What Can You Eat With a Low Carb Diet?

Updated July 19, 2017

A variety of foods are appropriate to eat on a low-carb diet. To stay healthy, you need to eat some carbohydrates. Choose carbs that are good for you, such as complex carbohydrates like whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Carbohydrates to avoid are called simple carbohydrates, which are found in refined foods and table sugar.


Eat meat whenever you like on a low-carb diet -- meat is carbohydrate free as long as it doesn't have sauce or breading. Meat should be grilled or baked so it doesn't pick up carbs through oil or butter. You can eat beef, pork, poultry and seafood. Lunch meat may have additives so check the label before trusting it to be carb free.


Vegetables have carbohydrates, but they are the healthy kind. However, vegetable juice contains more carbs per serving and can be converted into sugar in the blood much faster. It is best to eat vegetables as a whole food. Most vegetables are appropriate to eat on a low-carb diet, with the exception of starchy varieties like corn, peas, beets and potatoes.


Fruits have more sugar than vegetables and should be consumed carefully. Fruits that are low in sugar and carbs are berries like cranberries, blackberries and raspberries, and rhubarb and lemons. Fruits that have a moderate amount of sugar and carbs should be limited. These include watermelon, blueberries, apples, peaches, nectarines, oranges, pineapple and grapefruit. Some fruits are very high in sugar and should be eaten rarely. These include grapes, bananas, figs, pomegranates, cherries and dried fruits. Eat whole fruit most often and drink fruit juice sparingly since it is converted into glucose much more quickly.


Add whole grain foods to your diet. These are slowly digested carbohydrates, which do not cause spikes in blood sugar and are good for you. Beans contain good carbs and are also a good source of protein. Eat brown rice, whole wheat pasta, wheat berries or bulgar wheat as a side dish instead of potatoes or corn. Eat old fashioned oats or a whole grain cereal for breakfast. If you eat bread, choose a whole grain variety and eat it sparingly.

Low-Carb Labels

Due to the popularity of low-carb diets like the South Beach Diet and the Atkins Diet, the market has been flooded with a variety of foods called "low carb." You can buy low-carb ice cream, low-carb snack bars and low-carb bread. These products can make it easier to stick to a low-carb diet, but just be sure to read the entire nutrition label before you buy. Understand what constitutes a serving size and how many carbs and how much fat you will consume with each serving.

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