Are you wondering what low-carb foods to eat? What do you have for breakfast for example? And what can you have instead of pasta or bread?

It’s possible to eat great, amazing food until you are satisfied… and still lose weight. On this page you can learn how to make low carb simple – you get a guide to what to eat, what to avoid, hundreds of awesome low-carb recipes and our free 2-week get started challenge.

Alternatively just use our free 2-week low-carb meal plan, and if you want more, our amazing low-carb meal planner service (free trial).
 



 

Visual low-carb guides

Video course

How to Eat LCHF Video Course

Do you want to watch a new high-quality 11-minute video course on how to eat low carb, high fat (LCHF)? And about the most important things to think about on an LCHF diet? Sign up for our free newsletter and you’ll get instant access to it:

The newsletter arrives once a week with unbiased information free from ads or industry influence. Your email is kept 100% private. To unsubscribe just press “unsubscribe” at the bottom of any newsletter.

 

Meal plans

Get lots of weekly low-carb meal plans, complete with shopping lists and everything, with our new premium meal planner tool. Make low carb truly simple – and delicious! Try it for free one month





Food Lists

 

Eat

  • Meat: Any type: Beef, pork, lamb, game, poultry, etc. Feel free to eat the fat on the meat as well as the skin on the chicken. If possible try to choose organic or grass-fed meats.
  • Fish and shellfish: All kinds: Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines or herring are great. Avoid breading.
  • Eggs: All kinds: Boiled, fried, scrambled, omelets, etc. Preferably organic eggs.
  • Natural fat, high-fat sauces: Using butter and cream for cooking can make your food taste better and make you feel more satisfied. Try a Béarnaise or Hollandaise sauce, check the ingredients or make it yourself. Coconut and olive oils are also good options.
  • Vegetables that grow above ground: Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, kale, collards, bok choy, spinach, asparagus, zucchini, eggplant, olives, spinach, mushrooms, cucumber, lettuce, avocado, onions, peppers, tomatoes etc. Learn more
  • Dairy products: Always select full-fat options like real butter, cream (40% fat), sour cream, Greek/Turkish yogurt and high-fat cheeses. Be careful with regular milk, reduced fat and skim milk as they contain a lot of milk sugar. Avoid flavored, sugary and low-fat products.
  • Nuts: Great for a treat (in moderation) instead of popcorn, candy or chips. Learn more
  • Berries: Okay in moderation, if you are not super strict or sensitive. Great with whipped cream. Learn more

Low carb foods

Read the nutrition label in the grocery store.
No more than 5% of carbohydrates in any food item is a good rule of thumb.

LCHF-mat2-vibr-ffffff-648

Drink

  • Water
  • Coffee: Black or with small amounts of milk or cream is ideal for weight loss, especially if you drink coffee regularly throughout the day, even when you’re not hungry. But if you are hungry feel free to use full-fat cream. Or try it with coconut oil and butter – “Bulletproof coffee“.
  • Tea

Shopping lists

Do you want to make shopping simple? Sign up for the free low-carb challenge or our low-carb meal plan service (free one month). Personalized shopping lists are included.


For special occasions

You decide when the time is right. Your weight loss may slow down a bit.

  • Alcohol: Dry wine (regular red or dry white wine), whisky, brandy, vodka and cocktails without sugar.
  • Dark chocolate: Above 70% cocoa, preferably just a bit.

 


 

Avoid

  • Sugar: The worst. Soft drinks, candy, juice, sports drinks, chocolate, cakes, buns, pastries, ice cream, breakfast cereals. Preferably avoid sweeteners as well.
  • Starch: Bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, French fries, potato chips, porridge, muesli and so on. Wholegrain products are just less bad. Legumes, such as beans and lentils, are high in carbs. Moderate amounts of root vegetables may be OK (unless you’re eating extremely low carb).
  • Margarine: Industrially imitated butter with unnaturally high content of omega-6 fat. Has no health benefits, tastes bad. Statistically linked to asthma, allergies and other inflammatory diseases.
  • Beer: Liquid bread. Full of rapidly absorbed carbs. But there are a few lower-carb beers
  • Fruit: Very sweet, lots of sugar. Eat once in a while. Treat fruit as a natural form of candy. Learn more

badfood
 
View list of things to clean out from your pantry
 

Watch out

Be very skeptical of special “low-carb” products, such as pasta or chocolate. Unfortunately these products usually work poorly. They have prevented weight loss for loads of people. They’re commonly full of carbs once you see through the creative marketing.

