No-Cook, No-Carb Meals

When following a low-carb diet, finding meals that are quick to prepare and require no cooking may initially seem like a struggle. A no- or very low-carb diet doesn't have to mean only eating foods with zero carbohydrates, though. According to the Department of Human Nutrition at Kansas State University, net carbohydrate refers to when you take the dietary fiber and sugar alcohol away from the total carb content. Look to make meals as close to zero net carbohydrates as possible, rather than with no carbohydrate whatsoever.

Salads are quick and easy to prepare and contain only a very low amount of carbohydrate. Credit: Zakharova_Natalia/iStock/Getty Images

Simple Salads

Most of the carbs in vegetables and salad ingredients come from fiber, so the net carb count is extremely low. Stick to leaves such as different types of lettuce, cabbage, kale and spinach to make your base, then add other low-carb vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, cucumber and pickles. To make your salad a little more interesting, Taste.com.au suggests a Mediterranean salad, made with romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, feta cheese, olives, red wine vinegar and canned tuna.

Bring on Breakfast

Breakfast can be stumbling block in the quest for no-cook, no-carb meals, as traditional low-carb breakfasts usually involve eggs. You can sidestep this, however, by going for a continental-style breakfast using low-sodium, low-nitrate deli meats with slices of reduced-fat cheese. Just skip the croissants and bread rolls. Alternatively, try a protein shake, containing a low-carb protein powder, a dash of almond or coconut milk and some crushed nuts, for an extra quick on-the-go breakfast.

Fun with Fish

To get extra protein without resorting to cooking, consider canned fish. You've got a few different choices with tinned fish. You can either go with a low-fat option such as tuna, or switch to an oily fish like mackerel or sardines. These oily fish have the benefit of being rich in omega-3 fats, which may improve heart health. Make this into a meal by serving your fish with some raw vegetables like carrots, celery and cucumber sticks.

Meat Without the Heat

While you certainly don't want raw meat, you could pick meat already cooked for you. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, eating traditional processed meats such as bacon and salami can raise your risk of heart disease. Rather than avoiding these altogether though, dietitian Christy Maskeroni recommends making better choices by picking fresh pre-cooked meats from the deli counter and looking for nitrate- and MSG-free organic meats. While you may not want to make a habit of this, some healthier pre-cooked meats combined with a slice or two of low-fat cheese, or a few salad items can make a no-cook, no-carb, high-protein meal once a week.

references
Load Comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.