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The 17 Best Low Carb Foods To Always Have In Your Kitchen

The best low carb foods make meal planning easier. They tend to show up in your recipes again and again. They’re versatile. And they’re always in your kitchen, which means you can have a massive freezer stash of something like ground beef or that you can buy pantry goods like coconut oil and nuts through a subscription service.


Other low carb essentials like eggs or cheese are tough to freeze and typically not available through subscription shopping. But you can get in the habit of purchasing these items in bulk since they keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.

Looking for more information about macros on a low carb diet?

What Are The Best Ketogenic Diet Foods To Eat? Click here for a list of the best low carb diet foods (with a macro roundup).



Salmon is delicious and fortunately also has a high fat count. Fresh, frozen, or canned, salmon can be quickly turned into a satisfying meal, like this Mustard Crusted Salmon (DF & GF) .

Make sure to buy wild-caught salmon – it’s better for you and for the ocean.

Ground beef

Ground beef must win the prize for most versatile meat, from sauces to cheesy beef Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Casserole to hashes, and beyond. It also cooks up quickly – no waiting for three hours for it to soften.

And if that weren’t enough, it thaws quickly too – in a pinch, you can even cook when frozen. Don’t go for the lean ground beef, but nice and fatty mixes. Extra bonus points go for getting sustainably raised beef, as the meat contains higher amounts of omega-3s.


The humble egg is a powerhouse of nutrition and you can do SO MANY things with it.

The obvious Perfect Cheesy Scrambled Eggs , boiled, or fried egg takes minutes to make. But eggs can also be dressed up in quiches, frittatas, and dishes like shakshuka or Spinach Benedict Over Sliced Ham .

Eggs are also vital in baking, especially any low carb baking with coconut flour.

And as a bonus, they stay fresh pretty much forever in your fridge. Well, three to five weeks, if we’re being exact.

Fats and oils


While butter was unfortunately maligned for years, now everybody is singing its praises. And for good reason, because everything tastes better with butter, from baked goods to cooked veggies.

And hello, anyone?

Coconut oil

While the argument over the health benefits of coconut oil still goes on in some circles, enough studies show that virgin coconut oil does a lot of good.

You can use coconut oil in baking, in cooking, and even cold, like in . Many low carb dieters use a spoonful of virgin coconut oil to curb hunger or carb cravings.

Stick with virgin coconut oil and use organic refined coconut oil for cooking. Avoid conventional refined coconut oil or hydrogenated coconut oil.

Olive oil

Olive oil is a staple for salads, drizzling over dishes, or making spreads. You can use it for low-temperature cooking but is best used cold.


Use lard for cooking, sauteeing, frying, and even baking. While butter has made a comeback in health circles, well-source lard from pastured raised hogs is a good source of vitamin D.

Lard also has a fairly high smoke point, meaning it can withstand high temperatures.


Heavy cream

Having whipping cream in your fridge is like having instant dessert – use it to top berries and you don’t even need any sweetener.

Heavy cream is a must in creamy soups, creamy sauces, and any number of low carb desserts. A dash of cream in coffee or tea also makes a hot drink more smooth and comforting.

Cream cheese

The low carb diet has found many uses for cream cheese. Add it to scrambled eggs, use it to make crepes – and top the crepes too. Or make pancakes. Dips, fat bombs, low carb desserts and even fat head pizza all benefit from delicious cream cheese.

Make sure to check different brands, as the carb count can vary quite a bit.


We’re not being picky here – cheese of any kind is both a staple and so good. Even just a little bit of melted cheddar or freshly grated Parmesan gives a dish a new dimension.

Make sure the cheese you choose is not processed cheese, which can be full of refined oils and thickeners.


Which veggies work on a low carb diet?

Stock up on vegetables that have less than five grams of net carbs per 100 grams. This includes:

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage, white or green
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Green beans
  • Green pepper
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mushrooms
  • Olives
  • Radish
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

Besides the list above, below you’ll find essential low carb produce to always have on hand.


What can this vegetable not do?

Cauliflower can become a rice alternative, a pizza crust, or a creamy base for sauces and soups. You can sneak it into desserts like brownies, snack on it raw, toss in a salad, add to a stir-fry, even use it as a potato alternative in casseroles.

It’s really good fermented too.

This vegetable is a powerhouse in the low carb diet – make sure to always have fresh and frozen on hand.


Avocado is another low carb must. Technically a fruit, avocado is full of healthy fats.

Besides salads and guacamole, creative uses of avocado have resulted in dishes such as avocado desserts (like brownies or chocolate mousse) and grilled or fried avocado. You can also use avocado to make an easy spread or salad dressing.

Of course, it’s amazing just by itself too as a snack.


Garlic is a staple in any kitchen, low carb or not.

Whether raw or cooked, it adds another dimension of flavor to savory dishes. If you ever feel like your meals are becoming bland or ordinary, throw in a few extra cloves of garlic to liven it up a bit.

Green leafies

Ok, so a lot of different vegetables are under the umbrella of green leafy veggies. But, make sure one or two are always in your fridge.

Not only can you make salads with them, larger leaves can become holders of other food, like wraps or cups. They also help bulk up cooked dishes like stir frys or soup. And you can make pesto with many greens, like arugula, mint, or spinach, which you can add to all kinds of dishes for a dash of pizzazz.


Low-carb nuts

Nuts are a fast option for a quick snack. Chopped and lightly toasted, they’re delicious in a salad or ground into a nut butter.

However, not all nuts are created equal. The nuts with the least amount of carbs are:

  • Brazil nuts
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Pecans

It’s easy to go overboard and eat too many nuts. So, be mindful of how many you are eating. Avoid any flavored nuts, even salted nuts, as this makes them more rewarding and can lead to overeating.

Coconut flour

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need items around to create low-carb sweets. But, we don’t live in a perfect world with perfect cravings, and it’s better to indulge in a low-carb treat than break your diet out of desperation.

But coconut flour can do more than bake into a 15 Makeover Keto Dessert Recipes low carb version of your favorite dessert. You can also use it as a binder, like in meatloaf or burgers, as the dredge for fried goods, and even in a pinch to thicken sauces and soups.

Cocoa powder

See above about the perfect, or not so perfect, world and cravings.

Sometimes, you just gotta have some chocolate.

Cocoa powder is the best way to get that fix because you can control the sweetener that gets added. Having some on hand to make a chocolate dessert is a disaster averted.

Emily Montes

About Emily Montes

Emily Montes is the co-founder and CEO of She's also an acupuncturist and practitioner of Chinese medicine, a published author, and a mom of two. Emily loves making meal planning easier and inspiring families to share more meals around the table.

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