It’s common that most refined sugars and flours, such as white bread or treats with sugar are the type of carbs everyone should avoid if they’re trying to lose weight. Going on a keto diet can improve health, and has several other benefits, from less inflammation to feeling more energetic. To learn more about this positive low carb diet check out the Body Reboot book.
Unfortunately, mainly carbs and sugar throw off a diet. It’s easy to accidentally eat these types of sugar-laden foods, which can cause a lack of weight loss and not to mention other side effects such as knocking you out of ketosis (which is when a body is burning fat instead of glucose from carbohydrates). Thankfully if you arm yourself with the knowledge on what hidden carbs to look out for you can stick to the keto diet without wondering if you’re going over your daily carb allowance.
If you’re still wondering what hidden carbs are, here’s a great explanation from Perfect Keto:
In order to stay in ketosis on the keto diet, you typically don’t want to go above 30 grams of carbs per day. This can vary per person, but we’ll use it here as a rule of thumb. It can be surprising just how quickly that number adds up if you aren’t careful or used to watching for sneaky carbs.
You might be surprised just how many everyday foods, even whole foods, contain close to the keto carb limit just in one serving. To help you get used to intuitively knowing the amount of carbs in foods, we’ll be talking about some of these items and their carb counts.
Shape also mentions what ingredients should go on your radar if you happen to see them listed in the ingredients:
These hidden carbs can have a huge impact on your weight loss success. When Dr. Plourdé conducted a study of 308 overweight people, all on a high-protein, moderate-fat diet, knowledge of hidden carbohydrates was key to weight loss success. In his study, one group got no guidance on avoiding hidden carbohydrates, the second group got limited information, and the third group was given comprehensive guidelines on how to avoid hidden sugars and starches. The third group, with the detailed info, lost 67 percent of their body fat mass—almost 50 percent more than the group that didn’t know anything about hidden carbs.]
So how do you avoid these sneaky hidden weight loss saboteurs? First, look for words like maltodextrin (made from starch), modified starch, and powdered cellulose (made from plant fibers).
Jessica Cotzin, an author on BioKeto, suggests some popular snacks that many people have to cut from their diet to do the hidden carbs. You may think that it’s okay to eat some of these foods sparingly, but that’s just not the case!
Snacks and popular drinks are often the biggest culprits of hidden carbs, especially those posing as “healthy”.
Red Bull, 12 oz can — 40g
Naked Green Machine Smoothie, 15 oz bottle — 63g
Coca Cola, 12 oz can — 35g
Starbucks latte, grande size with 2% milk — 19g
Shredded Wheat, 1 cup — 17g
Cheerios, 1 cup — 17g
GoLean Crunch, 1 cup — 20g
Health Bars (always check the nutrition label!)
Chocolate Chip Clif Bar — 41g
Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Kind Bar — 13g
Lenny & Larry’s Chocolate Chip Cookies, 1 cookie — 40g
This is just a glimpse at some food items so you can get an idea, and hopefully it helps demonstrate just how many carbs these snacks contain.
Salad dressings are another huge culprit and unfortunately can have a lot of sugar and other hidden carbs. BioKeto says it’s better to make your salad dressing so you can control the ingredients.
Keep in mind that while your homemade salad may be packed with keto-friendly and healthy ingredients, you’ll also want to pay attention to the salad dressings you use. Dressings are notorious for how many sugars and added carbs they contain, not to mention the presence of hydrogenated oils.
Dressings that masquerade as being low-fat or low-calorie are never as healthy as they’d like you to believe. They taste good for a reason! And that reason often has to do with their replacing fat for sugar. This includes low-fat condiments and “light” dressings.
A typical serving size on a salad dressing label is two tablespoons, which is much less than the average person uses. Start checking your dressing labels and make more informed decisions. Opt for homemade dressings like oils and vinegars, avocado, spices, herbs and the like so you know exactly what you’re getting.
Mommy Over Work mentions a few more food items to stick clear of while trying to be successful on the keto diet. Many have hidden carbs which can derail your plans to lose weight, not to mention spike up your insulin levels.
Reduced fat peanut butter
Ones that are more processed include more carbs. Stick to the all natural stuff.
Regular yogurt is high in sugars and carbs
Breading on deep fried foods
Sometimes people can forget that the coating is basically all carbs. If you still want that yummy crunchiness, go for grounded almond flour instead.
Eat This, Not That explains where other hidden carbs often lurk, and if you’re not careful you may find them sneak onto your plate!
The bulk of your plate is filled with broccoli, spinach, and steak, but if you smother your entire plate with gravy, there's a good a chance your meal is far from low-carb. To produce an appetizing product, many sauces and gravies are spiked with flour or sugar, which are both potent sources of carbs. Make low-carb versions of your favorite flavor enhancers at home or read labels carefully to ensure what you're buying isn't serving up more carbs than you bargained for.
What about condiments? Eat This, Not That also explains why condiments can cause a lot of harm to your low carb diet efforts as well:
The same suggestion holds true for condiments. You know the “extra ketchup” Bobby asked to be added to his chicken patty? Carb bomb! Each tablespoon of ketchup contains about five grams of carbs or about a quarter of what someone going through the first phase of the Atkins diet is told to consume. And who really sticks to a single tablespoon!? No one I know. Things like honey mustard aren't any better, either. A small packet of the stuff from a fast food joint has about 11 grams of carbs, primarily all from sugar. Want to use healthy-ish condiments in moderation? Fine. Just know that the calories, sugar, and carbs have the power to add up quickly!
Seafood is generally a great option to eat on a low carb diet, but unfortunately, even seafood can contain hidden carbs. Educate yourself now about what to look out for and save yourself a lot of trouble with the damage sneaky carbs can do to your health. Keto Diet App explains more about what you should look out for when eating seafood on the keto diet:
Because it's well known for being a great source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, seafood may seem like an ideal choice for keto and low-carb dieters. While this is true of finfish and certain shellfish like shrimp and lobster, many shellfish in the mollusk category contain more carbs than you may be aware of – even if it is fresh, steamed and doesn't contain any other ingredients.
In fact, depending on your personal carb goal, a large platter of assorted seafood could push you over your daily limit.
Here are the average carb counts for 100 grams (3.5 ounces) cooked of various mollusks:
Mussels: 7.4 grams (7)
Eastern Oysters: 5.5 grams (8)
Pacific Oysters: 9.9 grams (9)
Scallops: 5.4 grams (10)
Clams: 5.1 grams (11)
And although plain crab meat is essentially carb free, look out for imitation crab, which is often used in seafood salads – especially at buffets – because it's much less expensive than crab. Also known as surimi, imitation crab contains fish mixed with sugar, potato starch, tapioca starch, and/or cornstarch, which may result in a grand total of 7 grams of carb per serving 100-gram serving.
Seafood is undeniably tasty and nutritious, and there's no reason to avoid mollusks altogether if you like them, provided you're aware of how many carbs they contribute to your daily tally.
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