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The key to a successful ketogenic diet is keeping the carbohydrates at bay. When your carb intake exceeds a certain level, it's simply not possible to get into ketosis and reap the unique benefits of the keto diet.

This of course doesn't mean that you have to meticulously track every carbohydrate intake, spending your time counting how many grams of them you eat at each meal. Far from it! Those who already practice the keto diet know that it is very easy to stay in a state of ketosis using a simple trick which is to plan your meals with keto friendly foods which allow you to fill up simply without taking on carbohydrates.

Well yes, although it may seem that they hide everywhere, staying away from carbohydrates is much easier than you think. There are hundreds of carb-free options that are absolutely delicious and safe. As? Sounds amazing? After reading this article it won't seem like it anymore!

No Carb Diet: The Ultimate List

Let's start right away by premising that, in truth, only some types of oils really don't have any traces of carbohydrates. When we say carb-free, therefore, we mean foods that include infinitesimal fractions of it, unsuitable for affecting ketosis. 

This, then, is one of the criteria used to prepare this list. Furthermore, these are foods that tend not to be consumed in large quantities – binge-free, therefore – and which are able to significantly change your eating habits. For a matter of practicality, the list has been divided into different categories, so that we will find a list based on the types of food (meat, fish, fats, spices, drinks, snacks), one based on their use (to increase protein, fat, or both, to increase fiber, vitamin, or mineral intake).

Carbohydrate-free foods divided by food category

We have just said it: for a matter of practicality, we can begin to distinguish the list of carb-free foods by food type.

We then find the carbohydrate-free meats: beef, veal, lamb, pork, poultry, offal (except liver), game and exotic meats. Processed meats can be added to this typology, which includes fresh meat: hot dogs, cured meats, sausages, bacon, dried meat, salted meat, canned meat, smoked meat.

Now let's move on to fish. Whether canned, smoked or fresh, they are carbohydrate-free: cod, sole, plaice, halibut, sardines, swordfish, turbot, mackerel, tuna, trout and grouper. But also salmon, catfish and sea bass.

With regard to fats and oils: extra virgin olive oil, animal fats, Indian ghee, coconut oil and avocado oil.

And carb-free options for healthy snacks and snacks? From pepper strips to salami, from smoked fish to bone broth, but also canned fish and meat, dried meat, and for lovers of oriental cuisine: seaweed. But be careful: when it comes to ready-to-eat foods, it is good to pay attention to the list of ingredients. In fact, there are many brands that add sugars or other ingredients that contain carbohydrates.

Spices and condiments: salt, black pepper, spicy sauces without sugar. But also oregano and rosemary, thyme and basil, mustard, chili powder, cinnamon, chives and dill. In this case, pay attention not only to the ingredients contained in the ready sauces, but also to consume all species in moderation because they may have traces of carbohydrates.

Sweeteners: stevia, fruit extract, pure erythritol, but also any mixture of sweeteners consisting solely of stevia extract, fruit extract and/or erythritol. Warning: to minimize the impact of sweeteners, combine them with completely carbohydrate-free foods and beverages.

And the drinks? Water (unflavoured), tea, coffee, sparkling water, soda. Sugar-free energy drinks and diet sodas can also be consumed in moderation. Also, perhaps you didn't know, but alcohol can also be carbohydrate-free: gin, rum, vodka, whiskey, tequila, scotch, bourbon, brandy and cognac, as long as they are not flavored, are absolutely keto-friendly. However, since alcohol can impact ketosis and frustrate your results, not drinking at all is recommended.

Some carb-free combination

Now let's move on to another type of classification, to make it easier for you to choose according to your needs.

Some types of carb free options feature a high level of fat and low level of protein: olive oil and other vegetable and animal fats, cured meats, smoked beef, coffee and keto friendly tea. Conversely, they have a high protein content and low fat content: all cuts of fresh fat-free meat and poultry, different types of game and exotic meats (ostrich, caribou, roe deer, camel, emu and moose), smoked and tinned fish and tinned meat.

There is obviously a third category, which includes such foods high rate of fat and protein: bacon and cured meats in general, sausages, cuts of fresh meat with fat, salted meat and black meat, salami, dried meat.

And finally, the low-calorie, carb-free options: shirataki noodles, bone broth, seaweed snacks, or even low-carb focaccia.

More tips for a keto approved shopping list

Thanks to this concentrated list of keto-friendly foods, shopping will be much easier, but above all it will be easier to follow your diet and get all the micro and macro nutrients you need. That said, it's always good to remember that your focus should be on staying in ketosis, not radically cutting out carbs. A zero-carb diet is impractical and unsustainable, and generally not worth it. Also, by cutting out carbs altogether, what will happen is that you will lose all the benefits of keto-friendly food like fruits, vegetables, and cheese.

That's why, below, you'll find another detailed list of what you might need.

The zero-carb meat list

Zero Carb Meat List

The meats that we will list in this list will be your source of protein for the keto diet. Buy it fresh and without added ingredients, staying away from ready-made recipes:

  • Beef;
  • Veal;
  • Pig;
  • Lamb;
  • Poultry (turkey, chicken, hen, duck, guinea fowl etc);
  • Exotic meat (ostrich, camel, emu);
  • Game (deer, hare, wild boar).

Beware of consuming too much liver, because 100 grams of liver contains 4 grams of carbohydrates. All other offal, on the other hand, is carb-free.

You can also find these meats in the processed version, with no added carbohydrates:

  • sausage;
  • sausages;
  • Sausages;
  • Dried meat;
  • Canned meat;
  • Smoked meat.

Pay attention when you read the labels, because some of the ingredients used to flavor or preserve the meat contain carbohydrates such as sugars, syrup, maltodextrins. Don't stop at the simple wording "carb-free" because this can also mean that the product contains less than 1 gram per serving.

For this reason, the best choice is to buy fresh meat, and use processed meat only if you are sure that its content is free of carbohydrates.

The zero-carb fish list

Zero Carb Seafood List

Fish, and all fish products in general, are an excellent source of protein for those who follow the keto diet. In addition, these products help to reach the recommended daily amount of omega 3 fatty acids. This is why doctors and nutritionists recommend eating at least two servings of high-fat fish - such as salmon and sardines - per week.

Below is the list of fish that are zero carbohydrates if you buy them fresh and unprocessed:

  • Cod;
  • Flounder;
  • Sole;
  • Halibut;
  • sardines;
  • Swordfish;
  • Rhombus;
  • Rhombus;
  • Tuna;
  • Salmon;
  • Trout;
  • Catfish; 
  • European bass.

It is also possible to buy these fish canned, or smoked, and in general processed. However, what has been said for processed meat applies: pay attention to the other ingredients. The healthiest option is to buy wild salmon and sardines, whether they're fresh or canned. These two fish have the lowest mercury content, and a high percentage of Omega3.

The no-carb snack list

Zero Carb Snack List

Mid-morning or mid-afternoon do you start to feel hunger pangs, but don't want to go overboard on carbohydrates? No problem, there are so many keto friendly foods to fill an entire list.

  • Strips of peppers;
  • Dried meat;
  • Smoked fish;
  • Bone broth;
  • Canned meat and fish;
  • Algae.

Of course, this list only includes grab-and-go items, but you can safely prepare your own snacks. Again, pay attention to the ingredients list.

The list of oils and fats without carbohydrates

Zero Carb Oils and Fats

Adding healthy fats is the easiest and fastest way to reach your daily fat requirement without affecting your carbohydrate or protein intake. However, keep in mind that not all fats and carbohydrates have a positive effect on your health. The best? below!

  • Extra virgin olive oil;
  • Coconut oil;
  • Ghee;
  • Avocado oil;
  • Animal fats (butter, but also lard).

If you intend to cook with fat, consider olive oil and coconut oil, which are the ones that resist heat better without breaking down into micro-components harmful to health. Other vegetable or seed oils are less healthy, and tend to become toxic when exposed to high temperatures, so your best bet is to avoid them or use them very sparingly.

Low carb spices and condiments

Zero Carb Spices, Herbs, & Seasonings

Unfortunately, many condiments contain carbohydrates and unhealthy ingredients. However, that doesn't mean keto recipes have to be boring and tasteless. In fact, you can whip up some keto-delicious recipes with this zero-carb topping list!

  • Salt;
  • Black pepper:
  • Most hot sauces without sugar;
  • Mustard;
  • Origan;
  • Rosemary;
  • Thyme;
  • Basil;
  • Chili;
  • Cinnamon;
  • Curry; 
  • Dill;
  • Chives.

Warning: do not use more than a teaspoon of spices, because they still contain small amounts of carbohydrates.

Zero carbohydrate sweeteners

Zero Carb Sweeteners

When choosing sweeteners, the best thing to do is pay attention to their carbohydrate content and health effects. That's because many keto-friendly carbs can still prove unhealthy in other respects. In short, zero carbohydrates does not mean zero risk.

After a long search, and some experimentation, this is what we found:

  • stevia extract;
  • Fructose;
  • Erythritol; 

Warning: These sweeteners have a flavor that may not be suitable for all foods. The advice is to search on the net which ones go well with what. Also, always be wary of single-packed sweeteners, as they tend to contain carbohydrates such as maltodextrin and dextrose. 

Zero carbohydrate drinks and beverages

Zero Carb Drinks & Beverages

When you're following a keto diet, hydration is especially important. The more you restrict carbohydrates, the more careful you have to be about staying hydrated. To help you keep hydration high, here is the list of absolutely carb-free drinks that you can take during the day:

  • Waterfall;
  • The;
  • Coffee;
  • Soda;
  • Sparkling water.

If you are one of those suffering from keto fever or headaches, you can also add liquid electrolytes to your drinks. Also, you can increase your fluid intake with diet sodas. Be careful though, because these can increase cramps and a sense of hunger, making it more difficult for you to follow the diet.

  • Sugar-free energy drinks;
  • Diet mixes with no added sugar;
  • carbonated diet drinks;

Carb-free alcohol

Zero Carb Alcohol

The general rule, which applies to everyone and even more so to those who follow the keto diet, is that alcohol should be used extremely sparingly, and possibly avoided. While there are carbohydrate-free alcohols, it is the alcohol itself that breaks the state of ketosis while your body is busy processing it. Alcohol can push some people out of ketosis for weeks while the liver is busy processing it. But every person is different, so pay attention to your reactions.

If you are at a party, or on any other occasion, or simply like to treat yourself to a drink from time to time, and you don't want to run the risk of ending up out of ketosis, here is the list of zero-carb alcohol:

  • Gin;
  • Rum;
  • Vodka;
  • Tequila;
  • Whiskey;
  • Scotch tape;
  • Bourbon;
  • Brandy;
  • Cognac.

Other popular alcoholic beverages, such as beer and wine, aren't on the list because they contain carbohydrates.

The list of zero carbohydrate foods categorized for practical use

The Ultimate Zero Carb Foods List, Categorized by Practical Use

Now that you have an idea of what carbohydrate-free foods are based on the most popular food categories, we want to take it a step further and organize them in a way that can help you reach your goals. It's, in a nutshell, about using and mixing foods in ways that help you reach a specific keto goal. To do this, foods must be divided into precise categories:

  • High-fat, low-protein foods can help you reach your fat intake goal;
  • Foods that are high in fat and protein, and no carbohydrates, will help you reach your fat and protein goals;
  • High-protein, low-fat, zero-carb foods will help you reach your protein goal without getting too much fat;
  • Low-calorie, no-carb foods will help you get the recommended daily amounts of vitamins, fiber, and minerals into your diet.

If you're not entirely sure what you need, or how many nutrients you need, you can find several keto calculators online that will tell you how many grams of fat, fiber, and protein to consume based on your goals and body composition.

High-fat, low-protein, zero-carb foods to increase your fat intake

High-fat, Low-protein Zero Carb Foods for Increasing Fat Intake

Below you will find a list of foods that are completely carbohydrate free and contain over 80% of fat. You can use these foods to increase your recommended daily intake of fats without having to worry that you're increasing your protein or carbohydrate intake too much:

  • Extra virgin olive oil;
  • sausages;
  • Coconut oil;
  • Grass fed or ghee farmed butter;
  • avocado oil;
  • Smoked beef;
  • Keto coffee
  • The keto

And if you're wondering how to include these foods in your daily diet, here are some suggestions that might come in handy. 

For example, you can add oils and fats to your main meals by adding them to sauces, as well as smoothies and soups. Or again, use them to flavor your side dishes and salads. Or again, use sausages or smoked beef as a snack when you are away from home. Finally, for lunch or mid-morning, help yourself to a keto tea or keto coffee.

High-fat, high-protein, zero-carb foods to improve your fat and protein intake

High-fat, Protein-dense Zero Carb Foods for Increasing Fat and Protein Intake

For those of you who are wondering how to increase your protein and fat intake to stay within the recommended proportions of the keto diet, here are some helpful tips and foods to refer to:

  • Bacon;
  • sausage;
  • sausages;
  • Sausages;
  • Fatty cuts of meat: steak, ribs, lamb chops, baby ribs, fresh bacon.
  • Processed meat, eg: salted beef;
  • Fish in oil;
  • Processed meat.

These foods usually have a high fat content, which is around 70%. The list is sorted by fat percentage, so as you go down the list, the lipid content drops to somewhere around 50%. Obviously, these are indicative estimates, so pay attention to the fat and protein content of individual foods before taking them.

Also, to increase your fat and protein intake there are some simple rules that can make your diet easier to follow. First, simply increase the amount of foods high in fat and protein. Choose foods higher up on the list if you need more fat, those lower down if you need more protein. Also, combine these foods with those on the next list to create your own keto recipes.

Zero-carb, low-fat, high-protein foods to increase protein intake in your daily diet

High-protein, Lower Fat Zero Carb Foods for Increasing Protein Intake

Getting an adequate amount of protein in your diet is essential for several functions, such as maintaining muscle mass or building it – if, for example, you are lifting weights – and also for reducing your appetite. However, it is not always easy. If you're wondering how to add more protein to your diet without also increasing carbohydrates, you really need this list of high-protein, zero-carb foods.

  • The leanest cuts of meat: skinless chicken and turkey breasts;
  • Poultry and red meat: chicken, turkey, beef, veal, pork;
  • Lean cold cuts and ready meals with zero carbohydrates and a high content of lean meats;
  • Game: bison, deer, ostrich, caribou etc;
  • Exotic meats: ostrich, camel, emu etc;
  • Canned fish without skin and bones, and canned in water-based and non-oil based solution;
  • Canned chicken breast without skin and canned in water-based and non-oil based solution.

As a general rule, skinless white meat will always be a high protein, low fat solution, more so than red meat regardless of the presence of skin. Also, skinless meat will always have less fat than meat with skin, sinew, etc.

For this reason, skinless chicken breast has a very high percentage of protein per calorie, while in the case of chicken wings or red meat, the ratio shows a higher fat content.

Carb-free, low-calorie foods to increase fiber, vitamin and mineral intake

 Low-calorie Zero Carb Foods for Increasing Fiber, Vitamin, and/or Mineral Intake

This list that follows will be the shortest of the lists, as fibers and micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals are almost always found in natural foods which, however, contain carbohydrates. That said, if you're looking for healthy, keto foods that won't increase your calorie or carb intake, you still have a couple of options:

  • Seaweed Snacks: Seaweed is both a dietary food and a rich source of iodine, which helps the proper functioning and health of the thyroid gland. In addition, seaweed contains fiber and other vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, B, zinc and iron, along with antioxidants that help protect cells. For the snack to be really healthy, however, it is good to look for seaweed chips that do not contain more than 3 ingredients: seaweed, salt and oil. The healthiest option is to choose a product that uses an oil from our list of zero-carb, high-fat oils, or a snack with no oil at all. Regardless of which product you consume, make sure you don't go overboard with seaweed, because eating too much of it will expose your body to potentially toxic levels of heavy metals and iodine.
  • Bone Broth: You can buy ready-made or cook your own. Whatever you decide to make, bone broth is a really good food: healthy in terms of caloric intake, and rich in essential minerals and amino acids ideal for good health, and which we hardly get in the right quantities from fish and meat. meat. 
  • Shirataki: this is a type of noodles that has become famous precisely in high-protein diets thanks to its low carbohydrate content (more than low: zero) and ideal for those who are trying to include more fiber in their diet without increasing their carbohydrate intake. Feel free to add them to your keto meals and cook up a keto friendly pasta dish. At the same time though, make sure you buy shirataki that contain only water, konjac flour and lime water, an alkaline solution with a high calcium content.

It should be noted that given the limited variety of options when it comes to getting fiber, vitamins and minerals, you may be more at risk from eating carbohydrates. Thankfully, there are still plenty of keto options to boost your fiber intake without cutting into your carbs. However, they must be taken carefully, in combination with one of the foods on the zero carbohydrate list.

The list of "almost zero" carbohydrate foods

Below you will find a detailed list of "almost zero" carbohydrate foods that can help you vary your recipes and get the macronutrients you need.

Fish with "almost zero" carbohydrates 

When we talk about fish and seafood, in general we are talking about foods that tend to have the lowest rate of carbohydrates of all the foods on the keto diet. Some, however, have a higher carbohydrate intake than others. Between these:

  • Scampi;
  • Lobster;
  • Octopus;
  • Clams;
  • Scallops;
  • Mussels;
  • squid;
  • oysters;
Almost Zero Carb Seafood

Fruits and vegetables with "almost zero" carbohydrates 

This is a category in which green leafy and cruciferous vegetables are the masters. They are full of vitamins, minerals and fiber, and won't make you eat too much carbohydrates. To give you an idea of what the best choices are, here's a list of the lowest-carb veggies, sorted by quality (the topmost ones have the least carbs).

  • Broccoli;
  • Watercress; 
  • Nopal;
  • Pak choi cabbage;
  • Coriander;
  • Spinach;
  • Mustard seeds;
  • Asparagus;
  • radishes;
  • Avocado;
  • Rocket;
  • Zuchinis;
  • chard;
  • Tomato;
  • Mushrooms;
  • Olives;
  • Eggplant;
  • Peppers;
  • Bamboo;
  • White cabbage.
Almost Zero Carb Fruits and Vegetables

All you need to do is strictly adhere to this list to respect the necessary daily intake of vitamins, minerals and fiber without having to worry about exceeding the allowed carbohydrate limit and exiting ketosis. You can also search the net among the numerous guides that will help you calculate exactly how many grams of carbohydrates are in each vegetable.

Eggs and dairy products with "almost zero" carbohydrates

In most keto recipes you will find both eggs and high-fat cheese and dairy products. Here in this list you can get some ideas to vary your diet and prepare healthy recipes that will help you stay in ketosis.

  • Fresh eggs;
  • Mascarpone cheese;
  • Cheese cream.

Whenever possible, try to prefer mascarpone with cream cheese. This food, in fact, allows you to keep the level of fats high and the level of carbohydrates low. If you want to replace other dairy products instead, for example milk, try using vegetable waters such as coconut, almond, and other alternatives of this type such as hazelnuts, which are becoming increasingly popular in supermarkets.

Almost Zero Carb Eggs and Dairy
  • Eggs: Eggs are your most versatile keto food ever, you need to consider them the bullets in your arsenal. You can make them fried, scrambled, poached, you can make omelettes and frittatas, hard-boiled and stuffed, poached, or a nice egg salad. Each type of egg recipe will vary in its carbohydrate content, so be careful with the other ingredients used.
  • Mascarpone: most brands of mascarpone have less than one gram of carbohydrates per 100 grams in the nutritional values list, so we cannot say that it is a completely carbohydrate-free food, but it is still a good compromise. But be careful to always look at the list because each brand has different values.
  • Cream Cheese: Cream cheese is usually made from cream and milk, so it has a lower fat intake and, in return, a higher rate of carbohydrates. Each brand varies in its proportions, but in general, it's one of those keto foods that is best used in more moderation than the others.

“Almost zero” carbohydrate cheeses

Most natural cheeses, i.e. unprocessed and free of thickeners and artificial flavors, have a quantity of carbohydrates per serving of less than one gram. In general, hard cheeses are the best from this point of view, and the amount of carbohydrates increases as the softness varies. Since almost everyone uses cheese on the keto diet, taking into account the carbohydrates eaten is absolutely necessary to avoid adding them unintentionally, especially if you eat several portions a day. Be sure to monitor the carbs in your cheeses, then.

Below, to make things easier for you, you will find a list of cheeses with the lowest carbohydrate intake:

  • Asiago;
  • Gorgonzola;
  • Brie;
  • Camembert;
  • Cheddar;
  • Cream cheese;
  • Colby;
  • Edam;
  • Fontina;
  • Goat;
  • gruyere;
  • Havarti;
  • Mascarpone cheese;
  • Monterey;
  • Mixed Mexican cheese;
  • Mozzarella cheese;
  • Parmesan;
  • Provolone;
  • Neuchatel;
  • Ricotta.
Almost Zero Carb Cheeses

Seeds and dried fruit with "almost zero" carbohydrates

Let's start by saying that all nuts and seeds contain a minimal percentage of carbohydrates. However, since it is a very varied category, we can definitely draw up a list, indeed: a ranking, of the safest ones and which will not get you out of ketosis.

  • Raw macadamia nuts;
  • Raw peacans;
  • Raw Brazil nuts;
  • Chia seeds;
  • Flax seed.
Almost Zero Carb Nuts and Seeds

You have to be double careful in this case, because eating a large amount of seeds or nuts without realizing it is really easy, so make sure you eat them in moderation. Although it is a great way to increase the intake of lipids, moreover, they are also very caloric foods, and could make you go astray quickly and without realizing it, watch out!

Snacks with "almost zero" carbohydrates

Almost Zero Carb Snack Options

This list will increase your options when you're on the go and craving a quick snack but without necessarily having to fear getting out of ketosis by eating too many carbohydrates. Just be careful to take snacks in moderation, otherwise the carbohydrates – few, but present – will accumulate quickly.

  • Homemade macadamia nut butter;
  • Raw macadamia nuts;
  • Raw peacans;
  • Raw Brazil nuts;
  • Cheese strips;
  • Hard cheese;
  • Cheese Chips;
  • Zucchini Chips;
  • Kale Chips;

“Nearly Zero” Carb Dressings and Sauces

If you are looking for dressings and sauces that are almost carb free then this list is for you: 

  • Soy sauce;
  • Mayonnaise;
  • Keto tartar sauce;
  • Caesar sauce;
  • Keto ranch dip;
  • Italian dressing;
  • Low-carb cranberry sauce;
  • Chipotle aioli;
  • Chia sauce and strawberries;
  • keto ketchup;
  • Keto BBQ Sauce;
  • Keto guacamole;
  • Vinegar;
  • Keto pesto.

If you're looking for keto-friendly sauces and dressings and you're in a regular grocery store rather than a keto specialty store, make sure you read the nutrition facts and ingredient label carefully. You will find that many of these products contain sugars and carbohydrates.

