15 healthy low carb foods that taste incredible
Thinking of starting up a low carb diet plan but hesitating? If so, you aren’t alone. While many people know that eating a lower carb diet plan can assist with them reaching their goal weight as it’s been proven by research time and time again (1), they hesitate because they fear what it’ll mean for their enjoyment of food.
They have this notion in mind that a low carb diet consists of nothing more than celery, carrots, and the odd piece of chicken and clearly that leaves much to be desired.
Fret not. You can actually have great tasting food while using a low carb diet plan. You just need to know which foods pack in the flavor while cutting the excess fat and calories. When you do that, you can effectively create your very own low carb diet plan and enjoy the process as well.
Let’s take a closer look at fifteen delicious low carb foods that all taste incredibly and will help you improve your health and reach an ideal body weight.
This dip that’s traditionally served with tortilla chips is one that you shouldn’t pass up. Prepared with avocado’s, diced vegetables, and a touch of olive oil and lime or lemon juice, it’s one that provides very few grams of carbs.
What’s more is that you’ll get a powerful dose of vitamin E and fiber from the avocado’s it contains. This makes it an excellent choice for combating heart disease and helping to improve the look of your skin.
Carb Count Per 100 gram serving: 9.4 grams
2. Peanut butter
Who doesn’t love a bit of peanut butter? This creamy, rich, smooth condiment is often used on high carb foods like toast, bagels, and bananas, however you can find lower carb alternatives for it.
Try smearing some peanut butter into a few stalks of celery for a quick light snack on the go. Or, mix it into some low fat cottage cheese for a great pre-bed meal that provides a unique combination of protein and healthy fats.
The nice thing about peanut butter is that it’s a very balanced food containing dietary fiber, protein, as well as healthy unsaturated fats. This makes it a terrific heart-health boosting food and one that you can feel good about eating.
Opt for natural peanut butter to keep the total carb count as low as possible and try and choose one that has the least sodium for best results.
Carb Count Per 1 tablespoon serving: 3.1
Another delicious nut that you’ll want to add to your menu is the pistachio. This nut is often overlooked by many people as they are instead turning to almonds as they’ve heard that they’re the healthiest nut to be consuming.
This isn’t necessarily the case. Pistachios are also an excellent choice and will provide a good fiber-healthy fat combination as well. Plus, because they come shelled, they’ll take longer to eat, which typically means you’ll net fewer calories each time you consume them. Shelling them takes time, so you can’t shovel them into your mouth like you would a handful of almonds or walnuts for instance.
Pistachios also offer a nice dose of protein at about 5.8 grams per one ounce serving, so for those who struggle to meet their protein intake, this nut can be a smart solution.
Carb Count Per 1 oz. serving: 7.9 grams
If there’s one food that you’ll want to be including in your diet plan, salmon would be it. Salmon is a very powerful health promoter because it contains not only protein but omega-3 fatty acids as well.
Most people are not getting sufficient levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their diet today, so salmon can quickly boost your intake to where it needs to be.
These omega-3 fatty acids can assist with everything from promoting a healthier brain, lowering your heart disease risk, decreasing inflammation in the body, to improving body composition. They’re one of the best disease fighting nutrients around and since your body cannot manufacture them on its own, they must come from your food intake. This is why they are considered an essential fatty acid.
Grill up some salmon for dinner tonight or opt for canned salmon and make your very own salmon burgers. Both are terrific ways to stick to your low carb diet and nourish your body right.
Carb Count Per 4 oz. serving: 0 grams
The versatile egg! If you are looking for something to eat for breakfast on your low carb plan, look no further, eggs are a perfect bet. They also work great as snacks or even as main lunch or dinner meals as well, so use them whenever you desire.
Many people often shun eggs because of their cholesterol level, however do keep in mind that everyone needs some cholesterol to stay healthy. As long as you don’t have any pre-existing heart health conditions, eating an egg a day is not a problem.
Eggs are highly convenient, very versatile as they can be cooked in so many different ways, and will pack in 7-8 grams of protein per serving depending on the size that you buy.
Don’t be too quick to toss the yolk either. Much of the nutrition you want comes from the yolk including calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, folate, and vitamin B12.
Carb Count Per 1 whole egg serving: 0 grams
6. Dried unsweetened coconut flakes
The perfect topping for your bowl of yogurt, dried unsweetened coconut flakes deserve a spot in your diet plan. Coconut fat, which is a form of medium chain triglycerides are gaining a lot of attention right now for all the health benefits they provide.
Not only does this fat have a high thermic effect of food, meaning it’ll burn up more energy simply with the process of digestion (hence giving you a metabolic boost!), but it also can help to lower inflammation, decrease hunger, improve heart health, and strengthen your immune system as well.
Plus, it actually acts more like a carbohydrate source in the body, giving you a usable form of energy you can harness immediately. If you find that you are feeling drained on your lower carb diet plan, consider adding coconut to your day. It may just do the trick to get you feeling better again.
Dried unsweetened coconut flakes have a delicious taste and are highly versatile as well. They can be sprinkled onto many snacks you’re consuming as well as incorporated into a low carb protein smoothie for added flavor. Or, just grab a small handful and eat it on its own.
Carb Count Per 15 gram serving: 4 grams
Another delicious protein source, shrimp is a terrific food to add onto any low carb meal plan. The nice thing about shrimp is that it’s a high volume food, meaning you can eat a lot of shrimp for few calories.
On top of that, it’s also pretty much fat free, making it a great choice for those who are really watching their calorie intake.
The nutrient that stands out in shrimp is selenium, which is important for manufacturing the antioxidant glutathione peroxidase, which is important for counteracting the effects of free radical damage.
Shrimp also contains a decent dose of vitamin B12 as well, which is another nutrient that is involved in sustaining a healthy energy level and metabolic rate.
Per 4 oz. serving of shrimp you’ll take in over 25 grams of protein, so for anyone looking to improve their overall intake, it’s a food that should definitely be consumed.
Carb Count Per 4 oz. serving: 1.72 grams
8. Bell peppers
When it comes to vegetables, just about any vegetable will be a terrific addition on your low carb approach. Spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, onions, mushrooms, kale – you name it, it should fit in. The only vegetables that are higher in carbs you may want to stay away from are corn, peas, potatoes, and larger amounts of carrots.
One vegetable that’s especially tasty however that you’ll want to ensure you include is bell peppers. Their sweet taste will help you naturally combat cravings and they’re highly versatile so will work with a great many different dishes.
You can sauté or stir-fry them, use them in salads, eat them raw with a delicious low carb diet, or use them when baking your main protein source. The possibilities are really endless.
Bell peppers are also loaded with the powerful antioxidant and nutrient vitamin C, which will help to strengthen your immune system and combat free radical damage.
If you really want to treat yourself to something special, try preparing stuffed red peppers for dinner one night using ground turkey breast and other diced vegetables. It’s a great dish that’ll fit with any low carb menu.
Carb Count Per 1 whole bell pepper: 7.3 grams
Moving over to the fruit side of things, the fact is, most fruits are relatively high in carbohydrates. In fact, they’re nearly 100% carbohydrates. But, there are certain fruits that while they may contain nearly all carbs, they still don’t contain that many.
Which makes them the fruits you want to be adding to your low carb diet plan. As long as you keep your portion sizes under control, there’s no reason not to add a small serving to your menu. By doing so, you’ll help satisfy your sweet tooth and get in the great dose of antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber that fruits provide.
So which fruit should you be eating? Try strawberries. This fruit contains a high degree of total water content, meaning the total carb count will be lower than many other fruits such as bananas or pineapples. Slice some up and top them with some coconut flakes as noted above. It’s a great snack for any time during the day.
Or, blend those two ingredients together with a scoop of your favorite protein powder and some unsweetened almond milk for a delicious and well-balanced low carb smoothie.
Carb Count Per 1 cup serving: 11.1 grams
One of the great things about using a low carb diet plan is you get to consume certain foods that you otherwise would likely not consume when seeking fat loss. Cheese is the perfect example.
On a traditional diet plan, cheese is thought to be a ‘danger’ food because it does contain more fat and calories. But, as long as you are monitoring your serving size and therefore how many calories you are eating, there’s no reason you can’t serve yourself a little cheese.
Cheese will help combat cravings for many low carb dieters, so it could make it that much easier to stick with your plan.
Cheese is also great because it’ll provide you with a good dose of protein as well as calcium, two key nutrients needed by the body. The calcium will help foster strong bone growth and development while the protein will ensure that you maintain lean muscle mass tissue.
Try sprinkling some cheese over your chicken when you bake it or creating your very own cheese sauce to serve over top of some steamed broccoli.
If you are very worried about the dietary fat content in cheese, consider one of the lower fat varieties. These varieties will contain a bit more protein and fewer grams of fat, so can be ideal if you are struggling to get enough in.
Carb Count Per 100 gram serving: 0 grams
11. Dark chocolate
Yes! You can have chocolate! While you definitely shouldn’t go in for your favorite candy bar at the local gas station as the carb count will be through the roof thanks to all the sugar it contains, don’t feel bad about serving yourself a small square of dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate is very low in carbohydrates and contains both saturated as well as unsaturated fat. What’s more important is that it’s a rich source of antioxidants, which will help to keep your body in proper working order.
And on top of that, it also contains just the slightest bit of caffeine, which can give you a quick energy boost. When you eat dark chocolate, your brain also releases feel-good endorphins, which are essentially chemicals that help to ease stress and boost your mood.
There’s a reason why we crave chocolate when stressed! Now you can eat a small dose without guilt.
Carb Count Per ½ oz. serving: 13 grams
12. Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt is next great low carb food to incorporate into your diet plan. Greek yogurt has a slightly better nutritional profile compared to regular yogurt as it contains more protein and fewer carbs – perfect for the low carb diet.
Just watch when you are selecting your Greek yogurt that you choose one that is unflavored as otherwise, you’ll be getting a huge dose of sugar with it.
Greek yogurt is also rich in bone-boosting calcium, so a great choice for low carb dieters who aren’t drinking milk due to the nearly 10 grams of sugar per cup!
Pair Greek yogurt with some strawberries and a few pieces of dark chocolate and you’ll have a decadent snack on your hands in minutes.
Carb Count Per 1 cup serving: 9.3 grams
Another delicious nut to add to your grocery list – cashews are a terrific choice. Cashews have a large dose of monounsaturated fats, so are great for promoting optimal heart health and combating heart disease.
They’re also low in carbs, high in fiber, and will provide a small dose of protein as well, so can be excellent for helping you side-step diabetes as well.
Finally, they’re loaded with copper, which is a mineral that is necessary for improving iron utilization in the body (hence defending against iron-deficiency anemia), removing free radicals from your system, and making sure that your bone and connective tissues are strong.
Carb Count Per 100 gram serving: 8.6 grams
14. Whipped coconut milk
Another delicious coconut product, coconut milk is loaded with energy providing fats and contains hardly any carbs at all. Here’s a little secret: if you turn a can of full fat coconut milk upside down in the fridge and leave it there over night, you can then drain off the liquid the next day and use an electric beater to beat the remaining cream that’s left.
What will you get?
Coconut whipped cream! Try this on your low carb desserts or some strawberries for a special treat you’ll absolutely adore.
Carb Count Per 2 oz. serving: 3.9 grams
15. Grass fed steak
Finally, let’s not forget steak. Rich in iron, high in protein, and complete with a dose of CLA fatty acids, which will help you burn up body fat at a faster pace, grass fed steak should never be overlooked.
Choosing the grass fed variety gets you a better overall nutritional profile and will help you avoid the inflammation inducing factor that grain fed beef can provide.
Carb Count Per 100 gram serving: 0 grams
The Sati line
So as you can see, eating low carb does not have to be boring. Add these fifteen foods to your menu and you’ll be looking forward to each meal that comes your way while knowing that you are nourishing your body well in the process. Remember that trying new foods in any fat loss diet is a must. It’s what will help keep you interested in the meal plan you are using and prevent you from succumbing to food cravings. Don’t ever let yourself think that your diet has to be boring. There are so many great options and ways to prepare and flavor your foods that you can create just as delicious of meals that follow your diet as you’ve ever eaten before. Experiment and you might just be surprised.
- Samaha, Frederick F., et al. “A low-carbohydrate as compared with a low-fat diet in severe obesity.” New England Journal of Medicine348.21 (2003): 2074-2081.