When you first start a low carb plan one of the first things you need to be willing to do is clean out your pantry. Frankly, overhauling your fridge may be also necessary. To avoid the dreaded “I don’t know what to eat” or reaching for forbidden food.
So where do you start? First, let’s get rid of all the junk food. Your going to have to take a deep breath and be fierce here. Start with the obvious candy and packaged snacks and then move to other processed foods. Why? Because most of these are loaded with hidden sugar, which translates into bad carbs. No need to feel guilty if you have lots of food, the local food bank or other charities will welcome your donations.
Now for the fun part, restocking. On a low carb plan you will be eating more fresh produce and other perishable foods. So you need to plan accordingly. Next, comes the part where you need to be extra careful, condiments. This is where reading your labels is a must. You will have to reevaluate your salad dressings and make sure that they are not loaded with sugar. Generally, you’ll find that low fat dressings are the worst offenders.
Once you replace your condiments with low carb options, move on to stocking your baking pantry. When it comes to baked goods most will not meet the low carb standard. This is where you will need to stock your pantry with the right low carb flours. Notice, I did not say gluten free. Not all gluten free flours are low carb. In fact, many gluten flours are made with potato or rice starch which are extremely high in carbs. So read your labels well. You will find that almond and coconut flour will be your go to flours.
So what staples should you include? let’s start with the obvious liquids. Water should be at the top of your list as well as tea and coffee. Some people have mixed views on diet drinks, you need to do what’s best for you. My theory is that transforming our eating habits overnight can be difficult without having some transition foods. You can wean off these as you move forward. These however should not be an everyday treat.
Regarding dairy products, choose from a huge selection. From the gourmet to the humble there is plenty to choose from . Eggs will be a big part of your diet, and we are talking about the real thing here. Ditch those egg white substitutes that comes in a box. Use real butter not fake margarine, as our bodies cannot recognize them and it causes blocked arteries.
When it comes to vegetables your best bet is to get large frozen bags of broccoli or mixed vegetables that are low in carbs. Your bagged greens will also come in handy. You also want to have vegetables to snack on so don’t forget your fresh zucchini, carrots , cucumbers and the like.
As far as meats, here is where you can have fun. Be willing to try new meats, as all are allowed including fowl, fish and shellfish. Cold cuts are accepted too, but avoid those containing nitrates and check the label for gluten and starch fillers.
Including Low carb products is optional but it will make your journey easier, especially in the beginning.
Low carb tortillas, low carb ice cream, we personally love Breyers Carb Smart.
Whipped cream, sugar free gelatin, sugar free jams. Make all these treats.
Fats and oils, most low carbers will tell you that foods high in saturated fats like coconut and butter are not a problem and are actually part of your plan when bad carbs are eliminated. Once your body is in Ketosis and is burning fat for fuel it will keep your metabolism running on high. What spells disaster is when we eat these saturated fats with a high carb diet. Make sure you use oils high in omega 3, and avoid partially hydrogenated oils like canola and all other man-made oils.
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Low Carb Keto Grocery List
Low Carb Vegetables 5g carbs per ½ cup cooked or 1 cup raw
• Asparagus Beans (green, wax, Italian)
• Brussels sprouts
• Green Onions
• Mixed Vegetables (no corn or peas or potatoes)
• Pea Pods
• Salad Greens
• Summer Squash
• Water Chestnuts
Meat / Protein (0g carbohydrate and 7g protein per ounce
• Tuna, fresh or canned in water
• Shellfish (shrimp, crab, lobster, etc.)
• Sausages ( look for nitrite free and gluten free)
• Cheese: hard cheeses such as cheddar and parmesan
• Cheese: soft cheeses such an muenster and farmer
• Greek yogurt, plain, full fat. Carb count should be less than 7 per serving.
• Sour Cream
• Cream Cheese
• Whipping cream
• Whip cream
• Half and half
• Olive oil
• Coconut oil
Nuts and Seeds
• Macadamia nuts
• Pecan halves
• Almond butter
• Cashew butter
• Canned tuna, salmon, crab, shrimp, sardines, anchovies
• Tomato products: canned tomatoes and tomato paste (look for the brands with the lowest carb count)
• Canned vegetables: green chilies, roasted red peppers, chipotle peppers, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, sun- dried tomatoes in oil, hearts of palm
• Chicken, beef, vegetable stock
• Sugar-free dill pickles or relish
• Mustard (no honey mustard)
• Cider and wine vinegars (use balsamic vinegar sparingly)
• Most bottled hot sauces (such as Tabasco)
• Most salsas
• Tamari soy sauce (avoid soy sauce if you are gluten sensitive)
• Mayonnaise – look for the brands with the lowest carbs or make your own at home.
• Sugar-free salad dressings
• Lemon or lime juice (1 gram of carb per tablespoon)
• Almond milk
• Coconut milk
• Diet drinks
• Miracle noodle (shirataki noodle) a no calorie, no carb product
• Low carb tortillas
Cooking or Baking Ingredients
• Whey protein powder, plain, vanilla and chocolate flavors
• Splenda or Truvia
• Erythritol , like Swerve
• Herbs and spices (but watch for mixtures with added sugars)
• Extracts (vanilla, lemon, almond, etc.) – avoid the ones with sugar.
• Broth or bouillon
• Cocoa powder which is unsweetened
• Gelatin (plain)
• Xanthan gum for thickening and binding
• Almond flour
*Coconut flours, keep in fridge
• Unsweetened coconut
• Coconut milk (can)
• Pork rinds
• Beef jerky or beef stick
• Sugar free Jello
* Star Fruit
* Fresh Figs
• Passion Fruit
• Other Fruit are higher in carbs and can stall weight loss and should only be included
once you are in maintenance and as a treat.