The Best Zero Carb Foods (That Make Keto Easy)

Most foods contain some carbs. There are some that are much much lower than others. Knowing which contains the lowest will help you to be most successful with your low carb/ keto diet. In this article you will learn the 10 lowest and zero carb foods to incorporate into your everyday diet. Importantly these foods will help you to feel full and satisfied with your food, rather than feeling starving.

It can be a bit of a learning curve to understand what foods to eat on a low carb diet particularly if you are aiming for ketosis.

The keto diet suggests your daily carb intake should be aiming for no more than 20-30g net carbs. This equates to approx 5% of your caloric intake from carbs. So very low!

So let’s have a look at the foods with the lowest amount of carbs. All the foods in this article have less than 1 gram of carbs per 100 grams (unless stated otherwise)…. If you base your meals around these then you can’t go far wrong.

Table of Contents

Meat

The first zero carb food in our list is meat. It has zero carbs and you can choose any type to suit your own preference.

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

The fattier cuts will help balance your macros and will help to keep you full and satisfied. And because of the unfounded low fat advice we’ve all been given for the last 40 years… they’re often a lot cheaper too.

Avoid highly processed or flavoured meats as these can often have added sugars or additives.

Meat Substitutes

If you are not a meat eater then there are very low carb protein substitutes available but they tend to be very highly processed, something which we’re not a fan of here at Carb Dodging.

Seafood

Again this fabulous protein source will keep your carbs at zero. Take your pick from;

Oily Fish (e.g.)

  • Salmon 
  • tuna
  • mackerel
  • sardines

White Fish (e.g.)

  • Cod
  • Plaice
  • halibut

Other Seafood

  • Prawns
  • crab
  • etc…

Basically, any other seafoods you have available where ever you are in the world..

Just be careful to avoid processed products such as crab / seafood sticks and obviously breaded versions.

And a note that scallops and mussels will provide 2-3g carb/100g. So be mindful of portion sizes as well.

Organ Meats/Offal

These can be enjoyed on their own or added to other meat based dishes. A very nutrient dense food which will keep the carbs at less than 1g, with the exception of liver which, due to the stored glycogen may provide up to 2g/100g. ( 100g of liver though is quite a lot!)

Eggs

Eggs on their own are zero carb foods and can be eaten freely. They are a powerhouse of nutrition. However, some people argue that there is 1g carbs per large egg… but given the balance of fat and protein this is not a concern even if this is true.

Just be careful if you start to add other ingredients such as milk for scrambled eggs …. Which will up the carb content.

Low Carb Bacon, Spinach and Mushroom Egg Muffins
Low Carb Bacon, Spinach and Mushroom Egg Muffins

Fats

The keto friendly fats are the unprocessed sorts and can be used for cooking, drizzling over salads and stuff, or for added flavour. Zero carbs in all of these

Choose from;
  • Olive oil (extra virgin where possible)
  • Coconut oil
  • Ghee
  • Avocado oil
  • Butter
zero carb foods

Dairy

To be zero carb or less than 1g of carb, dairy needs to have no lactose. It is the lactose content that increases the carbs… such as in milk.

That said… Lactose free products, which might be great for those who are lactose intolerant aren’t necessarily carb free. It just means that the lactose has been broken down into more simple sugars… and if you’ve ever tried lactose free milk you’ll notice that it’s actually sweeter than normal milk.

Cheese

This is a great source of fat and protein. Most cheeses are considered zero carb foods with the exception of

  • cottage and cream cheese, 4g/100g
  • Feta, ricotta & goats cheese 2g/100g
  • Processed cheese such as squirty cheese or slices will have 4-6g/100g
  • And obviously ones with added dried fruits will go even higher with 12+g/100g
Best Protein Sources

Other cheese can be eaten fairly freely

So many to choose from… which is your favourite?

  • Halloumi
  • Brie
  • Parmesan
  • Gruyere
  • Mozzarella
  • Cheddar
  • Stilton

A word of warning though? Cheese has a very high ratio of fat for its quantity and can be very very easy to overeat…. I know I can easily have too much!

It can be quite an addictive food for some and eating too much can hinder weight loss if that is one of your goals.

Cream

Single, double, heavy whipping cream will provide approx 0.5g carb per tablespoon….. So enjoy it, but go easy on the amount! 1 or 2 coffees with cream a day is ok but certainly not 6 or 7!

But what about Greek Yogurt?

Best Protein Sources
Well as much as this is a staple of a low carb diet… it typically provides approx 6g carb per 125g portion. So not a particularly useful addition for a keto diet, say for breakfast. But a tablespoon on top of a protein based meal will definitely be ok.

Vegetables

Depending on where you get your references from… the carb quantities quoted for vegetables will vary. I guess this isn’t surprising, as these are natural products, with many different varieties. Growing conditions around the world will naturally lead to different carb counts.
Sauteed Garlic Spinach

Non-starchy vegetables , particularly leafy greens, can pretty much be eaten freely.

Any small amount of carbohydrate is negated by the fibre.

Confused About Carbs?

If you want a detailed guide to the carbs in a wide range of vegetables… and indeed foods in general, then we've created a free guide.

Fruit

Sadly there is no fruit that is zero carb. Avocado despite the high fibre content will still provide approx 2g/100g.

Keto Scrambled Egg and Smoked Salmon Avocado Boats
Keto Scrambled Egg and Smoked Salmon Avocado Boats

Olives if you only eat 5 then you will stay under 1g of carbs. So you could have very small amounts in say a nice big salad but too much will push your carb intake up too high.

Nuts and seeds

Much like what I mentioned with vegetables, there are a lot of variations in the quoted carb contents. Also this group is really variable in its carb content so be mindful of your choices and check the nutritional label. Almonds , Brazil and walnuts are the lowest carb and have relatively high fibre contents.As are Hazelnuts, macadamia and Sesame seeds.
zero carb foods
Just watch out for… and I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news … but cashew nuts, pistachio nuts and peanuts are all surprisingly high in carbs, and despite tasting absolutely lovely… catch a lot of people out.

Condiments

You might be surprised that Yes there are still some condiments you can enjoy with your meals. Not the obviously sugar laden ketchups and sauces but you can use:-

  • Mustard (not the honey versions)
  • Mayonnaise (preferably a homemade one or those made without seed oils)
  • Hollandaise sauce
  • Bearnaise sauce – my favourite of the classic french sauces!
  • Vinegars. Lots of people take apple cider vinegar to help with blood sugar control…

and yes… vinegars have a positve impact on your insulin senstivity… so in some respects can be considered a bit of low carb superfood. 

Balsamic vinegar has 2g of carbs per tablespoon (I was told once that the dark colour actually comes from molasses and this is why it has the higher carb count. But I only found this out after I’d been eating balsamic vinegar dressing on my salad back in 2016 when I started my own low carb journey… and it didn’t stop me losing nearly 70lbs in just over 6 months…)

Summary

So there you have it… the 10 lowest carb foods to include in your diet. These will help to keep you on track and enable you to feel full, satisfied and have great success with your low carb/ keto diet.

Like all things with food… the portion size can have a massive effect on your end results. There will be some slightly higher carb foods that you can enjoy but in smaller quantities. You need to find the right balance for you and your own goals.