Zero carb foods list

Updated July 18, 2017

Unless processed with added sugar, most meat, poultry, fish and eggs contain no carbohydrates at all. Certain fresh herbs and salad leaves, along with some cheeses may also be zero carb. Dairy products can fall into this category unless they have been processed. Butter, cooking oils, some soda drinks, certain alcoholic drinks and most teas and coffee are generally considered zero carb foods.


Unless processed, beef, veal, pork and lamb contain no carbohydrates. Cured pork, ham and bacon are usually carb free but can sometimes have added sugars, so check the label. The same applies to sausages and luncheon meats. Hamburgers, if not homemade from pure beef, may contain some carbohydrates.


Chicken, turkey, Cornish game hen, duck, goose and eggs are all zero carb foods if bought fresh. Pate de foie gras, or canned goose liver pate, contains no carbohydrates, neither does chicken liver pate. However, chicken nuggets, breaded chicken and often fried chicken have some carbohydrate content.

Fish and Seafood

Salmon, cod, flounder, bass, halibut, sardines, anchovy, butter fish, dolphin fish, grouper and sole are all carbohydrate free, along with trout and fresh tuna. Fresh crab and shrimp are zero carb foods; however, lobster, oysters, scallops and mussels do contain carbohydrates. Mussels contain six grams of carbohydrate per 150 grams so are not a zero carb food.

Dairy Products

Whipping cream, butter and some cheeses can be carbohydrate free. Zero carbohydrate cheeses include some Camembert, Brie, Parmesan, muenster and certain cheddar cheeses. The more processed the cheese, the higher the chances are of it containing carbohydrates. Milk, including goat's milk and sheep's milk, does contain carbohydrate.

Fruit and Vegetables

Raw butter head, cos and romaine lettuce, olives and capers are completely carbohydrate free; so are fresh thyme and fresh rosemary, but not the dried variety.

Cooking Oils

Olive oil, peanut oil, corn, sunflower and safflower oil, canola, soybean and cotton seed oils, lard and margarine are all free from carbohydrates.


Most black, white and green teas are free of carbs, along with freshly brewed coffee (instant coffee contains carbohydrates). Most diet sodas containing aspartame and saccharine and certain alcoholic drinks, such as vodka, whisky, rum and gin, are carb free. Dry white wine may contain no carbohydrates; however, most reds and sweeter whites do have low levels.

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About the Author

Fiona Wilkinson is a freelance writer with a diploma in journalism and a B.Sc. in nutrition. She has 15 years of experience writing for a range of online and print publications on nutrition, health and fitness, travel and current affairs. Wilkinson is also a yoga teacher and Pilates instructor.