All Things Low Carb

Low Carb is a lifestyle I revert to whenever the scale goes too high or the clothes get tight.  I am not a thin woman, but thinner than I would be if I didn't occasionally have the discipline to do the low carb thing. Experience, and some research, tells me that cutting carbs, even if not enough to qualify as a low carb diet, is beneficial.   For those who are also trying to cut some of the carbs out of their lives, this page has much of what I do to cut the carbs.

Preliminary:  For those of you who are new to low carbing, you need to understand the concept of "net carbs".  When counting the carbs in a food, fiber is counted as a carb even though you can't digest it.  So to determine the amount of carbs that will actually impact your blood sugar, you should subtract the fiber.  So, for example, if you see that a slice of bread has 10 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fiber, the net carbs would be 8 grams.  1 gram of carbs is 4 calories.

Prepared Foods I can buy at Walmart.

There are all sorts of low carb foods out there but a lot of them can only be bought for a lot of money at specialty food stores.  These are the foods I can buy at Walmart, where I shop regularly because it is cheaper and, literally, the closest grocery store.

Sara Lee Delightful

A lot of stores carry this brand.  It is low in calories and carbs, having, on average 5-7 net carbs per slice.  It tastes like most spongy soft wheat breads you can buy but has less than half the carbs and more fiber.  It is a little more expensive than the absolute cheapest brands, but not as expensive as other specialty breads.

Smucker's low and no sugar jams, jellies and ice cream toppings.

There are other brands, but Smucker's is the best tasting.  They have recently added sugar free caramel and chocolate ice cream topping sweetened with Splenda.  The toppings are tasty and, for those who have tried sugar free in the past, NOT sweetened with Maltitol or sugar alcohols.  The problem with sugar alcohols is that they can have a laxative effect which can be very uncomfortable.  Splenda usually doesn't.

And, little known fact, chocolate, all by itself, doesn't have many carbs in it.  The carbs come from the added sugar, so if you can sweeten the chocolate without sugar, you can have that lovely taste with very few carbs.

Breyer's Carb Smart Ice Cream

Ice Cream is one of those foods that satisfies emotionally as well as physically.  But, alas, because most "ice cream" is really made from milk rather than cream, even when you make it without sugar it is still fairly high in carbs because of the milk sugar. (Cream has almost no carbs, and when frozen, makes a smooth and tasty ice cream but nobody commercial does that).  Carb smart removes much of the milk sugar as well.  If you compare the nutrition counts you will find that carb smart has about 1/3 the carbs of even no sugar added ice cream.  So Carb Smart is a staple in our house for guilt free comfort food.  Especially when topped with the Smucker's no sugar chocolate ice cream topping.


These come in various brands.  Some people like them, some don't.  If you have a craving for potato chips and are trying to do low carb, give chicharrones a try.  They have zero carbs.  They don't taste like potato chips but they are salty and crunchy and fat.  They can also be crumbled up and used as a breading substitute.


Canned menudo has about half the carbs of other soups and much more protein.

Naturally Low Carb Foods

Foods that can substitute for potatoes.  If a recipe calls for potatoes, try substituting cauliflower or turnips.  They won't taste exactly the same, but they will fit in most potato recipes.  Turnips have less than a quarter of the calories of potatoes and go very nicely as a potato substitute in stews.  They are also not horrendously expensive.  Cauliflower also tastes great with cheese or butter or sour cream and makes a tasty side dish.  These are both easy to find in most supermarkets and not horrendously expensive.  Less easy to find are kohlrabi and celeriac.  Jicama is also widely available in Southern California supermarkets and relatively low carb.  I initially had to force myself to try these but the lack of a side starch combined with my determination to stay low carb drove me to it.  I found out that I liked them and continue to use them.  They are full of nutrients as well.

Frozen strawberries 

are reasonably low in carbs and make a great contribution to tasty protein shakes.  You can buy a big bag of unsweetened (make sure it is unsweetened) frozen strawberries for around 8 dollars that will last you for at least 20 shakes.  Much cheaper and lower in carbs than buying a fruit smoothie mix.

Cheap protein sources:  eggs, peanut butter, tuna, hamburger, pork and chicken are all reasonably priced and low in carbs.  Some cheeses are also low in price and low in carbs.  One my latest discovery isn't from Walmart, it's from Costco-- two pounds of fresh mozarella for about 7. 50.

Green leafy vegetables, squash and all of those are good side dishes.  I love a big romaine lettuce salad with little green onions, tomatoes, radishes, celery and an oil and vinegar with garlic salt and pepper dressing.  Ummmm.

Low carb cooked cereal:  You can make your own low carb cooked cereal by combining  ground flax seed and oat or wheat bran.  Flax seed is very low in carbs and adds a slightly sweet nutty flavor to the cereal.  All by itself it has a somewhat slimey texture when cooked, so if you add some oat or wheat bran it takes away the sliminess and leaves you with a very pleasant slightly nutty taste.  You will want to add salt because most pre-prepared cereals have salt and you will miss it.  I mix the oat bran, ground flax seed, water and salt in a bowl and cook it in the microwave for about a minute.  It makes a very tasty cooked cereal especially when topped with half and half and sugar substitute.  Half and half has a lot less carbs than milk.

No comments: