8 Hidden Carbs That Will Ruin Your Diet
Sneaky Carbs That Can Ruin Your Diet
Have you decided that it’s time to get serious about getting healthy? You realize that cutting carbs is a great way to do it. It’s common knowledge that to cut carbs you need to remove bread, pasta and starches from your meals, and of course no doughnuts or cakes.
I bet you’ll be surprised to see the hidden carbs in many foods that you wouldn’t expect. Hidden carbs can be found in foods that we consider “healthy” and these sneaky foods can keep you out of ketosis and stall your weight loss.
Places You’ll Find Hidden Carbs
Does this surprise you?
I had no idea that a multi-vitamin could have so many carbs in it. Many vitamins have sugar, or sugar substitutes in them that can drive their carb count up. One label we read was 4 carbs per pill with a recommended dose of 2 pills per day! What the heck? That’s 8 hidden carbs right off the bat. That’s before I’ve even eaten my breakfast. And it’s almost half your daily carb count when starting out!
Vitamins can be hard to decipher since carbs may not be included in the nutritional information. Rest assured if it’s flavored, coated or chewable it may have a surprising amount of carbs in it.
Dried Soup Mix
First let’s start with the fact that most packaged mixes, shredded cheese and other products contain cellulose.
Do you know what cellulose is?
I didn’t, but I’m actively looking for it now, and ways to cut it from my diet.
Cellulose is dried wood pulp derived from plants. It is not known to cause any adverse health effects, and it’s not really digestible. Cellulose is an additive that can help keep mixes (and pre-shredded cheese) from sticking together. It can also provide a certain texture to a (processed) food. It’s used in so many processed food it’s mind boggling.
While I will cut it out of my diet because of the ick factor, note that it is a starch and it does contain carbs.
So you would naturally assume that a snack bar that’s high in protein would be low in carbs right?
Definitely not true. Many of the protein bars on the market are geared toward athletes and quick energy so they may be jam packed with carbs.
If you’re looking for a protein bar to snack on you’ll want to focus on ones that are specifically made for low carb diets. You’ll also need to watch out for those hidden sugars.
Milk and Milk Alternatives
Milk contains lactose. Lactose is a sugar that occurs naturally in dairy. Whole milk is a better choice than 1% or 2% milk but it’s still a very carb heavy drink, which is why heavy cream is the choice for a ketogenic diet. Even cream has some carbs in it, and needs to be used in moderation.
If you’re dairy free you have to note that some milk alternatives may also be high in carbs. While they may be great for food allergies, many milk alternatives may be sweetened or flavored, and different alternatives will have different carb counts. Unsweetened coconut milk may have zero carbs, but a flavored milk alternative, such as almond milk, may be filled with carbs.
Nuts – Know Thy Nuts
Nuts can be great for a low carb diet. They’re a great source of protein and I love that they add some crunch to my salads and my snacks. But here’s another place that one is not like the other.
Some nuts are very high in carbs. One of the worst culprits is cashews, rolling in with 9 carbs in 1 oz . One ounce is not a very big serving!
Macadamia and almonds are the best choices when cutting carbs. Nuts are one of those food that’s really easy to overeat. A little goes a long ways here so it pays to know the serving size and count or measure those nuts.
Here’s another hidden carb that’s usually considered a “healthy” food. Almost every diet will tell you to have Balsamic vinegar and oil on your salad. It’s practically considered a freebie on diets.
Balsamic vinegar contains sugar. And it contains carbs. One tablespoon of balsamic vinegar contains 3-4 carbs. Plain white vinegar has zero carbs but adding that balsamic flavor into it changes the carb count drastically.
Time to find a new salad dressing.
No Sugar Added Foods
Would you assume that if a food doesn’t have sugar added to it that it’s lower in carbs?
Well here’s another one of those sneaky places to find carbs. Many times a no sugar added food has a substitute sweetener, such as sugar alcohol, and it’s loaded with carbs. When you’re in the grocery store just try comparing the labels from a regular item to it’s sugar free version and watch the carbs skyrocket. But hey, you’re not supposed to be looking at cake mixes anyway!
Condiments and Sauces
One of the worst places to find carbs accidentally is in condiments, sauces and salad dressings. Ketchup and soy sauce can be very carb heavy and they are loaded with sugar.
Sometimes the sugar free versions are no better than the regular versions so this is definitely a time to read those labels. And let’s be honest, the serving sizes on condiments are a trace of what we usually consume.
You may find that making your own condiments is the best course, and also the most flavorful.
Avoid those Hidden Carbs
The best thing to do is to avoid processed foods and eat food without labels. You know, the fresh stuff. The less ingredients your food has, the better. Not only will you avoid carbs, but also sugars and chemicals and that will lead to a healthier you no matter what kind of diet plan you’re following.
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