9 tricky foods to avoid on a low carb diet

A low-carb diet restricts carbs and the starchy or sugary foods they come from. There are a lot of obvious, low-carb must-nots (for a list of those no-nos click here) but this is a list of less obvious foods that seem like they would be just fine on a low-carb diet but actually aren’t.


Low-carb is all about the wonderful world of fats. But in every world there is a villain. In fat-world, the bad guy is transfat, a fat so bad for you it’s like Darth Vader and Hannibal Lecter teamed up to design it.

Transfat is a franken-fat created by changing the chemical structure of fat to make it cheaper. As of 2019, transfats will be illegal in the U.S. and we won’t have to worry about them anymore; in the meantime, avoid fried foods and anything that lists hydrogenated oil as an ingredient.


Low-carb touts green, leafy veggies to fill your daily carb allotment of 20 grams. Leafy greens add vitamins and minerals to your diet, as well as assisting in keeping you regular. But not all that glitters is green. Artichokes, okra, peas, and most root vegetables are still rather starchy and can knock you out of low-carb ketone production.


If it’s not a low-carb approved oil, then it’s not going to do you any good. Canola, Peanut, Sunflower, Sesame, Grapeseed, and Palm oil are all oils to avoid on a low-carb lifestyle. Stick to the good ones: coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, and ghee or lard if it’s for cooking.


Often times ground meats and blended meats have hidden sugar or bad oils that are terrible for you and can halt ketone production. Sausages, cured meats, and some hamburger or turkeyburger patties will have add-ins that you can’t see because they are blended in, eliminating them from low-carb contention.


Most nuts are good for low-carbers and actually encouraged. But a vast majority of nut butters have added, even hidden, sugars. As if that’s not bad enough, most of the big name peanut butter makers use hydrogenated oils to keep pricing more competitive (see #1 on the list).


Hot dogs, pressed lunch meats, and hormone-fed meats aren’t worth the savings. They usually get their low price from the corners cut during the processing of the meat.

  • Hot dogs have very little to offer nutritionally, although they are technically low-carb.

  • Pressed deli meats are the left overs that get scraped off, ground up, pressed together, and sliced as if it were coming off of a whole, single piece of meat.

  • Hormone-fed meat, while low-carb by definition, will lead to more problems down the road.

Pay a little extra to get a lot more in return.


Too much protein will cause gluconeogenesis and kick you out of ketone production. Too little protein and you are burning off precious skeletal muscle. Getting protein right on a low-carb diet takes some work, especially if you are eating low-carb while training.

The caution here is to avoid protein powders for the most part because 99% of them contain added sugars and carbs. Find your protein in meat and you’ll be much better off. If you’re having trouble getting enough protein, switch out red meat and pork for chicken, turkey, and fish.


Margarine is not butter. Butter is a great part of low-carbing: ghee is even better. The mistake a lot of people make is assuming margarine or butter spread is the same as butter. Well, we can believe it’s not butter because it will boot you out of low-carb-land in no time.


Some of the low-carb baking creations out there are mind-blowing. Low-carb dieters are some of the most creative bakers in the world, and we would absolutely recommend trying some low-carb baking favorites to quell that sweet tooth.

Try them out, but don’t use shortening. Coat your pans with olive oil or other approved low-carb methods. Shortening is a bad fat that will throw your system out of ketone production in an instant.

If you find any more seemingly all right, low-carb foods that don’t cut it, drop us a line, mailto:info@eatniketo.com

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