What are the low carb foods for weight loss

What are the low carb foods for weight loss
  • PublishedFebruary 26, 2020

One of the fastest ways of losing weight is by adopting a low carbs diet. It means consuming low carb foods thus restricting your carbs intake. Low carb foods are mostly taken by people on low carbs diet like the keto and Atkins diets.

Low carb foods are most vegetables that grow above the ground, meat, poultry, seafood, healthy fats like palm oil, olive oil, and moderate carb sources are nuts, seeds and legumes.

What are low carb foods

Low carb foods are those with a low number of carbohydrates in terms of grams. Therefore, when we are talking about low carb foods, we basically mean foods with low carbohydrates in them.  Carbohydrates are the sugars, starch, fiber found in fruits, vegetables, corn, dairy products and a lot more other types of food. Carbs are one of the major basic food groups with proteins, minerals, and vitamins completing the balanced diet.

Carb foods are energy giving foods meaning they are one of the three ways the body gets the energy to function. They are called carbohydrates because they have carbon, hydrogen and oxygen at the chemical level but that’s a lot of science.

Talking about low carb foods will lead you to the low carb diets. It’s like the cause and effect. A low carb diet is a type of diet that limits the number of carbohydrates a person takes. Instead of carbs, people tend to focus more on other food types like proteins, healthy fats and vegetables.

What happens when you stop eating carbs?

Eating low carb foods is related to two commonly known diets. They are the keto and Atkins diet. These limit the intake of carbs and advise on taking more proteins and healthy fats.

But what happens when you reduce or stop taking carbs in your diet.

Healthy benefits of taking less or no carbs in your diet

  1. The increased intake of proteins will make you feel less hungry. For people seeking weight loss, this is a great advantage as it helps to curb unnecessary snacking which might have added unwanted calories to your daily intake goal. Higher protein intake has a lot more weight loss benefits.
  2. Cutting carbs from your diet will make the body find an alternative source of energy that’s fat. When you take low carbs food, the body will not have enough energy from sugars therefore it will turn to body fat thus weight loss.
  3. Low carb diets reduce appetite making you eat less food this means fewer calories. This makes losing weight a lot easier and not forced.
  4. Eating low carb foods will make the body get used to using fats for energy. This makes it reduce lipogenesis in the body and it’s the body process of converting sugars to fat. With no fat being stored in the body, you will get weight loss much faster.
  5. It reduces calorie intake. With plenty of calories in foods rich in carbs, eliminating or reducing the carbs will make you consume fewer calories. This makes weight loss much easier since a calorie deficit can be easily reached.
  6. Taking low carb foods helps to reduce sugar levels and insulin from the body.

Negative effects of taking low carb foods and diet.

Getting used to a low carb diet takes some time but, in the meantime, you will experience some negative side effects like;

  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation or diarrhea (lack of fiber got from whole foods)

In the long run, restricting carbs intake will result in vitamins and mineral deficiencies and their related complications.

How many carbs should you consume on a low carb diet?

Eating a few carbs is one of the fastest ways to lose weight. ITs starts by losing the water weight then since the body starts to get fuel from fat, weight loss is then seen.

While on a low carbs diet you are able to lose weight without restricting the number of calories consumed. As long as you stay eating low carb foods, you will lose weight.

While it’s good to restrict the number of calories taken, it’s not wise to completely remove carbs from your diet. Just limit and take foods that have low carbs. This leads us to a question of how many carbs should you consume on a low diet?

Low carbs diets have shown a faster weight loss than high carb diets.

On a low carbs diet for weight loss, the number of carbs is restricted from 20 to 60 grams which are 0.7 to 2 ounces. This amount of carbs will provide around 80 to 240 calories. But for some low carbs diet, the amount of carbs is restricted be chosen from to minimal during the first phase then it is gradually increased.

The number of calories consumed depends on each person since different people have different food needs.

You might also be interested in: Tips for a healthy meal plan for weight loss

Examples of low carb foods

Choosing low carb foods should be chosen from all major foods groups so as it gets effective in delivery nutrients essential for the body to function properly;

All types of red meat

Most types of meat are high in proteins yet low in carbs with most having zero grams of carbs. This makes them perfect foods for somebody on a low carb diet.

Examples of meat which is low in carbs. 

  • Beef
  • Mutton
  • Rabbit meat
  • Pork and bacon
  • sausages made from pork, beef, mutton

Poultry products

low carb foods

Apparently, all poultry products have zero carbs and are highly nutritious with proteins. No matter which type of poultry meat you eat you will get no carbs. Dieters on diets like the keto diet will find poultry to be great alternative foods to carbs.

Examples of poultry low in carbs 

  • Chicken
  • Ducks and geese
  • Turkey
  • Guinea fowls
  • Quail
  • Pheasant

With the exception of eggs, all poultry products have no calories. But with eggs, a little amount of carbs is present. Still, eggs are low in carbs and should be eaten for low carbs dieters. The target is fewer carbs and no carbs at all.


A general rule or tip to help you remember veggies that are low in carbs is this. Vegetables that grow above the ground are low in calories and vegetables which grow inside the ground are high in carbs.

