Low carb diets can be beneficial for anyone wanting to shift stubborn weight or control medical conditions like diabetes.
Whilst some foods are obvious in their carb content, others can be a little more sneaky & even though they may be healthy, they may not suit a low carb diet. There can be a lot of grey in the carb world, which can make it hard to navigate your way through.
Your total daily carb target is based on personal tolerance, and it determines whether you need to limit some of the sneaky foods or avoid them altogether. A typical low-carb diet contains 20–100g of carbs per day.
So here is a short list of some of the less obvious foods that you need to think about when starting a low carb diet. There are loads more such as beer, low fat & no fat salad dressings, pasta, bread, juice & milk, but these are some of the less obvious on the list.
1. Starchy Vegetables
Public enemy Number 1 in any low carb diet.
Many vegetables are high in essential vitamins and minerals & contain high levels of fibre, which aids in digestion & therefore helps with weight loss. However, some vegetables contain more digestable carbs & relatively low levels of fibre which can mean that the unused energy can be stored & in turn slow weight loss.
Examples of starchy vegetables to steer clear of are:
- Corn (175g): 41g of carbs, 5 of which are fibre
- Potato (1 medium): 37g of carbs, 4 of which are fibre
- Sweet potato (1 medium): 24g of carbs, 4 of which are fibre
- Beets, cooked (150g): 16g of carbs, 4 of which are fibre
It’s well known that a majority of breakfast cereals contain high levels of sugar.
But, even some of the “better” choices can contain way too many carbs for those following a low carb diet.
For instance, 90g of cooked regular or instant oats provides 32g of carbs, only 4 of which are fibre.
Generally, steel-cut oats are considered a healthier option as they are less processed than other types of oats. However, 45g of cooked steel-cut oats has 29g of carbs, with only 5g of fibre.
Whole-grain cereals tend to pack even more. 40g of Special K, 27.8g of carbs and 2.6g of fibre. Crunchy Nut Cornflakes contain 28.5g of carbs, but only 1g of fibre.
Whichever way you look at it, most cereals are a no no on a low carb diet.
3. Some fruits
Did you know that many fruits are high in carbs and may not be suitable for low-carb diets.
A typical serving of fruit is 1 cup (120g) or 1 small piece. For instance, a small apple contains 21g of carbs, 4 of which come from fibre.
On a very-low-carb diet, it’s probably a good idea to avoid some fruits, especially sweet and dried fruits, which have high carb counts.
- Banana (1 medium): 27g of carbs, 3 of which are fibre
- Sultanas (28g): 22g of carbs, 1 of which is fibre
- Dates (2 large): 36g of carbs, 4 of which are fibre
- Mango, sliced (165g): 28g of carbs, 3 of which are fibere
- Pear (1 medium): 28g of carbs, 6 of which are fibere
Berries, however, are much lower in sugar and higher in fibre than other fruits & small serves (50 g) — can be enjoyed even on very-low-carb diets.
4. Flavoured yoghurt
Yogurt is a tasty, versatile food, that has many benefits in its plain or natural form. Sweetened yoghurt on the other hand can contain just as many carbs as a dessert.
245g of nonfat sweetened fruit yogurt can have up to 47g of carbs, which is higher than most ice cream.
However, choosing 123g of plain Greek yogurt topped with 50g of blackberries, blueberries or raspberries will ensure digestible carbs stay under 10 grams.
5. Gluten free baked goods
Gluten is a natural protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.
Gluten-free diets are necessary for anyone who has Coeliac disease, which is an auto immune disease that causes the gut to become inflamed in response to gluten.
Gluten-free breads, muffins, and other baked goods use grains and starches that tend to raise blood sugar rapidly. They are also generally not as low in carbs as traditional baked goods.
That being said, using coconut, green banana or almond flour to make your own baked goods can often be a better low carb alternative to processed commercial gluten free foods.
All in all, as with any diet, lifestyle change or weightless plan, the best thing you can do is research & educate yourself. Read labels, google food content, know your foods & be more aware of the hidden ‘nasties’ that may sneakily sabotage your progress.
We offer a great range of Low carb flours & products in our store, to help you on your way to your weight loss goals