Saturday, January 26, 2013

What Can I Eat on a Low Carb Diet? A Pictoral Guide

When someone considers going on a low carb diet, they tend to ask, "If I'm not eating bread, potatoes and cereal, what's left to eat?" It's shocking that starch and sugar makes up so much of a typical diet that people ask this.

Naughty foods are bread and potatoes and Kool-Aid. These are nice foods:

Left to right: bacon, baking cocoa, butter, oxtail, broth (note they've kindly provided a low-fat and low-sodium warning), chocolate (note the very high cacao, and therefore low-sugar, content), red wine (go easy on this), and diet soda (full disclosure: I'm a shareholder in the company that makes Hansen's).

Don't even think about trimming the fat--fat, not carbs, is your fuel on a low carb diet.

Some staples at my house:

Left to right: sardines, hamburger, beef liver, pork rinds, frozen vegetables, free-range eggs, Splenda, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Who says Atkins is an all-meat diet? I've read that low-carbers eat more vegetables than most people.

Back row, left to right: fennel, baby greens, almonds. Front row: bell pepper, sweet potato, garlic, avocado, ginger.

Not all white food is bad.

Left to right: homemade mayonnaise, white wine, salt, coconut oil, tea, pastured lard (not the hydrogenated stuff from the supermarket), full-fat coconut milk and mushrooms. The 1930s coffee maker on the right is still in use: no need to give up coffee on a low-carb diet.

A lot of this can be eaten straight out of the package, but cooking these good ingredients is dead easy, too. I usually broil the hamburger and cook chicken or oxtail in a pressure cooker with some broth and wine. I steam the vegetables in the microwave and add butter, or cut them up and dip them in mayonnaise (recipes are out there online--it only takes five minutes to make in a blender). I use the coconut milk to make ice cream (recipes here and here) and eggnog. Sometimes I make something more complicated, like pate, but this is my daily fare on a low carb way of eating.

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