25 Best Low Carb Foods to Add to Your Diet

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Following low-carb diets such as the keto diet has been linked with significant health benefits, including the improvement of blood sugar and triglyceride levels, as well as the helping with weight loss.

While there are different types of low-carb diets, each with different levels of restrictiveness, the fundamental principle remains the same. These diets involve minimizing the consumption of high-carb foods like grains and starchy vegetables, while prioritizing the consumption of low carb foods such as non-starchy vegetables and protein sources like fish.

For those that follow a low-carb diet or are considering the transition to reduced carbs consumption, it’s essential to know which foods to focus on.

Explore our curated list of the 25 nutritious, low carb foods, accompanied by helpful tips for individuals navigating the world of low-carb eating.

1. Artichokes

A wise approach to maintaining health and supporting digestive function on low-carb diets is to give preference to low-carb, high fiber foods.

Artichokes, for example, are full of fiber providing 6.84g (grams) of fiber in each cooked medium artichoke. With just 14.4g (grams) of carbs in the same serving, artichokes is a favorable option for individuals following low-carb diets. Beyond their fiber content, artichokes are rich in vitamin C, folate, and various other nutrients crucial for overall well-being.

2. Avocado

Avocados, which are important to low-carb diets like the keto diet, are fruits that offer a blend of low-carb and high-fiber qualities. Half of an avocado provides 6.75g (grams) of fiber and merely 8.5g (grams) of carbs. Beyond their macro-nutrient profile, avocados are rich in essential vitamins and minerals, including folate, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Additionally, avocados serve as a good source of antioxidant compounds, such as carotenoids, contributing to cellular protection against oxidative damage.

3. Eggs

Abundant in protein and healthy fats while being low in carbs, eggs are a staple for those embracing a low carb diet. A single large egg packs 6.3g (grams) of protein, 5.3g (grams) of fat, and less than one gram of carbs. Moreover, eggs are a rich source of vital nutrients such as vitamin A, B12, selenium, and more.

Remarkably, egg yolks, acknowledged as the most nutrient-dense part, include every vitamin except vitamin C. Transform your breakfast into a satisfying, high-protein, low-carb delight by combining eggs with low carb vegetables and cheese.

4. Asparagus

Asparagus stands out as an additional low-carb vegetable with an exceptional nutritional profile. In a one-cup serving of cooked asparagus, you’ll find merely 7.4g (grams) of carbs. Yet, it offers significant nutritional value, providing 15% and 67% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin C and folate, respectively. Additionally, asparagus is a noteworthy source of potent antioxidants like glutathione and quercetin, contributing to the improvement of your body’s natural antioxidant defenses.

5. Peppers

For a low carb vegetable that promotes skin health, boosts the immune system, and more, consider adding peppers to your diet. Peppers not only have a low carb content but also stand out as one of the finest sources of vitamin C. This nutrient is crucial for immune function and collagen synthesis. In fact, a single large sweet red pepper, with just 5.5g (grams) of carbs, provides over 130% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin C.

6. Fish

Opting for foods that are rich in healthy fats and low in carbs is crucial when adhering to a high-fat, low carb diet like the keto diet. Fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, and trout, are particularly beneficial as they are packed with fatty acids like omega-3 fats, specifically docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). These fatty acids play vital roles in health, including the regulation of inflammation. Fresh seafood, in general, is low in carbs and high in protein, making fish and shellfish an excellent choice for individuals on low carb diets.

7. Cauliflower

Cauliflower is frequently used as a low carb alternative to grains and grain-based products. Finely chopped cauliflower, for example, serves as a substitute for white rice in dishes like stir-fries. With just 5.1g (grams) of carbs and 28.6 calories in one cup of cooked cauliflower, it remains rich in essential nutrients such as folate and vitamin K.

8. Brussels sprouts

While Brussels sprouts may not top the list of popular vegetables, they are very nutritious, are low in carbs, and can be delicious when prepared correctly. Brussels sprouts can easily be added into most low carb diets due to their natural low carb, high fiber composition, providing 6g (grams) of fiber and just 14.4g (grams) of carbs per cooked cup.

Brussels sprouts are not only low in carbohydrates but also rich in beneficial compounds like carotenoids and glucosinolates, sulfur-containing substances with potent antioxidant properties. These compounds may play a role in protecting your cells from oxidative damage. If you haven’t been a fan of Brussels sprouts previously, consider trying them roasted with a touch of olive oil, salt, and pepper, or enjoy them raw in a thinly shaved salad.

9. Unsweetened coconut

Coconut is a great ingredient for low-carb recipes because it’s high in fiber and low in carbs. You can use coconut flour and flakes to make low carb baked goods and add them to other recipes for more fiber and fat.

