|What Can You Eat When You are Cutting Carbs? |
If you are trying to cut back on your carbohydrates to lower your blood sugar, you may be wondering what there is left to eat. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Pancakes Whey Protein powder can be cooked up to make pancakes. Add some low carb strawberries or raspberries (frozen works great) and some sugar free Maple Syrup and you've got a delicious breakfast. You'll find the recipe on the Indispensable Low Carb Treats page.
- Potatoes A great substitute for mashed potatoes can be made by steaming or boiling cauliflower and pureeing it in a food processor and then adding some cream or half and half, butter or salt.It doesn't taste like cauliflower.
- Rolls If you can eat gluten, you can make delicious rolls that are very similar to popovers using the Magic Rolls recipe. You can find it HERE in the Eades' Low Carb Comfort Food Cookbook. Search for "Magic Rolls." It's on page 22. Make extra, put them in a plastic bag, and freeze for later.
- Veggies Here's a list of some very healthy very low carb vegetables. Eat a few servings every day: Romaine Lettuce, Boston Lettuce, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, red Lettuce, Mesclun mix, green beans, artichokes, avocado, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, eggplant, olives, spaghetti squash, acorn or butternut squash (small amounts), small amounts of fresh red, orange, or green pepper, and zucchini.
- Wraps Use lettuce leaves to make wraps. Green romaine leaves work very well. Though there are "low carb" tortillas on the market, they are full of thyrotoxic soy and may still have more carbohydrates in them than you want to eat.
- Berries Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries are low in carbohydrates and very high in healthful micronutrients. Frozen berries are great too, as long as you check the labels and buy the kinds that are not frozen in sugar.
- Pasta Substitute If you want to serve a meal involving a sauce, instead pouring it over pasta with its 50 gm of carbohydrate per tiny 2 ounce serving, put the sauce over a pile of lightly steamed zucchini strips you make with a vegetable peeler. Or use spaghetti squash.
- Sugar Substitute When baking, instead of using powdered forms of Splenda, which contain .5 g of carbohydrate per spoonful because the powders use maltodextrin as a bulking agent, use DaVinci sugar free syrup which can be bought at online. These Splenda-sweetened syrups contain no maltodextrin or sugar. The Caramel or Vanilla are best for cooking. The White Chocolate works well for things like Cocoa. Usually a direct substitution works--1 tsp syrup for 1 tsp sugar. Do not do this for recipes which depend on sugar to hold everything together or to provide crispness. The syrups will work in custards, puddings, and cheesecakes. Some people like Stevia as a sweetener, but it will turn bitter if you bake with it.
- Cookies You can make delicious very low carb macaroons with a recipe on the Indispensible Low Carb Treats page. You can also make cookies using almonds ground very fine or purchased almond meal, but if you are trying to lose weight, almond flour is very high calorie and may not be a good option.
- Snack Food Sunflower seeds in the shell make a good "finger food" snack that is low carb will take the place of chips while watching the game, etc. You can make crispy snacks by putting slices of pepperoni in the microwave and cooking them until they become crispy. You can make crisps out of cheese by baking or microwaving small pieces of sliced cheese on waxed paper.
- Candy Low carb cream cheese fudge makes a nice chocolate candy treat. recipe on the Indispensible Low Carb Treats page.
- Pizza When it's pizza time, get a meat/veggie combo and just eat the toppings. Some people make "meatza" using a thin lining of pepperoni as the bottom crust when they make pizza at home.
- Chinese At Chinese restaurants, Hot and Sour soup usually works well. So do barbecued spareribs, wings, and teriyaki strips, though depending on the restaurant some of these may have sugar or starchy coating. Ask that no sauce be put on the ribs. Some places do a crispy duck that will not raise blood sugar too much. Chicken with string beans often works well, too. Needless to say, you must not eat the rice, noodles, and fortune cookies if you want to avoid damaging blood sugar spikes. There are some carbs in all of these recommended items, so don't eat them every day.
- Other restaurants Besides the obvious "chunk o' meat" entries try the steak "bistro" salads or Caesar salads with grilled chicken or shrimp (not fried!). Avoid any salad where you can't add the dressing yourself, as some chains will serve you bits of lettuce drenched in sugar when you order "salad." Stick with blue cheese, Parmesan pepper corn, or classic Italian dressing. Many flavored vinaigrettes are full of sugar. Be aware that some steakhouse chains sprinkle MSG on their steaks, which may improve flavor but leaves you ravenously hungry an hour later. If you notice that you are very hungry after eating at a steakhouse, cross it off your list. Besides making you hungry, MSG has been shown by reliable research to cause weight gain independent of caloric intake.
