It’s always important to remember that a label that reads low carb may not always equate to a healthy choice. We must keep our heart health at the forefront of our food choices. Oftentimes high saturated fat foods are lower in carbohydrates; in addition, studies show that a diet high in saturated fat can lead to increased risk of heart disease.
- Look for hidden sources of carbs in cooked meat — Breading of meats and adding of flavorings such as honey, teriyaki, maple will add carbohydrates.
- Choose more non-starchy vegetables — Some veggies must be counted as higher carbohydrate foods such as potatoes, peas, and corn. Although these are sources of carbohydrate, they also contain a good source of fiber and nutrition – it is important to monitor your portion size closely if you choose a starchy vegetable. Choosing non-starchy vegetables will boast high sources of fiber, water, and nutrients with less effects of carbohydrate intake per serving.
- Remember milk is a source of carbohydrates — Milk is a healthy item and is recommended to be consumed daily but if you are counting carbs, remember that 8 ounces of milk is 12 carbs.
- Pay attention to sauces and dressings — Sauces can often be hidden sources of sugar especially in ketchup and barbeque sauce. Look for no added sugar or sugar free options in this category. Salad dressings are often a source of sodium, fat, and/or sugar. With fat free salad dressings, these emulsions often replace the fat with sugar. Reading your food labels in important in choosing the best options.
- Yes, you can eat bread — Oftentimes we think we can’t eat bread if we are lowering carbs, however, there are some bread options for us. Look for breads such as Nature’s Own Light Wheat Bread or Pepperidge Farm Very Thin Sliced Bread. Bagels can take a large portion of your carb budget; however, look for Thomas Wheat Bagel Thins for an occasional bagel craving. We now have several tortilla options that are lower in carbs such as Mission Carb Balance Tortillas with only 4 net carbs.
- And, yes, you can have dessert, too! — Choosing wisely is the key. Curb your sweet tooth with items such as yogurt with fruit or Edy’s No Sugar Added Ice Cream. It’s about portion and balance! Whichever item you choose to curb your sweet tooth, have a small portion. In addition, don’t tempt yourself by buying items that you know you will have a hard time portioning or limiting.