20 Low-Carb Foods That Will Keep You Satisfied on Your Diet
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20 Low-Carb Foods That Will Keep You Satisfied on Your Diet

Written by Markita Lewis, MS, RD on June 12, 2024

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Low-carb diets are very popular not only for weight loss but for other health benefits as well. Eating low-carb diet foods can support healthy blood sugar levels and be protective against some metabolic conditions. 

A big concern for some when switching to low-carb foods is whether they will be hungry all of the time because they’ve given up some of the carbs that they are used to. Fortunately, with some planning and by diversifying the foods that you eat, you can easily enjoy foods low in carbs that are satiating and satisfying to eat.

If you’re considering adopting a new lifestyle, this article is here to help and make the process of going low carb easier for you. We’ll provide you with a comprehensive list of low carb foods that are both nutritious and satisfying. 

We’ll also explore the difference between net carbs and total carbs so that you can make more informed choices while planning meals for your diet. Finally, we’ll discuss who can benefit the most from incorporating foods with low carbs into their daily meals.

Ready to get started? If the answer’s yes, let’s dig into our list of the 20 best low carb foods.

What Are Low Carb Foods?

Unlike a no-carb plan, a low carbohydrate diet is defined as a diet that contains fewer than 130g of carbohydrates per day from combined foods and beverages. Trying to define what low carb filling foods are can be a little trickier. While there is no official definition of a “low carb food,” many consider foods that have fewer than 15g of carbohydrates per serving to be low in carbs, especially when considering a food’s fiber intake.

Some individuals like to calculate “net carbs,” which is a calculation that subtracts the grams of fiber and sugar alcohols in a food from its total carbohydrate content. The rationale behind this thought is that because we cannot process and use these types of carbohydrates like other sugars and carbohydrates that we consume, they don’t “count.”

There are many  low-carb foods that fill you up from different food groups. That’s especially true when it comes to foods that are minimally processed and whole.

Low Carb Food List

What foods are low in carbs? Look no further than our low-carb diet food list for the answer. 

These 20 low-carb foods are filled with satiating nutrients like healthy fats, protein, and fiber, and can be used creatively in a variety of dishes.

1. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a source of umami and increase the savory flavor of a dish. Not only can umami help increase your satisfaction with a meal, but it can also help you stay full for longer. These low-carb diet foods are low in calories and overall carbohydrates, but add fiber, B vitamins, and even vitamin D if the mushroom were exposed to UV light.

Mushrooms are great to add savory flavor to plant-based meals and can elevate dishes from stir-fries, salads, soups, pasta dishes, and more.

2. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is a great choice for people who may enjoy a yogurt that isn’t too tart and is extremely versatile. From full-fat to non-fat Greek yogurt, it is a nutritious choice that contains high-quality protein, probiotics, calcium, and other beneficial nutrients.

To better control your carb intake, choose plain Greek yogurt, as flavored yogurts can contain high amounts of added sugar. Instead, add toppings like fresh fruit or seeds like chia or hemp to add fiber and healthy fats without the empty calories. This is one low-carb food that can also be a useful ingredient in smoothies, dips, soups, and more.

3. Peanuts

If you don’t have a peanut allergy, peanuts are a low-carb food that can help you stay satisfied at meals. Peanuts are filling because not only do they contain more protein than any other nut, but they also have nearly 3 grams of fiber per serving and are rich in unsaturated good fats to keep you full. 

Studies have even confirmed that peanuts are filling and help improve people’s feelings of satiety. You can add peanuts to your diet as peanut powder, peanut butter, or whole or crushed peanuts to add a boost of protein and flavor to your meals.

4. Beef Jerky

Beef jerky is an incredibly satiating food that can keep you satisfied in-between meals. Beef jerky is typically made from lean meat, and in addition to providing lean protein, it’s a low-carb food that’s a source of iron, zinc, and some B vitamins. 

