List of Low Carb Foods


When you’re looking over a list of low carb foods, it’s important to choose things – and combinations of things – that you actually like.

So if you’re looking over the list, and you know you dislike eggs or salmon, don’t force yourself to eat eggs or salmon.

That would be no fun! You can actually eat “junk food” that’s low carb (like hot dogs and diet coke) and still lose weight, so don’t stress over the food list too much in the beginning. Or at least, don’t stress over the foods on the list that you don’t like.

Of course, there are specific foods you want to avoid and specific foods you want to choose from. Here’s a quick list of low carb foods to give you some ideas, along with some resources to find even more detailed lists…

List of Low Carb Foods

Meat & Eggs do not contain carbs, so you can eat as much of these as you like. Beware of processed meats though, which may contain carbs.

  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Seafood
  • Poultry
  • Beef

My personal favorites are bacon, steak, hamburger meat, tuna, shrimp, crab legs, rotisserie chicken, salmon, pork chops and grilled chicken.

Cheese is very low carb, usually 1 gram per ounce or less, including cream cheese & blue cheese. I love string cheese! 😀

Fat, Butter & Oils contain no carbs so you can use them liberally – including:

  • Mayonnaise
  • Butter
  • Vegetable Oil

Salad Dressing is fairly low carb, but you want to check your labels and choose wisely. I often use a Caesar dressing for both salads and as a dip, and the one I use is 1 carb per 2 tablespoons.

Vegetables vary, but you want to eat 10-15 net carbs from vegetables every day. Lower carb vegetables include:

  • Black Olives
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Chives
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Iceberg & Romaine Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Peppers
  • Sauerkraut
  • Spinach
  • Zucchini

Fruit is generally high carb, due to the amount of natural sugar. Fruits lowest in net carbs include strawberries, blackberries & raspberries. It’s best not to add fruit back into your diet until at least the 3rd or 4th week if you are aiming for fast weight loss on a low carb diet.


There are many other things I eat that you won’t normally find on a list of low carb foods. These are more based on personal preferences, and you’ll find your own list of favorites once you get used to shopping low carb. My favorite “extras” include:

  • Natural Peanut Butter
  • Sugar Free Seedless Blackberry Preserves
  • Diet Coke 😀
  • Sugar Free Flavored Syrups
  • Sour Cream
  • Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Pecans
  • Almonds
  • Mustard
  • Sugar Free Candy
  • Coffee
  • Alfredo sauce

You can find many other low carb foods by checking labels and websites.
See: How to Figure Out Net Carbs.

One of the great things about a low carb diet is that it’s so liberating. You can eat a lot of great foods, and as much of those foods as you please. Unlike other diets, you never feel starved or punished. Take a look at the list of low carb foods, both above and at the links below, and choose your favorites & create fun new combinations! 😉

Resources: List of Low Carb Foods Around The Web

I prefer to stick with the basics, and eat as natural as I can. Instead of choosing things like packaged/processed low carb bread or low carb pasta, I would rather simply eat foods that are naturally zero or low carb. Meat and Eggs are my primary staples, and I use low carb vegetables to make fun combinations. Eggs Florentine for example, or an omelet with ham & spinach. Chicken Alfredo with steamed broccoli or asparagus on the side. Etc.

What are your favorite low carb foods?

About Lynn Terry

I love making the low carb diet EASY for people with a busy lifestyle (like me!) with my KISS / Keep It Simple method. :) About Lynn Terry: Host of the Low Carb Challenge
This entry was posted in Low Carb Foods. Bookmark the permalink.


