All posts by admin

Low Carb Health & Medical Information

Going low carb can improve your health and make you look and feel better – learn how to do it right. The low carb lifestyle has met with some resistance by those concerned with the health effects of reducing carbohydrates in a dietary plan. Like any diet, individuals living the low carb life must ensure that they are consuming enough vitamins, nutrients, and energy sources to keep the body operating in peak condition. While you can meet all of your nutritional requirements when living low carb, there are specific risks to the low carb diet that should be considered and monitored.

Common Concerns with Low Carb Dieting

Carbohydrates includes fibre which is essential to good health. Low Carb living does not mean cutting out all carbs – only the bad types. People who decide to start a low carb diet without understanding the importance of fibre can bring harm to themselves. A sudden drop in fibre consumption can cause constipation, serious illnesses in the digestive system such as diverticulitis, some cancers, and even cardiovascular disease. However, fibre can be found in many sources that are low carb, including wheat bran, dark, leafy greens, broccoli, and blackberries.

Individuals on a low carb diet must also be careful that their diet is not too high in saturated fats or too low in vital nutrients. Foods high in saturated and trans fats have been found to be a major risk factor for heart disease, strokes, high cholesterol, and some cancers. Therefore, foods high in saturated fats, such as fatty meats and full-fat dairy products, should be eaten in moderation or avoided in favour of lean meats, fish, and low carb nuts and seeds.

Additionally, a wide range of low carb fruits and vegetables should be eaten in order to intake as many vitamins and nutrients as possible.

Insulin Levels

Insulin levels can also be affected by a drop in carb intake. When carbohydrates enter the body they are quickly converted into glucose. The amount of glucose in the bloodstream determines the amount of insulin produced. A slow, steady trickle of glucose such as that provided by a low carb lifestyle will require less insulin than the quick spike of glucose converted from a candy bar or piece of white bread. Lower insulin levels have also been linked to a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Maintaining steady insulin levels by controlling the quantity and type of carbohydrates eaten, combined with supplementing with healthy omega-3 fatty acids and by exercising regularly is a recipe for success.

Tips to Ensure Nutritional Requirements Are Being Met

The health benefits of a low carb diet are numerous. Whenever major changes are made to your diet, however, care should be taken that your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs.

To ensure all your nutritional requirements are being met, try incorporating these tips into your lifestyle. By becoming conscientious about what you are consuming, you will be on your way to looking good, feeling great, and living longer and healthier!

  • Keep your diet varied by including a wide range of veggies, fruits, and proteins.
  • Plan out your meals to ensure you are meeting the Recommended Daily Intake of all nutrients.
  • Take nutritional supplements such as a daily multivitamin and drinkable fibre (if do not get enough fibre from food).
  • As with any diet, see your family doctor before making any major changes to your lifestyle.

What is The Low Carb Lifestyle?

The low carb lifestyle is a simple, effective, and safe way to improve your health. Whether you want to lose weight, manage an illness, or simply feel healthier and more energized, reducing your “bad” carb intake while increasing “good” carb intake can help you meet your goals. (Read more about carb counting here). Some diets might be frustrating and discouraging due to the lack of variety, taste, and visible results. The Low Carb Lifestyle enables you to eat a rich, diverse diet until you are satisfied. Start to look and feel better immediately!

Low Carb Basics

Many individuals new to the low carb lifestyle can become overwhelmed by the technical aspects and scientific terminology related to various low carb diets. But low carb living is actually quite simple. Here you’ll find a primer with everything you need to know to get started with your new low carb dietary plan.

From the science behind why low carb diets work, to how to effectively integrate your new diet into your lifestyle, The Low Carb Grocery offers tons of helpful hints, recommendations, and do’s and don’ts to make your new lifestyle a success.

