Today’s post is about the low carb foods to avoid and the hidden carbs that may thwart your diet.
I know, you’re thinking huh? Aren’t all low carb foods good? Most low carb foods are good, but there are some sneaky ones that you may not be aware of.
It’s the carbs that you don’t know about that can kick you right out of ketosis and stall weight loss.
Hello and welcome to Fearlessly Holistic.
My name is Irma and I want to share my journey to improved health by eating whole foods, moving my body and eliminating stress as much as possible.
It is my hope to inspire you to make daily changes. Why? Because eating fresh, seasonal food, getting some sunshine, and purging unhelpful thinking is the best way to increase longevity. But you do not want just a long life.
You want a quality long life, and the good health to enjoy it.
Ready to start keto? Grab my KETO FOOD GUIDE and start eating better today.
Keto diet, and especially clean keto which I advocate for, it healthy and delicious and nourishes your body which encourages healing and weight loss.
My blog posts are my opinion and the results of things that I have tried that either worked for me or didn’t. My opinions are for informational purposes only and are not intended as medical advice. Medical advice should always be obtained from a qualified medical professional for any health conditions or symptoms associated with them. As well, there may be affiliate links in this post. Read more here.
The Low Carb Foods You Should Avoid
While you want to keep your carbs as low as possible on keto, since you are only allotted 20 net carbs a day, there are some foods with zero or extremely low carbs that are still not good for you to consume.
Try to stay away from these “no carb” or “low carb” foods and additives.
In terms of fats that you can eat, margarine is among the worst ones to use when you are on a keto diet or any other diet.
Margarine does have nearly zero carbs at 0.1 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon.
However, butter also has zero carbs, so there is no reason you shouldn’t go for the real thing.
Margarine is made from vegetable oil, which is one of the few oils you want to avoid on the ketogenic diet.
A better option is to just get regular real butter. Eat a 2 ingredient natural food (butter, salt) rather than a multi-ingredient lab created psuedo-food.
Grass-fed butter is ideal, because grass-fed cows produce milk with Vitamin K, which enhances the benefits of Vitamin D3.
This combo promotes better bone health, lowers blood pressure and lowers your risk of heart disease.
Be sure to speak with your primary care physician if you take blood thinners, because of the blood clotting effects of K2.
When the choice is between butter and margarine, always go for the butter.
It can be tempting to have liquor on a regular basis since clear liquors have little to no carbohydrates, but they can stall your weight loss and even knock you out of ketosis.
The reason they lead to a stall is because your body needs to burn off all the alcohol before it will burn fat.
And your liver can only process so much at a time, so a night of drinking may still be processing the next day.
The alcohol is burned instead of any fat, so you won’t lose anything during those days.
You may wake up with a weight loss, but it will come right back as soon as you start eating again. sigh.
Drinking occasionally won’t do much harm, but daily drinking can lead to no weight loss and no ketosis.
These sweeteners might have zero carbs, but they are still not good for you.
Sugar, such as table sugar or candy, is unnatural.
There are no candy trees in nature and most people would not go to the trouble to take sugar cane and process it into a granular form.
Artificial sweeteners aren’t natural either.
They are technically called High-Intensity sweeteners by the FDA because they are highly concentrated, so you use very little to get the zero calories.
However, there are no published studies on the long-term effects of use, so we have to go by reports from the general public.
Many users complain that they lead to sugar cravings.
There are also reports that eating too much artificial sweetener dulls the taste of the natural sugar in whole fruit.
That is why they seem to come and go out of favor.
The product is great at first, but then people start reporting their side effects.
Some manufacturers use sugar alcohols (malitol, sorbitol), but the side effects of those products include diarrhea and bloating, so beware.
The only two that seem to have any friends in the low carb community are stevia and monk fruit blends. Be aware of added ingredients with these two products.
Use sugar substitutes only until you can wean yourself off of unnaturally sweetened foods.
High Amounts of Protein
When you want something with high fat and no carbs, meat is usually the best option.
However, meat, poultry, and seafood also have a lot of protein.
If you eat more protein than your body needs, the excess is converted to glucose.
This glucose is the same as when you eat carbs, and it can kick you out of ketosis.
On a keto diet, your protein should be moderate, so try to break up your meals with more veggies, nuts, and even some berries for sweetness.