44 Responses to List of Low Carb Foods

  1. Rhonda Page says:

    This is a great summary Lynn! You are gifted at being able to distill a subject down, so that it really is doable! One of the things that I like is mashed cauliflower as a replacement for mashed potatoes, with your favorite sour cream or butter. I also put a little bit of panko flakes to bake it. Much lighter and less carb then bread crumbs. Also agave in replace of sugar. Natural sweetener that tastes good. Stevia is also a great sugar replacement, and you can get it flavored with vanilla or chocolate. Loved your suggestion about using heavy whipping cream for coffee. Also quinoia flakes are great for a hot breakfast with a little stevia. and made with water of skim milk. Mix seltzer with a little juice or lime or lemon. No artificial sweetener. So glad you are blogging about this. If we want to work hard we need to feed out bodies and souls.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Thank you Rhonda! I love Cauliflower – I grated it once to make “rice” for a homemade sushi roll. 🙂 But I like it just steamed then topped with butter & cheese mostly.

      I’ll have to check out the other things you mentioned – I’m not familiar with those. I don’t do milk at all (not even skim milk). I’m not sure the carb count, but I know even 2% was too high for me.

  2. Melissa Ingold says:

    Thanks Lynn! This list is super helpful. You were right…once you get the hang of it, it really is super easy – love it!!! 😀

    • Lynn Terry says:

      My goal is to keep it simple – and easy. The same way I approach running my online business. 😉 You can really over-complicate it (both, as you know) by “thinking too much”.

      My first week I stuck to eggs (every different way), hamburger steaks, fast food hamburgers/sandwiches without buns, string cheese & sliced cheese, deli meats rolled up with cheese, rotisserie chicken (already cooked & ready to eat), grilled chicken & salad, etc. Easy!

      • Lynn Terry says:

        Oh. And bacon. Lots of bacon. 😀

        • Becca says:

          I just have a question -are you concerned about the sodium nitrate levels in the meats, like bacon? or do you try to buy organic/natural meats and lunchmeats etc….I read soo much – my head spins…all I know is that I want to lose weight and I tend to be a carb nut and I dont exercise regularly ( due to ciatic – sp?- pain in right hip) and im only 40 🙁 ….I am replying to an old post july oops, but I just stumbled upon ur post today and felt inspired !

          • Lynn Terry says:

            Hi Becca,

            Personally, no. I ate SO badly before I started eating low carb, that I feel good about how healthy I’m eating now (mostly meats & lots of green leafy vegetables).

            I try not to overwhelm myself with details, and keep it simple. Simple works VERY well for me, lol… 😀

            I have a lower back injury that aggravates my sciatic nerve as well, so I can relate. I do low impact exercise like the Gazelle Edge, but otherwise losing my weight through the low carb diet.

  3. Thanks so much for all this basic carb info–and the things you and Rhonda shared in the comments are also very helpful. I’ve never had to do a diet before, but would love to lose 10-15 pounds like you did.

    Just had to share today’s story. For July 4th my husband was determined to grill hotdogs for lunch. I said a reluctant “okay,” and then said I wouldn’t have my dog on a bun. This sparked a little argument, with my husband insisting “It isn’t a hotdog if you don’t have a bun.” He even threw in a hilarious comment questioning my patriotism. Then on top of it all he presented with me TWO grilled hotdogs, both on buns. I removed most of the buns, but admit I ate both hot dogs. And some pita chips, hummus, and a pickle. Sigh. I have a feeling this is a diet I’ll have a lot more trouble keeping to at home then when traveling and am able to pick and choose for myself. My husband simply does not want to change the way we eat, and is already sick of the word “carbs,” though I just started using it. But he’ll be happy to hear about bacon being okay!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Laura,

      I am not married, but am dating – and Dwaine found it very odd that I made “hamburger steaks” recently. He was sure I was just cooking “no carb hamburgers without the buns” LOL. I had to explain to him that I’ve been cooking those all my life, and you can even order them at Waffle House! 😛

      I rarely order anything “special”, or make much of a fuss of it. I just remove buns and eat what I want. But I know what you mean. Just stick to your guns! I cook for my family, but eat only what I want of it. And luckily my kids are old enough to cook for themselves if they want mac & cheese or something. 🙂

      I look at it more as a “way of eating” than a diet. And I tend to order like a diabetic more so than a dieter.