Bad FoodThere are dozens of companies trying to trick you into buying their “low carb” junk food, full of starch, sugar alcohols, flour, sweeteners and strange additives.

One of the largest such companies was recently fined 8 million dollars for shamelessly lying about the carb content of their products.

Two simple rules to avoid this junk:

  • Don’t eat “low carb” versions of high carb stuff, like cookies, bars, chocolate, bread, pasta or ice cream – unless you are SURE of the ingredients (perhaps from making it yourself).
  • Avoid products with the words “net carbs” on them. That’s usually just a way to fool you.

Read more about fake low-carb products
 
 

Eat Real Food


LCHF Foods

Focus on eating good quality, minimally processed real food. Ideally the food you buy shouldn’t even have a list of ingredients (or it should be very short).
 

How low carb is low carb?

It’s called Low Carb, not No Carb. So how much carbs can you eat in a day?

The answer is that it depends. But as a rough guide stay under 20 grams per day for maximum effect, and everyone who wants some benefits of low-carb eating (like effortless weight loss) should probably aim for at least staying under 100 grams of carbs per day.

Here are three examples of how a low-carb meal can look, depending on how many carbs you eat per day:

Learn about how many carbs can be appropriate for you
 


 

Low Carb Needs to be High Fat

A proper low-carb diet always means you get a lot more energy from natural fat (like butter or olive oil, etc.).

Top 10 Ways to Eat More FatTop 10 Ways to Eat More Fat The body has two main sources of energy: carbs and fats. Take away most of the carbs and the body switches to burning fat for energy. This can come from your fat stores or the fat in your food.

This is why some smart people call low-carb diets “LCHF” (Low Carb, High Fat).

How much fat should you eat? As much as you need to feel satisfied. Whatever else the body burns it will take from your fat stores, as you lose weight. Eat much more fat than you need to feel great and it will slow down your fat loss. Eat too little fat and you’ll feel tired and hungry.

So how much fat should you eat? As much as you need to feel satisfied and great. Eat when you are hungry. Stop when you are satisfied. Then repeat. It’s that simple.

Learn more about the benefits of eating fat until satisfied

 
 

 

Low-Carb Breakfasts


Skaldeman omelet

Breakfast is a great time to eat low carb. Who doesn’t love eggs & bacon? And there are so many more options – delicious, fast or both.

Here are 4 + 4 of our low-carb breakfast favorites, followed by even more fantastic options. Click the images below for the full recipes.
 

Four super simple egg breakfasts

Classic Bacon & EggsClassic Bacon & Eggs4.6 out of 5 stars5 stars76%4 stars12%3 stars6%2 stars2%1 star2%3913 ratings3,913 Ketogenic low carbKetogenic low carb73% Fat26% Protein1% Carbs0 g carbs / serving Beginner 12 m0 minutes preparation12 minutes cooking timeBoiled eggsBoiled eggs4.5 out of 5 stars5 stars71%4 stars13%3 stars8%2 stars2%1 star4%819 ratings819 Ketogenic low carbKetogenic low carb84% Fat16% Protein1% Carbs0 g carbs / serving Beginner 10 m0 minutes preparation10 minutes cooking time

