There are certain foods to have on hand for low carb baking, cooking, and eating. Generally, these include dairy products, vegetables, fruits, foods containing protein and fats, and nuts and grains. People on a low carb diet can choose from a wide selection of dairy products, including cottage cheese, hard cheeses, and soft cheeses. Other dairy products such as full-fat cheeses, cream cheese, and butter are allowed, but consumption should be more limited.
High-protein foods form the basis of low carb diets such as the Atkins diet plan. Nutritionists and medical practitioners recommend a limit of 35 percent of calories, which can be consumed in the form of protein-rich foods. Animal foods are low in carbs and rich in protein. Such foods are veal, lamb, beef, and low-fat cuts of pork. Other sources of protein include all kinds of seafood and fish, low-fat meat substitutes, tofu, beans, and eggs.
While some fruits are allowed, you can include plenty of vegetables in your low carb menu. You can eat cabbage, cucumbers, peppers, and green leafy vegetables. Broccoli and cauliflower are allowed, but consumption should be limited. Generally, a healthy low carb meal should include a large salad or vegetables should cover at least half of your plate. Avoid starchy vegetables such as corn, squash, beets, potatoes, and peas. There is not a perfect substitute for starchy vegetables such as potatoes, but other veggies can work as well. You can have celery root, mashed cauliflower, and other root vegetables.
There are plenty of low carb recipes with fruits, but you should choose fruits that are low in sugar. For example, you can eat lemons, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Dried fruit such as figs, raisins, and dates contain the highest quantity of sugar, along with tropical fruits such as pineapples and bananas.
There are special low carb breads you can include in your menu. However, make sure you read the labels carefully. Other healthy options are high-fiber 'crisp breads', low carb tortillas, and breads that are less glycemic. These breads are made from sprouted grains, have pieces of grains, and are very heavy. Whole wheat breads and white breads raise blood sugar because they are made from finely ground wheat.
You can keep some canned foods in your pantry as well. Keepers include salsas, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and pasta sauce with no added sugars. Finally, you can eat plenty of seeds and nuts, including cashews, almonds, walnuts, and pistachios.