Following a no-carb diet means eliminating all foods that contain carbohydrates, including all grains and foods made from their flours; added or natural sugar found in sugary beverages, sweets, desserts, fruits, yogurt, milk and some soft cheese such as cottage cheese and ricotta cheese; and tubers such as sweet potatoes, white potatoes and corn. Although most vegetables contain very few carbs, they do contain small amounts, and if you are aiming for a carb intake close to zero, it is best to stick with salad vegetables, which have the lowest carb content of all vegetables.
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Leafy greens have a very low carb content. If you are tracking your carb intake, consider tracking the net carb content, which corresponds to the total amount of carbs minus the fiber. Net carbs, also called available carbs or digestible carbs, better reflect the amount of carbs in a food that can influence both your weight and blood sugar levels. For example, 1/2 cup of aragula has 0.2 g of net carbs, 1/2 cup of iceberg lettuce has 0.1 g net carbs and 1/2 cup of Romaine lettuce provides 0.2 g of net carbs.
Cucumber has a very low low net carb content. You can have a few slices for a snack, add slices to your salad or have some slices with some tuna, while keeping your carb intake very low. A serving of 1/2 cup of cucumber contains 1.0 g of net carbs.
If you want a quick low-carb snack or want to add some flavor to your meals, radishes are a good option. A serving of 10 raw radishes provides 0.9 g of net carbs. If you only have five radishes, your net carb intake will correspond to less than 0.5 g of net carbs.
Alfalfa sprouts are good to add volume to your salad while limiting your carb consumption. A cup of alfalfa sprouts contains only 0.4 g of net carbs.
Endive and Escarole
Both endive and escarole belong to the same family and are actually free of carbs, which makes them a great vegetable choice for your no-carb diet.
Celery can add some crunch to your no-carb diet. A stick of celery spread with almond butter or dipped in a mayonnaise-based dip makes a great snack. A stalk of celery contains 0.8 g of net carbs.
Parsley and Chives
You can use either parsley or chives to enhance the flavor of a salad or to boost the flavor of your no-carb marinades. A tablespoon of parsley or chives each contains 0.1 g of net carbs.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Atkins Phase 1: Induction -- Acceptable Foods List
- "New Atkins for a New You"; Eric Westman et al; 2010
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Nutrient Data Laboratory