Health & Medical Information

Low carb living is just as healthy and nutritious as any other type of dietary plan, and can even benefit those who suffer from certain ailments, such as diabetes. Certain areas of your diet should be monitored supplements to ensure you are meeting all of your nutritional requirements. The Low Carb Grocery explains which vitamins and nutrients you may be lacking and why, and offers suggestions of foods and products to meet your dietary needs.

Low Carb Fitness

Regular exercise is an important part of any healthy lifestyle and changing your diet. We’ll explain why newcomers to low carb living can sometimes find exercise more difficult at first. Check out some tips for how to adapt your exercise routine for optimal results.

Diet Centres

If you are looking for a little more guidance when beginning your low carb diet, you may wish to seek help from a diet centre. Here, nutritionists and dietary specialists monitor your progress, and offer specialized menus, fitness plans that will educate you, motivate you and keep you on the right track towards your health goals.

Low Carb Diets

If you have just been introduced to the low carb life, perhaps you need a little guidance. The thought of carbohydrate laden foods brings up breads, pastas, and cereals; but certain fruits, vegetables, and proteins can also contain large quantities of carbs. For this reason, many individuals new to the low carb life follow a specific diet or meal plan to help them get started. What diet you choose depends on your goals, your lifestyle, and your budget. We at The Low Carb Grocery have compiled information on some of the most popular low carb diets to help you understand the types of diets available.

Low Carb Books

There are many fantastic resources for learning more about the benefits of low carb living, so we’ve rounded up some of our favourite books to get you started.

Nutrition Supplements

Read about what nutrition supplements may help you round out your diet. Recommendations for nutritional products will keep you feeling good and in optimum health.

Low Carb Recipes

Living low carb means living to take control of your health, feel more energized, and manage your weight – all without feeling like you are missing out. It means being proactive about your health by ignoring trends and living in a way scientifically proven to be effective. Essentially, going low carb is a simple, effective, and safe way to improve the way you feel – every day.

The recipe section of The Low Carb Grocery offers a wide range of recipes for every meal, every taste, and every budget. These recipes show that you can create tantalizing meals that fill you up, satisfy your cravings, and give you the energy to get through your busy day – all without making you feel like something’s missing from your meal.

Low Carb Diets

When first starting the low carb life, you might need a little guidance. These popular diet plans will get you where you want to go.

When we think carbohydrate laden foods, we often think breads, pastas, and cereals, but some fruits, vegetables, and proteins can also contain large quantities of carbs. For this reason, many individuals new to the low carb life follow a specific diet or meal plan to help them get started. What diet you choose depends on your goals, your lifestyle, and your budget.

We at The Low Carb Grocery have compiled information on the most popular low carb diets to help you make your decision and meet your goals.

Atkins Diet          

The Atkins Diet is the most marketed and well known of the low-carbohydrate diets. The publication of Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution in 1972 represented a radical departure from the prevailing theories on diet and nutrition at the time. Developing his diet after successfully treating thousands of patients, Atkins argued that the main cause of obesity was eating refined carbohydrates such as sugar, flour, and high-fructose corn syrups.

The diet focuses on restricting carbohydrate intake in order to enter ketosis and, as a result, switching the body’s metabolism from burning glucose to burning stored fat. For more information on the Atkins Diet, click here. Today, Atkins Diet books have sold millions of copies, and Atkins now offers a line of meals, bars, and shakes to help dieters get started.

Dukan Diet

Unlike other low carb diets that allow high fat, the Dukan Diet advises more moderate carbohydrate restriction combined with lower fat, lean meats and dairy products. The diet includes a list of over 100 allowed foods and consists of four phases that gradually allow more carbohydrate consumption: attack, cruise, consolidation, and stabilization. In the attack phase, no carbohydrates, including vegetables, are permitted, and dieters are instead allowed to eat as much as they want of 68 protein rich foods, supplemented by oat bran.

In the cruise and consolidation phases, protein only and protein and vegetable days are alternated, with whole grains, fruits, and higher fat dairy incorporated slowly. The four stage process and less-restrictive end diet aims to both get weight off, and keep it off.

