Living Low Carb


 Low carb/Keto is a difficult concept sometimes when people first look at it because it is counter to the low fat, calorie counting we have been led to understand is the way to lose weight and be healthy.
Cooking and eating low-carb or Keto for weight loss requires counting of every single teaspoon of ingredients in everything you eat. If you are doing low carb for health, you don't need to be quite as vigilant with your carbohydrate counting, but have been eating this way for many months, and as a lover of wholesome, filling and most of all, tasty food, I will share some of my tips and hints here.

Many of my recipes are of my own creation, but many recipes are adaptations of those I have found elsewhere. The following links are useful for recipes and menu ideas. I have a copy of  The Diabetes Weight-loss Cookbook which has been a source of inspiration - more information about the authors and their stories can be found here.

Eating low carb or keto requires you to read every label on all the food you buy and everything you eat. Never go for low fat or diet options ( these often have unexpected carbohydrates added to mimic the texture and mouthfeel of full-fat versions),and all processed food may contain hidden carbs.  Not all products from different sources have the same nutritional values, this goes for fruit and vegetables, flours, tinned goods and even mayonnaise and so I recommend that you read your labels thoroughly, and once you find a brand that fits your purpose, stick to it.  I keep the nutritional information from everything I buy in a folder for reference ... this may appear extreme, but as an example, tinned tomatoes can vary by up to 6 grams of carbohydrate per tin... and if your goal is weight loss or ketosis, those extra 6 carbohydrates matter. 

Just because a label says *no added sugar* it does not mean it is sugar free, as there may be other sources of sugar in it. Lactose, fructose and maltose are all naturally occurring sugars and are present in many products that may contain no added sugar (sucrose).  If you see someone squinting at labels in the supermarket, it is probably me trying to read the small print without my reading glasses!

Not all vegetables are equal!  Green, yellow and red peppers have different carbohydrate values even though the amount of fibre, fat, protein and calories are similar.   Green vegetables ( except peas) are lower in carbohydrates than coloured vegetables, and broadly, the vegetables where we eat the product from above the ground ( broccoli, courgette, lettuce, spinach and asparagus) are lower in carbohydrates than where we eat the product that is below the ground ( carrots, potatoes, parsnips).  Tenderstem  or speciality broccoli is lower in carbs than broccoli, and spring onions and shallots are under half the carbohydrate value of brown or red onions