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Explore the health benefits of the Keto diet

The Keto Diet – Getting Started

Getting Started with The Keto Diet – Is the Keto Diet Right for You?

Learn about the keto diet, its health benefits, and how to get started!

The ketogenic, or keto, diet has received a lot of attention for being an effective weight loss diet that still allows people to enjoy indulgent, high-fat meals. While it has shown to be successful for many people, this diet is not suited for everyone and must be done correctly and safely in order to achieve weight loss results. In this article, we cover the basics of a keto diet, the potential benefits and how you can get started if you determine that it is right for you. Speak to a health care advisor first, especially if you are managing diabetes or another medical condition, to make sure you have all of the knowledge and tools you need to get started.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is not medical advice. A low carb diet may not be suitable for you. Consult your health care provider before making any changes to your lifestyle or use at your own risk.  

What is the Keto Diet?

The keto diet aims to put the body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. During ketosis, the body switches into a fat-burning state as reduced levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood force the liver to start generating an alternate fuel source known as ketones. The body actually produces a small amount of ketones on a high carb diet as well, but this mainly occurs overnight and while fasting, since there is not enough glucose to provide energy during those times.

The way to promote sustained ketosis, other than fasting and sleeping, is to consume high amounts of fat, low to very low amounts of carbohydrates and moderate amounts of protein. We have been told for so long that consuming fat will only make us fatter, but this is not the case if the body is in a state of ketosis. That said, eating keto-friendly foods when you are not in ketosis can add extra calories to your diet and can cause you to gain weight. To achieve ketosis, it is recommended to eat fewer than 50g of carbohydrates per day, or less than 10% of your daily calories.

Benefits of The Keto Diet

  1. Less hunger and steady supply of energy.

One of the main things the keto diet is praised for is its ability to help with weight loss without hunger! Keto dieters are able to enjoy delicious foods that leave them feeling satiated after a meal while their bodies do all the fat-burning work. Since fat is burned more slowly by the body than carbohydrates, many people report better appetite management and sustained energy levels. Lower levels of ghrelin, the “hunger hormone”, have been reported in keto dieters, which can make it easier to avoid overeating and manage cravings.

  1. Management of diabetes and prediabetes.

Diabetes and prediabetes lower insulin sensitivity. Insulin is a hormone involved in converting glucose into energy. It also instructs our bodies to store fat. So, with reduced sensitivity to insulin, the body doesn’t recognize when blood glucose levels get too high, which can cause increased hunger, higher blood pressure and weight gain. Excess glucose can remain in the bloodstream and cause severe damage to organs and tissues inside the body. As such, it is often recommended for those with diabetes and prediabetes to lower their intake of carbohydrates (glucose) to keep blood sugar at safer levels. A ketogenic diet makes sense in these cases since it is very low in carbs, thus reducing insulin levels and promoting weight loss.

  1. Increased mental function. 

One of the main arguments against the keto diet is the belief that the brain needs carbs, or glucose, in order to function. While it is true that the brain requires very large amounts of energy, it doesn’t necessarily have to be from glucose. In fact, many people who switch to a ketogenic diet notice improved focus, better sleep and other mental benefits. One simple suggestion, if you’re experiencing a foggy head or low energy, is to include MCT oil into your diet. MCT oil can act like a carb by carrying nutrients from your keto diet to your brain! We wrote an entire article about the keto diet and its relationship to our minds called, Mental Benefits To A Low Carb Diet. In addition, many neurological disorders such as epilepsy and seizures can be treated with a ketogenic diet. Neuron function seems to be stabilized with the keto diet, perhaps because glucose is burned so quickly and requires quick replenishment, while ketones are a more efficient fuel source, providing more energy per unit of oxygen used.

  1. Focus on real, whole foods.

Since the keto diet eliminates most carbs such as bread, pastries, candies and sodas, it automatically gets rid of a lot of highly processed and refined foods from the diet. These foods are poor sources of nutrition and can contain harmful chemicals, preservatives and refined starches and oils – all of which are not so great on the body. The best way to achieve ketosis is by eating meat, seafood, full fat dairy products, fresh vegetables, nuts, seeds, and healthy oils and fats. This type of diet can reduce oxidative stress, or inflammation, in the body which is responsible for a number of chronic diseases. Basically, oxidative stress is the buildup of toxic waste particles in the body which can damage our cells. By eating a diet rich in antioxidants from fruits and vegetables, as well as omega-3 fatty acids from things like fish and eggs, we can reduce oxidative stress and promote optimal functioning of our bodies.

