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Fat-Free & Carb-Free Foods

author image Jay Schwartz
Jay Schwartz has had articles printed by the "Chicago Tribune," "USA Today" and many other publications since 1983. He's covered health, fitness, nutrition, business, real estate, government, features, sports and more. A Lafayette, Pa. college graduate, he's also written for several Fortune 500 corporate publications and produced business newsletters.
Fat-Free & Carb-Free Foods
grilled anchovies Photo Credit: Zakharova_Natalia/iStock/Getty Images

Fat-free foods are foods that have less than 0.5g of fat per serving, according to the U.S. government. There is no definition of carb free or carbohydrates free although product labels do inform consumers when foods are free of cholesterol, sodium and sugar. There are very few foods that have less than 0.5g of fat and carbohydrates.

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Don't Eliminate Fat

sliced avocado with olive oil
sliced avocado with olive oil Photo Credit: Pomogayev/iStock/Getty Images

A totally fat-free diet isn’t recommended because “some fat in the diet is needed to build parts of the body’s cells, particularly the cell membranes,” reports “The Best of Health,” a book produced by “Consumer Reports.”

In the typical American diet, more than 40 percent of calories come from fat. Numerous health- and consumer-related organizations recommend that less than 30 percent of calories come from fat. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends that people who have been unable to reduce their high cholesterol levels get only 7 percent of their calories from fat.

Carb-Free Not Recommended

woman eating sandwich
woman eating sandwich Photo Credit: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

A diet free of carbohydrates or even low in carbohydrates is not recommended by most nutritionists and governmental agencies. Approximately 30 percent of the calories in a typical American diet come from carbohydrates, but that number should be 55 percent, recommends the U.S. Department of Agriculture. However, “Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution” recommends that people eat very few carbohydrates because they are responsible for obesity, a conclusion that most food experts disagree with.

Fat-Free and Carb-Free

low-calorie gelatin
low-calorie gelatin Photo Credit: alexsalcedo/iStock/Getty Images

The list of foods with absolutely no fat and no carbohydrates is short, according to “Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease.” A chart in Ornish’s book lists more than 600 foods. Of those 600, the following are the only foods listed with zero fat and zero carbohydrates: baking soda, Sprite without sugar, Fresca, unflavored gelatin, low-calorie gelatin, gin, rum, vodka, whiskey and table salt.

Close to Zero Fat and Carbs

pan seared scallops
pan seared scallops Photo Credit: nstanev/iStock/Getty Images

There are several kinds of fish that meet the U.S. government’s standards of fat-free foods and also have less than 0.5g of carbohydrates per serving. They are anchovies (0.3g fat, 0 carbohydrates), flounder (0.2g fat , 0g carbohydrates), haddock (0.1g fat, 0g carbohydrates), halibut (0.3g fat, 0g carbohydrates), scallops (0.3g fat, 0g carbohydrates), shrimp (0.2, 0.1g carbohydrates), snapper (0.3, 0g carbohydrates) and sole (0.2g fat, 0g carbohydrates).

Egg whites also meet the government’s fat-free definition and have only 0.4g of carbohydrates per serving. Other fat-free, carb-free foods are bouillon (0.1g fat, 0.2g carbohydrates), Tab (0g fat, 0.1g carbohydrates) and mustard (0.2g fat, 0.3g carbohydrates).

No Fats or Carbs

piece of grilled chicken
piece of grilled chicken Photo Credit: Cleardesign1/iStock/Getty Images

There are innumerable foods that qualify as fat-free, including most fruits and vegetables and a significant percentage of beans, cereals and breads.

There are also innumerable foods with few carbohydrates, including most meats, poultry, fish and cheeses.

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