Foods With Zero Carbs

As I explained in my post No Carb Diet - A Detailed Guide, there are not so many foods without carbs. What's even worse, in my opinion, is that people on the internet always give unreliable information. They tell you "this and that vegetable has no carbs", but when you actually check the stats, you find out that it was just a random opinion and not based on facts.

Therefore, I decided to give you not only a list of real no carb foods with statistics to prove it, but also to explain to you how to squeeze low carb foods into the no carb category, as some have carbs that your body doesn't recognize as carbs.


#1 - Nutriments with officially 0 carbs


Pure meat


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With pure meat, I mean simple meat straight from the butcher, or from the counter in the grocery, or packed. But not seasoned with a sauce. Just the meat itself.

Which meat you choose is entirely up to you. I categorize meat as any flesh from animals, including chicken, cattle, whatever you can think of. As an example of how meat fits into a no carb diet, let's check a random type of broiled beef.

Nutritional information:

Carbs: 0%
Protein: 26%
Fat: 15%
Water, vitamins and others: 59%





Fish


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Again, we are talking about raw fish that has nothing added to it, and let's consider lobster and similar animals also as fish, since they have no carbs. I personally love salmon, what about you? Fish have officially no carbs. Some fish are even low in fat, others are high in fat. While it is okay to eat fish low in fat, because then you go no carb and low fat, it would not make sense to do so only because you want to lose weight.

My advice: Fish high in fat is a lot better than no fish at all. If you really love a special type of fish, go for that one and don't mind whether it has fat or not. Try different ones, and if you find one high in fat, it's going to be very healthy for you. The people on the island of Okinawa, Japan, have one of the highest life expectancies on earth, and they live on a very low carb lifestyle with lots of fat fish.

Let's look at the stats of my favorite fish, salmon:

Nutritional information:

Carbs: 0%
Protein: 20%
Fat: 6.5%
Water, vitamins and others: 73.5%


Butter and oil


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When you think of olive oil or butter in a diet, first your inner alarm goes off. You've been told since childhood that fat is bad, and many commercials and ads on tv have told you to cut fat. I've talked about it in my post asking the question "Low Carb Or Low Fat" and what I can say is, butter and olive oil are fine.

Of course, olive oil is the best. It's really healthy. But sometimes, butter may be a good choice, especially when you prepare a dish that is supposed to have the creamy taste of butter. Although fat plays a minor role in a no carb diet, you should of course be aware that too much fat has the negative effect of giving your body more than it burns off your waist. But the risk is quite low that you eat too much butter, right?


Nutritional information:

Butter / Olive oil: 
Carbs: 0% / 0%
Protein: 1% / 0%
Fat: 81% / 100%
Water, vitamins and others: 18% / 0% (vitamins are included, though)


Water


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Water deserves a mention here, and I know it sounds cheap now, but many people forget the importance of water. Of all things you can consume, it's the only thing that comes at no energetic price at all. If you drink cold water, it even counts as minus calories because your body has to use energy to warm it up.

Water fills your stomach, especially in times when you are not supposed to eat.

There are no stats to show here. Water is water. It contains some minerals, but there is no energy in it.



#2 - Nutriments we consider "no carb" for good reasons



Let's face it: What we have seen so far sounds good, but you are not going to live by this diet forever, although there are people who do (Read about the eskimos). You want something more in your diet.

The question arises: Is there a way that food is no carb although there are some carbs in it? Yes. There are various techniques we can use to make sure food is still no carb. Let's look at more foods and why they are no carb in our diet.

Eggs


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Eggs contain 1.12 grams of carbs per 100 grams. Meaning: 1.12% of carbs.

I just went to my kitchen and weighed one egg. It's 50 grams. Therefore, a single egg has more or less half a per cent of carbs. That's a ridiculously low amount of carbs.

There are two reasons why we can call this no carb. First of all, when you prepare a single egg for your dish, you are already burning that energy by standing in the kitchen and cooking your meal. I'd even go as far as saying that, by thinking about what you are going to cook, you probably already burned the energy.

The other reason why we can consider this no carb is that your body does not register the carb as anything that requires action. There is no insulin rushing through your body, no emergency situation, because there is no invasion of carbs here. Even several eggs are totally okay.


Nutritional information:

Carbs: 1.12%
Protein: 12.5%
Fat: 10.5%
Water, vitamins and others: 75.88%


Cheese


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This may not go for every type of cheese, but a lot of cheese out there has almost no carbs at all. As most cheese comes packed, you can read the nutrition info and find out about it.

