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Top 10 Low-Carb High-Fat Foods

By Liam McAuliffe Updated on

The best low-carb high-fat foods are delicious, satiating, and the key to getting the many health benefits of LCHF diets. 

The best low-carb high-fat foods are whole foods, and most of them come from animal sources. This means they are minimally processed while providing a complex blend of macro and micronutrients. 

In fact, many of the foods on this list are among the most nutrient-dense and healthiest foods to eat on earth. 

Table of Contents

What is a Low-Carb High-Fat Diet?

A low-carb high-fat diet calls for reducing carb intake to between 0 and 100 grams per day depending on the type of LCHF diet you’re practicing. 

There are many different variations of high-fat low-carb diets including:

While the carnivore diet is Dr. Kiltz’s preferred approach, a diet formulated around this list of the best low-carb high-fat foods will support you in eliminating high-carb processed foods, sugar, grains, pasta, bread, rice, and legumes. 

Why Eat Low-Carb High-Fat Foods? 

People choose low-carb high-fat (LCHF) diets for numerous established health and lifestyle benefits.  

Studies have shown that LCHF diets are effective against [1]: 

  • metabolic syndrome
  • type 2 diabetes
  • heart disease
  • acne, 
  • PCOS
  • neurological issues including epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease 

The importance and benefits of whole animal meats and fats on our low-carb high-fat food list is supported by research showing that: 

  • Fresh meat provides an abundance of bioavailable and meat-specific nutrients and is associated with numerous health, fertility, and longevity markers [2][3]. 
  • Total meat consumption is correlated with longer life expectancy, independent of factors including total caloric intake, economic status, urban advantages, and obesity [4].
  • Modern studies show that saturated fat in whole foods is part of a healthy part of a robust nutrient matrix and has been incorrectly correlated with disease [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]
  • Reducing saturated animal fat, and substituting SFA with lean protein may increase the risk of certain cancers [12]
  • Randomized control trials comparing LCHF diets high in meat to non-meat diets consistently show dramatically better outcomes for the high-meat diets. Health markers include cardiovascular health, blood sugar regulation, and reducing excess fat [13].
  • Our caveman ancestors evolved on a diet of mostly fatty meat for nearly 2 million years. The bodies of modern humans are physiologically nearly identical and therefore primed to thrive on meat [14].
  • When meat is farmed with “regenerative agricultural practices” AKA “carbon farming” carbon is sequestered and soil is nourished. At current rates, the industrial production of plant foods will completely deplete global arable topsoil in 60 years [15]. 

Top 10 Low Carb High Fat Foods

These 10 low-carb high-fat foods provide a full spectrum of macro and micronutrients including complete proteins, healthy fats, essential vitamins, and vital meat-specific compounds. 

If the foods on this list were all you ate on an LCHF diet, you wouldn’t only survive, you’d thrive. 

1. Ribeye and Fatty Cuts of Steak

Most people prize ribeye and other fatty cuts of steak for their succulent flavor and tender, juicy texture. But what most people miss is that fatty steak is among the most nutrient-dense foods on earth. 

In fact, it’s entirely possible to thrive off of only ribeye, salt, and water–a version of the carnivore diet called, the lion diet

Ribeye in particular is one of the fattiest keto meats, making it a perfect centerpiece of an LCHF diet. 

In addition to healthy fats, complete proteins, and high amounts of B vitamins, zinc, and selenium, ribeye also provides beneficial compounds found only in meat: 

  • Carnitine supports male fertility, reduces anemia, improves energy generation within cells, and supports heart health [16]  
  • Taurine is an antioxidant that reduces glycation, the destructive bonding of sugar molecules with proteins. Reduces oxidative stress, and has been shown to significantly contribute to positive mental health outcomes [17]
  • Carnosine supports and protects healthy heart and skeletal muscle. Reduces glycation and damage to telomeres, both factors are key to anti-aging [18]
  • Creatine is associated with improved cognition and neuroprotection. Supports heart health, and enhances athletic performance [22]

Let’s take a look at the specific nutrient abundance provided by a 7 oz of ribeye steak. 