Who Should Not do a Keto Diet?

While the benefits we’ve mentioned might sound great to a large number of people, there are some individuals who should avoid a keto diet or speak to a physician before making any dietary changes. These include:

  • Those taking medication/insulin for diabetes, as your doses may need to be adjusted.
  • Those taking medications for high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Breastfeeding or pregnant women
  • Children and teens

How to Get Started

If you have decided that a keto diet is right for you, or are curious about how to get started, here are the initial steps you should take and what to expect.

  1. Invest in a journal to log your meals, download a nutrient tracking app, and get a kitchen scale to measure your food.

Yes – this might sound a little obsessive. But, if you are going to commit to a keto diet, it needs to be done right and it will require some accuracy. These tools can help make it easier to track your macronutrients, plan ahead and stay organized.

  1. Measure a typical day of eating for yourself (pre-keto).

This will give you an idea of your typical carb, protein and fat intake and what needs to change. Be prepared – the results might surprise you!

  1. Figure out if you want to cut carbs all at once or gradually.

Cutting carbs all at once is an efficient strategy for transitioning into ketosis, however, it will come with some unpleasant side effects including brain fog, cravings, headaches, trouble sleeping, and possibly nausea or constipation. Gradual elimination will make these side effects less severe, but they will persist for longer.

  1. Calculate how many calories from carbs, protein and fat you will need to consume.

A typical keto diet consists of about 5-10% of calories from carbs, 20-25% from protein and 70% or more from fats. Based on the number of calories you aim to consume in a day, calculate how many calories of each macronutrient you will need. While you don’t need to count your calories each day, this planning tool can help give you an idea of what and how much you will be eating on a keto diet.

  1. Learn how to count net carbs.

Certain carbs, like fibre and sugar alcohols are listed as carbohydrates on nutrition facts. However, these won’t release glucose into the blood and are therefore safe to consume on a keto diet. You want to avoid sugars and starches, which do constitute non-keto carbs. You can calculate the net carbs (i.e. the real number of carbs you should be concerned with) by simply subtracting fibre and sugar alcohols from the total number of carbohydrates listed on food labels. To get the full scoop on Canadian food labels, see our article, “How To Understand Canadian Nutrition Labels

  1. Make a grocery list and plan out some meals! 

Meal planning is a great dieting technique that can help you stay on track and avoid falling out of ketosis when hunger strikes and you have nothing prepared. Browse the internet for some keto-friendly recipes (there are tons) and make a grocery list. While you’re at it, be sure to get rid of anything in your pantry that isn’t compliant with your new diet (but be mindful of other family members in the house).

Here are some other things to keep in mind when you start a keto diet:

  • Stay hydrated! Ketosis can cause more frequent urination, which means our body is losing more water and electrolytes. This can be dangerous if you lose too much, so be sure to drink 2-4L of water a day and don’t shy away from adding extra salt to your meals. Aloe vera, magnesium powder, lemons, leafy greens, nut and seeds are also great sources of electrolytes. Remember, Gatorade is not keto-friendly.
  • Exercise weekly. Physical activity can help stimulate ketosis and make your diet more efficient and effective. Aim for around 150 minutes a week (about 20 minutes a day), even if you simply go for a brisk walk or do a quick at-home bodyweight workout.
  • Choose healthy cooking oils. This is a big one for keto dieters, since you’ll likely be going through a lot of oil. Ditch low quality vegetable oils (corn oil, hydrogenated palm kernel, soybean and canola oil) and opt for higher quality sources of fats such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, grass-fed butter or ghee. For salads and homemade dressings, you can also use sunflower oil, safflower oil or flaxseed oil (these are not recommended for cooking as they are not as stable at high temperatures).
  • Try intermittent fasting. Fasting can accelerate fat-burning. Once a week, try to follow a 16:8 (fast for 16 hours, eat during an 8-hour window) or 18:6 intermittent fast. Fasting has incredible benefits not just for weight loss but also overall health as it allows the body time to repair its cells without having to expend energy digesting food.

Keto-Friendly Products

There are thousands of keto-friendly products out there, but we want to share our favourite products that will make the keto diet way more enjoyable and easier!

