What’s the Slow Carb Diet? Grocery List & Cheat Sheet Hacks

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The Slow Carb Diet focuses on low-carb, high protein foods 6 days a week over 4 meals a day. It also includes a cheat day once a week. Below, you’ll find our tips to start the diet, as well as, our Slow Carb grocery list of approved food items to help you get started with this way of eating!

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If you’ve already tried keto diet or other low carb diets, you might be interested in a different weight loss option. The slow carb diet, which is similar to other carb-counting diets, is a great option for anyone who doesn’t want to avoid carbs completely.

That’s because this diet does allow you to sneak in some carbs throughout the day. Keep reading to find out the five principals of the slow carb diet, then grab your slow carb diet grocery list cheat sheet to help you stay on track.

What Is the Slow Carb Diet?

The Slow Carb Diet involves eating from five main food groups – animal protein, vegetables, legumes, fats, and spices. It was first introduced by author Timothy Ferriss in his book the 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman.

While on the diet, you can eat four meals per day for six days of the week. The seventh day is a cheat day, when you can eat whatever you want. The Slow-Carb Diet could be a great option for someone looking for something effective but less restrictive than a low carb or ketogenic diet.

The diet plan is made up of 5 General rules

1. Avoid white carbs.

White carbs are processed carbohydrates often found in breads, pasta, cereal, and baked goods. During each of the six diet days, no white carbs are allowed. But you can enjoy as many carbs as you want on your cheat day.

2. Eat the same meals each day.

Since your meals will be made up of five basic food groups, you can remake the same meals for easy meal prep.

3. Watch what you drink.

Avoid adding empty calories and carbs to your day by avoiding juice, sodas, and alcohol and instead sticking to unsweetened drinks, like water, tea, and black coffee.

4. Skip the fruit.

No fruit is allowed during your six diet days because fruit contains too much sugar.

5. Take a cheat day.

Since the slow carb diet only requires you to watch your carbs six days a week, you can allow for one cheat day on the seventh day of the week. On your cheat day, you can eat whatever you want.

What Carbs Can You Eat on Slow Carb Diet?

Although white carbs are off limits on the slow carb diet, some other carbs are allowed.

White carbs are often called simple carbs. These carbohydrates move through your body more quickly, causing your blood sugar levels to spike after eating them. On the other hand, complex or slow carbs are digested at a slower pace and are less likely to affect your blood sugar negatively. These foods are good options for the incorporation of some carb-rich foods.

While on the slow carb diet, you can incorporate a few carbohydrates into your daily meals, including:

  • Legumes, like lentils, black beans, pinto beans, red beans, and soy beans
  • Certain vegetables, like peas, brussel sprouts, and broccoli

These are foods are on the low-glycemic index.

What’s Not Allowed on the Slow Carb Diet?

While you can enjoy a few complex carbohydrates while in the slow carb diet, most carbs are off limits.

In addition to white carbs in things like processed bread and baked goods, you should also stay away from:

  • White Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Quinoa
  • Pasta
  • Cereal
  • Pasta
  • Tortillas
  • Grains
  • Rice
  • Sugar
  • Dairy (milk, cream, cheese, yogurt, etc.)
  • Fruit
  • Fruit juices
  • Soft drinks or sugary drinks
Printable Slow Carb Grocery Shopping List
Click to See the Printable PDF

Slow Carb Diet Grocery List

Since the slow carb diet is made up of several restrictions, it can be difficult to know what ingredients to look for when you head to the grocery store.

This slow carb diet grocery list will help you keep track of all the foods allowed on the diet plan so you can stay on track each day:


  • Anchovies
  • Bass
  • Beef
  • Bone Marrow
  • Chicken
  • Chicken Livers
  • Cod
  • Eel
  • Eggs
  • Goat
  • Haddock
  • Halibut
  • Hearts
  • Herring
  • Kidney
  • Lamb
  • Liver
  • Mackerel
  • Mahi Mahi
  • Ox Liver
  • Perch
  • Pork
  • Red Snapper
  • Rockfish
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Shellfish
  • Sweetbreads
  • Tilapia
  • Tongue
  • Tuna
  • Turkey


  • Artichoke Hearts
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Bamboo Shoots
  • Beet Greens
  • Bell Peppers
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Broccoli Rabe
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chard
  • Collards
  • Cucumbers
  • Daikon
  • Dandelion greens
  • Eggplant
  • Endive
  • Fennel Root
  • Garlic
  • Green Beans
  • Iceberg Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Kimchi
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leeks
  • Mixed Vegetables
  • Mushrooms
  • Mung bean sprouts
  • Mustard Greens
  • Napa cabbage
  • Nori
  • Olives
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Peppers (all kinds)
  • Purslane
  • Radish
  • Red cabbage
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Sauerkraut
  • Seaweed (nori)
  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnip Greens
  • Watercress
  • Zucchini


  • Black beans
  • Black-eyed Peas
  • Cannelloni Beans
  • Great Northern Beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Lentils
  • Navy Beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Red Beans
  • Chickpeas  

Spices & Fresh Herbs

  • Allspice
  • Anise
  • Basil
  • Bay Leaf
  • Black Pepper
  • Cardamom
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Celery seed
  • Chili Pepper
  • Chili powder
  • Cilantro
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Coriander Seeds
  • Cumin
  • Curry-Green
  • Curry-Red
  • Curry-Yellow
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Fenugreek
  • Garam Masala
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Herbs de Provence
  • Mint
  • Mustard Seeds
  • Nutmeg
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Salt
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric

Healthy Fats, Oils, and Nuts

  • Avocado
  • Clarified butter
  • Coconut Oil
  • Ghee
  • Macadamia Nut Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Almonds
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Cashews
  • Chia seeds
  • Hazel nuts
  • Hemp seeds
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Pecans
  • Pine Nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Walnuts


  • Beef Broth like Kettle & Fire
  • Nut Butter like almond butter
  • Chicken Broth
  • Coconut Milk
  • Fish Sauce
  • Hot Sauce
  • Hummus
  • Lemon Juice
  • Lime Juice
  • Mustard
  • Pesto
  • Salsa
  • Soy Sauce
  • Sriracha
  • Tamari (wheat free)
  • Vinegar

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