This post is mostly a resource list of compliant foods that make up a shopping list for low carb or slow carb diets without much commentary. There are a number of lists out there in the blogosphere and I have curated the items from those lists that can work with low carb or slow carb diets. Most of the items will also work with ketogenic diets.
So, First up is a list of proteins and the gram count for each one. Protein is the keystone of the 4-hour body diet (aka Slow Carb Diet or SCD) and the guidelines call for 20-30 grams of protein for each meal. This list might make it a little easier for you to make quick decisions on how to satisfy that guideline:
Summary List of High-Protein Foods on Low Carb Diets
- Hamburger patty, 4 oz – 28 grams protein
- Steak, 6 oz – 42 grams
- Most cuts of beef – 7 grams of protein per ounce
- Chicken breast, 3.5 oz – 30 grams protein
- Chicken thigh – 10 grams (for average size)
- Drumstick – 11 grams
- Wing – 6 grams
- Chicken meat, cooked, 4 oz – 35 grams
- Most fish fillets or steaks are about 22 grams of protein for 3 ½ oz (100 grams) of cooked fish, or 6 grams per ounce
- Tuna, 6 oz can – 40 grams of protein
- Pork chop, average – 22 grams protein
- Pork loin or tenderloin, 4 oz – 29 grams
- Ham, 3 oz serving – 19 grams
- Ground pork, 1 oz raw – 5 grams; 3 oz cooked – 22 grams
- Bacon, 1 slice – 3 grams
- Canadian-style bacon (back bacon), slice – 5 – 6 grams
Eggs and Beans & Misc.
- Egg, large – 6 grams protein
- Cottage cheese, ½ cup – 15 grams
- Tofu, ½ cup 20 grams protein
- Most beans (black, pinto, lentils, etc) about 7-10 grams protein per half cup of cooked beans
- Soy beans, ½ cup cooked – 14 grams protein
- Split peas, ½ cup cooked – 8 grams
Nuts and Seeds
- Peanut butter, 2 Tablespoons – 8 grams protein
- Almonds, ¼ cup – 8 grams
- Peanuts, ¼ cup – 9 grams
- Cashews, ¼ cup – 5 grams
- Pecans, ¼ cup – 2.5 grams
- Sunflower seeds, ¼ cup – 6 grams
- Pumpkin seeds, ¼ cup – 8 grams
- Flax seeds – ¼ cup – 8 grams
Rice Protein Powder and Other Protein Powders
Rice and hemp, as well as other plants like soy and pea can be used to make protein powders. They are all processed to some degree or other, but can be useful supplements to the diet in some circumstances. Check individual brands for the amount of protein per serving.
Good Condiments for the Pantry
Many condiments are riddled with all forms of sugar. Learn to read labels and look for sugars and carbs in all their disguises.
- Mustard (except sweetened mustards like honey mustard)
- Vinegars (be careful with added sugar in baslamic vinegar)
- Oils (olive oil and coconut oil are the recommended oils)
- Most bottled hot sauces (check labels for added sugar)
- Most salsas (check labels for sugar)
- Soy sauce or tamari
- Mayonnaise – look especially for brands high in monounsaturated fat
- Sugar-free salad dressings, preferably brands high in monounsaturated fat, such as olive oil (check labels carefully)
- Herbs and spices
- Lemon or lime juice (1 gram of carb per tablespoon)
- Extracts (vanilla, lemon, almond, etc.)
- Broth or bouillon
- Worcestershire sauce
Canned Goods for the Pantry
- Canned seafood (tuna, salmon, crab, smoked oysters)
- Canned tomatoes
- Pasta sauce or tomato sauce with no added sugars
- Canned green chilies
- Tomato paste
- Roasted red peppers (rinse if there is sugar in the ingredients)
- Dried tomatoes in oil (a little adds lots of flavor)
- Chicken and/or vegetable stock
- Artichoke hearts
- Jars of pesto or other vegetable-based sauces
- Dill pickles
- Italian pickled vegetables
- Nut butters
- Coconut milk (unsweetened)
- Dried beans of all kinds (including garbanzo)
- Canned beans (rinse them off if using canned beans)
Good Packaged Foods for the Pantry
- Nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, or peanuts (domino foods but allowed in small amounts if you can be disciplined about it)
- Seeds such as sunflower or pumpkin
- Sugar-free gelatin such as JELL-O
- Chicharrones (pork rinds)
- Protein Powders (see note below)
Good Choices for the Refrigerator and Freezer
- Low-carb vegetables, fresh and frozen. For example, spinach, greens, peppers, spaghetti squash, zucchini, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, beans, etc.
- Most root vegetables are NOT allowed and most winter squash is not allowed. Root vegetables include such things as beets, potatoes, turnips, parsnips, etc. Corn is NOT allowed and carrots are OK but can be a little high in sugar.
- Most fruit is not allowed. 1/2 cup of berries per day can be OK and lemon and lime juice can be OK.
- Meats of all kinds
- Fish of all kinds
- cottage cheese (full fat)
- Tofu (soy products are not deemed “healthy” by 4-Hour body book however)
- Nuts – almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, peanuts – keep in freezer or refrigerator
- Seeds – sunflower, pumpkin – keep in freezer or refrigerator
- Lettuce: large leaves for rollups – put any sandwich material inside (example: BLT lettuce wraps)
- Bags of greens or cabbage for quick preparation
I’m sure I have missed some compliant foods and have added some foods that 4-hour body gurus debate (i.e., cottage cheese, 1/2 cup berries and unsweetened coconut milk), but this is the most current information that I have been able to curate that has passed most tests of being “compliant”
* Protein Powders: My favorite is Premier Protein powder (available at Sam’s Club). Other popular brands on this diet include Isopure, MuscleTech, Jay Robb and a few others.
The main thing to look for in your proteint powder is that it is a “whey isolate”, that it includes less than 2 grams or so of sugar, at least 20 grams protein per scoop and that it is low in carbs.
After that it is a matter of taste and expense. They do all taste quite different, so if one is not to your liking try another. Also, a tsp of cinnamon really helps in the taste department.
Online Coaching Available:
I have followed the slow carb diet for 3 years and the keto diet for 2 years now, and I have put my “been there done that” knowledge to work helping people figure it out. I am currently an online diet coach (info can be found here if you’re interested), and have just hit the 250-client mark. Come and visit me and see if online coaching might be for you!
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