In a 1-ounce serving of unsweetened dried coconut, there are 6.69g (grams) of carbs, 4.62g (grams) of fiber, and 18.3g (grams) of fat. That’s why people who follow the very low-carb keto diet like using coconut. Just be sure to buy unsweetened coconut products, as sweetened coconut flakes can be high in carbs.

10. Mushrooms

Including mushrooms in your diet is a smart way to boost your intake of essential nutrients like fiber, potassium, and selenium. Selenium is a crucial mineral required for the creation of selenoproteins, special proteins that play a role in shielding cells from oxidative damage and are vital for producing thyroid hormones.

Mushrooms are not only low in carbs but also rich in fiber. A one-cup serving of cooked white button mushrooms, provides 3.43g (grams) of fiber and only 8.25g(grams) of carbs.

11. Collard greens

Collard greens rank among the healthiest leafy greens to add into your diet. They are low in carbs but rich in fiber, calcium, vitamin K, and various other essential vitamins and minerals.

A one-cup serving of cooked collard greens provides 5.59g (grams) of fiber, contributing almost 20% of the Daily Value, while containing only 7.5g (grams) of carbs. Consider improving your meals by adding chopped collard greens to soups and stews or sautéing them with olive oil for a nutritious side dish.

12. Raspberries

Raspberries stand out as one of the fruits with the lowest carbs. Beyond their low carb nature, they are rich in fiber and essential nutrients such as vitamin C, manganese, and vitamin K. Additionally, raspberries contain potent antioxidant plant compounds like anthocyanins and ellagitannins.

A 1-cup serving of raspberries packs a substantial 9.75g (grams) of fiber, accounting for nearly 35% of the recommended Daily Value (DV) set at 28g (grams). Moreover, the carb content is relatively low for a fruit, with just 17.8g (grams) per serving.

13. Chia seeds

Despite their small size, chia seeds deliver a substantial nutritional impact. These tiny seeds are not only rich in fiber but also provide essential minerals like calcium, iron, and magnesium. Importantly, they can be safely added into low carb diets, as they contain just 11.9g (grams) of carbs per ounce.

Many people who are following low carb diets often find it challenging to meet their daily fiber requirements, potentially leading to issues like constipation. Including high fiber foods such as chia seeds in low carb diets can contribute to digestive health and ensure that the body receives adequate fiber for overall well-being.

14. Poultry

Poultry products, including chicken, turkey, and duck, play a fundamental role in low carb diets as they are free of carbohydrates, as long as they are not marinated or coated in carb-containing substances.

Including protein-rich foods such as chicken and turkey into your diet can improve the sensation of fullness after meals, which can lead in healthy weight loss. Moreover, adequate protein consumption is crucial for maintaining muscle, supporting immune function, and many other vital processes in the body.

15. Pecans

The carb content of nuts and seeds differs, making certain nuts more suitable for people who follow low carb diets. Pecans, in particular, stand out as a lower-carb option, with just 3.94g (grams) of carbs per ounce.

Pecans make for an excellent choice as a low-carb snack due to their richness in fiber and essential vitamins and minerals such as thiamine, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. Additionally, their high healthy fat content is advantageous for those adhering to low-carb, high-fat dietary plans, like the keto diet.

16. Macadamia nuts

Similar to pecans, macadamia nuts are not only low in carbs but also rich in other essential nutrients vital for overall health, including manganese, thiamine, and copper. Macadamia nuts offer 3.91g (grams) of carbs per ounce, which is very similar to pecans.

Macadamia nuts can serve as a delightful low-carb snack. Moreover, when finely chopped in a food processor, they can be used as a low-carb breading to coat protein sources such as fish and chicken.

17. Red meat and organ meats

Red meat and organ meats, including liver, are suitable options for those following low-carb diets. These meat selections have low carb content while offering lots of protein and essential nutrients such as B12 and iron, which are important for promoting healthy red blood cell production. A 3-ounce serving of steak, for example, contains zero grams of carbs and boasts 23.8g (grams) of protein, making it a satisfying choice for people who are following low carb diets.

18. Almond flour

When on a low carb diet, traditional high carb baked goods such as bread and cake are not on the menu. Nevertheless, you have the option to create low-carb-friendly baked treats by substituting traditional flour with alternatives like almond flour.

Almond flour, with only 5.99g (grams) of carbs, is a substantial reduction compared to the 23.85g (grams) found in the same serving of all-purpose flour. Consider blending almond flour with other low carb ingredients like eggs and monk fruit to craft delectable low carb baked goods.

19. Turnips

Steaming and mashing turnips creates a tasty low carb dish, serving as an excellent alternative to mashed potatoes. A 1-cup serving of mashed turnips contains 11.6g (grams) of carbs, a notable reduction of 25.4g (grams) compared to an equivalent serving of homemade mashed potatoes. Beyond their low carb feature, turnips boast high levels of vitamin C and potassium.