Poon Diet   

Toronto-based Dr. Poon created his eponymous diet to treat his patients’ medical problems that were caused by excess rain. He found that even a 10% reduction in weight could ease, and even eliminate problems such as Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, high serum cholesterol, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and many others. The diet (LINK) he developed to help his patients focused on decreasing fat while retaining muscle and bone density, and was designed to allow for quick and safe weight loss that could be kept off for life.

The diet, which is low carb, low sodium, moderate fat, and high protein, was found to promote quick and steady fat burning during the medically supervised Phases 1 and 2, and to sustain the new healthy lifestyle during the final maintenance phase.

GI Diet

The Glycemic Index, developed by Dr. David J. Jenkins of the University of Toronto, ranks carbohydrates based on the immediate effect they have on blood glucose levels once consumed. Carbohydrates that break down rapidly during digestion have the highest glycemic indices. Such carbohydrates require less energy to be converted into glucose, which results in faster digestion and a quicker increase of blood glucose. Complex carbohydrates that break down slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the blood stream, have a low glycemic index. A lower glycemic index suggests slower rates of digestion and absorption of the sugars and starches in the foods. Jenkins recommends that higher GI foods are to be eaten less regularly or even eliminated, and advocates the GI Diet as a simple, healthy way to lose weight without going hungry.

Bernstein’s Diet

The Bernstein’s Diet, developed by Toronto’s Dr. Bernstein, is a medically supervised program that advocates a low carbohydrate, low calorie meal plan. Based on Bernstein’s own struggle with Type 1 diabetes, the diet has grown from an effective plan for diabetic patients to a diet followed by millions who struggle with their weight. The meal plan combines restricted carbs (less than 30g per day), nutrition supplements, and medical counselling to fundamentally change your eating habits for life.

The results are focused on reducing fat from around the waist and hips, resulting in a reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease, and many other medical problems associated with obesity.

Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet is based on the diet of our Paleolithic ancestors, arguing that as our physiology has changed very little from that era, following a similar high protein, low carb diet that focuses on whole, natural, and unprocessed, unrefined foods. It also means only eating foods which could potentially be hunted or gathered, such as meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, and eschewing foods that humans only started consuming prior to the agricultural revolution, such as most grains and dairy.

In addition to avoiding the potentially harmful additives and preservatives found in processed foods, the diet can also prevent the increasingly common food-related sensitivities such as gluten and lactose intolerance.

Protein Power    

This high protein, moderate fat and low carbohydrate diet is based on the harmful fat-storing effects of glucose and insulin on the body. The diet has three stages – Intervention, Transition, and Maintenance – that gradually increase the amount of allowed carbs. Apart from counting carbs, the diet itself is quite simple, and encourages education and understanding of nutrition to help you make healthy, conscientious food choices even once the first two stages of the diet are over. Additionally, the doctors who formulated the Protein Power diet have released numerous books in the field of health, fitness and nutrition, that will provide you motivation no matter how far along into the diet you are.

Sonoma Diet

The Sonoma Diet combines the principles of a Mediterranean diet, an area world-renowned for its healthy, long-lived inhabitants, with a lower calorie weight control diet. Unlike many other low carb diets, which allow unlimited portions of carbohydrate free foods, the Sonoma diet advocates for healthier choices and portion control. While carbohydrates are restricted, other foods high in sodium, saturated fat, and calories are also restricted, and portions are strictly controlled to create a diet higher in low carb vegetables and lower in meats and healthier grains.

By limiting both carbs and calories, fast weight loss is promoted and the body is recalibrated to dispel with carb cravings and overeating tendencies.

South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet was developed for patients of Dr. Arthur Agatston who were suffering from insulin resistance. Because their bodies were not responding to insulin in the normal way, the traditional low fat, high carbohydrate were not addressing their health and weight concerns, and so Dr. Agatston developed a diet low in both carbohydrates and saturated fats that stressed eating small, frequent meals to control their blood sugar and insulin levels.

