We all know to avoid sugars and starches, and any foods made with them., such as breads and pasta, candy, baked goodies, ice cream, chips, soda pop, etc. And we know to avoid the obvious natural foods which are sweet and/or starchy - fruit and juice, potatoes, corn, kidney beans, etc. But there are some less obvous sources of carbohydrates, both natural and processed.
Meats, Poultry, Fish & Seafood - most deli-style meats, meat loaves, ham, corned beef, bacon and sausages have sugar and/or starch filler added. Check the carb count on the label. Some are very low, 1 gram or less per serving, but some are much higher. Beware of the "lowFAT" and "ultra lean" processed meat, weiners, etc. They will definitely have starches added. Many canned fish products have sugar and/or starch added sauces. Also, some meats and seafood are high in carbs in their natural state!
- kidney - per 4 oz cooked : 1.1
- liver - per 4 oz cooked : beef - 8.9 gm; veal/calf - 3.1 gm; chicken - 1.0
- seafood - 4 oz cooked : clams - 5.8; crabmeat (natural) - 0 to 1.0; crabmeat (imitation "surimi") - 12.0 to 15.0; lobster - 1.5; mussels - 8.4; oysters - 8.0; scallops - 2.5; shrimp - 1.0
Eggs - one large chicken egg has 0.6 gm carbs. Cholesterol-reduced egg substitutes have 1.0 gm per 1/4 cup liquid.
Dairy Products - all dairy products contain some carbs. Milk has 11.0 to 14.0 gm per 8 fl oz. (lower fat content = higher carbs). Cream also has carbs, again lower fat = higher carbs. All types of cheese have some carbs, as well as cream cheese, sour cream and yogurt. Beware of the "light" and "ultra-low fat" types of dairy products; these definitely have starches used as fillers.
- cream - per Tbsp (15 ml) : half & half 10% - 0.6gm; table 18% - 0.5 gm; heavy whipping 35% - 0.4 gm
- non-dairy coffee whitener - per level tsp : regular - 1.0 gm; light - 2.0 gm
- cheese - per 1 oz : cheddar, swiss, etc - 1.0 gm; process slices - 2.0 gm; "light" process slices - 3.0; grated parmesan, per Tbsp - 0.4 gm
- cheese spread ("cheezwhiz") per Tbsp : regular - 1.0 gm; light - 1.5 gm
- cream cheese - per Tbsp : regular - 0.6 gm; light - 1.0 gm; ultra-low fat 2.0
- sour cream - per Tbsp : regular 14% - 0.6 gm; light 5% - 1.0 gm; ulta-low fat - 2.0 gm
- cottage cheese - per 1/2 cup : 4% - 4.0; 2% - 5.0 gm; 1% - 6.0 gm; non-fat - 7.0 gm
- ricotta - per 1/2 cup : regular - 3.8 gm; light - 6.0 gm
- yogurt, plain - per 1/2 cup : 3.5% - 6.0 gm; 2% - 7.0 gm; fat-free - 8.0 gm
Beverages - many beverages we think of as being "free" in fact have carbs in them
- coffee, both regular and decaf. - 0.8 gm per 6 fl oz; 1.3 gm per 10 oz mug
- tea, black and green varieties - zero carbs
- herbal teas - zero to 0.5 carbs, fruit-based are higher
- diet soft drinks - in general are zero carbs, but check the label carefully. Some fruit-flavoured varieties do have a small amount of carbs, which could add up if you consume a lot.
- diet fruit drink mixes, eg. Crystal Light - 0.2 gm per 8 fl.oz serving
Seasonings & Condiments - generally, we know that "sweet" sauces and syrups are high in carbs, but there are a few items which we use as dressings, seasonings and flavourings that are higher in carbs than you might expect.
- herbs - most green herbs from the leaf (basil, mint, oregano, tarragon, etc....) are less than 1 gm per tsp dried, or 2 Tbsp of the chopped fresh herb
- spices - from the dried root, seed or bark (cinammon, ginger, coriander, cumin, black pepper, cloves, etc....) are 1 gm per tsp of the ground spice
- blended spices, such as curry powder, chili powder, Chinese 5-spice, garam masala, pie spice, etc - have 1 gm per tsp
- vanilla, and other flavour extracts (almond, orange, etc) - 0.5 gm per tsp
- garlic, fresh , 1 large clove or 1 tsp minced - 1.0 gm; garlic powder, 1 tsp - 2.3 gm
- ginger root, fresh - 1 Tbsp grated has 1 gm carb
- vinegar - most vinegars are zero carb - white, cider and wine; balsamic vinegar is 2.0 gm per Tbsp
- hot sauces - most hot pepper sauces are zero (Tabasco, Red Hot), but beware some varieties such as Jamaican, Trinidad and Cajum style have sugar added. Read label carefully.
- bouillon cubes and powders - most commercially available products contain sugar and/or corn syrup. Check the label. One packet or 1/2 cube = 1 carb gm
- lemon and lime juice, fresh or bottled, 1 Tbsp = 1.0 gm; dried grated rind, 1 tsp = 1.0 gm
- soy sauce - 0.5 gm per tsp
- mustard - most plain and dijon prepared mustards are less than 0.5 carb per tsp; beware "honey" varieties, and Russian sweet mustard at 2.0 gm per tsp
- mayonnaise - most regular real mayonnaise is less than 0.5 gm per Tbsp. Beware the light mayo - 1.0 gm per Tbsp and ultra-low fat at 3.0 to 4.0 gm per Tbsp
Happy Low Carbing!