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Posted by Linda O'Byrne (Atkins Nutritionist)

Low carbohydrate foods: they are easier to find than you think. Many food groups are naturally low in carbohydrates: think for example of vegetables, meat, cheese and eggs.

But at the same time, the supermarket is packed with carbohydrate-rich foods such as white pasta, rice, bread, biscuits, sweets, cakes, fruit juices and soft drinks. How do you now make sure you avoid these products as much as possible and always make a good choice?

In this article we give you our favourite low-carb foods, sorted by category and a complete list of healthy and low-carbohydrate foods. This will make your low-carb life even easier!

Go to the complete food list or view all Atkins reduced carbohydrate products.

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Low carbohydrate vegetables

Probably the most important food group in your Atkins lifestyle. Many vegetables are naturally low in carbohydrates and high in vitamins and minerals.

Nevertheless, there are some vegetables with a higher carb content. Vegetables that grow above the ground are low in carbohydrates whereas vegetables that grow under the ground contain more carbohydrates. Think for example, beetroot and carrots.

These are the eight best low carb vegetables.

1. Celery
Carb: 1 gram per stem.

Celery is a delicious vegetable and contains about 95% water. So low carb! This vegetable is good with a salad but is also good in casseroles or even in a sauce made with mayonnaise and avocado.

Celery - delicious with home made hummus

 
2 Courgette
Carb: 7 grams courgette

Perhaps the most trendy vegetable of the moment: courgette. And the hype is not for nothing.

This vegetable is so versatile that you can even use it as a base for low-carb pasta dishes. Think lasagne or spaghetti (courgetti). At the same time courgette is delicious in stir-frys. Also try one of our delicious recipes with courgette:

Pasta with courgette
Courgette chips

 

3.  Red peppers
Number carbohydrate: 4.6 grams per 100 grams

Granted, the red pepper is not the most low-carbohydrate vegetable that exists. But why is it on this list? This is due to the fact that peppers are delicious and sweet tasting and, for a sweet vegetable, they have low in carbs! Plus the red pepper is packed with vitamin C.

Atkins recipes with red peppers:
Stuffed peppers with chopped turkey

 Stuffed Peppers



4. Mushrooms
Number carbohydrate: 0.4 grams per 100 grams

Mushrooms come in all shapes and sizes. Whether you like traditional mushrooms, decadent truffles or porcini, all mushrooms are low in carbohydrates and high in vitamins and minerals.

Recipes with mushrooms:
Goat's Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

 

5. Cauliflower
Carb: 2 g per 100 g cauliflower

Also Cauliflower is a vegetable that's becoming very popular as it's very versatile. This vegetable has a unique texture, making it an ideal vegetable to make a rice alternative - cauliflower rice. You can also use your cauliflower an alternative version of mashed potatoes, sushi or even pizza crust!

Recipes with cauliflower:
Cheesy Cauliflower Breadsticks
Cauliflower Soup

 

6. Aubergine
Carb: 2 g per 100 g

Aubergine is another vegetable that can be used in so many ways. How about a aubergine-based lasagne? Or even grilling on the barbecue with some salt and pepper!

Atkins recipes with aubergine:

Low Carb Cheesy Aubergine Pizza Slices

Cheesy Aubergine Slices


As mentioned all foundation vegetables are naturally low-carb. Other low-carb vegetables:

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Cucumber
  • cabbage
  • Broccoli

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Low Carb fruit & berries

The downside with fruit is that it all contains carbohydrates and can spike your blood sugar. Yet there are fruit that are slightly lower in carbohydrates and is packed with healthy nutrients.


7. Avocado
Carb 1 g per 100 g

The avocado is more popular than ever and is a superfood. They are full of healthy fats and protein and they also taste delicious!

By adding avocados to your diet, you will reduce carb cravings. Serve with an egg or simply with salt and pepper.

Atkins recipes with avocado
Egg fried in avocado

Egg fried in Avocado

 

8. Strawberries
Number carbohydrates 6 g per 100 g

Given the sweetness of strawberries you might not expect it to be one of the fruits with the least carbohydrates. And like most fruits, they are full of vitamin C!

Atkins recipes with strawberries
Strawberries in chocolate sauce

9. Raspberry
Carb: 5 grams per 100 grams

Raspberries are the ideal base for a low carb breakfast. Eat them whole with some Greek yogurt and a bit of our muesli and you'll start the day full of energy!

