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No Carb Foods

Written by ReachSelf contributor

No Carb MeatNo carb foods are those food items, whether natural or processed, that have zero carbohydrate content.

First, let’s back up and talk about carbohydrates. There are 3 main types of carbohydrates: sugar, starch, and fiber.

Yes, sugar and fiber are actually carbohydrates! It gets a bit confusing because when people talk about carbs, they are usually referring to starch only, such as those found in bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and beans. They are usually not thinking of sugar or fiber.

We all know that fiber is excellent for us, and we should eat as much fiber as possible. Unlike sugar and starch, fiber cannot be broken down into sugar molecules and leaves the body undigested. Foods with a lot of fiber in them make them less digestible, and as a result, less sugar is delivered to the body. Fiber promotes removal of waste from your body and helps lower cholesterol.
Since fiber is so good for us, when we say “no/low carb foods”, let’s assume we are NOT referring to fiber, and that we mean “no/low sugar and no/low starch foods”.

No Carb or Low Carb in Weight Loss

In weight loss programs, consumption of low carb foods is a very popular and frequently effective dieting strategy. This is why most recommended weight loss diets focus on low or absolutely zero carb foods.

For instance, the Atkins diet has its induction phase diet plan consisting of extremely low carb and high protein foods. If you strictly follow this diet, then you have to abstain from any food that is rich in carbohydrates such as potatoes, pasta, rice, plus some fruits and vegetables.

Which Foods Have No Carbs?

While there are quite a number of foods that have low carbs, foods with zero carbohydrates are much more limited.

Below are foods that have absolutely no carbs based on the National Nutrient Database published by the US Department of Agriculture.

No Carb Beverages

  • Water. Ok this may be an obvious one, but in case anyone was wondering. Water remains the healthiest carb-free drink. Make sure to drink enough water during the day to stay hydrated and for optimal bowel movements.Sparkling water and club soda are also carb-free.
  •  Coffee & Tea. Any black coffee or tea you make  are carb-free. However, once you put in milk or sugar, it is no longer carb-free!

No Carb Fresh Unprocessed Meat

No Carb MeatThe following fresh unprocessed meats have no carbs. Note that any meat that is processed typically has carbs, including beef in fast food burgers and beef jerky:

  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Duck
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Veal

In addition, the Harvard School of Public Health concluded that eating processed meat such as burgers, hot dogs and deli meat significantly increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes as explained in the short video below. Another good reason to eat more unprocessed no carb meat instead of processed meat.


No Carb Fresh Unprocessed Fish

No Carb FishThe following fresh unprocessed fish have no carbs:

  • Cod
  • Flounder
  • Sole
  • Haddock
  • Halibut
  • Sardine
  • Swordfish
  • Tuna
  • Trout
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Lobster
  • Shrimp

No Carb Oils

No Carb OilThe following oils have no carbs. Keep in mind that oil has a lot of calories, so you should not over-consume oil:

  • Olive oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Corn oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Canola oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Coconut oil

Other Foods With Extremely Low Carbs

Following are foods with virtually no carbs or extremely low carbs, again based on the National Nutrient Database published by the US Department of Agriculture.

  • Butter and Margarine
  • Mayonnaise
  • Dill weed
  • Chives
  • Vinegar
  • Radishes
  • Lettuce
  • Cheese (Parmesan, Camembert, Cheddar, Swiss, Provolone, Mozzarella, Blue cheese)
  • Salami
  • Egg
  • Mustard
  • Bacon
  • Ham
  • Sour cream
  • Tea (all kinds)
  • Spinach
  • Whip cream
  • Sausage
  • Green pepper
  • Broccoli
  • Cream cheese
  • Parsley
  • Cauliflower
  • Tomatoes

In reality, since your body needs the fiber and nutrients from vegetables, most of which contain starch, a zero-carb diet is probably not possible. In terms of going on a low-carb diet, opinions differ on whether severely limiting carbs is good for your health or even for your long-term weight loss.

If you are or thinking of going on a low-carb diet, be sure to watch your energy levels. If you have low energy levels for a prolonged period of time, you may need to increase your carb intake.

Check out the list of 25 lowest carb vegetables and the list of 25 lowest carb fruits.

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4 Responses to No Carb Foods

  1. Luna Fleig Reply

    May 5, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Our youngest grandson was just diagnost with type 1 diabetes so I’m looking for best foods for him.

  2. Luna Fleig Reply

    May 5, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Best foods for a diabetes two year old

  3. Reyna Reply

    January 21, 2015 at 3:05 am

    I have gestational diabetes and my dr has told me to go on a no carb diet. This list and article have been very helpful.

  4. charles nwaobi Reply

    April 11, 2015 at 7:28 am

    Please can you sent me list of no carb foods. Thanks

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