This is why it is recommended to use a free food tracking app like Cronometer. I use this app daily to track the food I eat.
Figure out how much protein your body needs and tweak from there.
The Hidden Carbs in Your Keto Diet
It is great to avoid low carb foods that will not improve health.
But what about the carbs hiding in low carb foods that we may not be aware of?
Too many carbs will kick you out of ketosis
We do not want that because ketosis improves health by allowing our body to function with clean energy.
These hidden carbs in foods can be high enough to make you hit your maximum carb limit (or even exceed it) and you won’t even know it.
To master the keto diet, you have to know what’s really in the foods you’re eating.
And that means understanding the nutritional information on the packages.
Your home cooked foods are where you need to look for hidden carbs.
Some people on the diet believe that if they simply forego packaged or processed food and make everything at home, they’ll avoid consuming too many carbs.
But this isn’t true.
There are sneaky carbs in lots of keto-friendly items.
Even if you make everything you eat yourself, you can still consume more carbs than you thought you were.
Food items you wouldn’t think contain a lot of carbs can actually have a high amount. Here are 6 examples:
1. Garlic powder has six grams per tablespoon.
Many people think spices have no carbs, but you have to be extra vigilant when you’re trying to stay in a state of ketosis.
It can be better to use whole cloves of garlic and crush, chop or slice them to add to recipes.
You can also add sliced or minced whole garlic to oil in a pan, to flavor it, and then remove it before you add other ingredients.
2. Avoid Low-fat dairy products
Whole dairy products are better on the keto diet than low fat ones are because low fat means higher carbs.High fat dairy also tastes better and is more satiating, so you eat less and less often. And the fat improves brain health, so less brain fog and better mental retention.Click To Tweet
When you remove the fat from dairy, food manufacturers usually replace it with starches and sugars.
This is to give it the same “mouth feel” as high fat products would have as well as texture (low fat dairy is thinner).
Read the label and find the producst with the least amount of ingredients and the lower carbs.
3. Watch for the carbs in vegetables
Lettuce contains just 3 grams of carbs, while kale can contain 9 grams.
Now these are healthy carbs, so indulging in a huge salad should not impact your health by much.
However, you do want to be aware of how often you eat this way, so that you do not inadvertently sabotage yourself.
4. Check your condiments
Remember that the more ingredients contained in your food or meals, the greater the chance of hidden carbs.
Instead of using regular ketchup or bar-b-que sauce, switch to the versions that are either lower sugar or sugar-free.
You won’t be able to tell a difference in taste.
But the effect it has on your body will be better for you because you’ll be able to avoid all of the hidden carbs.
5. Not all nuts and seeds are equal
For keto diet, pecans, almonds, and macadamia nuts are all solid choices.
Avoid the higher carb nuts like cashews and pistachios.
In the seed category, good choices are chia, pumpkin, and flax.
Higher carb seeds are pine nuts, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds. Use sparingly.
6. Fast food options that seem low carb but are not
Even when ordering plain items, such as Domino’s naked wings, you can encounter hidden carbs.
While it looks plain and says plain, the truth is, all of the seasonings mixed in to make it taste good add up to a lot of carbs.
Check the company websites for nutritional information (it’s more up-to-date than blog posts) to keep yourself safe from hidden carbs.
You can test more “low carb” foods when you’ve been in Ketosis for several months
What I have found from personal experience, and I have read from others online, is that once you can maintain ketosis for a couple of months, you can get away with having a few more carbs and won’t get kicked out of ketosis.
That is because your body is used to burning fat for energy.
Switching to some sugar, and then back to fat is doable.
My only warning is that it can trigger carb cravings, so be aware.
Many people report being able to eat higher carb foods at celebrations or events and still losing weight.
I caution you to only try this option after you have reached goal weight, if sugar cravings were a problem for you.
I love eating low-carb and being in Ketosis; it has healed so many areas of my health. I have made the Keto diet to fit my life and the concepts that I am aligned with, which are clean, seasonal eating.
If you are interested in how I do Keto, please check out my free keto food list and quick start guide –
Holism targets overall wellness, and when we are well, we only get better with age.
Eat the best food that you can afford to give your body the building blocks it needs for optimal health, longevity, and looking good for as long as possible 😉
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Until next time, here’s to our health!