Carbs -Top Tips

There is a lot of information out there about which foods are better to eat than others and the relative carb contents of these foods. The purpose of this website is to steer you in the right direction of useful information that we trust.

The Diet Doctor website is superb. Whilst some of the content is subscription only, there is a huge amount of free beautifully illustrated and very clear content. Have a look at the low carb diet for beginners section for starters. Download the Diet Doctor “Keto for Beginners” leaflet here.

Have a look at their very clear visual guides on the carb content of vegetables, fruits, snacks, nuts, alcohol, drinks, fats & sauces and sweeteners.

The Diet Doctor 14-day low-carb diet meal plan gives some handy ideas as to how you can start swapping to some lower carb options.

Here are some of our top tips

The key thing is to plan ahead. It’s about thinking what you are going to eat in advance, shopping for those ingredients and getting them into your fridge.

Breakfast

There are often time pressures in the morning. If you are really pressed for time in the morning, you could grab a quick hard boiled egg from the fridge that you cooked the night before (yes, you do have time to do this the night before!) Definitely better than a “breakfast cereal bar”. If you have a few minutes you could:

Try:

Full fat greek yoghurt with berries (e.g. raspberries, strawberries or blueberries) & nuts (e.g. walnuts or almonds).

A cheese omelette or scrambled eggs with mushrooms fried in butter.

Avoid:

Toast, all cereals including oats, breakfast bars, fruit juice and bananas.

Lunch

Lunch can be tricky, especially if you are working / out and about. If you rely on grabbing a quick lunch from the shops, “Meal Deals” can often consist of a sandwich, crisps, a sugary drink and a chocolate bar. This combination is a a total health disaster of ultra-processed high carbohydrate food. Planning ahead is essential.

Try:

If you are eating a healthy low carb combination of meat / fish & veg in the evening, how about cooking an extra portion to have for lunch the next day?

Salad with a portion of cooked meat cheese / tin of tuna / home made scotch egg / boiled egg (& olive oil / vinegar dressing).

Avoid:

Sandwiches, crisps, sugary drinks, pasties etc. “Meal Deals”!

Evening Meals:

It takes a while to get your head around breaking the habit of basing a meal around starchy carbohydrates such as potatoes, pasta & rice. Meat or fish with loads of veg is the way to go.

Try:

Spiralized courgettes can make a surprisingly good pasta substitute. You can cheaply buy a spiralizer or a julienne peeler to make long strips of vegetables such as courgettes or butter nut squash. Fry them in butter with salt and pepper – very tasty. Some supermarkets sell pre-prepared spiralized vegetables but it’s really not difficult or time consuming to prepare your own.

Fried cabbage is also good to eat and much better than it sounds. Slice up a savoy or white cabbage into strips, fry in butter and add seasoning. You can turn the heat up to char it a bit, which can really add to the flavour.

“Cauliflower rice” is a good low carb substitute for rice. Grate a raw cauliflower or put it in a food processor & blitz it. Put the bits of cauliflower on a baking tray, drizzle in olive oil, season & bake in the oven at 180c for about ten minutes. Serve as a tasty rice substitute. It works particularly well when mixed up with other ingredients e.g. a as a biryani.

Avoid:

Potatoes, chips, pasta, rice

Bread:

Most people can’t imagine life without bread. It strange but true, but when you have been living a low carb lifestyle for a while, many people find that they don’t really want it any more. You don’t need to stop eating bread altogether. Think of it as a treat rather than a staple and cut it right back if you eat a lot of it.

Try:

Try making your own low carb bread. There are a load of low carb bread recipes out there on the internet. We can highly recommend this almond flour bread recipe.

Avoid:

A lot of the bread that you see stacked up in plastic bags in supermarket is ultra-processed and should be avoided – even if it is wholemeal. Shop bought “low carb” bread or gluten free bread is generally not healthy either. Have a look at the ingredient labels the next time you are passing.

Desserts:

You don’t need to cut our desserts altogether for the rest of your life. That would be not fun at all. You need to keep them to a minimum if you are actively trying to lose weight. You will find it hard to lose weight if you eat desserts every day – save them as occasional treats.

Try:

If you are out for a meal, you could share a dessert rather than having the whole thing yourself.

Better still, go for the cheese option – go easy on the crackers and the grapes though!

There are a huge number of low carb dessert recipes out there. You could try the dessert section of the Diet Doctor website. The 8 week blood sugar diet recipe book has a really good low carb chocolate brownie recipe.

Avoid:

Most desserts contain a lot of sugar. A lot of shop bought desserts are ultra-processed and contain a number of other undesirable ingredients, such as vegetable fats. Don’t be fooled by “healthy” low fat yoghurts – they usually have sugar or sweeteners to compensate.