Atkins Induction Low Carb Foods List

What Foods Can You Eat on Atkins Induction?

Get details from the experts, recipes and a real-life account of meals during the first two weeks on Atkins Induction.

Worried about getting bored? Add a variety of flavors to your first Phase using 124 Atkins Induction recipes.


Foods to eat on Atkins Induction.

Finally, grab some free low carb downloads:

  • Official Atkins Plan: 14 days of Induction meals and recipes
  • Printable Atkins Induction Foods List: Folds neatly into a pocket-sized list.



Your New Low Carb Plate

During Atkins Induction, most of your calories will come from healthy fat, about a third will come from protein, and less than 10 percent will come from carbohydrates.

The fat/protein/carb ratios suggested below represent an average range and are approximate. Most dieters adjust the ratio slightly to fit their personal needs/goals.

For example, a low carb dieter who is weight lifting or building muscle may eat a higher percentage of protein and a little less fat.

Regardless, during Atkins Induction the bulk of your calories should come from fat, and you should limit your total carbohydrate intake to 20 grams or less per day.


Atkins Induction Food List

You may eat any item on the Atkins Induction foods list below.

Fat and Oil

Aim for 60-65% of total calories from fat and oils. Adequate fat content is vital to the success of your low carb diet.

Dr. Atkins advises eating a balance of natural fats (with a concentration on olive oil), and avoiding trans fats.


Aim for 20-25% of total calories from protein sources. Most protein foods, such as meat, seafood and eggs are zero carb or very close to it.


Aim for 5-10% of total calories from carbohydrates in the form of vegetables. During Atkins Induction, 12 to 15 grams per day of net carbs (total carbs minus the fiber) should come from vegetables.

Special Additional Foods

Small amounts of these foods may be added to your Induction food list:

  • 2 to 3 tbs Lemon or Lime Juice
  • 2 to 3 tbs Heavy Cream or 1 oz Sour Cream
  • Sugar Substitutes: Sucralose (Splenda), Saccharine (Sweet N Low)
  • 10 to 20 Green or Black Olives
  • ½ Small Avocado (Avocado is a fruit, but allowed on Induction.)
  • Low Carb Snack Bars

Note: Some low carbers cannot tolerate these, and their bodies treat the sugar alcohols as regular sugar, derailing weight loss efforts.


Real Life Atkins Induction Meal Plan

What are two weeks on Atkins Induction like for regular low carbers?

Real life Atkins Induction meals and food diary.

Designer and low carb Blogger, Jillian tells her Induction story with a two week meal journal, complete with photos (above) and an Induction-approved Mock Danish how-to video if you’re craving something sweet.


Atkins Induction Recipes

There’s an excellent low carb forum, A Pinch of Health, where Atkins Induction approved recipes are posted.

This thread is updated monthly, but there are already 124 Induction friendly low carb recipes listed, including beef, veal, poultry, pork, lamb, soups, veggies, eggs, baked foods, desserts and sweets.

If you have trouble accessing the forum, here is the full URL:

(Copy and paste into your browser address bar.)


Official Atkins Induction Program

Dr. Atkins offers a free resource for planning your first two weeks of Induction. This publication includes 14 days of low carb meals, daily carb counts and Induction recipes.

Easy Atkins Induction low carb foods menu recipes

Free Low Carb eBook Download PDF Button

(10.7 MB .pdf)  Opens in a new window.


Printable Atkins Induction Foods List

The items on this low carb foods list are your go-to foods during the Induction phase of Atkins.

Atkins Induction Foods List to print.

Free Low Carb eBook Download PDF Button

(3.6 MB .pdf)  Opens in a new window.

Print and Fold

This Atkins Induction food list prints on a single sheet of paper and may be folded, accordion-style to fit easily in your wallet or pocket.

Printable, fold up Atkins Induction Foods list, pocket size.


Here are the details of the items featured on the printable Atkins Induction low carb foods list:

Meat, Fish, Poultry

Most fish, poultry and meat generally do not contain carbohydrates. The exceptions are processed bacon and deli meat, which often have added starch as binders. Be sure to check the labels.

Enjoy cold-water fish and other low carb Induction foods containing omega 3 fatty acids.

  • Meats: Bacon, Beef, Ham, Lamb, Pork, Veal, Venison
  • Fish: Flounder, Herring, Salmon, Sardines, Sole, Tuna, Trout
  • Shellfish: Clams, Crab, Mussels, Oysters, Shrimp, Squid
  • Fowl: Cornish Hen, Chicken, Duck, Goose, Pheasant, Quail, Turkey



Eggs are a staple Atkins Induction food. Add mushrooms, onions and peppers with imported cheeses to an omelet.

