With diets like Keto and Atkins as popular as ever, many are interested in lowering their carbohydrate intake. Fortunately, there are many options for low-carb eaters outside of just a plateful of raw vegetables. From low-sugar fruits like raspberries to savory meats and sauteed veggies, there's an array of tasty foods that adhere to carb restrictions. Snack on cheese, nuts, and avocado, and end the night with some high cacao chocolate! That's right, chocolate. These delicious foods and beverages make following a low-carb diet easy.
The Higher The Cacao In Chocolate, The Lower The Sugar
It may be shocking to see chocolate on the list for low-carb foods since candy is usually just about as sugary as it gets. According to a Harvard Medical School study, dark chocolate is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, which is a concern to those who eat a high-fat diet.
The higher the cacao percentage, the lower the sugar. For example, a Ghiradelli chocolate bar that is 92% cacao only has 2 grams of sugar in it!
Berries Are A Lower-Carb Fruit
Another item you may be surprised to see on this list is berries! Since fruit is known for its sugar content, you would assume they'd be a low-carb no-no. Since fruits are packed with micronutrients, it's important to incorporate them into any diet.
Berries are a lower-carb option that can bring some sweetness into your low-carb diet. Raspberries only have 5 grams of sugar in an entire cup, while strawberries and blackberries have 7. Plus, their high fiber content brings the net carbohydrate count down.
Bacon Is Packed With Flavor And Nearly Carb-Free
Bacon is one of the savory foods that low-carb eaters get to indulge in. The meat is packed with flavor and has almost no carbs, making it a perfect addition to just about any dish.
However, since bacon is heavily processed, it's important to keep your intake moderate. We would advise cutting up a piece into tiny bits to add to sauteed veggies for a punch of flavor your taste buds will appreciate.
Avocado Is High In Fiber And Healthy Fats
It's vital to up your fat content when eating low-carb so that your body has an energy source it can rely on. That's what makes avocado such a prized part of a low-carb diet! Avocados are high in healthy fats that will curb your hunger while giving your body the nutrients it needs.
They're also high in fiber, so their net carbs are even lower than you'd initially expect. Plus, Medical News Today reports that avocados are linked to a decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
Seafood Is High In Omega-3s, Iodine, And B12
Like many protein-rich animal products, seafood is naturally low-carb. Though shellfish does contain 4 to 5 grams of carbs, many fish, like salmon and trout, contain no carbs.
Seafood is also naturally high in B12, which promotes healthy blood cells, and iodine, which is imperative for thyroid health. It also contains heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Pair some fish with a plate full of veggies prepared in healthy oil and seasoning and you'll be surprised how satisfying low-carb dinners can be.
Coffee Can Promote Fat-Burning And Provides Micronutrients
That morning cup of joe does a lot more than just get you out of bed. Researchers in London and the Netherlands have found that regular caffeine consumption can improve your metabolism by as much as 11%.
Plus, coffee tends to be a natural hunger suppressant, keeping you fuller for longer. Sipping on the bean beverage may help you beat those carbohydrate cravings, especially when your body is still adjusting to a new diet. Just be sure you resist the urge to add sugar.
Heavy Cream Can Make Your Beverages More Fulfilling
Though low-carb eaters will want to avoid putting sugar in their coffee, you can boost the flavor with cream! Heavy cream in particular is a perfect way to make your morning beverage more fulfilling, as it will give the body calories and fat to burn up.
Those who can't stand the bitterness of black coffee will appreciate the taste of heavy cream. You can add it to coffee, tea, or other beverages and recipes to make them thicker and more satisfying.
Eggs Are Protein And Micronutrient Rich
Eggs are a staple in a variety of diets, and for good reason. They are relatively inexpensive and are high in protein, healthy fats, and micronutrients such as B vitamins, selenium, and zinc.
Plus, they are an extremely versatile food and taste delicious! Hard boil them and top with a little salt and pepper for a low-carb snack (each egg contains 0.6 carbs). Mash them into an egg salad with keto-friendly mayo, scramble them, add veggies to an omelet, and much more!
Bell Peppers Add Color And Flavor To Any Dish
Bell peppers are a popular vegetable because they not only are full of micronutrients like vitamin C and beta-carotene, but they're also full of flavor. Far from bland, bell peppers add a pop of flavor to just about any dish.
They also are vibrant, and the color can make any dull-looking meal more desirable and trick your brain into feeling even more fulfilled. Dice up some bell peppers and throw them into a salad or omelet, or sautee them with other veggies for added flavor.