      I’m not familiar with most of what Rhonda mentioned above, but will have to research that. At any rate, welcome & good luck!! I look forward to hearing more from you! 😉

      • Thanks, Lynn. “I just remove buns and eat what I want,” sounds great and easy. I’ll try it out the “20 net carbs a day” for a while (with the usual slip-ups, I’m sure) and report back. To prove to myself I’m serious, maybe I’ll even take a “before” photo…

        • Lynn Terry says:

          I wish I had taken a good before photo!

          The “remove buns” thing works great for me. I like to eat big yummy Hardees Thickburgers or some of the great sandwiches at Arby’s – and “just remove buns & enjoy!” 😀

          • Nicole Dean says:

            Remove your buns if you want to remove your buns. lol. I know I’d like to lose some of my buns. 🙂

            With your help, it’s working. Thank you sweetest friend!


          • Lynn Terry says:

            Great to hear that!! I had to LOL… what a way to put it 😉 But so true!

          • Marissa lynn says:

            Hey im just doing some research before starting the low carb thing. The only problem is I unfortunately am living in a hotel right now with no access to a kitchen so everything I eat is either fast food or bought at the grocery store. Can you PLEASE send me some easy meal/snack ideas that require no microwave or stove and also no seafood haha. Id greatly appreciate it!!

          • Tonya Wood says:

            I too am replying to an old post but just signed up on your site. Burger will now put any of their burgers in a BOWL (no bun) and if I am not mistaken, Hardees will put any of their burgers in lettuce instead on a bun if you request it. Just a little tid bit of info for you. LOVE THE SITE!!!!

          • Tonya Wood says:

            Ooops, that should say BURGER KING will put any burger in a bowl. Sorry!

  4. Rhonda Page says:

    Hi Laura, I eat low carb, not no carb like Lynn. I have found that I can figure out what to eat most anywhere. Portion control is gigantic for me. I often order the appetizer for my meal! Or I will split my meal with someone. Also, I make a plan to bring half my meal home, and have a second meal. the next day. Then I don’t feel so bad about spending money. I love peanut butter so I snack on it with veggies. I don’t have white sugar, pasta, bread, bread crumbs in my home at all. Fortunately my husband is on board with me cause if we have bread at home it is hard for me not to have some! Also, learning how to use spices I never used before like cumin, and corriander and curry. I also make low carb protein drinks when I do not feel creative. I also use almond milk sometimes, almonds are a good source of nutrients. I eat salads with pine nuts. Egg salad with curry. The more I eat like this the less I crave bread and cake, etc. Have fun and people won’t notice your smart choices!

    • I think portion control + low carb will be my secret, too. I actually eat healthfully, but it seems like the older I get the more I’m eating. Have to reverse that! Thanks for all the great eating ideas.

      • Lynn Terry says:

        I *love* to eat. And even eating low carb (I’m not zero carb either, btw) I don’t have to watch portions at all. In fact, I’ll often have a pound of bacon… for a snack! LOL

        If you “cheat”, you screw up the way the low carb diet works. Since it is (or can be) a high calorie, high fat, no portion limitation diet… adding sugar or carbs will cause to gain weight.

        That’s why this way of eating has worked so well for me (more than 20 pounds lost so far!). I love to eat, don’t want to feel punished, and can eat as much as I want of the right food choices. 🙂

        • Tammy says:

          doesn’t bacon have sugar in it ??? I used to find a sugar free but our local store doesn’t carry it any more . What bacon is the best to eat

      • Rhonda Page says:

        As we get older our metabolism changes.

  5. Rowena Kindle (Weight Loss Tips) says:

    This is a awesome artice, so I would say thank you first. It has been a few months since I enjoyed a article so much! You got me excited and I just want to chip in a few points. My 2 cents on this topic: Really, in my opinion weight loss actually boils down to 3 main things – eat, exercise, sleep well. In conclusion, always eat right, sleep tight and exercise well.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      I wish it were as easy done as said 😉

      I have a hard time staying on an exercise routine, and many people have trouble with how to “eat right”. Especially if they think it means eating things they don’t even like (which feels like punishment and encourages defiant indulgence).

