Zero Carb Food List that Keeps Keto and Ketosis Simple – The one golden rule in a keto diet is to keep carbs low.
This doesn’t just mean cutting out bread, pasta and grains, it means truly giving your eating habits a hard reset.
Perhaps one of the most daunting elements of the keto diet for people can be the idea that they have to count every single carb. We do encourage you to track your macros and be mindful of your carb intake.
But there is one simple strategy that helps to clear up any confusion around how much of what foods you should and shouldn’t be eating: choose mostly keto-friendly foods that have little to no net carbs.
There are so many low – and no-carb options, you have hundreds of delicious options to choose from! To help simplify things and make your keto journey as easy as possible, we’ve put together the ultimate list of zero-carb foods for you to enjoy. Before we begin, it’s important to note that nearly every kind of food has some sort of trace carbohydrate content.
When we say “zero carbs,” we are talking about foods and beverages that contain less than one gram of net carbs per serving, and foods that aren’t usually consumed in large enough quantities to negatively affect your daily carb consumption.
Now, let’s take a look at zero-carb foods, starting with meats: Beef, fowl and pork are familiar meats that provide you with protein. Less common types of meats, like veal, lamb, game meats, including venison and elk, and exotic meats, can help add variety and interest to your meals.
Organ meats can be a good choice, too, but just be aware that liver contains glycogen, a source of net carbs. When possible, seek out grass-fed and pasture-raised meats.
While it’s typically best to avoid processed meats, cured and dried meats, like bacon, salami, hot dogs, deli meats, jerky and canned meats are fan favorites on the keto diet that can used on occasion.
See Also: Chicken Pasta Low Carb Meal Prep
However, you must read the ingredients list and put back anything containing dextrose, starch, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or maltodextrin. Always try to buy all-natural processed meats that contain carb-free ingredients.
Fresh and tinned seafood, many of which contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acid, are another great source of protein. White flaky fish like cod, flounder, sole and haddock, are tasty, as are fattier, more flavorful fish, like salmon, tuna, halibut, swordfish, sardines, Spanish mackerel, trout and others.
We’ve found that the healthiest option is to buy wild caught salmon and sardines, canned or fresh without any other ingredients. While we recommend against frequent and habitual snacking, we all need snacks from time to time.
Even though so many on-the-go bites you once relied on are now off the table, there are so many keto snacks to take their place! Of the bunch, those with the lowest carbs include: pepperoni slices, keto pork rinds, bone broth, smoked fish, canned fish, canned meat, preserved meat products, like jerky, biltong, pemmican and meat sticks, and seaweed.
For a more comprehensive look at good keto snacking habits, check out the Ruled.me article titled, “50+ Healthy Keto Snacks to Help with Ketosis.”
Healthy fats are the cornerstone of a balanced keto diet. Zero carb fats, like extra-virgin olive oil, grass-fed butter and ghee, coconut oil, MCT oil, avocado oil, and animal fats (like lard) are ingredients you should be reaching for at almost every meal. Vegetable, seed, and nut-based oils are unstable when exposed to high heat and can release toxins. We suggest avoiding these.
Your spice cabinet is likely packed with flavor enhancers that are virtually carb-free! Avoid any spice blends with added sugars, of course, and instead, try salt and black pepper, dried oregano, rosemary, thyme, basil, chives and dill. Chili powder, curry powder and cinnamon may contain higher traces of carbs and should be used a bit more sparingly.
Some condiments, like sugar-free hot sauces and mustard can also add tons of flavor with hardly any carbs at all. While all sugars are cut out from a keto diet, there are plenty of ways to add a hint of sweetness to the dishes we prepare. Zero-carb sweeteners include liquid stevia, monk fruit extract or blends, erythritol and liquid sucralose.
Just be sure to choose products, either liquid or solid, that contain no other additives like maltodextrin. For a more comprehensive list of sweeteners, watch our video on keto-friendly sweeteners. Zero-carb drinks are available almost anywhere you go! There is water and sparkling water, of course, as well as black coffee and unsweetened tea.
Sugar-free and carb-free energy drinks, diet drink mixes or drink enhancers, and diet soda and other diet drinks, without any added sugar, also count. Keep in mind that for some people, drinking sweeter drinks can trigger sugar cravings in the long-term. When it comes to alcohol, those following the keto diet need to proceed carefully.
Some alcoholic drinks have virtually no net carbs, but alcohol will slow fat burning while your body processes it. We suggest limiting your alcohol intake to one drink per day and choosing spirits like gin, unflavored rum, unflavored vodka, whiskey, tequila, scotch, bourbon, brandy or cognac. Always be careful about added carbs in the alcohol you are drinking.
For more on keto drinks, see the Ruled.me article, “Complete Guide to Keto Drinks and Beverages.” We hope that our guide to zero-carb foods helps to clarify some of the best things you should be reaching for as you continue on your keto journey.