OmeletOmelet4.5 out of 5 stars5 stars73%4 stars12%3 stars6%2 stars3%1 star3%2249 ratings2,249 Ketogenic low carbKetogenic low carb75% Fat23% Protein2% Carbs2 g carbs / serving Easy 5 + 10 m5 minutes preparation10 minutes cooking timeScrambled EggsScrambled Eggs4.3 out of 5 stars5 stars64%4 stars16%3 stars9%2 stars4%1 star4%2385 ratings2,385 Ketogenic low carbKetogenic low carb67% Fat24% Protein1% Carbs1 g carbs / serving Easy 5 m0 minutes preparation5 minutes cooking time


 

Four more great options

Bacon Lettuce and Tomato with Oopsie BreadBacon Lettuce and Tomato with Oopsie Bread4.6 out of 5 stars5 stars73%4 stars14%3 stars7%2 stars3%1 star1%5709 ratings5,709 Ketogenic low carbKetogenic low carb86% Fat11% Protein2% Carbs2 g carbs / serving Easy 5 + 10 m5 minutes preparation10 minutes cooking timeCauliflower Hash BrownsCauliflower Hash Browns4.5 out of 5 stars5 stars73%4 stars14%3 stars7%2 stars2%1 star2%2377 ratings2,377 Moderate low carbModerate low carb81% Fat10% Protein7% Carbs5 g carbs / serving Medium 10 + 20 m10 minutes preparation20 minutes cooking time

LCHF PancakesLCHF Pancakes4.5 out of 5 stars5 stars69%4 stars14%3 stars9%2 stars3%1 star2%3952 ratings3,952 Moderate low carbModerate low carb76% Fat18% Protein6% Carbs10 g carbs / serving Easy 5 + 20 m5 minutes preparation20 minutes cooking timeLow-Carb FrittataLow-Carb Frittata4.6 out of 5 stars5 stars76%4 stars12%3 stars6%2 stars2%1 star2%3103 ratings3,103 Ketogenic low carbKetogenic low carb79% Fat19% Protein2% Carbs3 g carbs / serving Easy 5 + 35 m5 minutes preparation35 minutes cooking time


 

More low-carb breakfasts

  • Leftovers from last night’s dinner
  • Coffee with cream
  • A can of mackerel and boiled eggs
  • Avocado, salmon and sour cream
  • Cheese with butter
  • Boiled eggs mashed with butter, chopped chives, salt and pepper
  • A piece of brie cheese and some ham or salami (or a full breakfast tapas plate)
  • High-fat yoghurt with nuts and seeds (and maybe berries)

All low-carb breakfasts

 

The no breakfast option

plateDo you NEED breakfast on a low-carb diet? No.

On a low-carb, high-fat diet you’re likely not as hungry and you don’t need to eat as often. Skipping breakfast is perfectly fine if you’re not hungry. Perhaps you’ll only have a cup of coffee.

In fact skipping breakfast is a popular version of intermittent fasting. This can really speed up weight loss… and type 2 diabetes reversal. As a bonus you’ll save time and money.

Are you feeling brave enough to skip breakfast?

Read more about intermittent fasting

 



 
 

Low-Carb Lunches and Dinners


 
Low-Carb Lunch and Dinner

Suggestions for low-carb lunches and dinners:

  • Meat, fish or chicken dishes with vegetables and a rich full-fat sauce. There are many alternatives to potatoes, such as mashed cauliflower.
  • Stews, soups or casseroles with low-carb ingredients.
  • You can use most recipes in cookbooks if you avoid the carbohydrate-rich ingredients. It’s often a good idea to add fat (e.g. butter, cream) to the recipe. Or check out our full low-carb recipe site.
  • Drink water with your meal or (occasionally) a glass of wine.

 

Recipes

All low-carb meals

Meal plans

Get lots of weekly low-carb meal plans, complete with shopping lists and everything, with our new premium meal planner tool. Make low carb truly simple – and delicious! Try it for free one month


 

Instead of potatoes, rice and pasta

There are many ways to replace potatoes, pasta and rice that result in far fewer carbs. Here are four of the most popular options.

