Eating fewer carbs can have impressive health benefits.
It has significantly reduced hunger levels, leading to automatic weight loss without the need for calorie counting (1, 2).
At least 23 studies have found that low-carb diets can cause up to 2–3 times more weight loss than low-fat diets (3, 4).
Decreasing your carb intake can also have numerous other health benefits, such as reducing your blood sugar, blood pressure, and triglycerides or improving your “good” HDL cholesterol (5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10).
Plus, eating low-carb doesn’t have to be complicated.
Base your diet around natural foods low in carbs to lose weight and improve your health.
Here are 44 low-carb foods, most of which are healthy, nutritious, and incredibly delicious.
Total Carbs vs. Net Carbs
The carb content for a standard serving and the number of carbs in a 100-gram portion are listed at the end of each chapter.
However, remember that some of these foods are high in fiber, which may lower the digestible net carb content even further.
1–6. Eggs and Meats
Eggs and all types of meat are close to zero carbs. Organ meats are an exception, such as liver, which contains about 5% carbs (13 ).
Eggs (Almost Zero)
Eggs are among the healthiest and most nutritious foods on the planet.
They’re loaded with various nutrients — including some important for your brain — and compounds that can improve eye health (11, 12).
Carbs: almost zero.
Beef is highly satiating and loaded with essential nutrients like iron and vitamin B12. There are dozens of different types of meat, from ribeye steak to ground beef to hamburgers.
Like beef, lamb contains many beneficial nutrients, including iron and vitamin B12. In addition, lamb is often grass-fed and tends to be high in the beneficial fatty acid conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) (14 ).
Chicken is among the world’s most popular meats. It’s high in many beneficial nutrients and an excellent source of protein.
If you’re on a low-carb diet, it may be better to go for fattier cuts like wings and thighs.
Pork, Including Bacon (Usually Zero)
ork is another delicious type of meat, and bacon is a favorite of many low-carb dieters.
Bacon is processed meat and, therefore, definitely not healthy food. However, eating moderate amounts of bacon on a low-carb diet is generally acceptable.
Try to buy your bacon locally, without artificial ingredients, and ensure not to burn it during cooking.
Carbs: zero, but read the label and avoid bacon that is cured with sugar.
Jerky (Usually Zero)
Jerky is meat that has been cut into strips and dried. As long as it doesn’t contain added sugar or artificial ingredients, jerky can be a perfect low-carb snack food.
However, remember that many of the jerky available at stores are highly processed and unhealthy. So your best bet is to make your own.
Carbs: Depends on the type. It should be close to zero if it’s purely meat and seasoning.
Other Low-Carb Meats
Fish and other seafood tend to be incredibly nutritious and healthy.
They’re exceptionally high in B12, iodine, and omega-3 fatty acids — all nutrients many people don’t get enough of.
Like meat, almost all types of fish and seafood contain next to no carbs.
Salmon is one of the most popular types of fish among health-conscious individuals — for a good reason.
It’s a fatty fish containing significant amounts of heart-healthy fats — in this case, omega-3 fatty acids.
Salmon is also loaded with vitamin B12, iodine, and a decent amount of vitamin D3.
Like salmon, trout is a fatty fish loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and other essential nutrients.
Sardines are oily fish generally eaten almost whole, including their bones.
Sardines are among the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet and contain almost every nutrient your body needs.
Shellfish (4–5% Carbs)
It’s a shame that shellfish rarely makes it onto people’s daily menus, as they’re one of the world’s most nutritious foods.
They rank close to organ meats in their nutrient density and are low in carbs.
Carbs: 4–5 grams of carbs per 100 grams of shellfish.
Other Low-Carb Fish and Seafood
Most vegetables are low in carbs. For example, leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables have deficient levels, and most carbs consist of fiber.
On the other hand, starchy root vegetables like potatoes and sweet potatoes are high in carbs.
Broccoli is a tasty cruciferous vegetable that can be eaten raw and cooked. It’s high in vitamin C, K, and fiber and contains potent cancer-fighting plant compounds.
Carbs: 6 grams per cup, or 7 grams per 100 grams.
Tomatoes are technically fruits or berries but are usually eaten as vegetables. This is because they’re high in vitamin C and potassium.
Carbs: 7 grams in a large tomato, or 4 grams per 100 grams.
Onions are among the tastiest plants on Earth and add robust flavor to your recipes. In addition, they’re high in fiber, antioxidants, and various anti-inflammatory compounds.
Carbs: 11 grams per cup, or 9 grams per 100 grams.