It's important to include lots of low fat, low calorie and low carbohydrate foods into your diet to ensure your optimal weight and energy level. An excess of foods high in fat and calories leads to weight gain. Too many carbohydrates, especially those with simple sugars such as white bread, cause energy spikes and sugar crashes, which make it difficult to maintain your mood.
Meat contains no carbohydrates; however, certain cuts and preparations may be high in fat. The Mayo Clinic suggests looking out for low fat cuts of beef such as round, chuck, sirloin or tenderloin and shopping for loin chops and legs when buying pork or lamb. White chicken breast is another option which is naturally low in fat and contains zero carbohydrates.
Most types of fish have no carbohydrates but oily fish may be high in fat. The healthiest choices are sea bass, striped bass, grouper and halibut. Crustaceans including shrimp, lobsters and crabs contain are low carbohydrate options as well, none containing more than 5 grams of carbohydrates per serving. Remember that fish can gain fat and calories in the preparation process; choose grilled or pan-seared options over breaded or fried.
Fruit is generally somewhat high in carbohydrates and calories due to the sugar content. However, consumed in limited quantities, it is a healthy addition to any diet. Lowcarbfoods.org touts watermelon, cantaloupe, apples, strawberries, blackberries and avocados as the best options, none with more than 7 grams of carbohydrates per 1/2 cup serving.
Vegetables are almost always low in fat and calories but some edible plants are very starchy and thus have a high carbohydrate count. Vegetables that are low in carbohydrates (less than 5 grams per 1 cup serving) include leafy greens as lettuce, Brussels sprouts, endive, spinach, arugula, kale and chard. Incorporate cucumbers, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers and sauerkraut into your diet as well.
Whole grains are usually relatively low in fat and calories but it can be difficult to find grains that are low in carbohydrates. Purchase low carbohydrate breads, wraps and pasta at most major supermarkets; brands like Weight Watchers and Sara Lee carry good options. Additionally, see if your grocery store carries shirataki noodles, a Japanese dish that can substitute for spaghetti. It is found in the refrigerated section prepackaged in a bit of liquid. The long, chewy noodles are made out of yams and contain almost no carbohydrates.
Water flavored with a squeeze of lemon or lime should be your go-to beverage throughout the day. You can also include unsweetened coffee, hot or iced tea and soymilk or low carbohydrate milk such as Carb Countdown.