My 20 Favorite Low-Carb Foods
Let’s face it, there are so many undeniable benefits to eating healthy and leading a lifestyle of good choices. Your body rewards you for those conscious choices you make too. From radiant skin to a full head of healthy hair. Your systems are in check, and your heart, gut, and brain are at full happy-health capacity. If you aren’t quite there yet, maybe a peek at my favorite low-carb foods will give you the inspirational nudge you need.
Living a Low-Carb Keto Lifestyle
There are several similarities between the Keto Diet and a low-carb plan. Both offer your body wonderful benefits and help support weight loss. In fact, combined, they pack a powerful punch of just the right vitamins, nutrients, and benefits your body needs. Let’s take a closer look.
The Keto Diet
The Keto Diet is designed to help enhance your body’s fat-burning abilities. Believe it or not, with the Keto Diet you’ll want to eat more fat, lower your carb intake, and mix in a fair amount of protein. While you may be wondering, why the increased fat, the benefits are quite amazing. Adding more (healthy) fat while on the Keto Diet helps reduce your cravings and hunger by stabilizing your blood sugar levels. Don’t believe me? Patients in various studies were able to shed pounds and lower their cholesterol levels while on the Keto Diet. Research has also shown patients who were on a low-carb Keto Diet not only shed pounds, but they also improved their blood sugar levels. Low-carb diets such as Keto have proven to be even more effective than the average low-fat diets.
How Do I Get Started?
Generally, you’ll want your healthy fat calories to make up roughly sixty to seventy percent of your daily caloric intake. Twenty-five to thirty-five percent should come from protein intake, while carbs should only account for about five to ten percent of your calorie intake. And don’t forget that bone broth is an excellent source of protein. Not only that, bone broth helps you out when you’re adjusting to low-carb foods. Some of these benefits include helping with:
Oh, the wonders of sipping on bone broth! Health, beauty, and symptom-free benefits.
Benefits of a Keto Diet
Choosing a Keto Diet lifestyle may have benefits you haven’t even thought of. Did you know it can help enhance your mood and even protect the health of your brain? The Keto Low-Carb lifestyle promotes healthy weight loss by boosting your metabolism. It has even been credited with improving insulin levels in people with diabetes.
And what if I told you low-carb options help you improve your athletic endurance and performance as well? The Keto Diet can burn fat even while you’re in a resting state. Do you know of anything that can beat that?
Benefits of the Low-Carb Lifestyle
So how does it work? Sticking to low-carb foods forces your body to find its energy from stored fat. Think of it along the lines of fasting. Your body won’t be using food to create energy. While insulin and blood sugar levels remain low, sipping on my Keto Bone Broth will provide your body small amounts of carbs and calories, without causing these levels to spike. See what I mean about your body thinking it’s fasting? You’ll also enjoy increased energy levels, clear, glowing skin, and shedding those unwanted pounds.
The Benefits of Brain Health
Did you know going low-carb even has amazing brain benefits? While I mentioned insulin resistance before, let’s recap. Shoveling large amounts of carbs into your body wreaks havoc on your blood sugar levels. This causes your body to work overtime, producing an abundance of insulin. If you continue this way, your cells begin to build up a resistance to insulin. Eventually, your cells will reject the glucose and insulin being delivered. So, what makes this so scary? Diabetes. Obesity. Poor brain health. Insulin resistance lowers the blood sugar throughout your brain, including those areas susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease. Got your attention, didn’t I?
Let’s take a quick history break. In 1921, Dr. Russell Wilder created the Keto Diet to help treat epilepsy in children who were drug-resistant. Since most of the Keto Diet calories come from fat, it created an anti-seizure effect and benefit in these children. Pretty strong argument for brain health, wouldn’t you agree?
So, what are my favorite low-carb foods to promote brain health and all-around health in general?
My 20 Favorite Low-Carb Options
Coconut oil is a very healthy fat and provides metabolism benefits from medium-chain fatty acids. In other words, coconut oil helps increase your body’s fat-burning ability, reduces your appetite, and helps you lose unwanted belly fat. It’s a great cooking substitution for those of you who tend to grab the butter when you cook.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is not only deemed the healthiest fat; it is also an antioxidant powerhouse. Full of anti-inflammatory compounds, it is known to help support heart health. Drizzle this healthy oil on your salads or use to sauté in place of that stick of butter.
Chicken provides your body with an excellent amount of protein and nutrients. It makes a great addition to any low-carb recipes. If you’re on the low-carb Keto diet, you may want to choose the thighs or wings in order to fulfill your fat content intake. Add a bit of chicken or turkey to any of your low-carb recipes. You’ll definitely want to try my Slow-Cooker Low-Carb White Chicken Chili recipe. It’s super simple to whip up and leaves you full without the heavy feeling.
Leafy Greens and Other Favorite Vegetables
Did you know those dark leafy greens may help protect you against certain cancers? Rich in phytonutrients, spinach and broccoli make excellent low-carb food options. Don’t forget to add in collard greens and kale. You’ll also reap the benefits of:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin A
- Improved bone health
- Improved eyesight
- Improve skin elasticity
- Reduced fine lines and wrinkles
- Improved heart health
- Improved brain function
- Increase in iron, benefiting the oxygen in your blood
Mushrooms are another favorite of mine and are high in B vitamins, extremely low in carbs, and offer a great source of potassium. One of my favorite low-carb foods is my Wild Mushroom Soup, full of goodness for any time of year!
