Here’s a list of low carbohydrate foods and buying techniques which will ensure you are eating low carb foods that are clean, whole and offer the best nutrition:
Sources of Protein
Choose organic or grass-fed animal foods and organic eggs if possible to minimize bacteria, antibiotic and steroid hormone intake. Websites such as www.eatwild.org or www.localharvest.org can point you to local sources of clean, grass-fed meats and poultry.
- Beef of any cut, preferably grass-fed beef
- Deli meats (watch labels, and buy nitrate-free, organic products)
- Fish or seafood of any kind, preferably wild-caught (anchovies, calamari, catfish, cod, flounder, halibut, herring, mackerel, mahi-mahi, salmon, sardines, scrod, sole, snapper, trout, tuna) Exception: Avoid breaded and fried seafood.
- Pork: buy from a clean, local source to avoid possible bacterial infections.
- Bacon and sausage: buy Applewood or other organic brands; commercial varieties usually have nitrates and other additives.
- Free-range poultry (chicken, turkey, quail, cornish hen, duck, goose, pheasant)
- Shellfish (clams, crab, lobster, scallops, shrimp, squid, mussels, oysters) Exception: imitation crab meat because it contains sugar and other additives)
- Wild game (all kinds
- Eggs: deviled, fried, hard-boiled, omelets, poached, scrambled, soft-boiled
Most non-starchy vegetables are low in carbs. Choose organic vegetables or grow your own to avoid pesticide residues. Limit your intake of starchy vegetables such as corn, peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and most winter squash as they are much higher in carbs.
- Alfalfa Sprouts
- Any leafy green vegetable
- Bamboo Shoots
- Bean Sprouts
- Beet Greens
- Bok Choy
- Brussels Sprouts
- Celery Root
- Collard Greens
- Dandelion Greens
- Green Beans
- Hearts of Palm
- Lettuces and salad greens (Arugula, Bok Choy, Boston lettuce, Chicory, Endive, Escarole, Fennel, Mache, Radicchio, Romaine, Sorrel.)
- Peppers (jalapeno, bell, etc.)
- Snow Peas
- Spaghetti Squash
- String or Wax Beans
- Summer Squash
- Swiss Chard
- Water Chestnuts
- Yellow Squash
Choose organic fruits or grow your own to limit pesticide intake. Limit your fruit intake to 1 serving per day.
Raw milk products are preferable; choose organic if raw products are not available.
- Heavy Whipping Cream
- Half & Half
- Sour Cream
- Cottage Cheese
- All hard and soft cheeses: (count each ounce portion as 1 carb generally)
- Cream cheese
- Raw whole milk (milk is higher in the carb, so limit daily intake)
- Whole milk yogurt
- Clear broth or bouillon
- Decaf coffee
- Decaf Tea (unsweetened)
- Herbal tea (unsweetened)
- Flavored seltzer water (unsweetened)
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds should be soaked and slow-roasted to remove anti-nutrients. Avoid peanuts as they are actually legumes.
- Nuts: macadamia are the lowest in carbs, cashews and pecans are highest.
- Nut flours
- Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, flax)
Fats and Oils:
Make sure that any vegetable oil you use is “cold-pressed” and never heat vegetable oils. The polyunsaturated fatty acids in these oils are highly unstable and are easily damaged by heat. Use coconut oil, butter or olive oil for frying. Keep cold pressed oils refrigerated to avoid rancidity.
- Olive Oil, organic, cold-pressed
- Butter: You can make your own from raw or organic cream.
- Mayonnaise (best to make your own to avoid commercially refined vegetable oils)
- Coconut oil and coconut cream concentrate
- Walnut oil, cold-pressed
- Sesame oil, cold-pressed
- Flax oil, cold-pressed
Spices:(choose organic) Most spices, including Basil, black pepper, Cayenne pepper, Chili pepper, dried, Cilantro/Coriander seeds, Cinnamon, ground, Cloves, Cumin seeds, Dill, Ginger, Mustard seeds, Oregano, Parsley, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, and Turmeric.
These are great resources for how to prepare this list of low carbohydrate foods.
- 500 Low-Carb Recipes: 500 Recipes from Snacks to Dessert, That the Whole Family Will Love by Dana Carpender
- 200 Low-Carb Slow Cooker Recipes: Healthy Dinners That Are Ready When You Are! by Dana Carpender
- 15-Minute Low-Carb Recipes: Instant Recipes for Dinners, Desserts, and More by Dana Carpender
- Eating Stella Style: Low-Carb Recipes for Healthy Living by George Stella and Christian Stella
- George Stella’s Livin’ Low Carb: Family Recipes Stella Style by George Stella and Cory Williamson
Please feel free to print this list of low carbohydrate foods for yourself!