Season Mushrooms For Added Taste And Texture
Though mushrooms are technically a fungus, they're often thought of as a vegetable thanks to their high antioxidant and vitamin content. As such, mushrooms are fantastic for the immune system.
Plus, their mild taste makes them easy to season and they're complementary to a wide variety of dishes. Sautee the mushrooms in oil and season for a quick snack or add them to a dish to fill out the meal and enhance the flavor and texture.
Cheese Comes In Many Flavorful Varieties
Cheese is one of those foods that can enhance the flavor of just about any dish. From grated parmesan or crumbled feta in salads, to a slice of cheddar or pepper jack on burgers, the flavor and texture combos are endless.
The best part is that cheese is low in carbs and high in protein and calcium. Certain kinds can be high in saturated fats and sodium, so moderation is key. Top your celery with cream cheese, melt some over your broccoli, or create a creamy sauce to pour over meat.
Olives Are A Savory Snack Or Add-on
Like avocados, olives are another savory fruit high in healthy fats but low in sugar. Five small olives contain just one gram of carbs, however, they can be high in sodium, so be sure to keep track of how many you're eating.
Olives stuffed with blue cheese, garlic, pimiento peppers, and a variety of other delicious items make for tasty snacking. Slice some olives and sprinkle them over a salad and you'll see that a little goes a long way with these slivers of flavor.
Lamb Is Delicious And High In B12
If you're bored of chicken and steak, lamb is a delicious alternative worth adding into the mix, especially on a low-carb diet. Just three ounces of it contains half your daily value of vitamin B12, and it's also high in selenium and zinc.
Lamb is also high in conjugated linoleic acid, which researchers have found may be linked to decreased inflammation and lower body fat. Plus, lamb is often grass-fed, which is ideal for those avoiding grain-fed meat.
Onions Are Loaded With Flavor And Are Anti-Inflammatory
Though onions are one of the higher-carb vegetables, that's not saying much considering many veggies contain slim to no carbs. A full cup only contains 11 grams of carbs, and they're so flavorful that it's not likely you'd want to eat that much, anyway.
Half a cup of onions is a full serving of vegetables and goes a long way in terms of flavor. Dice them up and add to a salad raw or grill them and add to meat and sauteed veggies.
Crushed Peanuts Go Great With Meats And Salads
Did you know that peanuts aren't a nut? Though they look like nuts, are often added to mixed nuts, and have a similar nutritional disposition, they are actually legumes! Regardless of their classification, they taste delicious in numerous foods.
Buying peanuts that aren't shelled can help you pace yourself while snacking. Crush up peanuts and sprinkle them into your salads or add to meats for an added boost of protein, fiber, healthy fats, and flavor.
Nuts Are High In Healthy Fats And An Easy Snack
If you're used to munching on chips and crackers as an afternoon snack, then going low-carb may be tricky in terms of snack foods. That's why many find themselves reaching for a bag of nuts as an alternative.
Loaded with high fats, protein, and fiber, nuts are an easy go-to when hunger creeps up in between meals. As with peanuts, we suggest getting nuts that haven't been shelled, as picking them open can help you moderate.
Chicken Is A Lean But Delicious Protein
Chicken and turkey are both naturally carb-free but lower in fat than red meats. That's why they can be a vital part of a low-carb diet while keeping your fat intake at healthy levels.
Chicken is extremely versatile, so it takes fabulous paired with just about anything. Create a chicken and vegetable stew, add pieces of it into a salad or an omelet, or eat it right off the bone for a satisfying meal at any time in the day.
Beef Is Tasty And Filling!
Beef is loaded with iron, B12, fat, and protein that make it extremely satisfying. If you're struggling to get full on a low-carb diet, throw a steak into the mix every so often and you'll realize how satiating the meat is.
All you really need with a beef dinner are some cooked veggies to make the dish feel complete. Grill a patty with some cheese and lettuce-wrap it for a carb-friendly alternative to the standard burger.
Plain Yogurt Is An Excellent Dip Or Sauce Alternative
Though Americans often think of yogurt as a sweet breakfast item, Mediterranean cuisine often serves yogurt as a savory meat-topper. Plain yogurt only has about 8 carbs per serving and makes for a wonderful sour cream alternative.
You can add some oil and spices to make a simple yogurt dip for your veggies as a snack option, as well. Many low-carb eaters opt for Greek yogurt because it is extra high in protein, giving you an alternative to meat products.
Fermented Veggies Are Flavorful And Gut-Healthy
Did you know that your cravings aren't only in your head, they're in your gut, too? When your body is used to eating a ton of sugar, you end up with gut bacteria that demand more.
