Best Cuisines to Explore on a Low Carb Diet
Get inspired with different cuisines from around the world that can easily fit into a low carb or keto diet!
Are you getting bored with steak and vegetables, keto casseroles and omelettes on a low carb or keto diet? Go beyond the strict bounds of the Western diet to find other low carb and keto-friendly recipes that will blow your taste buds and your friends and family away!
In this article, we explore the best cuisines for cooking low carb and keto-friendly meals. It also includes shopping lists and a few recipes from each type of cuisine to get you started and help plan your next meal. We also linked our recommended low carb products that best fit these cooking styles.
Low Carb Latin America
The first thing that comes to mind when you think of Latin American food might be tacos and burritos. While these traditionally high carb foods can still be enjoyed on a low carb or keto diet with a great tortilla or wrap alternative, there is much more to this region’s cuisine than the Chipotle franchise shows to offer.
The essence of most Latin American cuisine revolves around well-seasoned grilled or barbequed meat (barbacoa), fresh vegetables and great flavours from different spices and herbs. The incorporation of fresh chili peppers, lime juice and other spices can transform any boring weeknight dish into a fabulous fiesta!
Food Shopping List
For your low carb Latin American recipes, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Fresh cuts of beef or chicken, or ground beef
- Fresh white fish or shrimp
- Hot peppers (jalapeno, green/red chili, poblano or serrano)
- Bell peppers
- Tomatoes or green tomatillos
- Sour cream
Latin Low Carb Recipes
- Low Carb Arroz con Pollo (Chicken and Rice) this classic Cuban dish uses cauliflower instead of rice.
- Salsa Verde Chicken Bake or try this skillet version!
- Keto Instant Pot Barbacoa this tasty pull-apart beef recipe goes great with cauliflower rice, lettuce tacos or with a side of roasted vegetables and guacamole!
- Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing that can add a bit of healthy fats and richness to any salad, or drizzle over grilled meat and seafood for a delicious burst of flavour!
- Keto Beef Picadillo this minced beef dish is perfect for weeknights or when you’re short on time.
- Simple Keto Shrimp Ceviche this cool, citrus-y seafood salad is great for warmer days or as a light lunch! This recipe can also be made with cod, halibut or mahi mahi.
- Peruvian Roasted Chicken
Great Greek Low Carb
The Greek or Mediterranean diet has been highly coveted by health experts and other professionals in the health industry due to its focus on fresh vegetables, healthy fats, limited carbs and lean meats. This also makes it perfect for low carb and keto dieters to explore! Best of all, many of these recipes are simple and easy to prepare, following a whole foods approach to eating.
Food Shopping List
Here are some ingredients you can pick up at the grocery store that find their way into many delicious Mediterranean recipes:
- Bell peppers
- Olives and olive oil
- Greek yogurt
- Tahini (sesame seed butter)
- Feta or goat’s cheese
Greek Low Carb Recipes
- Easy Keto Greek Chicken
- Keto Greek Meatballs with Feta is a recipe the whole family will love! Although many traditional recipes call for lamb instead of beef, you can use whichever one you prefer.
- Keto Greek Salad is a great take to work lunch that is super easy to prepare the night before or the morning of!
- Easy Keto Greek Tzatziki Dip – try it with grilled meat, sausages, raw vegetables or low carb crackers for a quick snack! You can also buy store-bought tzatziki (double check the nutrition label to make sure it does not contain any added sugars or fillers), but this homemade recipe will taste super fresh and is a great crowd-pleaser!
- Greek Chicken Traybake – great for making easy leftovers!
- Greek-Style Roasted Potatoes – just substitute the potatoes in this recipe for turnips, kohlrabi, cauliflower, fennel, celery root or other low carb potato substitutes.
Low Carb Asian Foods
Since wheat isn’t native to East Asian regions, it is pretty easy to find low carb recipes inspired by this region’s cuisine. That said, a lot of Asian dishes are eaten with rice or rice noodles. However, our catalog offers a wide variety of low carb rice or noodle alternatives that are also common to find in traditional Asian recipes!
Unfortunately, a lot of Westernized Asian restaurants may add high carb ingredients to their food such as corn starch and sugars. So, when it comes to this type of cuisine, home-cooked is always the best way to control exactly what you are eating. If you choose to dine out, be sure to ask a server to check the ingredients used in the kitchen.
