Complete Low-Carb Menu Samples

Daily Plans for Healthy Meals

These menus are suggestions to get you started on a healthy low-carb diet. They each fulfill a full day's requirements for vitamins (except, in most cases, vitamin D), minerals (except, in some cases, calcium), and fiber. They range between 20 and 50 grams of net carb (total carb minus fiber) and from 1500 to 1700 calories.

If you are eating more calories but want to keep the carbs the same, add protein and/or fat. If you are eating more carbohydrate, add more non-starchy vegetables and low-sugar fruits. Make your carbs count and get the most "bang for the buck" in terms of nutrients. To get a variety of antioxidants, eat a variety of colorful vegetables and fruits.

1
Introductory Low-Carb Menu

steak and asparagus
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This first low-carb menu illustrates a principle discovered when creating these menus—it takes about 30 to 40 daily grams of net carbohydrate to make it easy to obtain all the essential nutrients. The full version of this menu, at 26 grams of net carbs, has all the vitamins and minerals as noted above. There is also an Atkins Induction version at 20 grams of net carb, but it doesn't quite make it, nutrient-wise. What is difficult in a 20-gram menu becomes much easier at 30 or 40 grams for the day.

2
HIgh-Protein, Low-Carb Menu

Tuna salad in a blue ceramic bowl
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This high-protein, low-carb menu is suitable for the Atkins diet, South Beach diet, Protein Power diet, and Paleo diet. You will often see flax meal on menus for these diets. This is because flax is jam-packed with fiber and nutrients including omega-3 fats. This menu includes flax meal as part of the snack, but you will also see it used to make low-carb muffins, flax meal bread, and other items.

3
Low-Car Menu With No Cooking

Bowl of bran cereal
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This high-protein, low-carb day requires no cooking and includes a fast-food lunch. You don't even need a microwave. It's perfect for those who don't like cooking, lack the time, or need the convenience of getting meals on the go. This menu has 33 grams of net carb, plus 25 grams of fiber.

4
Low-Carb Menu for Phase One of the South Beach Diet

Cheese and Broccoli Frittata
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This menu is designed to be compatible with Phase One of the South Beach Diet but it works on almost any low-carb plan. It has 30 grams of net carbohydrate and can be varied easily.​ You'll enjoy a frittata, soup, roast beef wrap, and chicken marsala. The South Beach Diet was designed to reduce your cardiovascular risk factors.

5
Low-Carb Menu With Breakfast Burrito

Burrito
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This menu would be good for most low-carb diets, although not for the Phase One of South Beach or Atkins Induction. which are more restrictive for carbohydrate. It has 45 grams net (effective) carbohydrate and 27 grams of fiber.

6
Low-Carb Easy Menu

Chicken in a grill pan
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This is a very easy menu that requires no cooking except for the dinner, which is a non-fussy skillet meal. It contains 49 grams of usable carbohydrate and 36 grams of fiber. Breakfast is cereal with milk, melon, and nuts. Your lunch is an easy salad, and your snack is a ham and cheese roll-up.