Foods that are low in carbohydrates are generally meat, fish or full-fat dairy products. Many types of vegetables, especially dark leafy greens that grow above ground, are also low in carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates come from starches, sugars and dietary fiber, which are present in high concentrations in grains, fruits and processed foods. Foods that are low in sugar and fiber, and those that are not derived from grains, contain few carbohydrates. All types of meat, including beef, pork, chicken and fish, are naturally low in carbohydrates. Some preparation methods such as breading and curing may add carbohydrates to meat dishes. To ensure a meat dish is low in carbohydrates, use simple cooking methods such as grilling.
Full-fat dairy products including butter, cream, yogurt and cheese are low in carbohydrates. Flavored or low-fat versions of these dairy products often contain added sugars. Individuals on a low-carbohydrate diet should select plain, unsweetened dairy products.
High fat foods such as nuts and vegetable oils are generally low in carbohydrates. Almonds and coconut oil are some good high-fat, low-carbohydrate foods that individuals should consume in moderation. These foods contain high amounts of unsaturated fats. Peanuts and other legumes such as beans and peas are higher in carbohydrates due to their high fiber content.