Nowadays, it seems to be quite popular to reduce carbs or even go on a ketogenic diet where your net carbs are kept below 20 grams a day.
So, why are people choosing to lower their carb intake?
And why are people looking to avoid foods that are generally higher in carbs?
Here's some of the main reasons why people are steering clear of high carb foods for you.
- To assist with losing weight
- Reducing hunger
- Maintaining stable energy and blood sugar throughout the day
- Reduce the chances of getting diabetes
- And much more
Is this because carbs are bad?
Certainly not, there is a time and place for everything nutritionally speaking.
Carbs can easily be overdone, especially the refined, ultra-processed and nutrient poor varieties like high fructose corn syrup.
They aren’t often as satiating as protein or fats making them much easier to overeat.
So, what are net carbs?
Above we mentioned net carbs, but what exactly are they?
Well, fibre is technically considered a carbohydrate, though it is not digested like one, it is our gut bacteria that use this as a fuel source.
When looking at a nutrition label, to calculate the net carbs, look at the amount of carbs and subtract the amount of fibre present.
We don’t want to discourage fibre consumption just so we can reduce carbs!
Portion size does matter
Sometimes it’s the amount of a certain food or foods that can take something from low carb to woahhh carbs.
For instance, adding a teaspoon of honey isn’t going to contribute all that much to the total carb count, but a few tablespoons certainly will.
Common sense to many, I know, but it needs to be said.
What foods are low carb?
Many people have heard of low carbs but don't know what foods have low carbohydrate levels.
Most animal foods are low carb and these include;
- Red meats
Milk (especially low fat), contains some carbs (lactose is actually a sugar) and honey is mostly sugar by weight.
On the plant side of things
In general, vegetables growing above the ground, are usually on the lower carb end of the spectrum.
Some low carb vegetables you'll see include these;
Nuts and nut butters
When most think of nuts, they usually think of the heart healthy monounsaturated fats present in them.
While a handful of nuts won’t likely contribute to a high amount of carbs, there are certainly some low carb varieties if you like eating more than a handful;
- Brazil nuts (limit to 1-4 nuts)
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While we may typically think of fruits as the candy of the plant world and them being high in sugar.
But that’s not always the case with the fruits food group as you'll see.
There are some fruits on the lower end of the carb spectrum, such as;
- Blueberries (seeing a trend yet?)
- Olives (yep, they’re technically a fruit)
- Avocado (thank goodness!)
While these are on the lower carb end, that’s certainly not to say they don’t have any at all.
If you’re on a strict low carb diet, it’s usually best to keep most of these fruits to less than 1 cup.
While it probably seems obvious, it doesn’t hurt to include oils here.
Oils are exclusively fat-based, meaning they contain no protein or carbs.
Coconut, olive and avocado oils are some of the healthier options to use in your cooking.
Grains and legumes
You may have heard that foods like quinoa and black beans are high in protein.
While they do contain some protein, they contain an abundance of carbs, much more than any other macronutrient.
This is certainly not to classify grains and legumes as inferior.
Just a reminder for you to be mindful of portion sizes if you’re going low carb.
Healthy snack ideas for work
Super Cubes smoothies
Thankfully, all of our Smoothie Cubes are low carb options you can use for a healthy snack or meal.
They're very easy to prepare as well.
You simply have to add 3 cubes and any other ingredients to the plant milk of your choice and then blend away.
Have you checked out the latest additions to our product range yet?
When looking at the net carbs per serving, all our Wholefoods Bars come in quite low.
This is as well as coming in full of protein, healthy fats and fibre to keep you satiated between meals!
The endgame on low carbs
While this is by no means a complete low carb food list.
Far from it.
What it does give you a place to start if you choose to embark on lower carb eating, or even just to dabble in it.
Just because something is low carb it isn’t automatically healthy and if something is high carb it isn’t necessarily unhealthy.
The key is finding the happy medium in your foods that will keep you full of energy while also helping you to achieve your goals.
Even if your only goal is to stay awake all day without having a nap.
Let us know what your favourite low carb food is or which healthy low carb foods you like to snack on throughout the day?