Watch Out for These Top 8 Foods That Carry Hidden Carbs
Believe it or not, some plain spices in your spice rack contain carbohydrates!
One of the toughest parts of keto zone eating is foods with hidden carbs.
They are seemingly everywhere.
After you’ve learned about carbohydrates and the foods that contain obvious amounts, you have to work further to find the hidden ones.
You have to detect them, and then omit or minimize them.
And along the way, many products make it harder with misleading or confusing marketing claims.
Why are carbs hidden?
There are a few reasons.
It may simply be a lack of knowledge, and not be obvious that carbs or sugar are in a specific food.
Or, perhaps the packaging claims “sugar-free” or “low-carb.” These have become buzzwords in multi-billion dollar low-carb food industry.
When eating out or even making a recipe at home, you may be surprised to find out which options and ingredients have added sugar.
Here are the Top 8 Foods with Hidden Carbs and how to detect, and minimize them.
KETO ZONE AND NET CARBOHYDRATES
First, let’s discuss what we’re detecting and why.
We are looking for total carbohydrates and fiber to calculate net carbohydrates.
Even small amounts of extra carbohydrates can keep you from being in the keto zone (1). Since most keto zone eaters aim for 20 grams net carbohydrates per day, it’s easy to reach this total too quickly if you’re not careful.
This doesn’t mean that all foods with carbohydrates, or net carbohydrates, are unhealthy, it just means you need to pay attention to them if you want to be in the keto zone.
Sort of like a bank account, you only have so many net grams of carbohydrates to “spend,” or eat, per day.
To find the net carbohydrates in a food, find the total carbohydrates (this is a total of sugars and starches) and subtract out the fiber. This number is the net grams of carbs.
Unfortunately, product marketing can still make this tough.
KETO ZONE VS. FOOD PACKAGING
Quite a bit of confusion comes from food packaging itself.
Basically, a manufacturer can make a lot of false or exaggerated claims on the front of a package. Unless it’s a strict health claim, it’s not well regulated.
So, they may state the packaged food is “low-carb,” a “keto food,” sugar-free” and more. They may or may not be.
As the consumer, it’s up to you to investigate beyond these claims.
To start, follow my #1 rule for food packaging:
Ignore everything you read on the front side of the packaging. It’s marketing. Some marketing is truthful. Some aren’t. Ignore.
Then, go to the ingredients list. Although there is still some ambiguity here, with ingredients like “natural flavors,” etc., it is still a better gauge than product packaging claims. You’ll get a good idea of what’s in the food.
Some common ingredients that are sugar, but called something else include syrups, molasses, honey, maple, date sugars, and more.
Decide: Are you okay with everything that’s in it? If so, move on to the ingredients label.
Pay special attention to total carbs and fiber to calculate the net carbs. Pay extra special attention to the portion size listed at the top of the label. Sometimes, manufacturers will use a ridiculously small serving size to make the food look lower in carbs. Double check the portion!
And, be aware of the top 8 foods with hidden carbs.
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