      Sleep is easy though. I love that one. 😀

  6. Lori Pirog says:

    “Instead of choosing things like packaged/processed low carb bread or low carb pasta, I would rather simply eat foods that are naturally zero or low carb.” -Lynn

    Stay with that thought overall (will be some exceptions about which whole foods you choose as you progress with your diet) and you will do well!

    Although I did not know this, I was reading a piece about low carb diets written by a dietitian and she cautioned people about eating manufactured and synthetic low carb products. Evidently they are often made with sugar alcohols that can cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea if too much is eaten at one time.

    I would also caution you with respect to which mayonnaise product you choose to buy and consume. Evidently some have a LOT of trans fat something that pretty much everyone agrees is not good for health.

    Wishing you continued success with your diet Lynn.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Thank you 🙂 Good advice too. I’ll talk more about sugar alcohol in an upcoming post, because I do enjoy it in moderation – but it can affect everyone differently.

      I have ordered some low carb bread. Mainly to try & review as it’s a hot topic with low carbers. I don’t really miss bread at all, personally.

      I should get it in next week. I asked them to delay processing my order until I return from my next trip. I leave again on Wednesday – this time for Colorado Springs! 😀

  7. John Hawes says:

    Thanks Lynn. Love this new site! Great blend of two of my favorite things.

    I’ve been eating low carb for about 6 years. Initially to lose weight and to get my triglyceride levels down, but I feel much better and never want to go back to eating just anything. These are a few of my favorites:

    Nuts – Favorites are macadamias, almonds and walnuts. (need to watch portions)

    Cheese – Favorite is Kirkland Sharp Chedder from Costco (perhaps because its like the cheese I used to have as a kid)

    Frozen Spinach or Broccoli – Put it in the microwave and top with cheese for a quick lunch or snack.

    Frozen Berries – Mostly blueberries and strawberries. Frozen can sometimes be fresher than “fresh” and can get them all year round.

    Sweetener – Favorite is Asada Elislim. Now available in English on Rakuten. Made from sugar. Zero calorie. OK for baking. Before that I used Splenda.

    Eggs – Will sometimes do several boiled eggs in the morning and have them to snack on during the day.

    Bread – Made with soy flour. Make it in the breadmaker the same as normal bread.

    Mini-Pizzas – On base of soy bread or agedofu.

    Tuna and Salmon – Just pan fried with salad.

    Fresh Lettuce or Cabbage – Cut it up and have it with cheese and dressing.

    Cocoa – Hot or cold made with water only, no milk. Van Houten is my favorite. Need to select pure cocoa not sweetened. To sweeten will put in Elislim. Sometimes also cream.

    Sugar Free Chocolate and Ice Cream – not completely low carb, but…

    I find Vegas the easiest place to eat out because of all of the buffet meals available.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Thank you for all the great low carb food ideas, John! Six years, wow 😀 I assume you’ve maintained the weight loss and kept your triglyceride levels down?

      Like you, I feel so much better that I don’t intend to ever go back to eating high carb pasta, bread, potatoes, sugar, processed foods, etc. For me, this is a lifestyle change. This is simply how I eat now.

      I’ve been to Vegas a number of times by the way, and I’ve been told there are many free buffets and cheap places to eat – but I have yet to find them. Any tips on that?? 🙂

  8. Christina says:

    Thanks for such a great list of foods, Lynn. I’ve got to get my act together to reduce my blood pressure, maintain my thyroid levels & lower my triglycerides (in addition to losing weight!) I love your simple approach so I will be a frequent visitor 🙂

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Simple is GOOD in my book 😉 A low carb diet is a great way to achieve all of that from what I have read and heard. If you ever have any questions just let me know – if I don’t know the answer, I’ll help you find it!

  9. Kathy says:

    I stumbled upon your website by googling what type of low carb coffee creamer I could use…low and behold…I found a gold mine of information about low-carb foods! Thank You!!
    I do have a question: At my job I am at a desk all day…in the afternoon is when I get “sleepy” and want to munch on something…what would you recommend for snacking between meals??

