weight loss tools that can help you reach your goals and gain more control over your health and body composition.
If youd like to learn more about what you should and should not eat on the keto diet, check out these three free keto-friendly eating guides:
What To Avoid On A Low Carb Diet
One pitfall to avoid on a low carb diet plan is to understand net carbs. Many processed low carb diet foods advertise net carbs. Net carbs can be calculated by subtracting fiber from total number of carbs because fiber is not absorbed by the body. Additionally, in processed low carb diet foods, sugar alcohols are only partially counted in total carbs. However, the utility of counting net carbs is not universally accepted and there is disagreement on whether some of these subtracted carbs are absorbed by the body. Therefore, I always recommend counting total carbs when following a low carb diet plan.
Another pitfall to avoid on a low carb diet plan is the focus on caloric dense foods like cheese and meats. Even though these foods are low carb, the high caloric density of the food can derail weight loss efforts. When eating mindfully on a low carb diet, your appetite is better regulated which can prevent overeating. A properly planned low carb diet plan should include a large amount of non-starchy vegetables. Vegetables are low energy density foods, therefore, can be consumed in a larger volume which helps with a sense of satiety/fullness when eating.
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Healthy Pepper Tomato & Ham Omelette
If you’re in need of a healthy protein boost, try making this healthy omelette for breakfast using fewer yolks lowers the cholesterol
Grill healthy fish with chipotle spice then serve with cabbage salad, coriander and chilli in soft tortillas
Just add steamed rice for a flavour-packed, low-calorie meal
What Foods Can I Eat On Keto
High-fat, low-carb foods are perfect keto foods that wonât affect your blood sugar levels, keeping you in ketosis. Grass-fed beef, fatty fish and seafood, game meat, and low-carb veggies are foods you can eat on keto. Choose full-fat dairy like heavy cream, cottage cheese, and cream cheese, plain greek yogurt, and include plenty of good fats like olive oil and avocado oil. Nuts and seeds like macadamia nuts and sesame seeds are also excellent choices.
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How To Decide Your Daily Carb Intake
If you simply remove the unhealthiest carb sources from your diet, such as refined wheat and added sugars, youll be well on your way to improved health.
However, to unlock the potential metabolic benefits of low carb diets, you also need to restrict other carb sources.
There are no scientific papers that explain exactly how to match carbohydrate intake to individual needs. The following sections discuss what some dietitians believe about carb intake and weight loss.
Are Cheat Meals Okay On Keto
No, cheat meals arenât okay on keto. Your metabolism can only be in one state at a time. It either burns fat, or it burns sugar. It canât do both at the same time. During ketosis, your metabolism is primed to burn fat instead of sugars to produce energy. Whenever you consume more than 50 grams of carbs daily, you will be kicked out of ketosis and return to burning sugar and carbs for energy. Cheat meals significantly interfere with your ketosis and keto-adaptation. Even if you return straight back to your keto protocol, it can take a few days for your metabolism to switch back to ketosis.
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Potential Benefits Of A Low
As low-carb dietitian Franziska Spritzler, RD, whos based in Orange County, California, points out, when you cut back on carbs, blood sugar and insulin levels generally go down, which can be a good thing for A1C, or the two- to three-month average of blood sugar levels. This may also help with weight loss, another common goal for people with type 2 diabetes.
Low Carb Diets Help You Burn Fat
Low carb diets greatly reduce your blood levels of insulin, a hormone that brings the glucose from carbs into the bodys cells.
One of the functions of insulin is to store fat. Many experts believe that the reason low carb diets work so well is that they reduce your levels of this hormone.
Another thing that insulin does is to tell the kidneys to retain sodium. This is the reason high carb diets can cause excess water retention.
When you cut carbs, you reduce insulin and your kidneys start shedding excess water .
Its common for people to lose a lot of water weight in the first few days on a low carb diet. Some dietitians suggest you might lose up to 510 pounds this way.
Weight loss will slow down after the first week, but your fat mass may continue to decrease if you maintain the diet.
One study compared low carb and low fat diets and used DEXA scanners, which are very accurate measures of body composition. The low carb dieters lost significant amounts of body fat and gained muscle at the same time .
Studies also show that low carb diets are particularly effective at reducing the fat in your abdominal cavity, also known as visceral fat or belly fat. This is the most dangerous fat and is strongly associated with many diseases .
If youre new to low carb eating, youll probably need to go through an adaptation phase where your body is getting used to burning fat instead of carbs.
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Im Not Losing Weight On A Low Carb Diet Should I Follow A No Carb Diet
In stark contrast to the mainstream promotion of the low fat diet, we often switch the blame to carbs in the keto community, especially when we dont get the results we expect.
The secret to achieving and maintaining weight loss results is not by dropping your daily carbohydrate intake down to zero. In reality, there are several strategies that may work, and the secret to long-term results is finding what works best for you. To learn more, read through our ketogenic diet weight loss plateau guide.
Do Experts Recommend It
Nope! In fact, according to Dr. Rothberg, consuming less than 50 grams of carbs per day can be downright dangerous without medical monitoring.
“If really done correctly, a ketogenic diet can result in electrolyte shifts, diuresis, anorexia, and of coursethe diet necessarily becomes enriched in fat,” she explains.
Registered dietitian Lainey Younkin, MS, RD, LDN, weight loss dietitian at Lainey Younkin Nutrition, also puts keto at the bottom of her recommendation list.
“The drastic drop in carbs can lead to nausea, vomiting, headache, fatigue, dizziness, insomnia, and more,” says Younkin. Plus, “the long-term effects of eating so much fat are also not fully understood.”
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It’s The Calories That Count
Despite the popularity of low-carb products and diets, nutritionists say America’s obesity epidemic shows no signs of waning, and the low-carb craze may play out the same way the low-fat frenzy did a decade ago.
“During the low-fat craze, people ran out and bought low-fat Snackwell cookies,” says Lindner. “Well, guess what? They have the same number of calories as Oreos and Chips Ahoy, and you’re not going to lose weight if you keep eating those. It’s the same thing with the low-carb products. They essentially have as many calories as the things they are meant to replace, and you’re not going to lose weight if you don’t eat fewer calories.”
Heller agrees and says winning the battle against the bulge isn’t about replacing one source of empty calories, such as beer, with another lower-carbohydrate version. Instead, it’s about making healthy lifestyle changes.
“You can lose weight by eating healthy food or unhealthy food,” Heller tells WebMD. “We would prefer, and your body would be happier, if you were trying to reach and maintain a healthy weight by eating healthy food.”
What Are Examples Of Good Carbs To Incorporate In A Low
- Brown rice, wild rice and basmati rice
- Whole-wheat bread, pasta, and flour
- Oats, barley, and quinoa
- Starchy vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and pumpkin
- Omega-3 fatty acids found in almonds, walnuts, cashews, flaxseeds, hemp, and pumpkin seeds
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Foods To Prepare Yourself
While these dont take a ton of time, they do require a little preparation. If you have 30 minutes, you can can make some of these to store for the next few days. One egg has just 1g of carbs and 6g of protein, so its an awesome snack for helping curb your appetite.
Let me preface. This is not a low calorie snack, but it is a low carb snack. These wings are packed with protein and lots of flavor to keep you going. One serving contains 283 calories, 2 carbs, and 21g of protein! You could make them as part of a meal or just have a couple to tie you over until the next meal.
Cucumbers are a really great food for low carb diets, because they can be used as a canvas or holder, similar to how crackers, bread, or tortillas sometimes function. Here they serve to compliment the tuna salad! One large boat contains has 60 calories, less than 6g of carbs, and has 7 grams of protein!
If youre a fan of celery, then youll love these! Not only is there the everything bagel flavor, but Ive seen all kinds of recipes for the fillings. Theres everything from cheddar and bacon to Italian seasoning to buffalo chicken flavors. Two celery sticks have 93 calories, 2g of carbs, and 2g of protein!
Know The Carb Counts And Serving Sizes Of Foods
Most low carb diets only allow for 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. Because of this, it is essential that people following low-carb diets choose foods that have a lower carb count but a high nutritional value per serving.
The foods in the quantities listed below all contain approximately 15 g of carbs:
- 1 tennis ball sized apple or orange
- 1 cup of berries
- 1 slice of bread
- 1/3 cup of cooked rice
While the foods listed above all contain roughly equal amounts of carbohydrates, they are not all nutritionally equivalent. The dairy products on the list contain protein and vital nutrients, such as Vitamin D and calcium in addition to the carbohydrate content.
The fruit and vegetables also contain essential vitamins and minerals. Choosing whole-grain varieties of bread and rice will provide more nutrients than white varieties, even though the carb content is similar.
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Why You May Want To Reduce Carbs
Although a low carb diet isnt right for everyone, people may choose to reduce their carb intake for many reasons.
For example, research shows that low carb diets may support weight loss as effectively as other popular eating patterns, such as low fat diets. All the same, low carb diets may have limited efficacy over the long term (
What Are The Pros And Cons Of A Low
- Weight loss: Eating fewer carbs every day can help you lose weight.
- Reduces insulin: Low insulin secretion is good for your metabolism because it reduces fat storage in the body, spikes and drops in blood sugar, and stress on the beta cells of the pancreas.
However, limiting carbs can be harmful if done incorrectly. It can lead to binge eating, eating disorders, irritability, and tiredness. Extreme carb limitations can also slow metabolism and interfere with thyroid function.
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The Ultimate Low Carb Food List To Get In Ketosis Asap
There are literally thousands of low carb foods youll get to try on your keto journey.
So even though we cant list them all here, youll find the net carbs per serving size for over 100 foods organized by food group on this low carb food list printable.
Lets begin with the biggest macro on keto: fat.
Foods To Include In Moderation
Unless youre following a very low carb or keto diet, you may also want to include small amounts of the foods listed below:
- Starchy vegetables: potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, peas, corn
- Higher-carb fruits: bananas, pineapples, mango, and many others
- Whole grains: brown rice, oats, quinoa
- Legumes: lentils, black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas
- Higher-carb dairy: milk and full-fat yogurt
Whats more, you can have the following in moderation, if you want:
- dark chocolate with at least 70% of cocoa
- dry wines with no added sugar or carbs
Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants and may provide health benefits if you eat it in moderation. However, be aware that both dark chocolate and alcohol may hinder weight management if you eat or drink too much .
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Almost Zero Carb Eggs And Dairy
Youll find a high-fat dairy product and eggs in most keto recipes. Heres a quick breakdown of the almost zero carb varieties of these keto foods:
Where possible, try to opt for heavy cream to keep the carb content down and the fat content up. For replacing other dairy, like milk, try to go after nut or coconut based alternatives. These are becoming more common and usually contain only 1g carbs per cup.
- Eggs. Eggs will be the most versatile keto food in your low-carb arsenal. You can have them fried, scrambled, poached, in omelets, in quiche, boiled, deviled, in keto baked goods, and in egg salad. Each type of egg will vary in its net carb content from .2 to 1 g. Be sure to check each carton. If it says it has 0 grams of carbs per egg, then count that as 0.5 grams of net carbs to play it safe.
- Heavy Cream. Most heavy whipping cream brands have a bit less than 1 gram of carbs per tablespoon, even if the packaging declares it has zero carbs. Make sure you check labels carefully each brand of cream is very different. If the label claims it has zero carbs, then count that as 0.5 grams of net carbs to play it safe.
- Half-and-Half. Because it is typically made from equal parts whole milk and cream, half-and-half will always have more net carbs per tablespoon than heavy cream. Each half-and-half product will vary, but in general, they will contain 1-2 grams of net carbs per tablespoon.
Zero Carb Oils And Fats
The easiest way to meet your fat needs without increasing your carb or protein intake is by adding healthy fats to your meals. However, Keep in mind that not all fats and oils will have positive effects on your health.
For best results, stick with these zero carb oils and fats:
- Extra virgin olive oil
Research indicates that the two best oils to use for high heat cooking are extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil . These oils are the most stable when exposed to heat and wont break down into as many harmful compounds as other fats/oils.
Other vegetable, seed, and nut-based oils are less healthy for us and become toxic when exposed to high heat, so we recommend using them sparingly or avoiding them altogether.
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