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When is a food/meal considered 'low carb'?


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I'm trying to limit my carb intake for a while, and was wondering how many carbs (per 100g or whatever?) , or what % carbs makes a food high or low carb?

I'm avoiding 'typical' carbs at the minute (bread, rice, pasta, potatoes etc.) and know that some veg is higher carb than others, but was wondering what was a good way of working out what to keep an eye out for for a while?

It's only temporary- I will to re-introduce complex carbs eventually, but on my Doc's advice I want to try this for a little while.

And if anyone can recommend any low-carb 'snack' type foods that I can have on the go I'd appreciate it?

Thanks.

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The way to judge whether a food is high or low in carbohydrates is to look at its nutrition information.   Wholemeal bread, for example, contains about 40g of carbohydrates per 100g.   An apple contains about 14g carbohydrates per 100g.  Spinach is about 4g per 100g.   There are books of tables which make the job easier.

Foods that don't contain any carbohydrates are generally proteins and fats...  So a low-carb on-the-go snack could be something like a hard-boiled egg.

 

 

I was looking at labels, but was confused as to whether something like the wholemeal bread is considered 'high-carb', I guess it is?

I'm probably better working out a daily menu & checking the analysis?

I was going to try and aim for 40% carbs, 35% protein, and 25% fat? Maybe it won't work, but I'm going to give it a go?

I think I'd rather carry around a tub of prawns than a hard-boiled egg (the thought of them cold gives me the shivers! LOL!). I'll have a look through the foods/recipes for some ideas.

Thanks!

I think you can drive yourself stark, staring nuts trying to work out the grammes of carbohydrates in everything you eat..... Smile  Your idea of working out a daily analysis and checking the split is a much better one.  If you do it in advance of your day starting you can see where changes are needed and make adjustments.   If your doctor thinks you have any kind of insulin resistance/pre-diabetic issues a lower carbohydrate diet might be beneficial.

Edited to say... sugars are the highest carbohydrate food... 100g of carbohydrates per 100g.

Original Post by gi-jane:

I think you can drive yourself stark, staring nuts trying to work out the grammes of carbohydrates in everything you eat..... Smile 

 PMSL!! I think I'm there already!

Yes, he thinks insulin resistence may be a factor in why I was having difficulty losing the weight. That plus a dodgy thyroid thrown into the mix!

I've finally lost weight doing a low-carb, low-cal diet supervised by my Doc, and now I'm getting closer to goal I'm trying to assess how to keep the weight off the best way. I know it'll be tough, but I have my Doc's/dietitians support t o do it, so please God it'll work this time!

It's good to see you again!  I'm so happy you've found a way to lose weight that works for you.

Some low carb snacks:  hard cheese, nuts, especially almonds

and I found a good article on the subject

http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/whattoeat/a/ snacks.htm

Original Post by clairelaine:

It's good to see you again!  I'm so happy you've found a way to lose weight that works for you.

 Hee-hee....you found me! I've been lurking this last while instead of boring everyone with my frustrations! Fingers crossed this will be 'my' solution? I promise I'll update my journal soon, I've been keeping an eye on your ER drama's, and glad you're keeping well.

Thanks for that link, it's much appreciated! It's hard to believe I'm 'allowed' to snack on nuts and cheese after living so long on a very low-fat diet...it's all new to me!

I thought low carbs was 20% carbs or less.

A low carb day is keeping your carbs between 100 and 120g in a day.  I don't want to discourage you, because obviously your doc knows best, and it is a good way to jumpstart weightloss, but when I was eating low carb, it was the most miserable experience of my life, and I'm currently giving up caffeine for the third time (and the last?).  Anyway, just be prepared to feel like a zombie for a week or so. 

I used to eat low fat cheese and lunch meat for a snack--I HATE meat though, so unless you're a fan, you'll probably get burnt out on that fairly fast.  Certain veggies are low carb, like broccoli and cauliflower (and plenty of others, those are just the first to pop into my head).

Good luck!

Thanks Sarah Blue, I've been doing this for nearly 3mths now, so have gotten through the 'zombie' stage! (Just about! LOL!)