High-quality beef jerky such as Chomps meat sticks are made with grass-fed beef and don’t contain unnecessary ingredients such as added sugars, chemical preservatives, or hidden ingredients. For example, our Italian Style Beef j can be an on-the-go snack on its own, or you can feature them in a fun picnic snack tray.

5. Berries

Berries are nutrient-dense fruits that are low in carbohydrates but still bring bright and sweet flavors to the palate. Eating a full cup of berries can be quite filling, especially because berries are typically high in fiber and take longer to eat. Thisallowsyour body more time to sense that it is getting full. 

Berries also contribute many beneficial vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrient antioxidants to support a healthy body. These low-carb diet foods are quite versatile and can be used as a topping for yogurt or hot and cold cereals, as an ingredient in a smoothie, or as a dessert all on their own.

6. Eggs

Eggs may seem simple at first glance, but between the egg whites and the yolk, they are very nutrient-dense. These low-carb diet foods contain about 6 grams of protein, all of the fat-soluble vitamins, choline, and many other important vitamins and minerals including vitamin B12, biotin, and phosphorus.

Eggs are incredibly versatile to use throughout the day. Some egg-friendly meals to carry you throughout the day include omelets, scrambled eggs, eggs on toast (with additional toppings), egg salad sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs, and Cobb salads.

7. Broccoli

Gone are the days when broccoli was a disliked vegetable that appeared on your plate. Broccoli, when prepared properly, can be a delicious and satiating vegetable. These little trees have only about 6 grams of carbohydrates per serving, but contain some fiber and protein, and are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin A. 

Broccoli can be prepared in a number of ways, including blanched, roasted, charred, grilled, sauteed, and more. Add this low carb food to pasta dishes, omelets, soups, stir-fries, salads, and as a side dish to your favorite mains.

8. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkins are a choice on our low-carb diet food list that gives twice. Not only are pumpkins nutritious, but their seeds are also incredibly nutrient dense. 

Per 1-ounce serving, shelled pumpkin seeds have nearly 9g of protein, 14g of mostly unsaturated fats, and only 4g of carbs (1.7 of fiber). They also are excellent sources of manganese, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc.

Roasted pumpkin seeds are delicious in salads, as a garnish for soups, or even as a handy snack (especially when spiced with your favorite seasonings).

9. Avocado

Avocado is famously known as a fruit that is quite filling while still containing only about 4 grams of carbohydrates per serving. They are rich in unsaturated fatty acids and contribute various nutrients to the diet including potassium, vitamin E, vitamin B5, and more.

These low-carb diet foods can be used on toast, in dips like guacamole, in smoothies, on salads, or even in other savory dishes like soups to add a smoother texture to a dish.

10. Seafood

Seafood is naturally a source of high-quality protein. As a low carb food, it typically includes other nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids to support healthy functioning and protect against antioxidant damage. 

If prepared without additional breading, seafood is definitely low-carb and can fit into many meal patterns. For the most omega-3s, choose seafood like salmon, sardines, and oysters. It’s recommended to eat at least 8 ounces of seafood weekly to reap the most health benefits.

11. Spinach

Spinach is filling. Not only does it contain some fiber, but it is a low-carb food that you can eat at a great volume without having excessive carbs. 

According to MyPlate, the volume needed of raw spinach to count as a vegetable serving is 2 full cups. Add spinach to salads, smoothies, sauces, and more to give your meals a boost of nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, folate, and potassium.

12. Zucchini Noodles

Zucchini noodles, or "zoodles," are a great low-carb food alternative to traditional pasta. Made from spiralized zucchini, they're rich in fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. 

Zoodles absorb sauces well and provide a satisfying texture to meals. Enjoy them with your favorite pasta sauces, in salads, or as a side dish.

13. Cauliflower Rice

Next up on our low-carb diet food list is cauliflower rice - a versatile low-carb substitute for traditional rice. Made by grating or processing cauliflower florets, it's high in fiber, vitamin C, and folate. 