10. Blackberries
Carb: 5 grams per 100 grams

11. Coconut
Number carbohydrates 6 g per 100 g

Which fruit is reminiscent of a tropical island with palm trees, white beaches and clear blue sea? Precisely, the coconut. Enjoy a few pieces of coconut for dessert or snack between meals. 

Recipe with coconut:

Coconut Fat Bombs

Coconut Fat Bombs

12. Cantaloupe melon
Carb: 7 grams per 100 grams

Another kind of fruit which lends itself perfectly as a dessert. If you stick to a wedge, you can cantaloupe excellent fit into a low-carb lifestyle.

13. Apricot
Carb: 4 grams each

Low carb meat / fish / poultry

Meat, fish and poultry is almost always low in carbohydrates. Another advantage is that you have many other nutrients that are very important to your health. Meat and poultry are rich in protein and fish is often packed with healthy fats.

These are the best meat, fish and poultry for your Atkins lifestyle.

 

14. Chicken
Carb: 0 grams

Chicken is always a good idea! Mix it in a salad, take it on the grill or make one of our favourite chicken recipes.  

Get some chicken inspiration with our recipes:

Low Carb Bacon-Wrapped Chicken 
Garlic Chicken with Cauliflower Mash

Bacon Wrapped Chicken

 Low Carb Bacon-Wrapped Chicken

 

15. Turkey
Carb: 0 grams

Turkey is relatively cheap and packed with important nutrients. Try replacing ground turkey for ground beef or turkey instead of chicken.

 

16. Beef
Carb: 0 grams

Beef is packed with iron and vitamin B12 and is also low carb. Note that with cuts of beef, there are often additions which can add carbohydrates. So always try to go for the regular untreated/unmarinated versions of beef.

 

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17. Pork
Carb: 0 grams

Pork also fits into a low carbohydrate lifestyle. Look, however, always on the label to check that there are no added sugars. Especially if you choose, for example, bacon or salami.

 

18. Lamb
Carb: 0 grams

Just like beef lamb also contains Vitamin B12 and iron.

 

19. Herring
Carb: 0 grams

Oily fish, such as herring, is a good source of omega 3 fats.

 

20. Salmon
Carb: 0 grams

Salmon is one of the most popular fish and with good reason. It's delicious, it is also very healthy as salmon contains essential omega-3 fatty acids. It also contains vitamin B12, iodine, and vitamin D3.

Because it is so tasty and healthy we have several different recipes prepared with salmon, including:

Salmon with Avocado Salsa

 

 

21. Mackerel
Carb: 0 grams

Just like salmon, mackerel is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12 and vitamin D3. An additional advantage of the mackerel is that it also has additional antioxidants in it.

 

22. Tuna
Carb: 0 grams

A delicious fresh tuna steak or tuna salad, both equally good and both very healthy. Plus it is an excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

 

23. Shrimp
Carb: 0 grams

Another delicious, healthy and versatile species. Shrimp contain many vitamins and minerals. Think of sodium, calcium, iron and potassium. As well as, vitamin B1, B2, B6, B11, B12 and vitamin C, and D.

Low carbohydrate dairy and oils

Semi skimmed milk has always been the most popular in the UK but now we're hearing more and more about the health benefits of whole milk.

At Atkins, we've known for some time that full fat dairy is the best but great to know that it's becoming common knowledge. Think full fat yoghurt or Greek yoghurt!

24. Cottage cheese
Carb: 3 grams per 100 grams

Cottage cheese is a really underestimated product. This cheese is full of protein and is therefore well suited to a low-carb lifestyle. It's great on it's own or put onto celery stalks and enjoy!

25. Gouda cheese
Carb: 2 g per 100 g

The famous Dutch cheese fits perfectly in this list of low carb products. Gouda cheese is also delicious as a snack to eat. For example, in cubes, or on top of an Atkins cracker, or on slices of cucumber.

26. Eggs
Carb: 0 grams

Which food do you think of when you think low carbohydrates? Right, eggs! Therefore, eggs should definitley not be missing from this list.

How do you prefer to cook eggs? Boiled, fried, poached? Or do you prefer an omelette or scrambled eggs?

Atkins recipes with eggs:

Poached Egg on Avocado Toast

Low Carb Bacon & Egg Breakfast Muffins

Bacon and Egg Muffins

Bacon & Egg Breakfast Muffins

 

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27. Butter
Carb: 0 grams

Butter is popular again! Spread onto an Atkins cracker, butter is rich in flavour and full of healthy fats.

28. Full fat yoghurt
Carb: 5 grams per 100 grams

Yoghurt can be mixed with Atkins muesli or for a light dessert. Yoghurt contains probiotics that are good for your intestinal flora.

