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Add these no-carb foods to your diet: A complete guide

These ingredients won't cost you any carbohydrates, so feel free to indulge

It’s inevitable that as the New Year approaches, some of us may feel the need to set a resolution or two. And it’s no secret that some of those resolutions may very well revolve around improving health and/or dropping a few pounds. As challenging as it can sometimes be, cutting carbohydrates from our diet, or at least cutting back, is a surefire way to do that. The good news is, unlike many other restrictive diets, going carb-free can actually be a pretty delicious and satisfying way to go. With the popularity of no-carb/low-carb diets like Keto, Atkins, and Whole-30 still soaring, people are more curious than ever about which foods are allowed in a no-carb diet, and we’re here to answer that question.

These are our favorite no-carb foods.

Meats and seafood

Porter Road Meat
Porter Road
  • Beef – While some cuts are fattier and more caloric than others, all beef is completely carb free.
  • Chicken – Chicken breast, the dieter’s best friend. But as with beef, fat doesn’t equal bad when counting carbs, so feel free to go for more flavorful cuts like thighs and drumsticks.
  • Pork – As with many other meats, be sure to avoid pre-seasoned or marinated pieces as those may contain carbohydrates, but plain pork won’t set you back any carbs.
  • Duck – We don’t see enough of this delicious bird in the states, and we say it’s time to change that — whether you’re eating carbs or not. But for the record, duck is also carb-free.
  • Hot dogs and sausages – You can still enjoy a ballpark frank when you’re skipping the carbs. Just take it out of the bun first.
  • Deli meats – This carb-free lunch item can be wonderful, even without the bread. We like to wrap them around other low-carb treats like string cheese or pickles.
  • Lamb – Gamey, succulent, savory lamb is a delicious carb-free choice at home or for a special night out.
  • Salmon – This delicious and beautiful fish can easily be prepared in any number of ways.
  • Tuna – Canned or fresh, this popular beauty won’t cost you any carbs.
  • Trout – A personal favorite, this carb-free fish is incredible grilled or pan-fried in butter.

Fats and oils

Olive oil being poured onto a spoon, with a bowl of salad in the background.
Image used with permission by copyright holder
  • Butter – The fact that this heaven-sent ingredient is carb-free is nothing short of a miracle.
  • Olive oil – Fat is our friend in a no-carb diet, and this pantry staple is no exception.
  • Canola oil – Carb free and ready to fry, this oil has a high smoke point, which makes it perfect for frying your favorite carb-free foods.
  • Lard – Grandma would be proud to see you using this old-fashioned, delicious fat in your cooking. It’s also great for using in high-heat conditions.

Condiments, seasonings, and sweeteners

Array of Indian spices on table.
Image used with permission by copyright holder
  • Salt and pepper – Season your heart out. No carbs here.
  • Everything bagel seasoning – This popular seasoning technically has a minuscule amount of carbohydrates, but the act of shaking the jar will burn them off.
  • Italian seasoning – Delicious on any number of the meats listed above.
  • Curry powder – Also wonderful in any number of applications.
  • Parsley – Fresh herbs are a great way to add flavor when you’re skipping the carbs.
  • Basil – Pair basil with any number of things, especially tomato-heavy dishes.
  • Thyme – Thyme adds savory spice and complexity to dishes with its lemony freshness.
  • Oregano – Oregano is another fabulous fresh herb option.
  • Onion powder – Onions will end up costing you a few carbs, but mercifully enough, onion powder will not.
  • Vinegar – All vinegars are carb-free and provide a delicious splash of zippy flavor.
  • Mayonnaise – This popular condiment is naturally made from just oil and eggs, so if you’re eating the real stuff, you won’t be getting any carbs.
  • Hot sauce You’ll have to read your labels carefully here, but most brands tend to be carb-free.
  • Stevia and Splenda – All the sweetness, none of the carbs.


Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock
  • Beef (and other meats) jerky – Just dehydrated meat, this popular snack is free of carbs. Just read the packaging carefully — some seasonings used may not be carb-free.
  • Pork rinds – Another porky treat with zero carbohydrates.
  • Boiled eggs – Make a big batch and keep them in your fridge for a protein-packed, carb-free snack.
  • Cheese – Depending on the type, most cheeses make for a delicious no-carb, or at least very low-carb snack.

With all of these options, cutting back on carbs should be a pretty easy and delicious way to keep up with those resolutions.

Editors' Recommendations

Lindsay Parrill
Lindsay is a graduate of California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu, San Francisco, from where she holds a degree in…
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