Low Carb Bread and Wraps

A lot of first-time keto dieters struggle to replace their favourite breakfast and lunch meals such as toast and sandwiches. That’s why there are so many low carb breads and wrap options available. Some of our best rated brands of low carb bread are:

  • Unbun made with almonds, coconut, flaxseeds, psyllium husk, eggs, and apple cider vinegar. These healthful ingredients make for a low carb, gluten-free bread that tastes and toasts just like regular bread!
  • Baker’s Deluxe Dream Breads, which are high in both fibre and protein to keep you satiated for longer! Also made with healthful ingredients such as golden flaxseeds, oat fibre, almond meal and olive oil (note: these are not gluten-free).
  • Nuco Organic Coconut Wraps are made entirely from coconut meat, which is great for people with food allergies or sensitivities. They come in 4 unique flavours and are highly versatile; use them to make any kind of lunch wrap or even breakfast/dessert crepes!

Low Carb Pasta, Noodles and Rice

Other foods that are hard to give up on a carb-restricted diet are pasta, noodles and rice. Miracle Noodles truly are a miracle, not only because they taste like regular pasta, but also because they reduce the glycemic index of your meal and help you feel full faster. Made from konjac root fibre and water, they are very low in calories and highly versatile.

Choose from a variety of styles such as ziti, angel hair, fettuccine, capellini and rice! We also carry lightly flavoured versions and ready-to-eat meals to make cooking low carb simple and easy.

Keto Bars

Bars are a great snack option to keep in your bag, the car or your desk at work. We carry a wide selection of keto-friendly snack and protein bars which can help fuel you through your day. Some of our favourites are Love Good Fats Bars and Good To Go Bars – both high in healthy plant-based fats and available in delicious, low sugar flavours. We broke down many keto bars in our article, “Know Your Health Bars (Protein vs. Fat vs. Energy).”

Keto Granola

A great snack or light breakfast. Many of our keto granolas are made from blends of nuts and seeds and sweetened with natural sweeteners. Try them with plant milk, over yogurt or by the handful. Nolaa Granolaa Keto Power Blend is the perfect-sized pouch to take with you anywhere hunger might strike. KZ Clean Eating also offers a keto-friendly take on breakfast cereal in crave-worthy flavours like chocolate & strawberry. Also check out KZ Clean Eating keto-friendly crispbreads – a perfect low carb, high fibre cracker or toast replacement.

Low Carb Chocolate

Dark chocolate is the perfect treat for keto sugar cravings, since it is naturally high in fat and provides a number of other health benefits! Check out some of our favourite keto-friendly chocolates from Ross Chocolates and Lily’s.

Natural Sweeteners

Last but not least, natural sweeteners are a must-have for keto dieters. Since you’ll want to ditch sugar, and artificial sweeteners can be incredibly harmful to our bodies, natural sweeteners are your best guilt-free option. Plus, you’d be surprised to find out how many natural substances exist that are zero glycemic, zero calories and still taste surprisingly sweet! Stevia, erythritol, xylitol and monk fruit sweeteners are all great options. Add them to your coffee, tea, smoothies, yogurt, cereals, homemade baked goods – really anything that calls for a little sweetness! Check out some of our top-rated sweeteners from SugarLike, Krisda, Lakanto and Swerve.

Stay Connected 

We hope that this article helped you increase your knowledge about the ketogenic diet and helped you prepare to take on the journey!

If you have any questions about the keto diet, ask us on Facebook or Instagram! We also love to read our reviews on Google Review, so please share your experiences with us there. We also offer a Weekly Newsletter, which will keep you up to date on all the latest keto news, trends and product sales!


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Removing harmful processed sugar from your dieting habits.

Cutting out Processed Sugar

The Top 5 Healthiest Ways to Remove Sugar from Your Diet

Learn how to effectively cut sugar from your diet based on science, plus find the best selection of sugar-free products to help you get there.

Chocolate, soda, muffins, cupcakes, doughnuts, cookies – why do these things taste so good? Because our brains love sugar and constantly crave more of it. So, it’s no wonder we get those midday energy crashes after we’ve eaten sugar-y cereal, pancakes and granola bars for breakfast and our sandwich on white bread for lunch. Plus, we may have drank a few too many cups of coffee with milk and sugar along the way.

The problem is, sugar is destructive to our bodies and it’s not the most efficient source of energy we can get from food. And, this is just 1 reason why so many people try to cut sugar from their diets – but often with limited success. We all wish we had more willpower to quit sugar, but the cravings always strike back! This is because sugar is a physical addiction that is difficult to break. What’s more, is the food industry thrives on getting us hooked on sugar in order to guarantee sales of their products.

This is why quitting sugar is not all about willpower – it’s actually about biochemistry. Don’t worry if you’ve struggled to cut sugar from your diet, you may have been going about it the wrong way. Understanding how our bodies react to sugar is the first step to quitting successfully, which is what we dive into with this article.