This three phase diet is simple to follow, with dieters eating several smaller meals made from a long list of allowed foods, with no other counting or measuring required. Focusing on lean proteins and unsaturated fats leaves you feeling satisfied and can quickly shed pounds.

Sugar Busters

The Sugar Busters diet cuts carbs by completely eliminating all added sugars and processed grain products. Unlike most low carb diets, whole, unprocessed carbohydrates are allowed as part of a proportional meal, and advocated choosing lower GI carbs to meet your recommended daily allowance.

Many enjoy the simplicity of the diet, which allows all foods to be consumed apart from the forbidden list, which mostly includes highly processed, refined foods such as white flour, pasta, and sugary meals and snacks.

The diet also advocates making smarter food choices without limiting yourself entirely, such as by trying to lower your saturated fat consumption while still being able to enjoy higher fat foods such as butter, cheese, and meat protein.

Zone Diet

The popular Zone Diet, developed by Dr. Barry Sears, is a highly structured eating plan that is based on getting your body, and in particular the level of cellular inflammation, into “The Zone” – the physiological condition where cellular inflammation is not too low that the body can’t fight off infection, but not so high that the body begins to attack itself.

To get you in the Zone, five small meals and two snacks are advised, with each meal consisting of a small amount of healthy, monounsaturated fats such as olive oil or avocado, one third lean, healthy protein, with the remaining amount consisting of colourful, non-starchy carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables. The resulting diet promises to keep you full, energetic, and alert while helping you lose weight and feel better.

Ketogenic Diets

Ketogenic diets are focused on getting your body to ketogenesis. When in a ketogenic state, the body is solely burning fat stores instead of glucose for energy, and as a result fatty acids and measurable ketone bodies are produced. Fatty acids are used for fuel, and ketone bodies are used as energy by the brain instead of glucose.

While it was once thought that glucose was needed for brain function, studying the diet of Inuit peoples, which is nearly completely carbohydrate free, found that ketone bodies were just as effective in brain function.

Originally developed to treat epilepsy in children, the diet was found to also be effective in weight loss. In order to reach ketogenesis, dieters consume a high fat, lower protein, and virtually carb free diet to quickly drop insulin levels and promote rapid fat burning.

Living Low Carb – What to Expect

Taking the mystery out of the low carb lifestyle is the first step to a better you.

Low carb diets are becoming increasingly popular – and for a variety of reasons. While many health-conscious people begin a low carb diet in order to lose weight or due to gluten insensitivity, many adhere to the diet for the other health benefits they notice, including more energy, a more balanced mood, and better concentration. Indeed, reducing carbs from your diet may be the simplest, most effective, and healthiest way to manage your weight and improve your overall health.

What is Low Carb?

Low carb dieters simply avoid foods containing grains and/or sugar – foods that are high in “bad” carbohydrates. Fiber is another type of carbohydrates which should be consumed because they are “good” carbs.  So Low Carb means to reduce the intake of “bad” carbs because such carbohydrates are converted into glucose, a kind of sugar, once ingested. While the body requires some glucose for energy, most people in the western world consume far more carbohydrates than the body needs for energy purposes. Combining over-consumption of carbohydrates with a sedentary lifestyle can result in severe health problems such as insulin resistance (a precursor to diabetes), depression, and obesity. Low carb diets replace this excess carb consumption with healthier options such as lean proteins, healthy fats, fibre, fruits, and vegetables. Have more energy and enjoy a better mood with simple changes to your eating habits.

Low Carb Common Terminology

When reading and talking to others about low carb, you’ll definitely hear the term carb counting or net carb. Carb counting simply a count of how much a food item is expected to impact blood glucose levels. It’s an approximate science, but it helps you understand how many “bad carb” being consumed – and we therefore want to keep this number as low as possible.

