Typical Food for the Atkins Diet

The Atkins diet requires a change in thinking, since those looking to lose weight review not how much food they eat, but how much of certain kinds of food they eat. In the Atkins diet, foods such as bread and rice are not allowed while meats, cheeses, and other foods that are high in protein and fat are approved. However, within the approved categories of food, there are items that are better for the Atkins diet than others, since they have fewer carbohydrates. Here are some of the major categories of Atkins diet foods, with some of the best foods from each group and some foods to avoid.


One of the most obvious Atkins diet food groups is that of meats, most visible if you've ever seen an Atkins dieter order a hamburger without the bun. Meats contain protein, fat, and few carbohydrates, which is why they are such a good Atkins diet food. Any meat, including beef, pork, chicken, and fish are appropriate. However, there are a few foods in this group which you should try to limit. In most cases, the foods you should watch out for are cured foods, such as ham, bacon, and pepperoni, which may have had sugars added in the curing process and consequently will result in greater net carbs than other meats.


Primarily made of fats and proteins, cheese is another favorite Atkins diet food, although missteps can be made here as well. The best cheeses to eat are those that are firm and aged, such as cheddar cheese or Gouda, or some soft cheeses such as cream cheese. Fresh cheeses, such as cottage cheese or ricotta cheese, should be avoided, since they have higher carbohydrate content than other cheeses. Also, keep in mind that as products made from milk, cheese does have some natural carbohydrate content. The official suggestion from the Atkins Company is to treat one ounce of cheese as the equivalent of 1 gram of carbs.


While most fruits are not suitable as Atkins diet foods, there are plenty of vegetables on the approved list. Most salad greens, such as iceberg and romaine lettuce, other leafy greens such as bok choy, and vegetables such as peppers, celery and cucumbers all allow you to create tasty dishes without adding a lot of carbs to your diet. Other vegetables, such as tomatoes, artichokes and snow peas have higher carb content, but will still suffice in moderation. Please note that vegetables such as carrots have too many sugars in them to be appropriate as Atkins diet foods. However, when in doubt, remember that the best tool an Atkins dieter has is knowledge, and knowing which foods have lower carb content will make you a successful Atkins dieter.