29. Greek yogurt
Carb: 5 grams per 100 grams

You can substitute regular yogurt with Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt tends to have a bit more protein than regular yogurt.

Atkins recipes with Greek yogurt:


30. Cream
Carb: 2 g per 100 g

Yes, you read that right. Cream is on this list! Of course we are talking about single or double cream, not the sweetened, aerosol variety. Add a little natural cream in your coffee, Fat is essential on Atkins and make you feel fuller more quickly, and for longer!

Do you have some more time? Whip the cream and sweet this with some sweetener, garnish with cinnamon.

31. Extra virgin and virgin olive oil
Carb 0 g per 100 g

If you're going to bake it is probably virgin olive oil you will use as it's good with heat. For cold use, the best oil is extra virgin olive oil. This olive oil is the highest quality but do not overheat.

32. Coconut oil
Carb 0 g per 100 g

Coconut oil has been becoming trendy for a while now and every health shop sells this oil. Coconut oil is a stable fat and is excellent for baking."

Dairy to avoid:

All 0%, semi-skimmed and skimmed milk. Often these products contain more sugars than full fat milk.

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Low carbohydrate snacks

If you think you should not snack on a low-carb lifestyle, then you are wrong. How about a bowl of nuts or a bowl of olives? Or try our super simple recipe for cheese chips? Read below our favourite snacks!

33. Olives
Number carbohydrates 6 g per 100 g

Olives are, in our opinion, the best low carb snack. Always read the nutritional value ​​on the label because the number of carbohydrates can vary by brand and type.

Try to buy plain olives, then season them yourself with a few cloves of garlic, thyme and olive oil. Enjoy your meal!

Olives with garlic and olive oil

 

34. Pecans
Carb: 4 grams per 100 grams

Most nuts fit the Atkins lifestyle, as does the pecan. Also pistachios and cashews but they contain considerably more carbohydrates.

Note, peanuts are not nuts, but are actually legumes. You can add peanuts from Phase 3.

35. Brazil nuts
Carb: 4 grams per 100 grams

The Brazil nut is the largest of the nut family and this snack is perfect for a low-carb lifestyle.

36. Dark chocolate, 86% cocoa
Number of carbohydrates: 19 grams per 100 grams

We understand that, now and again, you might feel like a piece of chocolate. Always go for the darker version of chocolate which is lower in carbs and aim for the highest percentage of cocoa per bar. A small piece of 86% chocolate fits well in a low carb lifestyle!

 

37. Flax Crackers
Number of carbohydrates: 0.5 grams per serving

These flax crackers are a great alternative for a high carb cracker. Try it yourself with this recipe.

 

38. Cheesy Cauliflower Breadsticks
Number of carbohydrates: 1.5 gram per serving

 These cheese-topped cauliflower breadsticks have a satisfying crispiness, making them perfect with dips. You can find the recipe here.

Cheesy Cauliflower Breadsticks

 

39. Atkins Chocolate Chip Crisp bar
Number carbohydrate: 1.6 grams per bar

This Atkins bar is delicious and nutritious and great as a snack on the go. 

See here where you can buy Atkins Chocolate Chip Crisp bars.

Avoid:

  • Chips
  • Biscuit
  • Candy
  • baguette
  • Shop bought sauces

Click here for our low carb snacks and snack recipes.

Atkins products

Low carbohydrate drinks

Staying hydrated is very important on Atkins. And it goes without saying that sugary soft drinks and fruit juices do not fit the Atkins lifestyle. Fortunately, there are plenty of drinks you can enjoy.

40. ​​Water
Carbs: 0 grams

By far the most important drink on Atkins. Try to drink up to 2 litres of water a day

It can also fine in the form of coffee and tea. You can all count to reach 2 liters per day.


41. ​​Sparkling Water
Carbs: 0 grams

Of course you can also opt for sparkling water if you prefer. Check the label to ensure it's no added sugar.


42. Sugar-free soda
Carbs: 0 grams

Most diet sodas contain no sugar at all. Usually they are sweetened with sweeteners. Do not be afraid of sweeteners, as they are a much better option than added sugar.

Treat 'light' fruit drinks with caution. These drinks tend to have a fruit juice base so sometimes still contain a lot of carbohydrates. Always check the nutrition label, the fewer carbohydrates, the better.

43. Coffee
Carb: 0 grams

Coffee is also a great low carb drink to drink. Obviously without sugar. You may have some single cream in your coffee if you prefer or even a sweetener if you prefer a sweet coffee

Coffee contains caffeine which can adversely affect some people, if you find this is the case with you then you're probably better opting for decaffeinated coffee or other beverage.


