If you’ve started the keto diet and you’re not losing as much weight as you wanted to or you’ve hit a plateau that you just can’t seem to get past, hidden carbs may be partly to blame.
You know that on keto you must stay below a certain amount of carbs to maintain ketosis, but sometimes you don’t even know you’re eating them. Dinners masquerading as low carb may not be as low carb as you think, and you might find that you don’t quite understand the amount of carbs in veggies or seafood. Here are a few hidden carbs to look out for.
Most low-calorie sweeteners contain low-carbs, but always check the ingredients list because some brands in the granulated or powdered form contain added ingredients such as dextrose or maltodextrin which are the hidden carbs.
Another thing to watch out for is alcohol sugars. Always check the back of labels; never rely on the information presented on the front. I have seen brands that tote a label boasting “ONLY 5G OF SUGAR” only to have an addition 15g of sugar alcohols labeled on the back. These are supposedly non-digestible sugars, but you need to monitor to see how you react to them.
Watch your condiments! It’s not that using a bit of ketchup for some flavor or a little BBQ sauce to make your steak more lively will ruin your diet, it’s more about how much you use. Get out a real tablespoon for measurement and don’t use more than the allotted serving size.
Some condiments to use sparingly include ketchup, BBQ sauce, sriracha, teriyaki, and balsamic vinegar.
3. No Sugar Added
No sugar added does not equate to no sugar! “Sugar-Free” and “No Sugar Added” are two completely different things. For instance, some fruit juices are able to tout the claim “No Sugar Added” even though they are filled with sugar.
This also applies to green juices and smoothies marketing themselves as healthy. Just because no sugar was added, doesn’t mean that it lacks sugar.
4. Meats, Seafood and Veggies
Always be aware of how many carbs are in the veggies you’re eating. While some veggies like cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli are low carb, don’t over do it. Stay away from starchy vegetables because they WILL hinder your progress. This includes potatoes, carrots, cooked onions, sweet potatoes, yams, and parsnips.
Watch it on the seafood! If you’re someone that loves seafood, it’s important to know that your favorite items are not zero carb! One 4oz serving of the following has this carb content:
- Oysters: 8g
- Scallops: 2.5g
- Shrimp: 1g
- Natural crab: 1g
- Imitation crabmeat: 12-15g
- Mussels: 8.4g
A good rule of thumb is to believe that there are always hidden carbs in whatever you eat. Always read the labels, always be alert for them. Once you’ve been on keto for a while, you’ll get the hang of it!
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