NUTRIENT200G (7 OZ) 
CALORIES582 cal
FAT55g
SATURATED FAT20g
MONOUNSATURATED FAT
CARBOHYDRATES0
PROTEIN 48g
VITAMINS
B1 (THIAMIN) 14%
B2 (RIBOFLAVIN)35%
B3 (NIACIN)44%
B660%
B12245%
MINERALS
MAGNESIUM12%
POTASSIUM18%
IRON31%
COPPER33%
PHOSPHORUS42%
SELENIUM93%
ZINC113%

Other Fatty Cuts of Steak to Consider

Though ribeye is the gold standard of steak on keto and other low-carb high-fat diets, it’s by no means the only worthy cut. The following fatty cuts of steak can all be part of a well-formulated LCHF meal plan. 

High-Fat Low-Carb SteakCaloriesFatProteinCarbs% Calories from fat% Calories from protein
Boneless short ribs440411608415
Tri-tip roast340291807721
Beef Back Ribs310261907525
Porterhouse280222107030
Top Sirloin240162206037
80/20 Ground Beef30719.630.505941

2. Pork Belly

Pork belly is carb-free, loaded with fat, and surprisingly high in various important micronutrients. It’s also one of the most affordable animal sources of quality fat and protein. 

Most people are familiar with pork belly in its cured and smoked form: bacon. Bacon is also a legitimate addition to an LCHF diet, but it does contain nitrates which can be problematic if overconsumed. Pork belly is essentially fresh bacon. 

When pork belly is pasture-raised it is a good dietary source of vitamin D. Pork belly is also high in omega-3s, B vitamins, and selenium [23]

PORK BELLY NUTRITIONAL CONTENT PER 224GAMOUNT% RDA
Fat89g
Saturated Fat32g
Monounsaturated Fat42g
Polyunsaturated Fat9g
Omega 3 ALA900mg100%
Protein20g
Choline113mg21%
Vitamin B121.8mcg75%
B52.5mg50%
Niacin(B3)9mg56%
Riboflavin (B2).4mg32%
Thiamin (B1.7mg56%
Copper.2mg22%
Phosphorus300mg24%
Selenium23mcg42%
Zinc1.7mg16%
Vitamin D1.8mcg9%
Iron.9mg5%

 

3. Lamb

Like the other low-carb high-fat foods on this list, lamb is rich in vital nutrients and antioxidants. 

  • Zinc in lamb is used by the body to synthesize numerous hormones including testosterone
  • Glutathione is an antioxidant that can reduce insulin resistance, oxidative damage in children with autism, reduce the risk of autoimmune diseases, and can reduce the severity of symptoms of Parkinson’s disease [24]

Lamb also contains over 100% of your RDV of B12 and B3 vitamins. But lamb’s main claim to nutritional fame is the healthy trans fat called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). 

Lamb provides more CLA than any other meat, and CLA is associated with numerous health benefits including [26][27][28][29][30]:

  • Decreased body fat and increased lean muscle mass
  • Reduced atherosclerosis
  • Improved immune function
  • Prevention and treatment of diabetes
  • Improved bone formation and mineral density

It is crucial to get CLA from food because the human body cannot manufacture CLA on its own. 

Lamb Chops/Rack
Nutrients per 7 ozAmount
Fat24g
Saturated Fat18g
Trans Fat (CLA)2.7g
Protein55g
B12144%
B3112%
B692%
B2 (RIboflavin)56%
B526%
B126%
Selenium 56%
Zinc46%
Phosphorus44%
Copper30%
Iron26%

4. Dr. Kiltz’s Keto Ice Cream

Dr kiltz pointing at ice cream

For a lot of people low-carb high-fat eating can feel like you’re giving up a lot. But what if we told you you didn’t have to give up ice cream?