Tip: Add low carb spices for zest (and added weight loss), and serve with a side of chunky bacon-feta-tomato salad.

All Eggs: Deviled, Fried, Hard-boiled, Omelets, Poached, Scrambled or Soft-boiled



Most cheeses have less than 1 gm of carbs per ounce, but be sure to check the label. We are allowed 3 to 4 ounces of most cheeses every day during Atkins Induction, including cream cheese.

The exceptions are: Cottage Cheese, Farmer’s Cheese and other fresh/raw cheeses. These cheeses do not apply to the 3 to 4 ounce rule.

Type, Serving Size, Net Carbs

  • Blue Cheeses, 1 oz, 0.7
  • Cheddar, ½ cup, 0.0
  • Cow, Sheep and Goat, 1 oz, 0.3
  • Cream Cheese, 1 oz, 0.8
  • Feta, 1 oz, 1.2
  • Gouda, 1 oz, 0.6
  • Mozzarella, 1 oz, 0.6
  • Parmesan, 1 tbs, 0.2
  • Swiss, 1 oz, 1.0


Low carb veggies allowed on the Atkins Induction low carb foods list.


12 to 15 net carbs each day should come from low carb vegetables.

Choose the lowest carb veggies from the Atkins Induction food list, and you’ll be surprised how much you can eat.

Lowest Carb Vegetables for Atkins Induction

Vegetable, Serving Size/Prep, Net Carbs

  • Alfalfa Sprouts, 1 cup/raw, 0.4
  • Argula, ½ cup/raw, 0.2
  • Bok Choy, 1 cup/raw, 0.8
  • Celery, 1 stalk, 0.8
  • Chicory Greens, ½ cup/raw, 0.6
  • Chives, 1 tbs, 0.1
  • Cucumber, ½ cup, 1.0
  • Daikon, ½ cup, 1.0
  • Endive, ½ cup, 0.0
  • Escarole, ½ cup, 0.0
  • Fennel, 1 cup, 3.6
  • Jicama, ½ cup, 2.5
  • Lettuce Iceberg, ½ cup, 0.1
  • Mushrooms ½ cup, 1.2
  • Parsley, 1 tbs, 0.1
  • Peppers, ½ cup/raw, 2.3
  • Radicchio, ½ cup/raw, 0.7
  • Radishes, 10/raw, 0.9
  • Romaine Lettuce, ½ cup, 0.2


Low Carb Vegetables for Atkins Induction

These vegetables are slightly higher in carbohydrates than the lowest carb veggies above, but if you measure carefully, it’s simple to add them to your diet.

Vegetable, Serving Size/Prep Net Carbs

  • Artichoke, ¼ of medium/boiled, 4.0
  • Artichoke Hearts, 1/in water, 1.0
  • Asparagus, 6 spears/boiled, 2.4
  • Avocado, 1 whole/raw, 3.5
  • Bamboo Shoots, 1 cup/boiled, 1.1
  • Beets, ½ cup/canned, 4.7
  • Broccoli, ½ cup/boiled, 1.6
  • Broccoli, ½ cup/raw, 1.0
  • Broccoli rabe, 1 ounce, 1.3
  • Broccoflower, ½ cup, 1.4
  • Brussels Sprouts, ¼ cup boiled, 2.4
  • Cabbage, ½ cup/boiled or raw, 2.0
  • Cauliflower, ½ cup/boiled or raw, 1.0
  • Chard, ½ cup Swiss/boiled, 1.8
  • Collard Greens, ½ cup/boiled, 4.2
  • Eggplant, ½ cup boiled/raw, 1.8
  • Hearts of Palm, 1 heart, 0.7
  • Kale, ½ cup, 2.4
  • Kohlrabi, ½ cup, 4.6
  • Leeks, ¼ cup/boiled, 1.7
  • Okra, ½ cup/boiled or raw, 2.4
  • Olives, green, 5, 2.5
  • Olives, black, 5, 0.7
  • Onion, ¼ cup/raw, 2.8
  • Pumpkin, ¼, cup/boiled, 2.4
  • Rhubarb, ½ cup, unsweetened, 1.7
  • Sauerkraut, ½ cup canned/drained, 1.2
  • Peas, ½ cup edible podded, 3.4
  • Spaghetti Squash, ½ cup/boiled, 2.0
  • Spinach, ½ cup/raw, 0.2
  • Summer Squash, ½ cup/boiled, 2.0
  • Tomato, 1 raw, 4.3
  • Turnips, ½ cup/boiled, 2.2
  • Water Chestnuts, ½ cup/canned, 6.9
  • Zucchini, ½ cup sautéed, 2.0


Low carb spices allowd on the Atkins Induction low carb foods list.

