My List of Approved Atkins Diet Foods to Eat

To get you started on a low carb diet, this list of Atkins Diet foods to eat will give you a solid guideline on your Atkins Diet. Although you should also read the book on the Dr. Atkins Diet plan thoroughly, the list below can give you a short, sweet outline of what the “do’s and don’ts” are for making your own low carb recipes and eating properly.

Which Foods am I Allowed to Eat?

When looking at a list of allowed Atkins diet foods to eat, keep in mind that this will change over time as you move from one phase to the next. The Induction Phase is the most crucial, and if you learn early on which foods are on this list, you’ll have a good start. Any foods on the Induction list are allowed through every phase of the diet. Consider these the “building blocks” for the rest of the Atkins Program.

What is on the Approved Atkins Diet Food List?

Here is my simplified version of the list of Atkins diet foods to eat. I printed one of these lists and stuck it to the side of the fridge for quick reference.

Any Meats, Poultry, Seafood and Eggs√

You can eat these liberally (but don’t gorge yourself). The only exceptions are that you should keep organ meats and lunch meats to a minimum.


Three to four ounces of cheeses, including hard cheeses such as cheddar, goat cheeses, cream cheese, gouda, mozzarella, Swiss, and the various blue cheeses. After Induction, you can also add limited amounts of farmer’s cheese and cottage cheese.

Salad Vegetables

Up to three cups of these vegetables a day. Use vinegar and oil on these, not sugary dressings. This is a long list of foods to eat, but it’s central to the Atkins diet eating plan, especially during Induction:

  • Sprouts, mushrooms, arugula, endive, parsley, bok choy, escarole, peppers, celery, fennel, chicory, radicchio, radishes, lettuces such as iceberg, romaine, Boston, Bibb and green leaf, cucumbers, sorrel and chives.


Here’s where you might get confused! There are lots of allowable veggies on the Atkins diet food list that you can eat, but just as many that you can’t eat because they have hidden starches. Stick with this list, especially during the Induction Phase, and you’ll do fine:

Artichokes Eggplant Tomato Collard Greens
Celery Spinach Leeks Scallions
Pumpkin Broccoli Cabbage Turnips
Rhubarb String Beans Wax Beans Brussel Sprouts
Bamboo Shoots Kale Sauerkraut Chard
Cauliflower Kohlrabi Beet Greens Zucchini
Summer Squash Water Chestnuts Spaghetti Squash


Seasonings to taste are fine, but be sure to check the labels. You don’t want any that list sugar as an ingredient.


Oils, especially olive oil, which is good for your heart as well as your diet. Also acceptable are canola, soybean and sunflower and sesame oils. Butter is also fine, but not margarine, which has too many trans fats.


Artificial sweeteners that are on the approved Atkins diet food list include Splenda and saccharine. Others, such as Equal (a brand name for aspartame), aren’t a good idea because it slows weight loss in some people.

After you’ve gone through the Atkins Diet Induction Phase, you’ll be able to add more foods to the list of what you can eat.

The next phase, Weight Loss, slowly adds some “mid range” carbs in the form of additional vegetables and the occasional fruit. You will also be able to eventually add some other carbs, but be careful and do this slowly.

You should continue to rely on this list of Atkins diet foods to eat I have provided as the basis for most of your meals for the best results.

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