Most ice cream is, of course, loaded with sugar. But Dr. Kiltz has perfected a low-carb homemade recipe that fits perfectly into a LCHF diet.

There are other store-bought keto ice creams out there,  but most are highly processed and loaded with fillers, gums, and emulsifiers.

Dr. Kiltz’s keto ice cream recipe has only 5 whole food ingredients, and you can make it in 20-45 minutes depending on your ice cream maker. 

It does call for a small amount of sugar, but only contributes 4.5 to 9 grams of carbs to ⅓ pint serving. 

We bet this will be the most delicious low-carb high-fat ice cream you’ve ever had. Give it a try!

Ingredients: 

  • 1 Pint of High-quality heavy cream (preferably grass-fed)
  • 1-2 TBSP of granulated pure cane sugar (13 grams sugar per tablespoon) 
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract (can use vanilla bean scraped as well)
  • 1 egg (organic preferred)
  • 1 tsp sea/Himalayan salt (optional but highly recommended) 

Follow the directions of your specific ice cream maker. 

Yet most keto treats–ice cream included–are loaded with highly processed ingredients. These commonly include: 

  • Indigestible gums: guar gum, xanthan gum, etc
  • Indigestible fillers: chicory root fiber
  • Sugar alcohols: Xylitol, Erythritol, Sorbitol, Maltitol
  • Industrial emulsifiers: soy and sunflower lecithin
  • Industrial vegetable glycerine

To avoid these processed ingredients the only truly guilt-free keto ice cream is the kind you make at home with just a few ingredients.

You can follow along with Dr. Kiltz below:

5. Full-Fat Dairy

Full-Fat dairy like butter and ghee, fatty cheeses, and low-carb yogurt are excellent whole food sources of quality fat and fat-soluble vitamins. 

Full-fat dairy has been linked to numerous health benefits: 

  • A review of 16 studies found that the consumption of high-fat dairy products can lower your risk of obesity [31]
  • A large study found that men and women aged 45-75 years who regularly consume dairy fat may have a reduced risk of a heart attack [32]
  • The conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) found in full-fat dairy products possesses antitumor properties that can inhibit the growth of cancer at many different sites including the breast, colon, stomach, prostate, and liver [33]
  • One study found that women who consumed four or more servings of high-fat dairy foods lowered their risk of colon cancer by 34% [34]
  • Butyrate, one of the fatty acids found in butter, reduces inflammation in the colon and liver, and can enhance sleep [35]
  • Butter and ghee are high in lauric acid. This saturated fat offers has antimicrobial and antifungal properties. It reduces pathogenic bacteria in the gut, promoting intestinal health [36]
  • One study found that adding one serving of a full-fat dairy to your daily diet can reduce the risk of infertility by over 50% [37]
  • Studies show that the combined fat and protein in dairy substantially increase sensations of fullness and satiety. [38] [39] 

Here’s a chart of some of the best low-carb high-fat yogurt options

Nutrients Per 1 cup (245 grams)Alexander Farms Organic A2 6% Milkfat YogurtCocojune

Organic Cultured Coconut Yogurt

:ratio “Keto Friendly Vanilla” 

(made with non-fat milk and avocado oil)

Peak 17% milkfat “Triple Cream Yogurt” – Plain
Fat16.3g36g24.538.4g
Saturated Fat11.5g30g9.8g22.4g
Carbs13g12g3.256.4g
Protein10g4g24.512.8
Fat:Protein Ratio by grams1.6:19:11:13:1

This chart offers a comparison of the macronutrients in popular low-carb high-fat cheeses

Nutrients Per 100 grams (3.5 oz)Cream CheeseTripple Cream Brie (Saint Andre)CheddarSwiss CheeseParmesan 
Fat35g 42g33g31g28g
Carbs1g0g3g1g14g
Protein7g10.5g23g27g28g
Fat: Protein Ratio by grams5:14:11.4:11.1:11:1

6. Eggs

Eggs are one of the most convenient low-carb high-fat foods. They contain all the nutrients required to create an entire animal. 