I'm not a lover of pasta or rice, my carbs mainly come from veggies? I used to eat wholemeal bread or cereal for breakfast, so will have to either find a replacement or work out a way of including it into my daily diet ( by juggling other food choices?) I could definately keep my carb intake to between 100-120g a day.

Thanks for your help!

 

Original Post by sarahbluebelle:

A low carb day is keeping your carbs between 100 and 120g in a day.  I don't want to discourage you, because obviously your doc knows best, and it is a good way to jumpstart weightloss, but when I was eating low carb, it was the most miserable experience of my life, and I'm currently giving up caffeine for the third time (and the last?).  Anyway, just be prepared to feel like a zombie for a week or so. 

I used to eat low fat cheese and lunch meat for a snack--I HATE meat though, so unless you're a fan, you'll probably get burnt out on that fairly fast.  Certain veggies are low carb, like broccoli and cauliflower (and plenty of others, those are just the first to pop into my head).

Good luck!

Hm, I'm not sure where that 100 to 120g a day figure came from...if the typical American diet is 2000 calories (for reference sake) then 50% carbs would be 250g.  Generally if you are under 40% carbs, you are on a moderate carb diet, so that would be around 200g. 

Low carb diets can range from a "biologically zero" diet to a moderate "Zone" type diet.  Atkins, probably the most well known low carb diet, starts for two weeks at less than 20g of net carbs per day, though after 2 weeks you begin to both up your carbs through the addition of veggies, fresh cheese, berries, nuts...and then if you tolerate it, other fruits, startchy veggies and whole grains. People on Atkins may, once they are on Maintenance, eat anywhere from 40 to 120g of NET carbs a day (total carbs minus fiber and some would say glycerine and sugar alcohols as well); generally the more you exercise, the more carbs you can eat.

I don't believe "calories in/calorie out" holds true for everyone.  I started calorie counting in January and switched to Atkins the beginning of April.  I lost approximately 8lbs from January to April, and have now lost 16lbs from April to today.  Twice as much lost in less time.  I still log my calories diligently on here and my calorie count has not changed significantly at all.  However, I did find I lost better on a "calorie counting" diet when I ate around 1400 calories; I can easily eat between 1200 and 2000 on any given day with Atkins and still lose.

I do not find the diet nearly as restricting as I did with Calorie counting, mainly because I have PCOS and the carbs I was eating made me SO hungry.  Knowing I could only eat XX calories, I just felt really really hungry all the time.  I haven't felt hungry on Atkins once. My first week was not miserable, I had no headache although on day 9 I had a crazy craving for a granola bar.  It passed.

This is NOT true for everyone, by any stretch.  I really, really enjoy eating eggs, meats, lots of veggies, cheese, olive oil, butter, flax meal crackers and rolls, small amounts of cream and cream cheese, and I completely maximize my carbs each day buy eating fiberous foods, just as Dr. Atkins says to do in his 2002 book.

There are plenty of studies to say "this is the right way" or "that is the right way" but I think we are all different and we all need to find our right way.  Atkins isn't a diet by any stretch - it is a complete lifestyle change and one you have to commit to.  Just like calorie counting, if you start to eat high carb and high fat, you're going to get fat.  The combo of the two is the bad part. 

No matter what way of eating you subscribe to - low cal, low fat, low carb, whatever - do the research, be sure you are following the plan that you have decided on and not just "winging it" and enjoy it, because it's the rest of your life!

Thanks for that Dovelette!

I think my main sticking points will be for breakfast ( I used to have two weetabix and semi-skimmed milk?), snacks (crackers etc.) and what to use for 'sandwiches' (wraps- what kind, pitta's- what kind, bread- what kind etc. etc.?)

I won't cut out complex carbs altogether, I just want to restrict them?

Original Post by irishmum:

Thanks for that Dovelette!

I think my main sticking points will be for breakfast ( I used to have two weetabix and semi-skimmed milk?), snacks (crackers etc.) and what to use for 'sandwiches' (wraps- what kind, pitta's- what kind, bread- what kind etc. etc.?)

I won't cut out complex carbs altogether, I just want to restrict them?

There are lots of ways of eating to choose from, and I would suggest first doing some internet based research and then buying the book of whatever plan you are thinking of.