Low-Carb Cauliflower MashLow-Carb Cauliflower Mash4.4 out of 5 stars5 stars66%4 stars16%3 stars9%2 stars3%1 star3%1642 ratings1,642 Moderate low carbModerate low carb78% Fat15% Protein7% Carbs6 g carbs / serving Easy 10 + 5 m10 minutes preparation5 minutes cooking timeCauliflower Rice – An Essential LCHF Side DishCauliflower Rice – An Essential LCHF Side Dish4.4 out of 5 stars5 stars66%4 stars16%3 stars9%2 stars4%1 star2%1332 ratings1,332 Moderate low carbModerate low carb83% Fat4% Protein10% Carbs5 g carbs / serving Easy 5 + 15 m5 minutes preparation15 minutes cooking time

Butter-Fried Green CabbageButter-Fried Green Cabbage4.5 out of 5 stars5 stars74%4 stars12%3 stars6%2 stars3%1 star2%2061 ratings2,061 Liberal low carbLiberal low carb80% Fat5% Protein12% Carbs7 g carbs / serving Easy 5 + 15 m5 minutes preparation15 minutes cooking timeBroccoli and Cauliflower in Cheese – A Great Low-Carb Side DishBroccoli and Cauliflower in Cheese – A Great Low-Carb Side Dish4.5 out of 5 stars5 stars69%4 stars15%3 stars8%2 stars4%1 star2%949 ratings949 Moderate low carbModerate low carb72% Fat19% Protein9% Carbs8 g carbs / serving Easy 5 + 12 m5 minutes preparation12 minutes cooking time

All low-carb side dishes

 

Other simple sides

  • Salads made from above-ground vegetables, perhaps with some kind of cheese. Try out different kinds.
  • Boiled broccoli, cauliflower or Brussels sprouts.
  • Vegetables au gratin: Fry squash, aubergine and fennel (or other vegetables you like) in butter. Add salt and pepper. Put in baking dish and add grated cheese. Bake at 225° C (450° F) until the cheese melts and turns golden.
  • Vegetables stewed in cream, e.g. cabbage or spinach.
  • Avocado
  • Vegetable spaghetti can be used instead of pasta. Learn how to make it

All low-carb side dishes
 
 

Dining out or meals with friends

Dining Out

  • Restaurants: Usually not a big problem. You can ask to have potatoes/fries switched for a salad. Ask for extra butter.
  • Fast food: Doner kebab can be a decent option (avoid the bread). At hamburger chains the hamburgers are usually the least bad option. Avoid soft drinks and fries, obviously. Drink water. Pizza toppings are usually OK, and the stricter you are the less of the pizza crust you will eat.
  • Nuts or cheese are good “emergency food” when there are no other adequate options to be found.
  • If you eat strictly everyday it’s less of a problem to make a few exceptions when you are invited out. If you’re not sure what will be served you can eat something at home before you leave.

 


 

 

Low-Carb Snacks and Desserts

On a low-carbohydrate diet with more fat and a bit more protein you will probably not need to eat as often. Don’t be surprised if you no longer need to snack. Many people do well on two or three meals per day.

If you always get hungry between meals you’re probably not eating enough fat. Don’t fear fat. Eat more fat until you feel satisfied.

Here are quick options if you want to eat something right away:

  • Rolled-up cheese or ham with a vegetable (some people even spread butter on cheese)
  • A piece of cheese
  • A boiled egg from the refrigerator
  • Canned mackerel in tomato sauce
  • Babybel cheese

Snacks

Olives and nuts may replace potato chips as snacks. Here are more options:

  • Mixed nuts Learn more
  • Sausage: Cut it in pieces, add a piece of cheese and stick a toothpick through them.
  • Vegetables with dip, Try cucumber sticks, red, yellow or green peppers, cauliflower, etc.
  • Cream cheese rolls: Roll some cream cheese in a piece of salami, prosciutto/cold cuts or a long slice of cucumber.
  • Olives
  • Parmesan cheese crisps: On a baking tray, form small piles of grated Parmesan cheese. Heat in oven at 225°C (450°F). Let them melt and get a nice color (be careful – they burn easily). Serve as chips, perhaps with some dip.