Cauliflower rice easily takes on the flavors of dishes and provides a light, fluffy texture. Use it in stir-fries, as a base for bowls, or as a side.

14. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are tiny powerhouses packed with fiber, protein, and healthy omega-3 fatty acids. These low-carb diet foods absorb liquid and form a gel-like consistency that makes them both filling and satisfying. 

Add chia seeds to smoothies, yogurt, or puddings for a nutrient boost. Or, use them as a crunchy topping for salads.

15. Olives

Olives are flavorful, low carb diet foods that are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats. They're also a good source of vitamin E, iron, and copper. 

From mild to tangy, olives come in various types and flavors. Enjoy them on their own, in salads, or as a topping for low-carb pizzas or sandwiches.

16. Almond Butter

Almond butter is a creamy, nutrient-dense spread that's low in carbs and high in healthy monounsaturated fats. It's also a good source of vitamin E, magnesium, and fiber. 

Of all the options on our low-carb diet food list, almond butter might be the most versatile. It can be enjoyed on low-carb crackers, as a dip for vegetables, or in smoothies for added richness.

17. Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is a high protein, low-carb food that's both filling and versatile. It's rich in calcium, phosphorus, and selenium. 

Cottage cheese has a mild flavor and a creamy texture that pairs well with both sweet and savory toppings. Enjoy it with berries, chopped nuts, or as a protein-packed addition to salads.

18. Tofu

Next on our low-carb diet food list is tofu, which is a plant-based protein source made from soybeans. It's rich in calcium, iron, and essential amino acids. 

Tofu has a neutral flavor and a smooth texture that easily absorbs the flavors of marinades and sauces. Use it in stir-fries, soups, or as a meat alternative in low-carb dishes.

19. Tempeh

Tempeh is a fermented soy product that's low in carbs and high in protein and fiber. It’s a low carb food with a firm texture and a nutty flavor that works well in savory dishes. 

Tempeh is also a good source of probiotics, which can support digestive health. Use it as a meat substitute in low-carb sandwiches, stir-fries, or grilled dishes.

20. Seaweed Snacks

Seaweed snacks are a tasty, low-carb alternative to traditional chips. These low-carb diet foods are rich in iodine, which supports thyroid function, and contain various minerals like potassium and magnesium.

Seaweed snacks have a crispy texture and a savory, umami flavor. Enjoy them on their own as a quick snack or crumble them over salads for added crunch.

Net Carbs vs Total Carbs

Total carbs refer to the overall amount of carbohydrates in a food, including sugars, starches, and fiber. On the other hand, net carbs are calculated by subtracting the grams of fiber and sugar alcohols from the total carb count. 

This distinction is important because fiber and sugar alcohols have a minimal impact on blood sugar levels. When choosing low-carb diet foods, paying attention to net carbs can help you make informed decisions and allow for a wider variety of food options. 

Who Can Benefit From Low-Carb Foods?

Like no-carb eats, low-carb foods can benefit a wide range of individuals. That includes those looking to lose weight, manage blood sugar levels, or improve overall health. 

For people with diabetes or prediabetes, a low-carb diet can help stabilize blood glucose levels and reduce the risk of complications. Athletes and fitness enthusiasts may also benefit from low-carb foods, as they can promote fat burning and improve endurance. 

Additionally, people with certain digestive disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), may find relief by reducing their intake of high-carb, highly processed foods. 

It's important to note that everyone's nutritional needs are unique. Always consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before making significant changes. 

Staying Full With Low Carb Foods

You don’t need a lot of carbohydrates in your foods in order to feel satisfied with what you’re eating. A key to staying full with low-carb foods is to make sure that your foods contain protein and healthy fats to help you stay full for longer. 

Experiment with different cooking techniques and flavors. This can also bring a lot of enjoyment while trying all the recommendations we’ve included on our low-carb diet food list. 

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