Spices and Herbs

Be sure to check for added sugar or starch.

Spice/Herb, Serving Size, Net Carbs

  • Basil, 1 tbs, 0.0
  • Cayenne Pepper, 1 tbs, 0.0
  • Cilantro, 1 tbs, 0.0
  • Dill, 1 tbs, 0.0
  • Garlic, 1 clove, 0.9
  • Ginger, 1 tbs, 0.0
  • Oregano, 1 tbs, 0.0
  • Pepper, 1 tbs, 0.0
  • Rosemary, 1 tbs, 0.0
  • Sage, 1 tbs, 0.0
  • Tarragon, 1 tbs, 0.0


Salad Dressings and Garnishes

If you choose a salad dressing not listed below, aim for less than 2 net carbs per serving.


Dressing, Serving Size, Net Carbs

  • Blue Cheese, 2 tbs, 2.3
  • Caesar, 2 tbs, 0.5
  • Italian, 2 tbs, 3.0
  • Lemon Juice, 2 tbs, 2.8
  • Oil and Vinegar, 2 tbs, 1.0
  • Ranch, 2 tbs, 1.4


Food, Serving Size, Net Carbs

  • Crumbled Bacon, 3 slices, 0.0
  • Diced Hard-Boiled Egg, 1 egg, 0.0
  • Sautéed Mushrooms, ½ cup, 1.0
  • Sour Cream, 2 tbs, 1.2


Fats and Oils

There are no net carbs here, but a single serving equals 1 tablespoon. Focus on olive oil, especially virgin or extra-virgin.

Butter and other saturated fats (like coconut oils and butters) are acceptable if eaten in balance with healthy fats.

  • Butter
  • Mayonnaise (Select full fat with no added sugar.)
  • Olive oil
  • Vegetable Oils: Canola, Walnut, Soybean, Grape Seed, Sesame, Sunflower, Safflower



Dr. Atkins advises drinking eight, 8 oz glasses of water every day. Soda water or carbonated water with sugar-free flavors are ok, and diet sodas sweetened with sucralose (Splenda) are also acceptable.

  • Clear Broth/Bouillon (Check for added sugar.)
  • Cream: Heavy or Light
  • Coffee and Tea: Decaffeinated or Regular
  • Club Coda
  • Diet Soda (Check the label for carbs.)
  • Flavored Seltzer (Must be zero carb.)
  • Herb Tea (No barley or fruit sugar added)
  • Water: Filtered water, Mineral water, Spring water, Tap water


Artificial Sweeteners

Dr. Atkins prefers sucralose (Splenda), but small amounts (2 to 3 servings) of saccharine (Sweet N Low) are also allowed.

Type, Serving Size, Net Carbs

  • Splenda: (sucralose) 1 packet, 1 net carb
  • Sweet N Low: (saccharine) 1 packet, 0.9 net carbs


Foods not allowed on Atkins Induction, woman drags man away.

Foods Not Allowed on Induction

Basically, here’s the rule:

If it’s not on the Atkins Induction food list, it isn’t allowed.

Steer clear of the following:

  • Grains and anything made with them, including bread, cake, pastries.
  • Pasta, or anything else made of flour.
  • Dairy products, except for cheeses and cream in limited quantities.
  • Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, beets, corn.
  • Fruits/Fruit Juice
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Deli Salad (Sliced deli meat often has added sugar and starch.)
  • Any Processed Food
  • Alcoholic Beverages


Still Hungry?

Search the Low Carb Diet Database for Atkins and Nutrition Information, Food Lists, Low Carb Recipes and eBooks:


The Database uses a Google-powered search engine, optimized to deliver top rated, relevant low carb results.

Over 1.6 million low carb sources: medical, news, blogs, social, recipes, free downloads, eBooks, audio, images and video.



The Official Atkins Diet Program

Low Carb Forum Induction Recipes: A Pinch of Health

If you have trouble accessing the forum, here is the full URL:

Jillian’s Induction Story: Heart of a Country Home


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