In addition to healthy fats and proteins, eggs provide abundant choline.

Your body requires choline for the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This transmitter plays a key role in memory, mood, and intelligence. 

Choline is also involved in synthesizing DNA, which makes it an important nutrient for supporting infant brain development [40].

Unfortunately, eggs have been the subject of poor science and nutritional misinformation. The good news is that modern, high quality studies are setting the record straight. 

  • Harvard researchers studying more than 80,000 female nurses found that consuming about an egg a day was not associated with a higher risk of heart disease [41]
  • A study from 2004-2008 following half a million Chinese adults found that people who ate eggs daily had a 14% lower risk of major cardiac events, an 11% lower risk of CVD, a 12% lower risk of ischemic heart disease, and an 18% lower risk of CVD death [42]
Nutrients100 grams (appx 2 eggs)%Daily Value
Calories140
Fat1016% (Not on Ketogenic Diet
Protein12
Vitamins and Minerals
Retinol (vitamin A)98mcg12%
Riboflavin0.4mg33%
Vitamin B120.33mcg100%
Biotin5.2mcg17%
Folate88mcg30%
Vitamin D7.9mcg30%
Vitamin E1.9mg30%
Pantothenic acid1.07mg22%
Phosphorus171mg25%
Iron1.8mg23%
Selenium28mcg50%
Choline164mg38%
Zinc1.0mg10%
Iodine47mcg33%

7. Fatty Fish

Fatty fish is an excellent low-carb high-fat food. They are generally high in omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and selenium. 

Mackerel, sardines, and anchovies provide impressive amounts of dietary vitamin D. Vitamin D can be hard to get for people who spend a lot of time indoors and who live in higher/lower latitudes. It’s a crucial vitamin for immune support and hormone synthesis. 

Fatty fish is the center of the pescatarian keto diet. For carnivore dieters, and nose-to-tail eaters, fatty fish can provide 

Wild king salmon is the “ribeye” of fatty fish–it’s butter, mild, and delicious while providing an abundance of omega-3s, B vitamins, and selenium. Unlike farmed salmon, wild king salmon isn’t subjected to antibiotics and parasites and processed feed. 

King Salmon (Wild)Amount per 3 oz. % RDA
Fat12g
Saturated Fat2g
Cholesterol61mg
Protein20g
Vitamins
Vitamin B12 7.4µg308%
B38.4mg53%
B6.3mg21%
B51gm21%
Vitamin A453.0IU15%
B1.2mg13%
B2.2mg13%
Vitamin E1.5mg10%
Significant Minerals
Selenium31.0µg56%
Phosphorus 208.0mg21%
Potassium 370.0mg10%
Magnesium24.0mg6%

If wild king salmon is out of your price range or inaccessible, these other fatty fish can be more convenient and affordable while providing even greater nutrient density. 

Nutrition info per 100g

LCHF FishCaloriesFatProteinCarbs% Calories from fat% Calories from protein
Atlantic Mackerel29020.32706337
Farmed Arctic Char208121905842
Anchovies25615.92805644
Farmed Salmon234142505644
Sardines13981905050

8. Foie Gras

Foie gras made from duck liver is one of the most nutrient-dense low-carb high-fat foods. 

Vitamin A in foie gras can play a vital role in the cellular regeneration of the eyes and skin. It’s also a precursor (building block) for important eye pigments like rhodopsin.

Foie gras is a great source of selenium. Selenium is involved in the creation of special proteins that are crucial to key reproductive health and DNA synthesis [43].

Selenium also provides antioxidant properties, while increasing the levels of the powerful antioxidant glutathione [44] [45]. 

A review of 69 studies with data from over 350,000 participants shows that high blood levels of selenium are associated with a lower risk of lung, breast, colon, and prostate cancers [46]. 

