A Low-Carb, High-Protein Menu

Trying to live in a low-carb world? Try this sample menu to get the balanced nutrition you need while still meeting your goals.

By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Expert Column

Everyone's needs are different, which is why the National Academy of Sciences recommends a range of 10% to 35% of calories from protein. If you're eating a higher-protein diet, try daily menus like this one to get the most nutrition from your low-carb lifestyle.

Sample Menu Nutrients (depending on portion size)

  • 1,500-1,600 calories

  • 46% carbohydrates

  • 22% protein

  • 30% fat


Yogurt fruit crunch with:

  • Low fat yogurt (8 oz. or 1 cup)

  • Sliced fresh fruit: banana, strawberries, blueberries (1/2 cup)

  • Low fat cereal (3/4 cup)

Orange juice fortified with calcium (6 oz.)


Vegetable soup (1 cup)

Spinach salad with:

  • Fresh spinach (1 cup)

  • One hard-boiled egg

  • Sliced, grilled chicken breast (3 oz.)

  • Shredded carrots (1/2 cup)

  • Sliced mushrooms (1/2 cup)

  • Dried cranberries (2 tablespoons)

  • Crumbled feta cheese (1 tablespoons)

  • Chopped almonds (1 tablespoons)

  • Low calorie dressing (2 tablespoons)

Whole grain crackers (4 to 6)

Sparkling water with lemon


Roasted Pecan Salmon [see recipe below]

Steamed asparagus with lemon (1/2 cup)

Brown rice with chopped red pepper (1/2 cup)

Mixed green salad with cherry tomatoes and light vinaigrette (1 cup w/ 2 tablespoons dressing)

One whole-grain roll

Iced tea (unsweetened)


One cup skim milk and 1/2 cup berries blended with ice to make a shake.

Roasted Pecan Salmon

4 salmon filets (4-6 oz. each)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons seasoned breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons chopped pecans
1 teaspoon parsley
Wedges of fresh lemon

  • Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper. Place skin side down on baking sheet.
  • Combine mustard and honey, brush on top of salmon.
  • Mix topping of breadcrumbs, nuts, and parsley and sprinkle over salmon.
  • Bake at 400 degrees 10-15 minutes or until flaky. Serve with wedges of fresh lemon.

Nutritional Information per serving: 265 calories, 29 grams protein, 9 grams carbohydrate, 12 grams fat, 1.6 g saturated fat, 4.7 g monounsaturated fat, 4.3 g polyunsaturated fat, 78 mg cholesterol, 0.4 grams fiber, 282 grams sodium and 42% calories from fat.

Published March 31, 2004.

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