There are 6 low carb staple foods that will be great for your diet! The good news is…these foods are easy to use in tons of low carb diet recipes. Before too long, you might not even know the difference from what you’re substituting these foods for! Let’s get started with the 6 low carb staple foods every low carb/Keto dieters must learn to love…
BUT FIRST… One key to dieting, in general, is staying hydrated and drinking enough water! Whether it’s from the tap, or sparkling water in a can or bottle (which we recommend), it’s a must! One thing that I will ALWAYS add to my grocery list is at least 1 case (usually more) of sparkling water.
Looking for a low carb grocery food list? Mr Skinny Pants to the rescue – Low Carb Recommended Food List!
Hydration for low carb dieters (BONUS)
Many people object to sparkling water, and tell me they can’t stand the stuff. But I insist….here’s why!
All tastes can be acquired and drinking sparkling water can help reduce your daily sugar intake by 80%. You should binge drink it in place of the sugary beverages you’re accustomed to. Boom – easy fix #1! 😉
The author’s fridge the day he wrote this post.
Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for…
The 6 Low Carb Staple foods you need to learn to love
#1 Zucchini Noodles. Zoodles are low carb
Leaving pasta behind used to be a major challenge for people trying to go low carb. Now it’s not as difficult because some clever low carb chefs figured out how to turn vegetables into noodles.
And, the battle for low carb noodle supremacy has been won by zucchinis. They are easy to find, affordable, and effortlessly hand-sliced. When sauteed in olive oil for three minutes, their texture becomes remarkably similar to grain-based pastas.
Search for a low carb pasta recipe on Google and most will come back with zucchini noodles or “zoodles” for short.
Acquiring a taste for zucchini noodles means accepting three differences vs traditional pasta:
- Zucchini noodles retain more water than traditional pasta and tend to leave moisture in the bottom of the dishes they are served in. This becomes less of an issue as you get more experience cooking them.
- Zucchini noodles are a shade of green instead of the traditionally more appetizing white.
- Zucchini noodles clump and cling together a bit more than regular pastas.
Encouragingly, you can now buy fresh, pre-made zucchini noodles in most grocery stores which eliminates the need for hand slicing. Three cheers for Zoodles!
#2 – Cauliflower Rice is a low carb staple
Many people think they’ll have to give up their favorite Asian & Indian rice dishes when they go low carb. Not anymore! Low carbs staple foods like this will be a big help.
At 1/7 the carbs of white rice, cauliflower rice is a savior for dieters looking to eat the low carb versions of Asian and Indian dishes they enjoyed when eating mainstream.
Cauliflower rice passes the eyeball test too. It looks so much like regular white rice that it can fool kids who aren’t aware their parents made the switch. Like white rice, cauliflower rice tends to take the flavor of the ingredients near it. It’s relatively flavorless by itself.
Integrating cauliflower rice into your low carb diet means accepting a couple differences vs white rice:
- Texture is less fluffy & sticky than your typical white rice.
- Cauliflower smell can be off-putting to some. Especially when opening a sealed batch that’s been stored in the fridge for leftovers.
Preparation of cauliflower rice can be frustrating as it requires hand-grating or food processing if you’re making it from scratch, but it’s totally worth it!
Thankfully, grocers now stock steam-in-the-bag versions of riced cauliflower which cuts 15 to 20 minutes off the prep time. I buy in bulk whenever I see it.
#3 – Lettuce Wraps
Something I learned quickly about low carb eating is that almost anything can be wrapped in lettuce. There have been many times where I’ve hastily grabbed a hot dog from the fridge, heated it up, then thrown it on a piece lettuce and called it lunch.
To survive a low carb diet, you must accept lettuce as your primary replacements for breads, buns, and tortillas. There are fancier alternatives, but I find them too expensive and too inconvenient to make regularly.
Acquiring a taste for lettuce wraps requires you to accept some of following issues:
- They tear & break if you load them with too many heavy ingredients.
- They can be messy with foods & juices running out the ends.
- The temperature of a cold lettuce wrap paired with hot food can be off-putting.
- Their non-uniform shape can make them hard to fold and wrap.
- Prying the lettuce leaves off the lettuce head is delicate work.
With only 0.4g of carbs and 0.2g grams of sugar per lettuce leaf, most low carb dieters willingly accept those issues as part of the deal.
AND there’s good news. Most grocery stores stock pre-cut lettuce wraps in the produce section so you don’t have to pluck the leaves yourself. I buy at least one box of lettuce wraps every I time go to the store.
My favorite lettuce wrap recipe is the bunless cheeseburger, which is a staple meal for many low carb dieters.
#4 – Eggs, Eggs, and More Eggs
If you’re gonna go low carb, you’re going to need to learn to love eggs.
You’ll eat them scrambled for breakfast, hard boiled for snacks or on top of salads, and deviled when you plan on entertaining.
With 5gs of fat, 6g of protein, and 0.7g of carbs per egg, they are exceptionally filling for a low carb food. You can have eggs in every meal!
#5 – Cheese for keto
If you took a random sample of ingredients across a 100,000 different low carb recipes, cheese would come back as the most prevalent ingredient. Yesssss! Cheese lovers rejoice!
Why? Because low carb eaters love its satiating fat content and indulgent gooeyness, or what I like to call yumminess. 🙂
***If anyone is lactose intolerant, acclimating to low carb meal planning might be difficult because so many recipes call for cheese.
Mr. Skinny Pants’ solution? Start buying pasture-raised, grass-fed cheeses which are less irritating!
#6 – Ground Beef is low carb
The author used 3 pounds of ground beef to make this low carb sloppy joe mix.
Before I started eating low carb, I thought ground beef was unhealthy because it was processed and high fat. I was wrong. This has now become one of my low carb staple foods.
The war on processed foods is misguided because every food has been processed. Some marketers just decided to arbitrarily draw lines where it serves their paychecks.
You could include all ground meats in this “ground beef” category, but ground beef is the most ubiquitous. (Ground turkey is also a great option!)
One interesting thing I learned about low carb dieting is that fatty meats are preferred to lean cuts because fattier meats are more satiating. And the fattiest meats are typically ground meats because the butcher adds fat into the mix during the grinding process.
Low carb recipes calling for ground beef include favorites like: sloppy joes, bunless burgers, ground beef stir fry, Shepherd’s pie, Zoodles & meatballs and lettuce wrapped tacos.
I’m a big of fan of Mr. SkinnyPants’ Low Carb Spaghetti which uses both zucchini noodles AND ground beef, so 2 of the 7 foods you’ll have to like (and it won’t take long for you to love them.)
Many times, I don’t even need to make full recipes with ground beef, instead I just saute some ground beef with salt and pepper and eat it atop a bed of steamed cauliflower.
- High fat content
Those are just three reasons you have to learn to love ground beef on a low carb diet, if you don’t already.
Now, we’re not saying that you should only have these 6 foods, you should have low carb fruits and veggies too, but man do they make Keto and low carb dieting much easier. AND, they’re pretty darn tasty! Find the right recipes and snacks with these foods, and they will be your go-to’s before long!
If you need help with shopping on your low carb diet, check out shopping tips for keto dieters.
Want some recipes to cook with these awesome new staple foods? We’ve got a few – so take a look… Mr. SkinnyPants’ low carb/Keto recipes!
~Mr. Skinny Pants
PS Are you using the keto diet to try to lose weight?
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