Food Shopping List
- Fresh or ground beef, chicken or pork
- Soy sauce or coconut aminos (soy-free)
- Bok choy
- Coconut cream or milk
- Sesame oil
- Curry paste
- Chinese five spice
- Green chili peppers
- Seaweed or nori
- Peanuts or peanut butter
Asian Low Carb Recipes
- Keto Thai Green Curry, which is warm and hearty on its own or served over cauliflower rice!
- Chicken with Satay Sauce serve with Garlic Broccoli!
- Crispy Chinese Pork with Cabbage
- Low Carb Garlic and Sesame Prawns
- Keto Sashimi Rolls – sushi lovers, rejoice! If you are interested in making homemade keto-friendly sushi, see our recommended konjac rice.
- Keto Mongolian Beef
- Low Carb Cabbage Dumplings
You can also bookmark our article that covers everything about Low Carb & Keto-Friendly Korean Cooking if you love this country’s cuisine!
Indian Low Carb
If you like spice and lots of flavour, Indian food should be your go-to! Many Indian dishes involve stews and curries served with rice or chapati, roti, or naan bread for dipping. These high carb foods can easily be substituted for shirataki rice, cauliflower or a low carb pita or wrap instead. We love these Mini Pitas by Joseph’s Bakery for dipping! Another great thing about Indian cuisine is that many recipes are also vegetarian-friendly. Eating a vegetarian meal at least once a week is a great way to reduce toxic food industry waste and serve healthy meals to your family!
Food Shopping List
The main ingredients you’ll need for Indian cooking are fresh vegetables and loads of spices and aromatics – so make some room in your spice cabinet!
- Tomatoes or tomato paste (for curries)
- Chili powder or fresh chili peppers
- Turmeric powder
- Curry powder
- Garam masala spice
- Coconut cream, milk or coconut milk powder
- Butter or ghee
- Paneer cheese (or tofu)
Indian Low Carb Recipes
- Baingan Ka Bharta (Eggplant Stew) serve with these Keto Naan Breads!
- Paneer Tikka Kebabs
- Keto Tandoori Chicken (Mildly Spicy)
- Keto Coconut Curry – this recipe uses chicken, but you can substitute it for beef, fish or tofu.
- Keto Butter Chicken – if you are new to Indian cuisine, try out this butter chicken recipe with wonderful rich flavours and very mild spice! This instant pot version is also super easy and convenient for beginners or when you’re short on time.
- Indian Shrimp Ghee Roast
Low Carb Caribbean
Last but not least, if you dream of white sand beaches and turquoise waters – why not transport yourself to the Caribbean with these delicious recipes! Caribbean cuisine is big on flavour and features a lot of great seasonings for fresh grilled meat. Coconuts, native to those white sand beaches, are also used in a variety of ways in Caribbean cuisine, which is great news for low-carb high-fat and keto dieters!
Foods Shopping List
- Crab meat
- White fish (wild caught halibut, cod and mahi mahi are all good options)
- Coconut milk
- Coconut oil
- Hot peppers (scotch bonnet peppers are traditionally used in the Caribbean, but these can be really hot! Try green and red chilis or jalapeno peppers instead for milder spice)
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Jerk seasoning or Jamaican curry powder – Hot Mamas also carries a range of Caribbean-inspired dry rubs and spice blends. See their full selection here!
Low Carb Caribbean Recipes
- Keto Jerk Chicken Thighs or Jerk Shrimp
- Jamaican Meat Patties made with a gluten-free low carb crust!
- Cauliflower Coconut Rice – the perfect pairing for any Caribbean recipe!
- Caribbean Fish Curry
- Keto Crab Cakes (you could also use fish or shrimp if you can’t find crab meat)
- Saltfish (Cod) Buljol, which is traditionally eaten for breakfast in Trinidad and Tobago.
- Keto Caribbean Rum Punch – we had to include a cocktail recipe if we’re talking about the Caribbean! Also, it is important to understand that drinking alcohol on a low carb or keto diet can affect your body differently, and you’ll want to avoid large amounts of hard liquor and heavily sweetened beverages. If you are curious to learn more about keto-friendly cocktail recipes, bookmark our Guide to Keto-Friendly Cocktails.
Start Experimenting Today
We hope that you learned something about global cuisine and enjoyed reading this article!
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