Visual low-carb guides


 

Snack recipes

All snack recipes

Dessert recipes

All dessert recipes

Note

Please note that eating when you are not hungry – e.g. when snacking if front of the TV – will slow down weight loss. The options above are simply less bad for your weight than regular high carb snacks.
 
Learn more about the benefits of only eating when hungry
 



Vegetarian Low-Carb

All vegetarian recipes

 


 

 

More recipes

All low-carb recipes

 

Next

Keep reading about how low carb works
 

More topics




 

 

Improve this page

Do you have any suggestion – big or small – to improve this page?
Anything that you’d like added or changed?
 
Comment below or e-mail me at andreas@dietdoctor.com.

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102 Comments

  1. 1 comment removed
  2. Hi Anna,

    If you don't drink it instead of water, it should be OK. ;-)

    50 ml or less should not be a problem.

    Hi I will like to know if it's OK to use apple cider vinegar first thing on a morning or Would this disrupt my getting into ketosis . Is it OK to use on a low carb diet?

  3. Nina
    I have lost 18 kilos in 6-7 weeks on this, and i have reduced my sugar levels for my type 2 diabetes and no longer need to take pills, im so thankful i found this way of eating
  4. linda masse
    Bonjour ,récemment mon mari a appris qu'il était diabétique 2,nous voudrions changer notre alimentation pour ce programme qui nous enthousiasmes beaucoup,Un seul hic,il est camionneur et mange dans son camion,habituellement il mangeai un sandwich,œufs dures,fromage,jus de légumes ,fruits et de l'eau et quelque fois du café,dans un quart de travail de 10 heures.Mais la je ne voie pas quoi lui donner que se soit froids et qu'il puissent manger en conduisant,Nous avons pensé a des barres protéinés ,Merci de pouvoir me conseiller,
  5. Kan
    Hello, I am looking of Egg free, dairy free, gluten free vegetarian low carb recipes. Do you have any of that type?
  6. 1 comment removed
  7. Grace
    Thanks, for the helpful information. I'm a ova- lacto vegetarian not, a vegan . I had gained 11 holiday pounds so I went zero carb for eight days and then moved to 10 carbs a day diet. First day or two I thought nothing was happening I used ketostix and that was how I gaged where I was, I could feel my waist line in seven days. It was so fast! I do the 16 /8 I would eat in an eight hour window 11am-5pm then the rest of the time 16 hours I would just have water or a zero decaf carb sweet orange cinnamon tea. simple and then go to sleep and do the same thing the next day. I'm not breakfast person so this works perfect for me. . Zero/low carb got rid of my sweet tooth and killed my silly snacking habit . I did eggs, cheese and a super great tasting zero carb protein drink the base is made from organic Cocoa powder pumpkins and sunflower seed powder with (1 carb per cup of almond milk) , water two or three ice cubes, thrown in the magic bullet crushed into a big chocolate shake that is filling and I love that it has all the vitamins, minerals and probiotics. On occasion a decaf rich tasting coffee with cream
    The health stores has rows and rows of low carb or zero carb protein powder drinks, you can buy the small samples for less than buck so you can try several and then decided with taste you like before buying one of those mega canisters. My activity is yoga for 45 minutes, and then I jump on small trampoline for ten minutes a day to get the lymph system pumping and the heart rate up. If I have a bad craving I had 1/4 C almonds or three tablespoons of 2 T of crunchy peanut butter mixed with cream cheese or with just cinnamon with a zero carb, safe , natural sugar substitute, For the metabolic resistant people you need to read fat fast.
  8. glen
    very interesting post, i think. thanks
  9. Lp
    Wow love this recipes ..Thanks for this wedsite.My surgar been
    crazy high.. I really need to b n control.... Some time it's hard for me to eat the right thinks be cus of other health problems... Thanks gbu All.
  10. Joyce
    Very inspiring I'm grateful.
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