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Welcome Kathy! 😀

      I like Almonds or Pecans. They are great for energy, and also that crunchy salty snack I crave (especially with the almonds). I like String Cheese with either, makes a great combo! If you’re not opposed to having a diet soda, it goes great with the almonds & string cheese and almost feels like a “junk food splurge” – but it’s not. 😉

  10. Yeah I realize now that this is an “old” article, but I found it because you posted it to your FB wall I think… I know something prompted me to open it and leave it open in my browser…

    Regardless I am sitting here eating a container of Kroger’s CARBMaster Yogurt (4 net carbs and only 60 calories) and feel decadent because I am eating a slice of cinnamon raisin TOAST! OMG! LOL, it is a piece of Julian Bakery Low carb! Only 2 grams of carbs in a slice! I made a special trip to the big health food store and picked that and regular flavor Zero Carb bread so I might have a sandwich or dunk a piece of toast in my sunny side up eggs! LOL

    I have to say it is good! Our stores here get it in from California and promptly freeze it so it stays fresh. I brought it home and put some back in the freezer and kept some out in a ziploc bag in the fridge to eat over the next couple days.

    Truth be told I checked my Penzey Spices Cinnamon sugar and discovered that 1/4 tsp is only one carb so I sprinkled the tiniest bit over my buttered toast… now I feel positively WICKED!

    heh heh,

  11. Pingback: Why Am I Not Losing Weight? – 3 Mistakes You May Be Making With the Low Carb Diet | Low Carb Diet Tips for Busy People

  12. Cheryl Moore says:

    I have just started low carbs and I like how I feel as well. I am wanting something sweet to eat…any suggestions?

    • Llepke says:

      Cinnamon Pork Rinds dipped in Vanilla Yogurt!
      Sprinkle Cinnamon in a bag first, then dump in the plain pork rinds and shake to lightly coat. Then into Plain Full Fat Yogurt stir in vanilla extract and one drop EZsweetz, or sweeter if you like. I make this ahead of time so that the yogurt sets up in the fridge.

  13. KT says:

    I’ve done a low carb diet before and after about a week or two I always get burned out because I feel like the only thing I can eat is meat and eggs. I’ll be starting the low carb again, but this time I will be prepared, as I have found a couple of delicious low carb meals! My 3 favorite meals are: chili rellenos, taco salad (without the chips), and a low carb pizza recipe (I found it on this blog: which is delicious! Thank you for the resources you put up, they have been a big help in picking out new foods and recipes!!!

  14. Marissa lynn says:

    Hey im just doing some research before starting the low carb thing. The only problem is I unfortunately am living in a hotel right now with no access to a kitchen so everything I eat is either fast food or bought at the grocery store. Can you PLEASE send me some easy meal/snack ideas that require no microwave or stove and also no seafood haha. Id greatly appreciate it!!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Marissa 🙂 I eat out a lot as well. Do you have a Hardee’s in your area? They make a GREAT low carb cheeseburger. I ask for the Frisco Burger (made low carb). Delicious! They also have a Low Carb Grilled Chicken Club (7 net carbs).

      From the store I like pecans, walnuts, almonds, string cheese, other cheeses, cucumber (sliced or diced & salted, or cubed & mixed with mayo), Daisy brand cottage cheese – all kinds of ideas!

  15. David Lippi says:

    Dear Lynn Terry;
    I’m low carb dieting but also I need to remind myself every day when I exercise to not then go blow my metabolism on carbs !!! This would make the exercise pointless IMHO.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi David,

      Yes, you can work out on a ketogenic low carb diet and fuel your workout on healthy fats instead of carbs & sugar – which is actually ideal. If you eat very low carb (keto) your body will burn fat for energy instead, and your body and brain both run better on healthy fats than they do on carbs & sugar. 😉

  16. Patricia BAILEY says:

    Love your site and am starting on the plan. My question is about chicken and it’s skin. Is eating the skin ok? Thanks.

  17. Teresa says:

    This is my first time doing this. I hope I do good.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *