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32 Low Carb Meal Ideas to Inspire You

A low carb diet does not mean that you need to cut out ALL carbohydrates from your diet. Rather, a low carb prescription can be more of a restructure from where your carbs are coming from.

A successful low carb diet will focus on the quality of food being consumed, along with quantity. This breakdown is alerted slightly when a ketogenic approach is taken.

In this case, quantity of carbohydrates are significantly limited however quantity of fat is not. In either scenario, food should be nutrient dense and higher in fiber which will provide a lower net carb count.

Options that follow this plan are filling and should remove the need to measure portions. Eliminating the constant fear of portion control allows individuals to truly tune into their bodies.

Listening to hunger and eating until hunger is satisfied can help individuals avoid overindulgence.

Additionally, recalling that snacking throughout the is not mandatory, and instead an option, can be an important variable of change in this type of diet.

To help you get started we’ve provided some meal ideas to follow below:

Breakfast Options

  1. Crust-less quiche cups with a handful of berries of your choice (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries)
  2. 1 piece of keto friendly or sprouted grain toast topped with no added sugar almond butter, coconut flakes and cinnamon
  3. 1 cup of plain yogurt with chopped almonds or walnuts with ground flax seed
  4. 1 soft boiled egg with sliced avocado drizzled with olive oil
  5. Egg frittata packed with mushrooms, onion, spinach, and chopped turkey bacon
  6. Protein smoothie made with two scoops of any no added sugar, organic, plant-based protein powder, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 2 TBS pure cocoa powder and ice for consistency. If you need some sweetener, add a few drops of stevia
  7. Zucchini muffins are a great low carb but filling option (plenty of recipes online)

Lunch Options

  1. Grilled wild salmon with 2+ cups arugula/spinach with a mix of olive oil and lemon juice. Top with tomatoes and shredded parmesan cheese
  2. Turkey chili (1-pound turkey mixed with diced tomatoes, no added sugar tomato sauce, cinnamon and chili powder. Feel free to add in green peppers and top with Cheddar cheese. For a higher nutrient content, I will usually throw in a bag of riced broccoli or cauliflower
  3. Chicken or salmon salad (mix canned chicken or salmon with organic mayo, add in herbs, salt and pepper and chopped onions and celery. Put salad on top of 2 100% whole grain rice cakes.
  4. Shaved Brussel sprout salad with strips of tempeh or tofu
  5. Miso soup with spinach and tofu
  6. Salmon cakes
  7. Avocado boats (take 1/2 avocado and season with salt and pepper, crack an egg in the middle and baked 15-20 minutes at 375 – top with cheese in the last few minutes)

Dinner Options

  1. Small bowl of black bean pasta with pesto sauce and steamed broccoli mixed in
  2. Zucchini noodles with grilled chicken and a flavored infused olive oil like garlic or lemon. Can top with herbs and lemon zest
  3. Cauliflower or keto friendly crust pizza topped with cheese, grilled vegetables and tomato sauce. Add a side salad with grated carrots, chopped walnuts and an olive oil and balsamic mix
  4. Garlicky tofu bowl mixed with cauliflower rice and steamed spinach
  5. Burger with portabella mushroom “bun” – place grilled grass-fed burger patty in between two grilled portabella mushroom caps and top with tomato, lettuce and onion
  6. Spinach Chicken or turkey meatballs simmered in tomato sauce with a simple side salad
  7. Wild shrimp Swiss chard tacos (grill or sauté wild shrimp and roll in steamed Swiss chard leaves topped with chopped cilantro, cubed avocado and fresh lime

Smart carb snacks

  1. Freeze dried or baked cheese balls and cheese discs
  2. Peanut butter balls (mix ½ cup crunchy peanut butter with 2 TBS ground flax seeds. Form into balls and store in freezer)
  3. Mixed nuts
  4. Celery with almond butter and cinnamon. Another option, top celery with is cream cheese and everything bagel seasoning
  5. Roasted chickpeas
  6. Tofu, turkey, or salmon jerky
  7. Turkey rolled around string cheese stick
  8. Kale chips
  9. Handful of berries, or 1 small apple
  10. 1 square of raw pure cocoa
  11. Guacamole or salsa with paleo nut type crackers

If low carb is new for you, the first few days (probably first 2 – 4 days) will be the most challenging for you. If carbohydrates have never been on the front burner of your diet, the transition will be easier.

About the Author

Elisa Itkowitz

Elisa Itkowitz, MS, RD is a recognized digital content developer for Telehealth, Telenutrition, and Nutrition Informatics platforms. She has pioneered ways to bring traditional RD counseling into the digital marketplace by developing and optimizing strategies and solutions for business growth and client retention. Much of Elisa’s work includes researching and designing strategies for optimal market adoption and user data engagement for digital nutrition platforms. Her successes have led her clients to joining Apple Store’s top health and fitness app. Elisa is passionate about helping her love of dietetics embrace the digital community and finding ways to optimize one's counseling skills by using innovative resources.

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