- Nuts Almonds, walnuts, and pecans are low carb in reasonable quantity and full of very healthy oils that lower cholesterol. You can heat them on a cookie sheet for a few minutes with a coating of DaVinci flavored syrups to make them fancy.
- Sinful Desserts For a fancy dessert try making a low carb cheese cake. Use the Classic Philly 3 Step Cheese cake recipe. Instead of graham crackers, use a crushed nut crust made by chopping walnuts or almonds and pressing them into the pan. Substitute DaVinci sugar free syrup for the sugar and bake for a few minutes longer than usual to cook off the extra fluid in the syrup.
- You'll Find Lots of Great Recipes Here Check out the recipes you'll find at Lamson Adventures Carb Controlled Recipes. Garth Lamson is a wonderful cook and his recipes are delicious. Another extremely helpful source of low carb menus and recipes is Linda's Low Carb Menus & Recipes. It provides many whole days' of menus all with recipes. The recipes come with beautiful photos and very clear menu directions. Between these two sites you should have enough ideas to eat for a year.
- More recipes from the Great Days of The Newsgroups You'll find many useful recipes at Cam MacDonald's Low Carbohydrate Recipe web site. There were contributed by participants in alt.support.diet.low-carb during the years when it was the best resource online for people eating junk-food-free low carb diets.
- Breakfast Most "low carb" cereals are full of soy, which is not good for your thyroid. Ground flax meal makes a very serviceable hot cereal, similar to Wheatena. Just add boiling water. A half scoop of whey protein powder adds protein. For additional flavor, stir in nuts, flaked sugar free coconut, or DaVinci sugar free syrup. If you must eat boxed cereal, stick to high bran cereals, but read the labels carefully. Instead of using milk, which is full of fast carbs, try using a little half and half or else stir in some plain yogurt. Most people are at their most insulin resistant at breakfast, so you will get better blood sugars by eating the classic eggs and meat breakfasts without toast and potatoes. If you are craving toast, use the Rye Vita Dark Rye or Sesame Rye crackers or GG Bran crackers instead of toast.
- What to Eat When Money is Tight Starchy foods are cheaper than high quality food that will keep your blood sugar down, but it is possible to eat a budget low carb diet, too. You'll find some helpful tips on this discussion thread at Low Carb Friends: Need Low Carb Recipes for the Jobless Poor
- Avoid Products Labeled "Low Carb" Most products labeled as "Low Carb" aren't. Using a variety of bogus tricks food manufacturers sell a lot of products, like Atkins Advantage bars that are full of sugar alcohols, glycerin, and supposedly "resistant starches" that will raise blood sugar, often dramatically. The troublesome sugar alcohols include Maltitol and Lacitol. The only sugar alcohol that is reliably low carb is Erythritol. Unfortunately, it is very expensive and though it looks like sugar, it does NOT cook like sugar, so avoid the temptation to buy it as a sugar replacement. Sadly, the delicious commercially made chocolates that used to be available with erythritol have disappeared.
- Avoid Sugar Free and So-called "Diabetic" Foods These foods may be free of sucrose, but they are full of sugar alcohols that will raise blood sugar. Many of them are also full of flour which will turn right into blood glucose as soon as it hits your digestive tract. The people who run the companies that sell "Diabetic" foods full of flour and starch deserve to have their feet amputated like the poor victims who eat their products under the delusion they are good for diabetics.
- Some Helpful Visual Aids Visit the Low Carb Friends Forum "Food Porn" discussion and look at the tempting photos. This long discussion thread is filled with user-submitted photos of plates filled with elegant, very low carb foods. There are lots of items that use low carb vegetables very creatively. The Atkins "induction phase" limits carbohydrates to the level of 20 per day which is much lower than most people with diabetes need to eat at, but the pictures you will find here should give you a lot of ideas for how you can construct low carb meals that will be extremely kind to your blood sugar.
NOTE: When you visit the Low Carb Friends web site, avoid the temptation to buy the supplements and foods supposedly causing miracle weight loss that you will see mentioned in quite a few message postings. The site earns its money by selling supplements and low carb diet foods. And since the death of the site's original founder, site management has permanently banned quite a few successful low carb dieters, including myself, who had been active on that site for many years, apparently because we had the habit of explaining the facts about low carb diets, and urging people to eating real unprocessed foods and to give up the fruitless hunt for the miracle diet supplement or magic food that would make pounds melt off like magic.
Learn More About How Low Carb Diets Really WorkTo succeed at your long term diet you will need more information than can easily be read off a web site. Jenny Ruhl's book, Diet 101: The Truth About Low Carb Diets provides you with the kind of in depth information you will find nowhere else.