The Low Carb Grocery carries the best selection of sugar-free products in Canada! And, that can help you cut down on sugar-y foods, without having to sacrifice your favourite snacks.

 

Disclaimer: The information in this article is not medical advice. A low carb diet may not be suitable for you. Consult your health care provider before making any changes to your lifestyle or use at your own risk. 

 

Sugar and the Brain

The way we learn anything in this world is based on our brain’s reward systems. If a positive outcome is the result of a certain behaviour, our brains learn to do more of that behaviour. On the other hand, if the outcome is a negative response, then our brains avoid this behaviour in the future. Think back to when you were a kid – maybe your parents rewarded you with ice cream if you got a good grade, cleaned your room or did something nice. Since childhood, many of us have come to associate sweet things with doing something good. This psychological response may be the reason many of us look to sugar when we are feeling stressed, sad or bored.

When we eat sugar, our brain’s reward system is also activated on a chemical level. Sugar causes the release of dopamine in the reward centre of the brain. Dopamine plays a big role in motor control, motivation and reinforcement – which can literally have us impulsively reaching for another candy bar. Dopamine produces feelings of pleasure and satisfaction that are hard to ignore, and these feelings provide us with the motivation to keep repeating the behaviours that produced the dopamine response.

Dopamine is responsible for addictions – and pretty much anything can become addictive if it activates our brain’s reward centres. But special attention should be paid to substances which naturally produce dopamine in our brains, such as sugar and other drugs. When someone takes highly addictive drugs, a lot of dopamine is released in the brain due to the effects of the drugs. When too much dopamine is released, the brain experiences a rush of euphoric sensations, followed by an unpleasant crash that can last for hours or days. This also raises the brain’s threshold for dopamine, and consequently, it requires more of the substance next time in order to achieve the same level of pleasure and satisfaction. It even causes the production of dopamine in anticipation of these feelings of pleasure. This can cause our attention to be drawn to sweets even when we are not hungry, resulting in cravings. Daily habits also play a big role in the activation of the dopamine system; if we normally have a chocolate bar or soda in the afternoon, our brain will get used to this timed-release of dopamine and crave these foods at the same time every day.

Sugar and the Body

On a cellular level, excess sugar in the blood causes our veins and arteries to become inflamed, grow thicker and stiff. This puts stress on your heart and causes serious damage over time, leading to heart failure, heart attacks and strokes. Unsurprisingly, heart disease is the number one leading cause of death in America – and we know the standard American diet is loaded with sugar.

Consuming excess sugar can also lead us very quickly down the path to obesity. When we eat sugar, insulin is produced which instructs our body to convert food energy (glucose) into fat and also prevents stored fat from being broken down. With reduced insulin sensitivity, blood sugar and insulin levels can go up significantly – meaning more fat storage in the body. In addition, sugar is not satiating, so it can easily cause us to overeat and gain weight. Obesity poses a wide range of health complications from joint pain to asthma, dementia, infertility, cancer and, again, heart disease. But don’t worry, we’re getting to some awesome alternatives soon!

Here are some other physical consequences of eating too much sugar:

  • Tooth decay
  • Decreased immunity
  • Depression
  • Acne
  • Allergies
  • Digestive problems
  • Improper metabolic function
  • Impaired memory and learning (especially in childhood)
  • Higher cholesterol
  • Faster aging
  • Retina decay and cataracts
  • Bone decay
  • Oestrogen production in men (over-development of breast tissue)
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Kidney disease

Sugar and the Food Industry

Sugar is good for food producers for two reasons: it’s very inexpensive and, as we mentioned, it’s highly addictive. Adding it to foods is a cost-effective way to achieve great taste and more sales. That’s why you can find it in just about anything – bread, sauces and condiments, soups, processed meats, cheeses, yogurt, cereals, snacks and of course, desserts.

While we aren’t overtly encouraged to eat a lot of sugar, we are still fed advertisements for products containing sugar on a daily basis. These products also come with friendly price tags, that are especially entrapping to those in less accessible or more vulnerable situations (i.e. low income, rural or remote locations).

Even for consumers who are actively trying to cut down on sugar, there are many ways the food industry “hides” sugar. Sugar can go by many names, which can be hard to identify on food labels. Some of these include:

  • Glucose
  • Fructose
  • Sucrose
  • Dextrose
  • Dextran or malt powder
  • Sucralose
  • Barley malt
  • Malt syrup
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Invert sugar
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltose
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Oat syrup
  • Rice bran syrup
  • Rice syrup
  • Carob syrup
  • Golden syrup

A lot of consumers have become aware of how to properly read food labels; they know that the ingredients are listed in descending order of the amounts used in the product, the first items on the list being the main ingredients. See our article “How To Understand Canadian Nutrition Labels” to get our full scoop on this information!