Fermented veggies can help balance out the good bacteria in your gut, helping you feel more satisfied after a healthy meal. Plus, foods like sauerkraut and pickles are bursting with flavor and can make any plain dish much more interesting.
Seeds Add Satisfying Nutrition To Any Meal
Another thing you can add to your yogurt is seeds! Whether they are chia, pumpkin, sesame, or anything else, seeds are loaded with nutrition that can keep you feeling fuller for a longer period of time.
Part of what makes seeds so fulfilling is their high fiber content, which is also what makes their net carb count so low. Add some seeds to your salad to buff it up, or get seed butter as an alternative to nut or peanut butter.
Tea Can Be A Tasty Alternative To Snacking Or Dessert
Though there are many snack and dessert alternatives on this list, some may still find themselves struggling to stick to a designated carb count. On those days when you can't spare a single carb in between meals, consider drinking some tea.
Tea has a host of health benefits that range from mood enhancement to increased metabolism and immune support. They come in a variety of flavors, so try to pick one that is naturally tasty so you won't be tempted to add any sugar or honey.
Citrus Fruits Add Zest To Meals
Speaking of tea, lemons are a wonderful addition to the beverage for a boost of flavor, and an entire one only has five carbs. Likewise, many citrus fruits are naturally low in carbs but very tasty.
An entire orange only has 11 carbs, and that's not accounting for the 2 to 3 grams of fiber it also boasts. Smaller citrus fruits like tangerines are easy to eat in moderation and can be a delicious dessert alternative, or add some flavor to your water.
Tomatoes Are Delicious On Their Own Or Paired With Other Foods
Tomatoes are one of those foods that you either can't stand, or can't get enough of. If you fall into the latter category, then we suggest making them a regular part of your low-carb diet.
Though they are technically a fruit, many think of them as a vegetable and they are naturally low in carbs. Slice one up and add salt and pepper for an easy snack, add them to lettuce-wrapped sandwiches, or throw some diced ones onto your meal for added flavor.
Kiwis Are Both Sweet And Sour
Kiwis may be small, but they are mighty in terms of taste. The complex flavor of the fruit is both sweet and sour, which is a delight to your taste buds. One kiwi has just 10 carbs and 2 grams of fiber.
That means that the little fruit won't only satisfy in terms of taste, but will also help keep you feeling full. A single piece also has more than 100% of your daily vitamin C, making them better for your immune system than even oranges.
Dieters almost unanimously agree that soda isn't the best for your health, especially if you're doing low-carb. Even diet sodas aren't ideal since they are full of questionable ingredients that may have adverse effects on your waistline.
That's why carbonated water is the best alternative. The fizz makes it more satisfying than flat water, and adding citrus fruits can make it naturally flavorful without upping the carb count. Add in some herbs, too, for an extra boost of zest.
The Taste Of Brussels Sprouts Is Easy To Transform
If you've ever bitten into a raw Brussels sprout, you probably would argue that they aren't the most delicious item on the planet. What these low-carb vegetables are able to offer is the ability to transform into something delicious.
If you cook and season Brussels sprouts just right, they can become one of your favorite sides. Add in some garlic cloves-- or better yet, chunks of ham-- to really send the flavor through the roof.
Apricots Are Densely Nutritious But Low In Carbohydrates
Many of the other fruits on this list are so juicy that you would expect them to be low in calories and carbs. Apricots are unique in that their low calorie and carb count can't be explained by their watery disposition.
The small fruit is only 34 calories and contains a mere 8 carbs per piece. Part of what makes apricots seem so substantial is their high nutrition content, which includes 1.5 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein.
Spinach Is Tasty Raw Or Cooked
Many find spinach to be among the top vegetables in terms of flavor because it isn't terribly bitter when raw and it soaks up flavor when cooked. An entire cup of spinach is only 1 carb, but it also contains one gram of fiber that cancels the carb out.
A cup also has 60% of your daily value of vitamin A! You can sprinkle some spinach leaves over your meat, sautee it with some bacon, or use it instead of lettuce in a salad.
Celery Tastes Delicious With Various Spreads
Perhaps the best carb-friendly snack out there is celery. A stalk contains roughly one carb, half a gram of fiber, and just 5 calories. That said, you aren't going to get full on celery alone.
What will make for a satisfying snack is celery topped with yogurt, cream cheese, peanut butter, keto-friendly ranch, or just about any other low-carb dip. Though celery has a powerful taste, it's one that complements an array of flavors.