For me, Atkins works best.  For breakfast I have a zillion options - I make protein pancakes, protein smoothies, eggs n' cream, veggie omelets, bacon and eggs, quiche, and in later phases, I can enjoy oatmeal and you could enjoy your weetabix or another similar cereal.  I have no shortage of snacks, even "chip like" ones - I fry up cheese til it gets a little crispy, peperoni chips (peperoni the micro wave), veggies and yogurt cheese or dip, hummus, cheese or cheese sticks, deviled eggs, hard boiled eggs, veggies and cream cheese, nuts, apple and peanut butter on later phases, strawberries right after induction, and other berries, with real whipped cream...you can make flax crackers - I do!  I also make flax breads and flax rolls.  No, they are not exactly like the "real" deal.  But last night I had an "oopsie' pizza, which is a type of "bun" you can make but I turned it into a pizza crust, topped with roasted onions and zucchini, goat cheese, garlic and olive oil.  I was NOT missing carbs at all. And it's not that I"m not getting carbs...I get right now about 25 "net" carbs a day, and a whole lot of fiber carbs that I don't count - yesterday...I had about 40 carbs, and about half of those were fiber - lots of veggies! 

If you are interested in restricting carbs, do that!  Take a look at South Beach or the Zone, or just cut out processed crap and call it a day! I am only "pro" Atkins and low carb because it works SO well for me.  I don't even really snack anymore because I'm just not hungry. 

But the most important message, and how this all applies to calorie counting in general...Atkins, and most plans like it, will say "You don't have to count calories...but calories DO count!"  Meaning just because your carb intake is low doesn't give you license to gorge yourself on bacon and eggs all the time.  Eating low carb will decrease hunger and you should eat til you are satisfied, not stuffed. 

Anyway, good luck, be sure to do your research, it may surprise you, and know that each of us is individual and thus each of our ways of eating should be too!

Original Post by dovelette:

There are lots of ways of eating to choose from, and I would suggest first doing some internet based research and then buying the book of whatever plan you are thinking of.

Thats just it- I don't want to follow a plan as such- just a healthy diet with fresh veggies, lean fish/meat, and some 'good' carbs? I eat a lot of veg, and have found in the past that my cal intake has been quite low because of it, so was 'upping' my intake with not-so-good snacks (through ignorance I admit!). Now I know I can have things like nuts and cheese, I intend to incorporate them more into my meals, as well as upping them using larger portions of meats/fish.

My 'bread' and cracker choices are limited here in the UK- we're don't have a huge range of breads/wraps/pitta's etc- just pretty standard white, wholemeal, granary, half & half etc.? So I guess the wholemeal/granary version is the one to go for if I'm having it, I just need to count it all in and balance it out elsewhere?

Thanks again for the help!

I eat a very low carb diet and this is what some of my meals consist of:

- Egg Whites, Pumpkin, Cinnamon & Stevia

- Spaghetti Squash, Onion, Spinach & Salmon

- Ground Meat, Zucchini & Summer Squash, Spinach, Onion

- Green Beans & Clam Sauce & Spinach

- Fennel, Mushrooms, Onions & Asparagus & Fish of some sort

 

*No matter what I eat all of my meals are made with olive oil or olive oil spray, salt & pepper & garlic. I "sautee" a lot of my vegetables in water or chicken broth too.

*Eating 150 grams or less of carbs per day would be considered a low carbohydrate diet.

I keep my total net carbs( carb-fiber) below 40 net carbs I try to average my meals to no more than 10 net carbs. It seems difficult, however it amazingly is not and I in fact many times find myself eating less carbs than intended. There are many low carb products available. For instance one lunch I like is roast beef ion a low carb pita with 1/2 a cup of rasberrieson the side. which will come out to I believe 9 net carbs, though I don't have the exact in front of me.

Another favorite that I have found is Jim bean wing sauce w/ 0 carbs... I cook my chicken or beef into this and then toss it into some cauliflower, a little spinach and some broccolli. It is a little spicy but well worth it.

Anyways, my point is that there are several options available to eat low carb, the most important thing is to read labels, for the food industry now even includes sugar in all deli products--smoked turkey, roastbeef etc. It is not actually enough to matter, too much, however if I wanted 2 g  of sugar carbs i'm sure I can find something better than lunchmeat.

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