Almost Zero Carb Condiments and Dressings

Calculating the carbohydrate intake for each food: the secrets to knowing which food contains the lowest carbohydrate intake

Having lists is handy, but learning how to calculate the carbohydrate content per serving will help you choose freely - and consciously - the ingredients to use for your recipes, varying your diet without risk.

The first thing you need to know is the difference between carbs and net carbs. Technically, carbohydrates are a general category of organic components found in foods, made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen in a specific proportion. Depending on how digestible the carbohydrate is, it will be labeled as fiber or as a net carbohydrate.

Mechanically, the net carbohydrate is a type of carbohydrate that will be digested and used by the body as a primary source of energy. As our net carbohydrate intake goes up, our ketone production goes down. This is why the keto diet focuses so much on eliminating or limiting your carbohydrate intake as much as possible. In fact, by taking too many net carbohydrates, the human body is simply not able to enter the state of ketosis or, if it does, it is not able to maintain it. This means that all other efforts will be in vain, and this is also what differentiates the keto diet from all other low-carb diets.

To calculate how many net carbs are in a particular type of food, just take a look at a simple nutrition label. We'll see that it has several values, but the only two you need to focus on are two: total carbs and fiber. Instead, do not consider the number of sugars, because these are expressed in carbohydrates and therefore it is a repeated value. 

To figure out the net carbohydrate content of any type of food, all you need to do is take the number of grams under the heading Fiber, and subtract it from the figure for Total Carbs.


Total Carbs – Fiber = Net Carbs.

Let's take an example: we have a food with 37 grams of total carbohydrates and 4 grams of fiber: the net carbohydrate content is 33 grams (37-4). 

For any food that doesn't come with a nutrition label on the label, don't worry. Usually these are fresh products, which always have similar nutritional values. For this reason it will be convenient for you to use any nutritional table on the net, usually offered in combination with calculators. On the other side of the scale there are then those labels which, instead, directly offer you the value of net carbohydrates. In this case, of course, you don't have to do any calculations.

However, there's one important thing to keep in mind: If you're trying to find minute traces of carbohydrates, that simple equation won't help you find them. In fact, food companies are not required to declare the minimum traces of products – unless they are allergens – on their labels, so products containing less than one gram per serving may not fully reveal their carbohydrate intake.

What does this mean? That companies that specifically produce low-carb products tend to be preferable, and this is the reason for their success, when it comes to really keeping your intake of this macronutrient under control. And at the same time, that any company can not declare the carbohydrate content simply by reducing the portions so that the intake falls below the gram. And if you want an example that fully represents how worrying the phenomenon is, know that bread was placed on the market with the wording "carbohydrate free".

How to find hidden carbohydrates in mini portions, and the case of carbohydrate-free bread

When you are looking for keto friendly foods (for example the ketogenic diet) to vary your diet, you will certainly find products - as we said in the previous chapter - that bear the words zero carbohydrates, or zero net carbohydrates, on the label. However, and we reiterate it, this doesn't mean that there really aren't traces of carbohydrates in that food. It just means that one serving of that food contains less than a gram of carbohydrates.

While this is a small difference that may or may not have any effect on your weight loss, in truth all of these hidden carbohydrates can add up and lower your ketone count accordingly, especially if you eat several servings a day of these types of foods. .

To understand what we are talking about, let's take the example of the popular zero carbohydrate bread produced by an American company specializing in the production of diet foods.

This specific bread was advertised as a net carb free food. If we use the equation we learned earlier: Total Carbs – Fiber = Net Carbs, we can easily understand how it is enough to use only fiber to zero the number of net carbohydrates. However, if we take a closer look, a second look at the label will reveal a number of ingredients, such as chicory root, baking powder, apple cider vinegar, that carry trace amounts of net carbs. This is a relatively insignificant amount, considering that the portions are relatively small, no more than a slice of bread. However, trusting in the absence of carbohydrates, if we begin to eat more slices of bread a day, the fact that these can contain up to 0.9 grams of carbohydrates can clearly make a big difference in the state of ketosis. In short, although it is a carbohydrate-free bread, if we put a series of slices all together in one day we will actually be taking in a significant amount of carbohydrates.

