Here is a list of 10 low-carb staples to help you plan ahead and stay on your low-carb or keto plan. This list covers everything, so make sure and adjust based on your preferences and sensitivities.
For those just starting out and even for you long-timers, sticking to your healthy low-carb lifestyle can be difficult. There are carbohydrates, sugar, and sneaky anti-foods in everything. Sometimes it's hard to figure out what's 'safe' and what's not. Eating low-carb takes a bit of rewiring your brain to look for certain things to avoid.
You should start by reading labels. Pay attention to carbohydrate count, sugar count, and fiber count. You should also check out the ingredients list under the white Nutrition Facts box. This is where the really important information is. If you're trying to stay away from sneaky ingredients like high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), hydrogenated fats, hydrolyzed fats, trans fats, and other scary chemicals, this is where they will be listed.
Eggs are one of nature's amazing foods that come prepackaged for our enjoyment. Boil a few up and you can easily transport them anywhere with you for a great snack on the go. You can also make all kinds of great things with them. One of my favorites is the timeless deviled egg.
Everyone loves bacon, right? You can cook it ahead of time and snack on it throughout the day. It's great crumbled on a salad, wrapped around a jalapeño popper, or alongside some eggs.
Flax meal is an amazing replacement for flour in all kinds of recipes. You can use it to make pancakes, muffins, bread, and crackers. Full of healthy fat and fiber, this staple is a must in any low-carb lifestyle.
The most versatile meat you'll find. Ground beef can be done taco-style for chip-less taco salads, hamburgers, and chili, it's great for so many things!
Cheese is one of my favorite snacks, I always have a block of cheddar or Gouda in the fridge for a grab-and-go snack. Everything is better with cheese!
Cauliflower is THE low-carb veggie. Subbing in for starches like mashed potatoes, rice, potato salad, twice-baked potatoes, and pizza crust the sky is the limit with cauliflower.
Romain lettuce is a great substitute for bread and tortillas. Aside from the obvious salad, you can use the leaves of Romain lettuce in place of taco shells or bread on sandwiches. I love to wrap a cheeseburger in a Romain leaf, yummy! These lemon pepper romaine ribs are also a great fresh side dish.
The low-carb candy. Just be careful not to go overboard here. 😉
For the coffee drinkers out there this will become a staple. It's also great for making low-carb ice cream, whipped cream, and adding to diet root beer for a 'root beer float'.
Cream cheese is another one of those super versatile ingredients that can be used in billion recipes. It's great for dishes like buffalo chicken dip and enchilada bake.
Did I miss anything you use on a regular basis? Share your low-carb staples in the comments!
Tracey R says
I use unsweetened, unflavored almond milk in recipes like gravy and creamy soups, or for hot chocolate. I also use unsweetened, unflavored coconut milk.
Stevia for desserts or where I need a little sweetness. Almond flour and coconut flour. Turnips in place of potatoes in roasts and stews.
Lots of herbs; pesto; Parmesan, Gorgonzola and chevre cheeses sprinkled on salads or used as breading (the Parmesan); homemade marinades and salad dressing made with good olive oil, a variety of vinegars, Dijon mustard, and fresh herbs. I go through a lot of these things, but you hit the rest!
Coconut oil. It's a fab all-around cooking oil. Look for LouAna brand in regular grocery stores if cost is an issue--it's way cheap and it's packaged here in the States (Louisiana--hence the brand name, I guess).
Coconut oil is great! I take it with the rest of my supplements every day and I've noticed an increase in energy. I've got a large tub of it as well, I'm going to start cooking with it. I hear it's a great substitute for butter and you can make coconut bark.
Linda C says
great list! I think you got everything I use as a staple, except maybe olive oil and butter! Instead of romaine I always have the bags of lettuce (I don't really enjoy the lettuce wraps) and I use flax meal all the time to make "bread" quickly!
As far as bacon goes, the only bacon I have found without sugar is the low sodium bacon (Maple Leaf or Kirkland/Costco)
Eden Organic Black Soy Beans. I love my chili, and these are very high in fiber, so the carb count is amazingly low!
Never tried bacon around a jalapeno popper.
I think I'll try that.
Great list! I would also add pork rinds and grated parmesan cheese. These are great for breading things like chicken and also low carb filler for things like meat loaf.
You have a great list here!
While I agree with most of the list, I do not agree with flax meal. I have low carbed since 2003 and do not use flax meal. I tried it but no one in my house liked it. I do use nut flours, WPI 5000, WPI 8000, and carbalose flour as subs for regular flour with great success 😉
Almond Flour and Almond milk...YUM!!!!
Wow you nailed it. Those are always in my fridge/freezer!
Celery is a must. Especially when i'm craving something crunchy. And Shiritaki noodles. I'm a big pasta eater, and the fact that a serving has less than 1 carb makes me uber happy!