Simple Example:

Take a look at the nutrition facts for Bakers Deluxe Dream Bread (Rye). It has 9g of carbohydrates, and 8g of fibre
This product will have a carb count of 1, or 1g net carb. Fibre is a type of carbohydrate, which is why it is shown as a sub-item of carbohydrates. We want fibre, however, because fibre is essential to digestive health and has minimal impact on blood glucose levels. When shopping online, you can sort products in each category by carb count.

More complex example:

There are other types of carbs which we might subtract from total carbs because they have minimal or reduced impact on blood glucose levels. Take a look at the nutrition facts for Andre’s Carbo Save Mini-Cookies.  It has 13g of carbohydrates, 1g of fibre and 10g of polyol/sugar alcohols Polyols and sugar alcohols are neither a sugar nor an alcohol (you can’t get drunk by it). Simply, they are a class of naturally derived sweeteners that provide sweetness without the full glycemic impact of sugar. When products with sugar alcohols are eaten in small quantities (by adhere to the serving size, for example), net carbs = 13g – 1g fibre – 10g polyol = 2g net carb.

There are some “gotchas” with sugar alcohols, which is why we treated this as a separate example. Things you should consider:

  • Everything in moderation – stick to serving sizes and eat them only as occasional treats
  • There are many different types of sugar alcohols, each with different glycemic index. See a comparison here.
  • For the most part, sugar alcohols do not get absorbed well by the digestive system. Therefore, eating too much can cause abdominal discomfort or a laxative effect.
  • Glucose, Insulin, and Ketosis

When reading about low carb living, you are likely to come across the terms “glucose,” “insulin,” and “ketosis”. When carbohydrates are digested, they are converted into glucose, a kind of sugar.

Insulin is produced to either use the glucose for immediate energy or to store the excess glucose as fat.
When too many carbs are consumed, the resulting insulin production can cause weight gain and energy crashes. Ketosis is a condition where your body has depleted its glucose stores and is using fat stores for energy instead.

Benefits to Low Carb

Whether you want to lose weight, increase energy and concentration, or all of the above, low carb diets can effectively and healthily help you meet your goals. Low carb diets can be especially helpful for those who are overweight or suffering from other health problems such as high blood sugar and diabetes.  For those who enjoy a busy lifestyle, a low carb diet can help you avoid the energy and mood crash that occurs shortly after consuming carbs – instead giving you sustained energy throughout your day.

Consuming too much carbs is also an increases inflammation. Reducing inflammation within the body in itself provides many benefits.

Contrary to popular belief, fruits are permitted on many low carb diets.

Things You Should Consider When Integrating Low Carb Into Your Lifestyle

The low carb lifestyle does not require you to give up carbohydrates entirely – instead, the focus is on becoming more conscientious about the type and quantity of carbs consumed. Carbohydrates can have a range of qualities such as fibre content and glycemic index, which impact the amount of insulin produced. Consume only carbs which are nutrient dense. On a low carb diet, you are simply reducing or restricting your consumption of simple and/or high-glycemic carbohydrates, which, combined with regular exercise, can quickly and dramatically improve your health. There’s a saying that those who “walk” around the block are still doing laps around those on the couch.

Rules to live by on a Low Carb DietDo’s and Dont’s of Low Carbing

  • DO try some of our delicious recipes to help you create amazing, low carb meals.
  • DO exercise daily.
  • DO eat unrefined, low glycemic, high-fibre carbs
  • DON’T eat over processed, “white” carbs and sugary snacks.
  • DO include variety in your diet, including plenty of nutrient dense, low carb fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, dairy, and both meat and vegetarian protein.
  • DON’T give up!

Low Carb Books

Due to the overwhelming popularity of low carb diets in recent years, there are plenty of great resources to be found. Reading about the low carb lifestyle can both get you started and keep you going on your path to better health.

Check out some of our favourites low carb books that offer up to date information, scientific studies, recipe ideas, and fitness plans, and get motivated!

