May 19, 2024

Here is a low carb foods list for anybody following a low carbohydrate diet. The carbohydrate count that we are using is net carbs per 100g (3.5 oz) , not per serving, because serving sizes vary. Carb counts come from the USDA database and we cannot be held responsible for any errors.

For your convenience, we have grouped the foods according to how they are usually used in cooking, not by their botanical classification (so for example tomatoes and olives are with vegetables, and quinoa is with grains). The list is in three parts. Here in part 1, we cover protein foods and fats.

Meat, Fish, Eggs

Meat and fish are the stars of the low carb foods list. Most meat and fish is zero carb provided it is not processed.

Processed meats like bacon, ham and sausages may contain added sugar or other ingredients, so check the labels. Oysters, mussels and organ meats (liver, kidneys etc) have some carbohydrate and are best eaten only occasionally.

Eggs are low carb. A large egg has 0.4g carbohydrate per egg.

Meatloaf, fish cakes, etc contain bread or flour and other high carb ingredients. Avoid them, along with anything coated with breadcrumbs or batter, and meat that has been prepared with barbecue sauce or other sauces that usually include sugar.

Dairy Products

Milk contains lactose or milk sugar which is high in carbohydrate. Milk has around 5g carbohydrate per 100 ml (12g per cup), so it is usually restricted on low carb diets. However, the lactose is mainly contained in the skim part of the milk, so cream and products made from cream can be low carb.

Heavy (double) cream is a good addition to your low carb foods list with 0.4g carbohydrate per tablespoon (2.8g per 100 ml, 6.6g per cup). However, what is sold as cream in Canada is not pure dairy cream but more like American half and half. It may have a much higher carb count.

Butter is almost zero carb (0.1g per 100g).

Cheese varies according to the type and the method that is used to make it. Hard cheese (cheddar style) is often almost zero. Other cheeses can be considerably higher. Check labels.

Unflavored yogurt with no added ingredients has around the same carbohydrate content as milk. Whole milk yogurt is a little lower in carbs than skim milk (low fat) yogurt. This is because the skim milk contains more lactose. However, a lot of yogurt contains added fruit, sugar or other high carbohydrate ingredients, so check labels.


Liquid oils such as olive oil, canola oil and sunflower oil are zero carb. Coconut oil, which is solid at room temperature in cooler climates, is also zero carb.

Spray oils may contain added ingredients that gives them a carb count, so check the label. But anyway, spray oils were designed for low fat diets and are not necessary when you are eating according to the low carb plan.

Nuts And Seeds

Flax seeds (linseeds), which are very high in fiber, are extremely low carb. Some low carb diets recommend taking one tablespoon of ground flax seed per day to add fiber to the diet.

Pecans are the lowest carb nut with 4.3g net carb per 100g.

Walnuts, peanuts, almonds, pine nuts, brazils, macadamias, filberts (hazelnuts), sesame seeds and sunflower seeds are in the medium carb range (5g to 12g net carbs per 100g).

Pumpkin seeds and cashews are higher (14g and 27g respectively).

Part 2 of our Low Carb Foods List will cover vegetables.

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