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List of low- and no-carb foods

Updated November 21, 2016

Some carbohydrates are necessary for a healthy, balanced diet; however, controlling carbs is as necessary for weight loss and maintenance as controlling calories and fat. For diabetics, some low- and no-carb food choices can help keep energy up while keeping blood sugar down.

Meat

Unprocessed meat does not contain any carbohydrates at all. The more processed meat is, the more carbs it will contain. Meats that have been cured, such as corned beef brisket, beef jerky or turkey injected with flavour solutions may have up to 2 grams of carbs per serving, which is still fairly low for a single serving.

Eggs and Dairy

Eggs, weighing in at about 1 carb each, are a great low-carb choice, and if you discard the yolk, which contains the fat, it is both low-carb and low-fat. Cheese can have up two 2 carbs per ounce, depending upon the type of cheese it is and how it is processed. Butter contains mere trace amounts of carbs and can be enjoyed without guilt on a low-carb diet.

Vegetables

All vegetables have at least some carbs, and some vegetables are quite high in carbs, depending upon the amount of starch, or natural sugars, they contain. For a true carb count, it is best to weigh vegetables rather than measure them by the cup. Vegetables under 2 grams of carbs per 100 gram serving, which is very low, are broccoli, cucumber, mushrooms, sprouts, zucchini, watercress, and leafy greens like spinach, kale, and lettuce. Vegetables 2 to 5 grams of carbs per 100 gram serving, still considered very low for a snack or meal, are Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, endive, leeks and tomatoes. Vegetables that are still relatively low at fewer than 10 grams of carbs per 100 gram serving are artichokes, beetroot, butternut squash, carrots, onions, peppers and pumpkins.

Fruits

Fruits have a higher sugar content than vegetables and should be eaten more sparingly by those attempting to control carbs. By far the best low-carb diet friendly fruits are berries, such as blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries and strawberries. Most berries are less than 6 grams of carbs per 100 grams of fruit, which is approximately a 1/2 cup serving. If berries aren't available, the next-best low-carb fruit to reach for are melons. Watermelons, muskmelons, and honeydews all amount to less than 10 grams of carbs per 100 gram serving.

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