Trying to find the best and worst low carb foods is a quest worth achieving. Not all carbs are equal. I try to help clients here in Houston, Texas to find the healthiest options that also help you shed those extra pounds. There are some obvious choices that are healthy, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, but even among those there are ones lower in carbs that have more nutrients than others. For instance, vegetables grown above ground are lower in carbs and you can eat your fill. Three and a half grams of asparagus is only 2 grams of carbs, while three and half grams of sweet potato is 17 grams of carbs. Obviously, if you’re going to have second helpings, make it a vegetable grown above ground.
Nuts are not only good for you, they’re lower in carbs.
Not all nuts are super low in carbs. For instance, a couple of handfuls of cashews can pack on 20 grams of carbs, that could be your entire day of carbs. Pistachios are another one that might pack on the pounds. Stick with nuts like Brazil nuts, pecans and macadamia nuts. They provide a load of healthy fats and protein. When you compare cashews with pecans, you’ll find pecans have 4 grams of carbs and cashews have 22 grams per three and a half gram serving.
Beef, chicken, seafood, eggs and all other types of meat are low in carbs.
It’s hard to overeat beef and other animal proteins. They simply fill you up too much. Some people can fill up on meat or other high protein foods, but be aware that if you eat too much, it can cause incomplete ketosis. That’s because you have more amino acids than your body can use, so it turns it into glucose. Moderate consumption of protein is important. Choose about 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
The type of fat you have on a low carb diet make a difference.
When you consider butter is zero carbs, you might not want to go any further in finding the best sauce or fat to use, but eventually, the delight in consuming all the butter you want wanes. Stick with more natural forms of fats or sauces, rather than using manufactured oils that require more processing than simple pressing. Industrial oils, like soybean, corn, canola, safflower and others have been processed using chemicals and bleaching agents because they simply don’t taste good otherwise. Stick with old favorite that have been around for years like coconut oil, olive oil, peanut or nut oil and others.
- Fruit has a higher number of carbs than vegetables. They’re far sweeter and more like a treat. Choose fruit sparingly and stick with cantaloupe, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries that are lower in carbs than apples, bananas and grapes.
- Watch out for sauces. They can add unwanted carbs you might not suspect. For instance, barbecue sauce and ketchup can add a huge number of carbs.
- When choosing dairy products, opt for the full fat ones. Low fat options often contain flavoring or sugar to make them more palatable.
- What you drink makes a huge difference. If you’re unsure of carb count, stick with things like water, coffee without sugar and plain tea.