You can use the same principle to adjust to any type of food that has nearly zero carbohydrates, or which, by reading the label, you suspect contains traces of carbohydrates. Some ingredients to watch out for here are partially or fully labeled so you can use them to track net carbs: these are maltodextrin, dextrose, isomaltosaccharides, and all kinds of sugars and alcohols.

However, we also want to give you another piece of advice: being so careful with your carbohydrate intake, usually, in addition to not being necessary, it also makes your diet more difficult to follow. Of course, controlling your carbohydrates will allow you not only to stay in ketosis, but also to improve your health and lose weight. Let's say that the truth lies somewhere in between: if you tend to eat various processed foods, in which traces of carbohydrates are more likely to be present, then we advise you to take into account the ingredients and always try to read the labels, because excessive consumption of these products could lead you to compromise your results, getting you out of ketosis and not making you lose weight. 

If, on the other hand, you tend to consume fresh foods such as unprocessed or minimally processed meat and fish - an example is canned tuna in brine - then taking into account the trace amounts of carbohydrates of one or two portions a week of processed foods is not a good idea. so necessary: the impact on your results is very minimal.

Either way, it's always best to get the largest percentage of your daily calorie intake from products that are unprocessed or minimally processed. And at the same time, if you feel like you're getting paranoid about your carb intake, or that marketing is misleading you, using these ingredients will help keep you calm.

From theory to practice: how to use the list of zero and "nearly zero" carbohydrate foods to ensure the success of your keto diet

There are dozens and dozens of ways you can use these lists to help keep you on the right track toward keto diet success. Here are some practical tips that you might find useful:

  • Use lists for both meal planning and grocery lists. The two lists contain almost all possible carbohydrate-free or almost carbohydrate-free foods that can be found at the market, supermarket or specialty store. This means that they are extremely useful for those who want to plan a varied and not boring diet, and that they are helpful when compiling the shopping list. All you need is a couple of portions of meat or fish, two or three portions of fruit and vegetables, and some vegetable or animal fat such as oil and butto grass fed, and you will already be able to make numerous recipes that will make you lose weight, support your state of health, and will keep you in ketosis.
  • Use this list if you are completely bad at counting carbohydrates and calories. While keeping track of carbs and calories is essential when you're trying to lose weight, if you're completely in denial about it it could make you disaffected with the diet, making it effectively useless and nullifying the efforts you've made so far. The diet is already a sacrifice, there is no need to make it too restrictive or demoralizing. So, if you find that this operation consumes too much energy, simply stop doing it and only buy the foods on the list. By keeping the near-zero carbs at bay, and favoring the zero-carb ones, you will be sure to stay in ketosis and lose weight.
  • Use this list to simplify your diet. Make dieting a time of levity, and don't make it too restrictive. Do not follow a strict diet but vary the dishes by combining ingredients and strategies between them. Using the list, you'll still be sure to keep your carb intake low, and you'll be free to move around. Just make sure you're losing weight, and otherwise indulge in whatever recipes you want.
  • Use the list to achieve specific goals. Do you need to build or maintain muscle mass? Do you have an excessive percentage of body fat? Rely on the list to understand which foods are best suited for you. 

In short, put your health first, and the concrete sustainability of your diet. The results you get mean nothing – because they won't be long term – if your approach to diet is worsening your quality of life and your daily well-being. Simply, at some point, you will feel that you want to get rid of the diet, nullifying everything. Instead of forcing yourself into a restrictive regimen, therefore, focus on finding your own way to lose weight, your strategies and your ideal recipes. This is what all the lists we have provided you with should be for: to be freer and at the same time stay on keto. And now? Enjoy your meal!