Vegetables are high in vitamins like A, D, C, K and nutrients like potassium. This makes vegetables great vitamin sources to add to your low carb diet.

Examples of veggies with low carbs. 

low carb foods
Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay
  • Broccoli
  • mushrooms,
  • Cauliflower
  • Collard greens
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Green beans
  • Arugula
  • Cabbage
  • Turnips
  • Carrots
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Tomatoes

But in comparison to meat and poultry products, vegetables are not completely carbs free. They have low carbs making them the right foods to eat while on a low carbs diet.

Dairy products.

They are not completely free of carbs, but they have low carbs in them. A little carbs content will not break your low carbs diet and thus consume dairy products too.

With the maximum number of calories being 12g per 100 grams of dairy products, they are fit for a low carbs diet.

Examples of low carbs dairy products.

  • Unsweetened Whole milk
  • Hard cheese
  • Butter
  • Evaporated milk
  • Whipped cream
  • Cheddar
  • Sour cheese
  • Full fat unsweetened yogurt


Fruits are essential in any diet plan with the low carbs diet inclusive. With plenty of vitamins and nutrients, fruits are linked to many health benefits. Eating fruits reduces the risk of heart diseases, bone loss, kidney problems, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.

Fruits have a lot more benefits but most of them have high carbs content which leaves us with a choice of few fruits to eat while on a low carbs diet.

Examples of fruits to eat while on a low carbs diet. 

  • Kiwi
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Plum
  • Lemon
  • Coconut meat
  • Blackberries
  • Strawberries

Fats and oils.

Healthy fats are focused on low carb diets like the keto diet as the alternative for fuel. This makes them essential for the diet. But choosing fats and oil can be tricky as some fats are unhealthy.

The best thing about fats is that they have zero carbs making them great for low carbs diets.

Examples of healthy low carbs fats and oils. 

  • Coconut oil
  • Walnut oil
  • Ghee
  • Palm oil
  • Hemp oil
  • Lard
  • Avocado oil.

Kinds of seafood and fish

low carb foods
Image by Wow Phochiangrak from Pixabay

Fish are high in proteins and very low in carbs. Thays are important sources of nutrients like omega 3-fatty oils.

Examples of low carbs fish and seafood 

  • Salmon
  • Trout
  • Tuna
  • Haddock
  • Halibut
  • Sardines
  • Anchovies
  • Mackerel

Nuts and seeds.

Image by ExplorerBob from Pixabay

They are a great source of fiber making a great alternative for the fiber that would have been got from whole grains. Including nuts and seeds in your diet helps to avoid constipation.

They can be used as snacks or taken along with tea for breakfast.

Examples of low carbs nuts and seeds. 

  • Chia seeds
  • Almonds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Walnuts
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Cashew
  • Brazil nuts

What drinks are low in carbs

Having knowledge about low carbs foods is not enough until you know the drinks too that have low carbohydrates. A general rule about low carbs drinks is to avoid manufactured or sweetened drinks.


It is the healthiest drink with zero calories and carbs. Water is refreshing and has a lot of benefits to weight loss. By taking a glass of water 30 minutes before a meal will make you feel less hungry thus consuming less food. Taking water also curbs the urge to take unhealthy drinks like sodas which would have ruined your diet plan.

Herbal teas.

All herbal teas have a low number of carbs in them. Herbal teas made with ginger, chamomile. Peppermint all don’t go beyond 10g of carbs per cup. On a low diet, take herbal teas for breakfast in order to stay within your carbs intake limit. With plenty of health benefits from the herbs used in making the tea, your body will be much alive after every cup.

Herbal teas will help in proper digestion, reducing stress or anxiety, helping in getting better sleep and a lot more health benefits.

Unsweetened coffee.

With plenty of antioxidants found in coffee, it’s a very great drink to take on a low carbs diet. Unsweetened coffee is linked to protection against diseases such as diabetes, liver diseases, neuroglial disorders and depression. Coffee has no carbs and its healthy to enjoy without the worry of exceeding your carbs limit.

Protein shakes

These are healthy to take since they are low in carbs yet high in proteins. But not all protein shakes are low in carbs therefore you have to check the label to be sure they are of low carbs.

 How to avoid high carbs foods.

The list of low carbs foods is endless but also the list of foods to avoid is generally huge. But by following these few steps, you will be able to stick to your low carbs diet or foods.

  • All grains are high in carbs and therefore try to avoid them. Rice, wheat, barley, corn, oats and all other grains should be avoided. Also, products made out of grains such as bread, pasta, cookies, biscuits, cereals are also high in carbs and should be added on the list of foods to avoid.
  • Sugars and artificial sweeteners should be avoided as most of them have a high number of carbs.
  • Avoid alcohol, sodas and all sweetened drinks as they have high carbs and sugar content.

The bottom line

Most low carb diets are aimed at weight loss and they do deliver good results fast. But eliminating carbs from your diet is not so much advised and should be done after inquiring with your doctor.

Summary of low carbs foods are most vegetables that grow above the ground, meat, poultry, seafood, healthy fats like palm oil, olive oil and moderate carb sources are nuts, seeds and legumes.

Read next: What you should know about the Ketogenic diet for weight loss

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