Packaged Foods to Keep in Your Low-Carb Pantry

From nuts to low-carb cereals, here's what to stock up on.

woman looking at soy milk
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Starting a low-carb diet can be difficult, but preparation can make it a lot easier. There are many different types of low-carb diets including the paleo diet, Atkins diet, ketogenic diet, and a general low-carb diet. While these diets differ slightly in their requirements, being prepared will make them all a bit more manageable.

Beyond looking up recipes or dedicating time to food prep, one of the best ways to prepare for a dietary change is to make sure your kitchen reflects your new values.

One way you can do this is by going through your pantry and getting rid of any high-carb items.  

Low-Carb Friendly Items to Keep

  • Nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, or peanuts
  • Seeds such as sunflower or pumpkin
  • Coffee
  • Tea

Items You Should Toss

  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Bread 
  • Beverages sweetened with sugar such as hot cocoa mix, flavored coffee powders, and Kool-Aid
  • Cereals that aren’t formulated to be low-carb
  • Snack foods such as chips, crackers, granola bars, and rice cakes
  • Candy

Replacement Items to Consider Buying

  • Sugar-free gelatin desserts such as JELL-O
  • Unsweetened milk substitutes such as unsweetened soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, and hemp milk
  • Dreamfields or other low-carb pasta
  • Low-carb tortillas
  • Sugar-free beverage mixes such as cocoa mix or Crystal Light
  • Low-carb cold cereals such as All Bran (but carefully read packages as the nutritional facts change frequently)
  • Low-carb hot cereals such as “Flax-O-Meal”

The items you buy will depend on the type of program you are on. If you are on a diet like the paleo diet, you'll want to avoid processed foods as well as gluten, grains, and dairy.

Diets like the paleo diet, Whole30, and ketogenic diet also frown upon using artificial sweeteners, although you can use date paste or maple syrup, but those tend to be higher in carbs.

Some low-carb diet plans, like the Atkin diets, offer lines of pre-prepared and pre-packaged food items such as protein bars. shakes, and other snacks. These types of diet plans usually offer more guidance and require less preparation since you can easily grab snacks on-the-go.    

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