Eating on a low carb diet can be a bit of a challenge, especially in the beginning. However, once you get acclimated to it you will easily know what you can and can’t eat in order to reap all the benefits of a low carb diet. It really is simple… you want to avoid anything that has sugar in it, even foods that have natural sugars like root vegetables and starchy vegetables as well as most fruits.
You’ll also want to eat a lot of foods that are high in healthy fats, but to make it easy for you here’s a full list of every kind of food you can and can’t eat when going low carb (including other variants of low carb diets like the ketogenic diet, paleo diet etc):
What You Can Eat On A Low Carb Diet
Since you’re cutting out a major macronutrient it is extremely important for you to make up those calories that you usually get from carbs in fat.
- Healthy Oils: Butter, ghee (clarified butter), extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil and bacon grease.
- Eggs: Eggs are the perfect food because you can eat them in many different ways, for example as a quick and nutritious snack you can make hard boiled eggs that can be taken anywhere.
- Meats: Beef, pork, bacon, lamb, chicken, salami, peperoni and turkey.
- Fish And Seafood: Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel etc is best, but you can also enjoy shellfish as well by adding your own fat like butter or mayo.
- Cheese: Any kind of full fat cheese is great.
- Olives: Black/green olives are very high in healthy fats and very low in carbs.
- Avocado: This vegetable contains virtually no carbs, a massive amount of fiber and healthy fats so you can basically eat as much as you want.
- Nuts And Seeds: Avoid the honey/dry roasted nuts as they often include added carbs and sugars. Raw nuts/seeds is the best choice and if you want you could roast them in the oven yourself, all natural nut butters can also be had.
- Spices: Salt, pepper, fresh herbs and most spices have zero carbs, but you must check the label.
- Vegetables And Berries: Most of the vegetables that grow above the ground are great with the exception of corn and “winter” squashes. Berries are basically the only kind of fruit you can have on a low carb diet because they contain a very small amount of carbs and sugar.
What You Can’t Eat On A Low Carb Diet
- Sugar And Sugary Foods: Avoid any candy, cakes, cookies, pies, soda, juices and ice cream (most processed foods contain sugar and should be avoided).
- Grains And Starchy Foods: Avoid any kinds of bread, pasta, corn or rice because they are all very high in carbs and sugar.
- Beans: Unfortunately beans are very starchy so they do contain a decent amount of carbs, so even though these are high in protein and fiber it should be avoided.
- Root Veggies: Most root veggies tend to be higher in carbs because they have more starch.
- Beer And Alcohol: Beer, alcohol and mixed drinks are very high in carbs. There are some spirits that are low in carbs if you REALLY MUST partake.
- Fruit: Most fruits are high in sugar with the exception of berries.
- Processed Food: Processed foods always have extra chemicals and sugar hidden in them. Furthermore, you should avoid sauces like ketchup/BBQ sauce because they contain a lot of sugar and carbs. If you want to use a sauce stick with things like mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, burger sauce etc.
- Milk And Yogurt: These tend to be high in sugar and carbs, but milk made from nuts/seeds are acceptable.
- Bad Oils: Avoid canola, corn, vegetable, peanut, cottonseed/soybean oils and any fake oil like partially hydrogenated oil or margarine.
This list should have given you a good idea about what you can and cannot eat on a low carb diet, but if it’s missing anything or if you have a question about low carb diets then please leave a comment down below.