Delicious Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup
Prep Time: 10 Minutes • Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Makes eight 1-cup servings • Portions: 1 vegetable, 1/2 fat
- 2 teaspoons ghee
- 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1 large clove garlic
- 6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, wiped clean (about 2 cups)
- 9 ounces cremini mushrooms, wiped clean (about 3 cups), divided
- 6 ounces white mushrooms, wiped clean (about 2 cups)
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 teaspoon Celtic or pink Himalayan salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 6 cups Chicken Bone Broth or Beef Bone Broth
- 2/3 cup coconut milk
On medium-high heat, melt the ghee in a large pot. Add in the onion, celery, and red pepper. Cook while stirring frequently for approximately 4 minutes (or until your vegetables are soft). Add in your garlic and cook for roughly 30 seconds. Add in the shiitake mushrooms, 6 ounces (about 2 cups) of cremini, white mushrooms, thyme, salt, and black pepper.
Continue to cook while stirring (for 7 to 10 minutes). The mushrooms should give off a liquid and begin to brown. Add in your broth and bring everything to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered.
Stir occasionally, for about 15 minutes (or until the mushrooms are soft). Remove from the heat and add in the coconut milk and the remaining 3 ounces cremini mushrooms. Puree with a handheld immersion blender or in multiple batches in your blender or food processor. Return the mix to your pot and let it simmer for approximately 10 minutes. Season to your taste and serve!
More Veggie Options
Don’t forget to keep filling your body with a variety of vegetables. In order to metabolize your food and continue burning energy, you’ll need these vegetables for their nutrients. You’ll also be choosing foods packed with antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and fiber.
Onions not only provide amazing flavor to any recipe; they are also high in fiber and packed full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
Bell peppers are also incredibly high in fiber, carotene antioxidants, and Vitamin C.
I can’t forget about asparagus. Add this delicious vegetable to any low-carb diet meal. Asparagus is rich in carotene antioxidants, folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber. It is also one of the higher protein content veggies.
And carrots and celery are always a nutritious, low-carb addition to my bone broth or any healthy recipe.
Eggplant is another favorite low-carb option and very high in fiber. If you’re an eggplant fan or need a reason to become one, try out this mouth-watering recipe:
Baba Ghanoush Eggplant Spread
Prep time: 10 min • Cook time: 30 min • Yield: about 2 cups
- 1 medium eggplant or about 4 Chinese eggplants
- ¼ cup tahini
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- Juice of ½ lemon, about 2 tablespoons or more
- 2 small cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ¼ cup parsley leaves
Preheat your oven to 450º F and line your baking pan with parchment paper. Prick the eggplants with a fork and bake for 20 to 30 minutes. It should be very soft and tender. When the eggplant has cooled, scrape out the flesh. You should have 1 ¾ to 2 cups. Add all the ingredients into your food processor and pulse until fully blended. Add your favorite seasonings to taste and serve.
If you’re a pasta lover, you may be wondering how you’ll survive a low-carb lifestyle without it. Trust me. These healthy alternatives are about to become your new favorite go-to foods!
Zucchini is a fabulously low-carb veggie with amazing pasta-substitute abilities! Making zucchini noodles, or zoodles, is just as fun as it is delicious. I even add yellow squash to the mix. Sauté with a bit of minced garlic, a touch of that healthy virgin olive oil, and you’ll have the perfect pasta substitute in no time. Puree your own low-carb tomato sauce and you’ll be in heaven.
Need to cut back on your rice intake? No problem! In a matter of minutes, you’ll be enjoying a healthy, low-carb substitute. Using cauliflower florets sprinkled with your seasonings of choice, you’ll wonder why you’ve been filling up on rice this whole time. Here’s one of my favorite recipes for a fried rice version:
Cauliflower “Fried Rice”
Prep Time: 5 minutes • Cook Time: 10 minutes • Yield: 4 servings
- 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets (about 4 cups)
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 4 scallions, very thinly sliced (whites and greens kept separate)
- 1 large carrot, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3 tablespoons coconut aminos
- 1⁄2 cup mung bean sprouts
Using your food processor, pulse the cauliflower florets until they resemble small grains of rice. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add in your scallion whites, carrots, and garlic. Stir-fry until fragrant (approximately 5 minutes). Add in the cauliflower and cook while stirring constantly until your cauliflower is tender. Don’t let it get mushy! This should only take about 5 minutes. Move the cauliflower mixture to the sides, while leaving the center clear. Add in the eggs and scramble until fully cooked (approximately 2 minutes). Stir everything together, then add in and stir the coconut aminos, scallion greens, and sprouts. Serve immediately and enjoy!Now that I’ve loaded you up on low-carb diet faves, you’re ready to kick off your healthier lifestyle change. You’ll never run out of ideas with the endless low-carb meals and dessert recipes at your fingertips. Ready for a healthy start? Head over now to start planning your first meal and grab the resources you need for a healthy new you!