Which foods are low carb?

Believe it or not, there is actually a huge variety of low carb foods to choose from.  And then when you start combining the different options of low carb foods, then you’re not likely to get bored of it anytime soon.  For me,  I consider low carb to be less than 5 – 10g per serving.

So to begin with – All animal protein is low carb.  This includes, chicken, beef, pork, seafood, wild game, turkey, eggs, etc.

Most dairy is low carb, especially cheese.  And there are a lot of different cheeses out there.  I had one from Italy the other day called Padano.  It’s a type of Parmesan as I understand it.  But apparently different than Parmesiano Reggiano.  The funny thing is that milk is actually fairly high in carbs at 11.3g per cup.  But cheese is good to go in terms of low carb.

So that leaves us with veggies up next – alot of vegetables are low carb.  Typically the greener it is, the lower carb it is.  This includes your lettuces, broccoli, zucchini, kale, bell peppers, poblano peppers, cucumbers, celery, asparagus, etc.  Cauliflower is a good low carb choice.  Most root vegetables are not low carb, like carrots, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Any of the fresh herbs, like parsley, thyme, basil, garlic, oregano, savory, mint, etc. are all extremely low carb.

Next up is the wonderful low carb food category of fats.  Fats are fat.  They don’t have carbs, unless they have been mixed with them.  So butter, olive oil, mayonnaise, vegetable oil, flax oil, they are all low in carbs.  And they really add a ton of flavor to food.

So what’s left?  How about fruits?  Most fruits are high carb.  They have fruit sugars, aka fructose.  That’s what makes them so sweet tasting.  But there are several fruits, in particular the berries, that you can eat in small quantities and still be low carb.  In this category would be blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc.  A good low carb source of Vitamin C is lemon juice and lemons.

Now how about nuts?  Nuts can be low carb in small quantities.  They are one of those in between foods.  They contain carbs and proteins and fat and as long as you only eat a few at a time, you should be fine.

Now, foods HIGH in carbs that are anything with white flour, white sugar / corn syrup and things like rice & potatoes.  So this includes food such as bread, pastries, pasta, candy, cakes, sushi, etc.

So that’s the basic gist of it.  There are always exceptions.  And these days, there are artificial sweeteners designed to ‘trick’ the body into thinking it’s sweet but not reacting to it biochemically.  But, I really don’t care for them personally and consequently rarely use them.  There are so many good natural low carb choices that are deeply satisfying that I simply don’t need to result to artificial anything to eat low carb.

Lastly, the question of chocolate?  I know there have been studies about the value of dark chocolate and it’s anti-oxidant properties.  So is chocolate low carb?  Chocolate by itself is actually very low carb.  But by itself, it’s practically inedible and not very enjoyable.  And when you start combining it with sugar, then it quickly becomes ‘high carb’.  There is one exception and that’s a high quality Dark Chocolate.  The higher the cocoa content the lower the carbs.  Look for at least 70% cocoa or higher.  And even then you can only really have a small square or two to keep it low carb.  However, sometimes a little is better than none at all.

So how about a new dessert of a small square of dark chocolate and a couple pecans?  or almonds?  You could even wrap that in a mint leaf?  The combinations are endless – Enjoy!

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