Low Carb Shopping List
We’ve already covered the Low Carb, High Fat Lifestyle and why it helps certain people maintain and improve their health, so what should you eat and what should you avoid?
Quick recap: the Low Carb, High Fat Lifestyle aims to improve the insulin response of your body by lowering the total amount of sugar consumed. Instead, you eat plenty of real food that helps you lose weight and promotes wellness.
Let’s dive right in then!
Carbohydrates are basically just short or long chains of glucose molecules. That being said, some are better than others and are divided into multiple groups. There’s vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, and the processed and high carb stuff - candy, breads, cakes, cookies (yum), pastas, flour, starchy veggies, juices, and beer.
Note: The term "net carbs" simply refers to carbs that are absorbed by the body. To calculate net carbs in whole foods, subtract fiber as well as sugar alcohol (e.g., erythritol) from the total number of carbs. Keep that in mind when you read the labels.
There’s two main types of veggies, above ground and root vegetables. Root vegetables are starchy, grow below ground, are more complex chains of glucose, and have more carbohydrates per serving than above ground veggies. Here is a list of the best above ground veggies to eat.
Leafy greens (e.g., Kale, Lettuce, Spinach and Collard)
Eat more above ground and less below ground veggies.
Be mindful of how many carbs each vegetable has.
Eat root vegetables sparingly.
Anything with leaves can be eaten in large amounts.
Green colored veggies tend to have less carbs than others.
Ah yes, “Nature’s Candy”. Fruit is sweet and therefore loaded with sugar. Most fruits have more sugar than you would imagine though. Here is a list of the least sugary fruits in order:
You can eat fruits outside of this list but be conscious of how many carbs each has and keep your daily carb intake in mind when you choose.
Stick to berries in moderation.
Depending on your net carb goal, do not eat more than 1 - 2 fruits a day.
Grains, Legumes and Starches
In general, you’ll want to stay away from of these things as they tend to be the highest in carbs per serving. That’s not to say you shouldn’t have them once in a blue moon but be very mindful of the labels and nutritional facts. If you do want grains, then quinoa is a great option.
All meats are good on a low carb diet. If possible, try to get grass fed and organic meats as they will have fewer hormones and will be better for you. Good meats include:
Fish, especially fatty fish
The bread and butter of the low carb diet is all the fat you’ll be eating instead. You can get your fats from multiple sources. From animal fats, to oils and even spreads, just stay away from trans fats. Here is a list of some of the best sources of good fats:
Animal fats, especially fish
Another amazing source of fat are nuts and seeds. The problem is that some nuts have a higher amount of carbs than we would like. Here are some of the best sources of fat from nuts:
Sun Flower Seeds
This next group is higher in carbs but can be eaten in moderation:
Use fats to cook your veggies and meats for an easy way to add fat.
Eat plenty of fatty meats.
Use fats as spreads with veggies.
Be mindful of serving sizes with nuts and seeds.
Go for the full fat version of your butters and creams.
I know you’re dying to ask what you can possibly wash down all these foods with. The answer is simple: Water, tea, and coffee. Just make sure not to add sugars or carb heavy creamers, though a little is okay. Flavored water is fine but watch out for added sugars.
You shouldn’t drink, but if you must, then there are some drinks that are better than others.
Dry Wine, Champagne and Sparkling
Have your drink straight.
Avoid tonics, use soda water instead.
Don’t add juices or sugary colas.
Craft beer is often higher in carbs, so drink it very sparingly.