Sometimes, you may want to add some shredded cheese on top of your salad. Have you ever checked how light parmesan cheese is, for example? If it's shredded, it's as light as a feather, so you'd have to eat a lot to get any carbs. And they are so few that your body won't notice anything and it will just keep burning fat.

I really love mozarella and tomatoes, it's one of my favorite meals. So I suppose that looking at this cheese is a good way to demonstrate what cheese is usually made up of.

Nutritional information:

Carbs: 2.2%
Protein: 22%
Fat: 22%
Water, vitamins and others: 53.80%



Special vegetables


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I have yet not come across a vegetable that had no carbs at all - at least officially. But there are vegetables that do fit into a no carb diet. Here are the reasons, and some of these reasons may go together:

-the vegetable has so little weight that you'd have to eat a lot to actually go from no carb to low carb
-the carbs in the vegetable consist mainly of fiber, which can not be digested, therefore is negligible
-the vegetable can be divided into units (one carrot, two carrots), which makes it easy to tell which amount is still no carb
-preparing the meal will already burn the amount of carbs that exists

Now, I will show you some of the few vegetables that are good in a no carb diet.

Lettuce

Someone once said "lettuce is the nutritional equivalent of eating toilet paper". That's one way of putting it. The other way of putting it is to say that lettuce has very little energy and can make a nice side dish as a salad.

While it does have 3 grams of carbs per 100 grams, which is 3 per cent, one of these is fiber, and fiber does not count, because your body can't dismantle fiber. So what is left is actually 2 per cent of carbs. Bear in mind that lettuce leaves are very, very thin and weigh almost nothing. When you wash them, they probably weigh a lot more than dry, so much of it is water. You can't go wrong here, this vegetable is really suitable.

 Nutritional information:

Carbs: 2% net
Protein: 1%
Fat: 0%
Water, vitamins and others: 97%


Water cress

Cress is so tiny and weighs so little, it takes some effort to actually get 100 grams of it in one dish. But even if you manage to do so, less than one gram is actually real carbs. I consider everything below 1% of carbs a no carb meal.

 Nutritional information:

Carbs: <1% net
Protein: 2%
Fat: 0.1%
Water, vitamins and others: ca. 97%


Radish


This vegetable comes in small units. The little, round radishes can be used frequently in salads, for example. Almost half of the carbs are fibers, so eating ten or less of them is unproblematic.

Nutritional information:

Carbs: 1.8% net
Protein: 0.6%
Fat: 0.1%
Water, vitamins and others: 97.5%


Endive salad

You can eat this all day until you get sick of it. The numbers are really speaking volumes here. Carbs come in at 3.35 grams per 100, but 3.1 are fibers. This equals 0.25 per cent of carbs, meaning you can eat 400 grams (Americans: that's about a whole pound).


 Nutritional information:

Carbs: 0.25% net
Protein: 1.25%
Fat: 0.2%
Water, vitamins and others: 98.3%


Celery

Especially when making salads, I like to use shredded celery as one ingredient, because it tastes different from the rest of the salad. It has some fiber again, which lowers the total amount of carbs. It's definitely worth using.

Nutritional information:

Carbs: 1.4% net
Protein: 0.7%
Fat: 0.2%
Water, vitamins and others: 97.7%


Spinach


On the chart, spinach has 3.6% of carbs, but a whopping 2.2% are fibers. The protein level is quite nice for a vegetable, and it contains several useful vitamins and minerals, too. Most of it, even in raw state, is water, so it's a perfect dietary food that finds recognition everywhere. Spinach goes well with salmon, as I have found out.

Nutritional information:

Carbs: 1.4% net
Protein: 3%
Fat: 0.5%
Water, vitamins and others: almost 93%


Asparagus


I guess it's okay to allow this vegetable into our list. Some people love it. It's healthy and won't interfere with your diet.

Nutritional information:

Carbs: 1.78% net
Protein: 2.2%
Fat: 0.1%
Water, vitamins and others: almost 96%


Conclusion


There are many good foods out there for a no carb diet. When you consider what mother nature has to offer, it suddenly seems possible to live healthy again and to turn one's back on the whole food industry.

If you like to find out more, here are some posts that might be interesting for you:

Top 5 No Carb Recipes
How To Smoothly Go Into A No Carb Diet
Low Carb For Vegetarians And Vegans
Is Low Carb Unhealthy?


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