Buying low carb can be straight forward when you stick to fresh and raw produce, but venturing away from these two areas of a supermarket can become frustrating and time-consuming. So I’ve compilled a few ‘top tips’ to help you on your way:
‘No Added Sugar’ does not mean ‘Sugar Free’
This one is frustrating when you first start out on low carb – you see something you like, get excited at the label stating that it has ‘no added sugar’ and then you look at the label and realise there’s a lot of sugar in there. Natural sugar is still sugar.
‘Sugar free’ does not mean carb free
I wish it did, too.
If a sauce is involved, chances are – sugar is, too
Almost always. That’s why you’re better off buying raw meat and adding your own spices.
Don’t get fooled by the ‘per serve’
If you read off the label at the ‘per serve’ values, sometimes they sound great. But more often than not, those serving sizes are highly unrealistic and you’ll find yourself consuming far more carbs/sugar than you initially intended.
Don’t get fooled by the ‘per 100g’
Often, food items won’t have ‘per serve’ on their label, they do it per 100g..which can be irritating. Especially if there’s not even a weight on the packet. Just be weary of this. On the plus side, per 100g makes comparing food items a lot more straight forward!
Watch out for added carbs
We may have a thing for labels stating ‘No Added Sugar’ but we don’t currently have one stating ‘No Added Carbs’. Sausages are a prime example of why I wish this was a thing. So many of them (particularly the cheaper variety) have added wheat or carb products. This is particularly the case with things like cocktail sausages. I’ve been known to buy quorn ‘cocktail sausages’ because they’ve been lower in carbs than their meat containing counterparts!
The alcohol aisle will anger you
Nutritional Values on alcohol? Nope. None. Nada. Not in England. It’s not on company websites either. Your safest options are the clear alcohols, red wine, and go with everything else by experimentation.
Absolute no goes: think about it, if it tastes sweet…it probably is sweet. Mulled wine (unless made from yourself from a bottle of red) is an absolute no go also. There are low carb beers out there.. but I’m not familiar with them.
Supermarkets are becoming more low carb friendly
In the veg aisles, for example, you can often find pre-riced cauliflower and pre-spiralised courgette and butternut squash. Take advantage of these! They’re a little pricer than the raw product, of course, but they will make your life easier.