SolveYourProblem Article Series: Low Carb Diet
What Are The Benefits Of The Low Carb Diet?


3 Zero Carb Foods & 5 Low Carb Foods

Is there really such a thing as zero carb foods? It seems too good to be true that you can have an unlimited amount of such tasty foods when you are on a low carb diet.

Zero carb foods do exist. But you need to be careful, because some foods that you might think had no carbs do in fact have some. Often this is because of the way that they are processed. In this article, I will list the different zero carb foods plus some of those that might trick you.

Zero Carb Foods

Zero carb foods fall into 3 main groups:

1. Meat

All unprocessed flesh meats including poultry.

But: some organ meats may have small amounts of carbohydrate. Cured meats such as ham and bacon may have been treated with sugar; sausages may contain flour or fillers and can be relatively high in carbs.

2. Fish

All unprocessed fish such as salmon, tuna, white fish, etc.

But: if the fish is canned, check the label for added ingredients. Some shellfish, such as mussels and oysters, contain carbs. Fish eggs (also known as roe or caviar) have carbs too.

3. Fats and oils

All pure vegetable oils such as olive oil and canola; fat from meat.

But: the foods that the vegetable oils are extracted from, do contain carbs. So although there is no carbohydrate in olive oil, there is carbohydrate in olives. Spray oils are not pure and are not usually zero carb foods.

Pure butter is very low in carbs (less than 0.01g carbohydrate per tablespoon) so most low carb diets allow it in unlimited quantities. However, margarine contains other ingredients and is much higher in carbs.

There are also a few other zero carb foods. Pure minerals have no carbs, so that includes regular salt (but not necessarily salt substitutes).

Low But Not Zero Carb Foods

The following foods do have some carbs, and you need to count them if you have a carbohydrate limit as part of your low carb diet.

Vegetables - all vegetables have some carbohydrate. Starchy veggies have more; watery veggies like lettuce and celery have less. Nevertheless, you must not try to cut out all vegetables from your diet. They contain fiber and minerals that are vital for our survival.

Spices - most spices are made from ground seeds or ground vegetables, which are going to contain some carbs. They are mostly less than 1g net carb per teaspoon, but check labels.

Eggs - one large egg contains approximately 0.4g net carbohydrate.

Cheese - as a rule of thumb, hard cheese is low in carbs while creamy and soft cheeses are higher.

Milk, yogurt, cream - generally with these liquid dairy products, you can figure that the higher they are in fat, the lower they are in carbs. So heavy cream is low in carbs while half-and-half is much higher. Yogurt made with whole milk is lower in carbs than yogurt made with skim milk. None of these are zero carb foods.

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