A low carb diet allows you to eat many hearty and satisfying foods. However, like any diet, you can get bored if you are always eating the same thing.
In this post, I’ll introduce you to 5 unusual low carb foods that are packed with flavor and nutrients so you can breathe some new life into your low-carb diet.
5 Unusual Low Carb Foods At-A-Glance
- Kimchi can be used as a condiment to replace sugary ketchup and barbecue sauce.
- Sauerkraut is great for gut health and a perfect complement to sausage or grilled meats.
- Pesto is a high-fat/low-carb sauce that you can add to low-fat meats like chicken and fish.
- Alfredo sauce is high in fat and delicious. It is a perfect topping for vegetable side dishes.
- Hemp seeds are packed with fat and very low in carbs. Their mild flavor makes them easy to add to recipes or salads.
5 Unusual Low Carb Foods That You’re Probably Not Eating [Video]
In this video, you’ll learn…
- Five wonderful low-carb options!
- Ways to add these five foods into your diet.
- Additional steps you can take to achieve weight loss success!
Let’s start with two foods that are great for gut health and your waistline.
The first unusual low carb food to including in your diet is kimchi. Kimchi is fermented cabbage made with salt and different spices. It is a traditional Korean dish. It is a great condiment to use in place of sugary ketchup and barbecue sauces.
Kimchi works to give a lift to otherwise drab foods like meatballs or meatloaf, especially if you go for a spicy variety that we like in our home. It can also serve as a healthy and flavorful side dish with grilled meats.
If you are not a spicy fan, you might want to add sauerkraut to your low carb diet. Like kimchi, sauerkraut is fermented cabbage. The difference is that kimchi tends to use Napa cabbage mixed with spices.
It is served as larger chunks than the finely shredded cabbage seen in sauerkraut. You can make sauerkraut yourself, but it is a smelly process. I like to get it from local farmer’s markets, but you can also pick it up at the grocery store.
I was never a fan of sauerkraut’s sour taste when I was young and ate a lot of sugar. That was likely due to the sugar in my diet, which has been shown to deaden your taste buds. If you’re interested in the research supporting that fact, check out my video titled Can I lose My Taste for Sugar.
When you cut out sugar and follow a low carb diet, you can enjoy a much broader range of flavors. If you tried sauerkraut in the past and did not care for it, I encourage you to try it again. Sausage and sauerkraut is a great comfort meal and sauerkraut goes with other meats as well.
Health Benefits of Kimchi & Sauerkraut
Because kimchi and sauerkraut are mainly cabbage, they are naturally low in calories with a half-cup serving having only about 15 to 20 calories. But, for those few calories, you are getting a whole host of health benefits mainly because of the special way these foods are fermented.
Kimchi and sauerkraut are fermented through a process called Lacto-fermentation. Because of this process, these foods contain a specific type of healthy bacteria called lactobacillus.
If you take a probiotic capsule, you’ll likely notice that name on the bottle. That’s because it has been found to be one of the most beneficial probiotics for supporting your health and protecting you from disease.
Pesto can be used like a condiment and is great with different meats. The benefit of using it in this way is that you get to bypass the sugary condiments and sauces and load up on healthy fats. That perk comes from the fact that pesto is typically made out of olive oil, pine nuts, basil, and hard cheese, like Parmesan.
The high-fat content makes it a great match for lower fat foods like chicken or fish. You can get creative with it and add it to eggs or vegetables or put a dollop in a bowl of soup.
A dollop is all you need. A little pesto will add a lot of flavor. With about 7 grams of fat and less than one gram of carbs in a tablespoon, it is a great way to improve your macros on a low carb or keto diet.
One side note: you can find pesto at your local grocery store but read the ingredient list to make sure that it was made with olive oil and not an unhealthy vegetable oil like soybean oil.
Another sauce that you might not be utilizing on your low carb diet is alfredo sauce. On a low-carb diet, we don’t eat pasta. Not only because the pasta is a refined carb, but also because pasta sauce is generally high in carbs with added sugar.
However, the sauce we can enjoy on a low-carb diet is alfredo sauce. We still must avoid the pasta, but this high-fat, low-carb sauce is an excellent way to boost the flavor of cooked vegetables.
If you are in a hurry, open a bag of frozen broccoli, steam it for about eight minutes, and heat up a quarter cup of alfredo sauce. That amount of sauce will provide you with 8 grams of fat for only about 2 grams of carbs.
Like pesto, alfredo sauce is easy to find in your local grocery store but finding a brand without soybean oil can be a challenge. If you enjoy cooking, you can make homemade alfredo sauce with butter, cream, and Parmesan cheese.
Either way, alfredo sauce is worth your while. My 0-1-2-3 strategy shares the benefits of eating cooked non-starchy veggies. Having this sauce on hand is going to help you get your veggies in for the day.
Another food that is going to work great for boosting your macros in a low-carb diet is hemp seeds. One tablespoon of hemp seeds gives you 5 grams of fat and less than one gram of carbs.
If you’re not a big meat or fish eater, hemp seeds are a very good source of plant protein with about 3 grams of protein in a single tablespoon.
One of the best things about hemp seeds is that they are super easy to include in your diet because they have a mild flavor.
You can hide these mild-tasting seeds in recipes that call for ground beef, like meatloaf. You can also sprinkle them on top of a salad to get the benefits of the healthy omega 3 fats that they contain.
These five foods will help you break out of your normal routine without breaking the rules on your low carb diet. But, you have to get them to fit into an overall plan to really see the results on the scale and in your health.
There is a lot of information out there and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. It helps to have a solid foundation that you can use to get started and get back on track if that is what you need to do. Tens of thousands of people use my 0-1-2-3 strategy to get started and stay on track.
Thanks for reading and have a great week!
About the Author
Becky Gillaspy, DC graduated Summa Cum Laude with research honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1991.