Selenium may also be neuroprotective as people with Alzheimer’s disease have low levels of selenium [47][48].

Fois Gras Nutrition

Nutrients in Foie GrasPer 100g
Fat44g
Saturated Fat14g
Carbs5g
Protein11g
Vitamin B12392%
Vitamin A111%
B524%
B223%
Selenium80%
Copper44%
Iron31%

 

9. Tallow

Tallow is rendered beef fat and can be used to boost the fat content of leaner meats. The benefits of tallow are attributable to the specific complex of saturated fatty acids. 

  • Consuming saturated fat protects cell membranes from glycation, oxidation, endotoxin buildup, and other forms of biological stress [49]
  • Palmitoleic acid helps maintain heart health and insulin sensitivity [50]

The high saturated fat content of tallow makes is a great high heat cooking oil. The 420° smoke point makes tallow great for baking, sautéing, and frying. 

MACRONUTRIENTPER TABLESPOONPER 100 GRAMS
Calories115 calories902 calories
Carbs0 grams0 grams
Fat12.8 grams100 grams
Saturated Fat6.4 grams49.8 grams
Monounsaturated Fat5.4 grams41.8 grams
Polyunsaturated Fat0.5 grams4 grams
Omega 30.08 grams0.6 grams
Omega 60.4 grams3.1 grams

10. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a staple on most low-carb high-fat food lists and can ease the transition into the metabolic state called ketosis

Coconut oil is has a high concentration of a type of saturated fat called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs make up 54% of the fat in coconut oil.  When consumed, MCTs tend to be transported directly to the liver where they are metabolized into ketones [51].

But long before science explored the benefits of coconut oil, it had been a staple among tropical dwelling peoples. 

A 1981 study of the Tokelau islanders who received more than 60% of their calories from coconuts found taht they were exceptionally healthy and had extremely low rates of heart disease [52]. While a study looking at the health of coconut eating Kitavan people of Papua New Guinea found that they had almost no incidences of stroke or heart disease.

MacronutrientPer tablespoonPer 100 grams
Calories112 calories892 calories
Carbohydrates0 grams0 grams
Total Fat 13.5 grams99 grams
Saturated 11.2 grams 82.4 grams
Monounsaturated0.8 grams  6 grams
Polyunsaturated0.8 grams  6 grams
Omega 3 .04 gram

Bonus For the Vegan and Vegetarians: Avocados

On a low-carb high-fat ketogenic diet avocados is one of the few low-carb foods that provide potassium and vitamin C. 

Avocados provide various B vitamins including a significant amount of folate. Folate is a key factor in the production of red and white blood cells in bone marrow, DNA and RNA, and fetal development [52]

For low-carb high-fat vegan or vegetarian keto dieters, avocados are a staple. 

High in potassium, avocados may support nervous system function and blood pressure regulation and protect against stroke and hypertension [53][54].

Avocados may also be beneficial to gut health. One study found that consuming 1 avocado a day for 12 weeks lowered concentrations of fecal bile acid while increasing the diversity of healthy gut bacteria [55]. 

It’s important to note here that avocados are a plant food, and all plant foods have defense mechanisms. For some people, the plant toxins in avocados can cause mild to severe allergies [56[57].

Nutrients
Calories322
Fat30 g
Protein4 g
Carbohydrates17 g
Fiber14 g
Vitamin C22%
Vitamin E28%
Vitamin K35%
B220%
B322%
B556%
B630%
Folate41%
Magnesium14%
Potassium21%
Copper42%
Manganese12%

Low-Carb High-Fat Foods: The Takeaway

Choosing the right low-carb high-fat foods is the key to getting the benefits from your HFLC diet. Nutritionists like to trumpet the need for variety, but variety is only necessary when you’re eating low-nutrient foods, especially plant foods high in antinutrients. 

These 10 low-carb high-fat foods are loaded with all the healthy fats, proteins, and bioavailable micronutrients that your body needs to thrive.