A Low Carb Primer

Have you thought about how much sugar you consume on a daily basis?  If you’re like the typical American, you probably have not.  It’s in almost every processed food you have in your refrigerator including hot dogs, American cheese slices, and ketchup.  Did you know that one teaspoon of ketchup contains one teaspoon of sugar? 

Diabetes runs in my family, unfortunately, so I try to avoid sweets as much as possible.  This is especially difficult when I visit my mother as she has an unending supply of pies and cakes.  She knows she shouldn’t eat them but they’ve provided her comfort since my dad passed away.  We have discussions about good food vs. bad food and she has a fairly good understanding on the topic but chooses the sugar route regardless.  We can lead them to water…

If you look at the packaging on any food you purchase, you’ll notice a nutritional breakdown on the label.  Calories, fat, carbohydrates, sugar, etc., are all included.  If you follow a low carbohydrate diet, carbs and sugar become your primary focus and the lower you can keep it, the better off you are.  Foods that have zero or negligible carbs are meats, fats, and eggs.  Cheeses are generally low but be sure to check the packaging.  If you absolutely have to have a soda, diet is ideal, although it is bad for your teeth.

You’ll find that if you distance yourself from sugar and eat more foods with moderate protein and higher fat, your appetite will decrease.  If you feel you need something sweet to snack on, there are many treats you can have that don’t contain sugar including sugar-free jello topped with cream you’ve whipped yourself.  I like to keep sugar-free Torani syrups in my pantry because I can mix them with anything in order to satisfy my craving for something sweet.

Some filling low carb snack options include:

  • salami with mozzarella slices
  • bacon
  • olives
  • pork rinds

There are so many low carb options out there and when you begin to change your diet, the simplest food choices make it easier to stick with it.  Just eliminating sugary cereals and sodas can make a huge impact on your health.  Watching my grandparents struggle with Diabetes and seeing them sneak sugary treats when they thought no on was looking has made me even more determined to do what I can to prevent this from becoming my reality.  I don’t want to be a slave to insulin and doctor visits every three months.  Life is hard enough, I don’t want my health contributing to that.

Learn to read labels-even if you aren’t following a low carb diet, it is important to know what you’re eating.  It is also important to realize that labels are broken down into serving sizes so, while you may think the entire package is one serving, there may actually be many servings. Take this package of salami, for example-the serving size is 6 slices and the nutritional information on the label is for those slices.  There is 1 carb per serving size so if you were ravenous and ate the entire package, aside from having pungent intestinal distress, you’d only consume 16 grams of carbohydrates.  That’s quite low.


You can play around with sauces, too.  I adore Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo sauce on everything.  I love the flavor and put it on top of salami and cheese, eggs, steak, you name it, and at less than 1 carb per tablespoon, you get a lot of bang for your buck.


 If you decide to change your diet to one that is low carb, I suggest doing some research on the subject and checking with your doctor to see if it is something that would work for you.  I picked up some low carb books from my local thrift store and have read them several times, including this one.  I like how Dr. Atkins breaks everything down and makes the diet simple to follow.  If a diet is complicated, I lose interest.


(It’s not the prettiest copy but it was cheap)

If you are eating low carb, tell me your experiences, won’t you?

 

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