3 Minute Low Carb Soba Style Noodles in Ponzu

miracle-noodle-ponzu-finalThis is a refreshing cold noodle dish that closely resembles Japanese soba noodles. It can be prepared in just a few minutes and a few of the staff here enjoy Miracle Noodles (angel hair) this way for a quick and satisfying lunch.

We like this noodle because it can be made quickly without cooking! You just need some hot water and some items from the fridge.

OK, … that green stuff on top is really a chopped salad leaf that we added for colour. It really should be chives or cilantro, but you get the point. Ain’t it pretty?

Miracle noodles are made from Konjac and is also known as shirataki noodle (we have a broad selection of other types). They have zero calories and zero carbs. Most of the mass that the noodle has comes from water bonded to the fibre. When you eat the noodles, the fibre helps you feel full and help slows down the glycemic response of other foods you have with it. domain dns info .  The noodles are flavourless and can be served in a broth, in a ponzu sauce (as shown here), baked, or stir fried.

miracle-noodle-ponzu-step1The noodles are sold in a liquid pouch. Strange, but that is how they are made and the alkaline solution helps the noodles keep their form while making them shelf stable. The alkaline solution is infamous for its salty or even fishy smell. It will smell bit off…. but all you need to do is rinse it out as shown here.




miracle-noodle-ponzu-step2In a bowl, soak the noodles in hot water. We have a hot water dispenser in our kitchenette which is really convenient. Hot water on demand.

Unrelated Tip: If you get a reverse-osmosis water filtration system – you never have to de-scale the hot water machine. If you use this type of water for coffee machines, you get better tasting coffee and likewise never have to descale the coffee machine.

Generally, not a fan of drinking only reverse-osmosis water as it lacks essential minerals that your body probably needs. But that’s a topic for another blog post.

miracle-noodle-ponzu-step3Remove hot water and add ponzu sauce. Check the ingredients and nutrition facts to ensure that the sauce you buy does not have added sugar. Doris, our customer service manager, mixes her own and we will try to get her to unveil her recipe in a future post.

But here is the secret – because we did not do a full par-boil of the miracle noodles, you might find that the noodles still have a hint of the alkaline solution. So……………


miracle-noodle-ponzu-step4We add about a tablespoon of The Garlic Box Apple Cider and Garlic Vinaigrette to the dish which adds an amazing tangy-ness and also does a great job of clearing up the alkaline (perhaps because acid + alkaline = neutral?)

Anyway, it works wonderfully! Optionally add chives, cilantro, and/or some protein like chicken strips.



A 3 Minute Low Carb Salad

Originally posted on facebook – this garnered a lot of interest and feedback. Its such a simple thing – I was really surprised. Perhaps that’s why it got so much attention in the first place. current time . One of the best things about low carb is the great selection of foods, amazing taste (read: healthy fats), and how simple it can be to make satisfying meals.


“A 3 minute low-carb lunch. This is what I have several times a week. Pre-cooked chicken strips from Costco, prewashed salad greens, The Garlic Box Apple Cider and Garlic Vinaigrette (one of the best dressings ever made), and a slice of double cream brie cheese. Sometimes I’ll add a few cherry tomatoes. More nutritious and cheaper than eating outside.”

For those who are not aware, Apple Cider is a natural food that aids in weight loss and provides many other health benefits. Garlic as well – provides many benefits for boosting the immune system. An apple cider and garlic vinaigrette is heaven!

At the store, we keep a large bin of store-bought, pre-washed mixed greens, baby romain, spinach, or whatever we feel like that week. The chicken is Pinty’s Oven Roasted Chicken Breast Strips from Costco which is pre-cooked, pre-seasoned, and are naturally low in carbs. We like brie cheese here, so we keep a slab around that we cut from. Easy, because you just combine and add dressing.  For variety, add olives, or cherry tomatoes, or sliced hard boiled eggs.