44. Tea
Carb: 0 grams

Tea also contains caffeine, but in a smaller amount. There is plenty of choice of decaffeinated tea.


45. Broth
Number carbohydrate: 0.1 grams per 100 grams

Yes, also broth/stock counts as part of your hydration. You can choose a stock cube that's vegetable, chicken or beef. Also always look on the label to ensure it's really low carb.


Drinks to avoid:

  • Juices
  • Sugar-rich soft drinks (regular versions of cola, orange, 7-Up, etc.)

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Low carbohydrate alcohol?

 

Some alcohol drinks are low in carbohydrates, which is good news. But they contain alcohol which can affect glucose and insulin levels in the blood. Your body will burn alcohol as fuel before other macronutrients so can slow weight loss alcohol.

If you do have alcohol, plan in advance and accept that you may see a stall on the scale. Once you've reached your desired weight, you can enjoy the occasional glass of wine or beer.

Low carbohydrate products list

 

Vegetables

 

Kind of vegetable Carbs per 100 grams
Mushrooms 0,4 grams
Spinache 1 gram
Radish 1 gram
Courgette 1 gram
Iceberg 1 gram
Endive 1 gram
Cucumber 1 gram
Fennel 1 gram
Cauliflower 2 grams
Celery 2 grams
Asparagus 2 grams
Green pepper 2 grams
Aubergine 2 grams
Turnip 2 grams
Leek 2 grams
White cabbage 2 grams
Pumpkin 2 grams
Broccoli 2 grams
Tomatoes 3 grams
Onion 3 grams
Brussels sprouts 4 grams
Red pepper 6 grams
Red onion 7 grams
Beetroot 7 grams
Carrots 7 grams

 

Fruit

 

 

Kind of fruit Carbs per 100 grams
Avocado 1 gram
Lemon 3 grams
Raspberries 4 grams
Cantaloupe melon 4 grams
Blackbuerries 5 grams
Coconut 6 grams
Strawberries 6 grams
Apricot 7 grams
Peach 7 grams
Watermelon 7 grams
Plums 8 grams
Orange 8 grams
Apple 8 grams
Tangarine 10 grams
Kiwi 10 grams
Pineapple 10 grams
Cherries 11 grams
Blueberries 13 grams
Mango 14 grams
Grapes 15 grams
Bananas 23 grams

 

Meat/fish/poultry

 

 

Kind Carbs per 100 grams
Chicken 0 grams
Turkey 0 grams
Beef 0 grams
Pork 0 grams
Lamb 0 grams
Hering 0 grams
Salmon 0 grams
Mackerel 0 grams
Tuna 0 grams
Shrimps 0 grams
Eel 0 grams
Cod 0 grams
Tilapia 0 grams
Plaice 0 grams
Lobster 0 grams
Oysters 2 grams
Crab 2 grams
Mussels 3 grams

 

Diary & Oils

 

 

Kind Carbs per 100 grams
Eggs 0 grams
Butter 0 grams
Olive oil 0 grams
Coconut oil 0 grams
Parmesan cheese 0 grams
Mozzarella 1 gram
Gouda Cheese 2 grams
Cream 2 grams
Cottage cheese 3 grams
Cheese spread 3,5 grams
Full  fat milk 4 grams
Full fat quark 4,3 grams
Full fat yoghurt 5 grams
Greek yoghurt 5 grams

 

Nuts, seeds & snacks

 

 

Kind Carbs per 100 grams
Linseed 1 gram
Walnuts 3 grams
Pecans 4 grams
Brazil nuts 4 grams
Macadamia 4 grams
Pine nuts 4 grams
Hazelnuts 5 grams
Olives 6 grams
Pumpkin seeds 7 grams
Atkins Chocolate Chip Crisp Bar 9 grams (3 bars)
Dark chocolate (86%) 19 grams
Chia seed 42 grams

 

Atkins products

 

 

Kind Carbs per serving
Atkins Crispbread 1,8 grams per cracker
Atkins Chocolate Coconut Bar 2,1 grams per bar
Atkins Vanilla Shake Mix 2,6 grams per serving
Fudge Caramel Bar 3 grams per bar

 

Drinks

 

 

Kind Carbs per 100 grams
Water 0 grams
Sparkling water 0 grams
Sugar free soda 0 grams
Coffee 0 grams
Tea 0 grams
Broth 0,1 gram

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