Top 10 Foods for Both Low-Carb and Low-Fat Diets

Low-carb and low-fat diets may seem to be at odds with each other, but they both have plenty of research saying that they can be safe and effective ways to watch your weight. And they share some common ground with healthy low-carb vegetables and low-fat meats. Here are 10 healthy picks for foods that can work for both low-carb and low-fat diets.

1

Greens and Lettuces

Spring Mix

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

The best way to fill up a low-carb, low-fat plate is to start with a generous portion of greens and lettuces. These add volume to a meal without adding many calories. Although iceberg lettuce isn't bad, dark greens and lettuces are wiser choices, as they pack extra vitamins and minerals.

  • For a low-carb eating plan: Add bleu cheese, Italian, or vinaigrette dressing.
  • For a low-fat eating plan: Add lemon juice or low-fat dressing.
2

Asparagus

Asparagus

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

This vegetable can be a centerpiece of either low-carb or low-fat dishes. In addition to being low in carbs and virtually fat-free, asparagus is low in calories and has vitamins including folate and vitamin A.

3

Zucchini

Zucchini

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Zucchini is another low-calorie, low-carb, basically fat-free vegetable that's delicious when added to stir-fry dishes. Zucchini can be sautéed alone or with other vegetables.

4

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Tomatoes are delicious in a tomato soup or sliced raw on a salad or sandwich. As a vegetable (technically a fruit), tomatoes are naturally fat-free.

5

Salmon

Salmon

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for your cardiovascular system. It's also an excellent source of lean protein and contains an antioxidant called astaxanthin.

6

Chicken

Chicken

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Chicken, depending on how it is prepared, is both low-fat and an excellent protein source. Like salmon, it is very low in carbs. Avoid recipes that call for breading (which adds carbs) and creamy sauces (which add fat).

7

Game Meats

Venison with a spring of rosemary

Karl Blackwel / Getty Images

Game meats, such as venison and elk, are very lean, plus they're an excellent source of protein, carnitine, and zinc.

8

Broth or Soup Stock

broth

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Broth or stock can be used as a base for soups, stews, and sauces. It can also be used in other recipes to keep meats moist during cooking so you need less fat or oil.

9

Berries

Strawberries

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Berries are high in vitamins and antioxidants. They are virtually fat-free and are among the lowest-carb fruits. They make a great dessert or a nice addition to a salad.

  • For a low-carb eating plan: Serve blueberries and strawberries with a dollop of heavy whipped cream and a sprinkle of slivered almonds.
  • For a low-fat eating plan: Serve berries with low-fat yogurt and sliced almonds.
10

Red Wine

Red wine

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Studies show a correlation between wine consumption and good health (even dealcoholized wine). Remember that one serving of wine is only 4 ounces. Wine is also used as a key ingredient in several recipes.

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  1. Golan R, Gepner Y, Shai I. Wine and health--new evidenceEur J Clin Nutr. 2019;72(Suppl 1):55–59. doi:10.1038/s41430-018-0309-5

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