20. Cacao nibs

Cacao nibs are finely crushed pieces of cacao beans, offering a robust and chocolatey flavor. Unlike, many chocolate products, cacao nibs are low in carbs, with only 14g (grams) per ounce due to their unsweetened nature. Additionally, cacao nibs boast high nutritional value, containing antioxidants such as flavonoids catechin and epicatechin, known for their potent antioxidant properties.

Experiment with adding cacao nibs into low carb desserts, such as monk fruit-sweetened chocolate avocado pudding.

21. Cheese

Cheeses such as cheddar and goat cheese have minimal carbohydrate content but are rich in protein, healthy fats, and essential nutrients like calcium. Incorporating cheese into dishes can elevate their protein and fat content, making it a valuable addition for individuals on low-carb diets like keto.

For example, a one-ounce serving of cheddar cheese supplies 6.78g (grams) of protein, 9.46g (grams) of fat, and less than 1g (gram) of carbs.

22. Olives

Olives are a salty, low carb, and nutrient-rich option for those who follow low-carb diets, given their high content of healthy fats and fiber.

In a ¼ cup serving, olives offer 1.29g (grams) of carbs. This makes olives an excellent choice for improving the flavor of salads, fish and meat dishes, snack boards, and various other low-carb recipes without significantly affecting their carbohydrate content.

23. Oils

For people on high-fat, low-carb diets such as the keto diet, a consistent intake of nutritious fat sources is very important in order to achieve and sustain ketosis. Oils such as coconut oil and olive oil are preferred in keto diets due to their carb-free nature.

Choosing healthful fat options, like antioxidant-rich olive oil, not only aligns with the principles of the keto diet but also is important in improving heart health. Olive oil‘s content of antioxidant compounds, such as polyphenols, acts as a defense mechanism against atherosclerosis—a condition characterized by the accumulation of plaque in the arteries, heightening the risk of heart disease.

24. Protein Powders

Protein powders serve as a beneficial method to increase your protein intake, particularly for people who follow plant-based diets. Unfortunately, many plant-based protein sources, such as beans and lentils, also come with a high carbohydrate content, which is a challenge for those on plant-based, low carb diets and are trying to balance their protein needs with carb restrictions.

Unsweetened protein powders, such as pea protein powder, typically offer around 24g (grams) of protein and fewer than 2g (grams) of carbs per serving. Adding protein powders into low-carb desserts, soups, smoothies, and various dishes allows for an increase in protein content without significantly impacting carbohydrate intake.

25. Blackberries

Similar to raspberries, blackberries are characterized by their low carbohydrate content and richness in essential nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals. With just 13.8g (grams) of carbs and just under 8g (grams) of fiber in a 1-cup serving, blackberries contribute to 28.5% of the Daily Value (DV) for this crucial nutrient.

Furthermore, blackberries boast significant levels of folate, vitamin K, vitamin C, and manganese—a mineral essential for both energy metabolism and immune function.

Who should consider low carb foods?

While low carb foods can be appreciated by anyone within a healthy diet, it is crucial for those following low carb diets, such as the keto diet, to prioritize these food choices.

Additionally, people with diabetes can find low-carb foods beneficial, as they exert a lesser impact on blood sugar levels when compared to their high-carb counterparts.

Consider incorporating more low-carb foods into your diet for the following reasons:

  • To improve ketosis
  • To control elevated blood sugar levels
  • To help with weight loss
  • To assist in lowering triglyceride levels

Moreover, individuals with specific medical conditions like epilepsy and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) may find transitioning to lower carb dietary patterns particularly beneficial.

Total vs. Net carbs

The term “net carbs” refers to the remaining carbohydrates in a specific food or food product after deducting the total fiber content and half the amount of sugar alcohols.

It is believed that net carbs represent the carbohydrates the body effectively absorbs. However, it’s important to note that neither the FDA nor the American Diabetes Association officially recognizes net carbs. The effectiveness of counting net carbs in comparison to total carb counting remains unclear due to individual variations in digestive responses and the diverse impact of various fiber and sugar alcohols on total carbohydrate counts. This is why, the American Diabetes Association advises people with diabetes to count the total number of carbs in a food rather than focusing on net carbs.


Diets that are focusing on low carb foods have been linked with many health benefits, including the reduction of blood sugar levels and the facilitation of weight loss.

For people who follow low carb diets, a plethora of nutrient-rich options exists that includes protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.

Pecans, fish, cheese, avocados, olive oil, and Brussels sprouts are among the many nutritious, low carb foods available for those embracing a low carb dietary approach.

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