However, food manufacturers have also become aware of this increased consumer knowledge and subsequently, have begun using new tactics to hide sugar in their products. One of these tactics is using many different types of sugar in varying amounts to camouflage it amongst the other ingredients. When consumers see these other forms of sugar listed further down the ingredients list, they may assume the product is low sugar. But, cumulatively, there could still be a lot of sugar in these products. Protein bars are one of the foods to be especially careful with when reading the ingredients list.

Food manufacturers may also make other health claims about their products that distract consumers from the sugar content. The most common examples of these include “natural”, “organic”, “low-fat”, or diet/light versions of original products. Try to ignore these sneaky marketing claims and review the nutrition facts and ingredients list before making a blind purchase. In addition, look for the use of “healthy” or unrefined sugars. These might include agave nectar, honey, raw/organic cane sugar, birch syrup, coconut sugar, beet syrup and maple syrup. While these might be natural sources of sugar, they are still high-glycemic and constitute as added sugars. If you are trying to cut sugar from your diet, your best bet is to buy whole foods and minimally processed products, and always read food labels.

How to Cut Sugar Effectively

A sugar detox has many health benefits, although it may be difficult to withstand the side effects of removing sugar from the diet at first. Since frequent sugar consumption can constitute an addiction, expect there to be withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be different for each person, depending on how much sugar the body was used to consuming. Some of the physical and mental side effects of cutting sugar include:

  • Light-headedness, dizziness or headaches
  • Nausea
  • Tingling sensations
  • Fatigue
  • Low mood/depression
  • Anxiety (nervousness, restlessness, irritability, feeling on edge)
  • Changes in sleep patterns (finding it harder to fall or stay asleep)
  • Difficulty concentrating or focusing on tasks
  • Sugar and carbohydrate cravings (including bread, pasta, chips, etc.)

While it may feel terrible to experience some of these symptoms, they should be short-lived. According to trial studies, most people can break a sugar addiction within 10 days. Once you cut, sugar, you will notice that you no longer crave or desire sweet things, since the brain is not dependent upon it anymore. Below are some tips to help prevent or limit the side effects of a sugar detox to get you on your way to success:

  1. Quit Sugar Gradually 

Although eliminating sugar from the diet may cause unpleasant symptoms to persist for longer, they should be less intense. If you prefer, you can quit cold turkey, but be prepared for more severe side effects. The good thing about quitting sugar all at once is that your body will become accustomed to living without it much faster and your diet or weight loss progress can begin immediately.

Be sure to have a plan if you choose to quit sugar gradually, and don’t use this gradual elimination technique as an excuse to continue consuming sugar for a prolonged period of time. We suggest figuring out how many grams of sugar you normally consume in a day (there are several apps and online tools to help calculate how much sugar is in the foods you eat) and gradually decreasing that by a certain amount (ex. 10-20g/day each week). You can also choose to eliminate certain foods from your diet one or two at a time (ex. no candy one week, no ice cream the next, no chips the week after, etc.). Remember that things like white bread, pasta, rice and other high-glycemic carbohydrates can also contribute to sugar addictions, so eliminate these foods as well.

  1. Keep Yourself Full 

To prevent snacking on sugar-y foods, try eating foods that will keep you more full after mealtimes. These include foods high in fibre and protein. Fibre and protein are digested more slowly by the body, so they keep us full longer. In addition, fibre can help stabilize blood sugar levels so we don’t experience energy crashes that can only be relieved by consuming more sugar. Stabilizing your blood sugar levels can also prevent the physical side effects of a sugar detox, including headaches and nausea. Try adding these following foods to your meals:

  • Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables
  • Leafy greens
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Mushrooms
  • Legumes (beans, hummus, lentils, etc.)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Tofu

Including fibre and protein at breakfast is especially important, as the first meal of the day dictates a lot of how we feel and what we crave over the next several hours. Having a high fibre, high protein breakfast can help fight off sugar cravings, keep you satiated and elevate your mood and energy levels. Here are some healthy breakfast ideas:

  • Omelette with mushrooms, spinach, bell peppers and feta cheese
  • Green smoothie with almond milk, frozen cauliflower or zucchini, spinach, avocado, nut butter (or powdered protein) and a small handful of berries
  • Low carb bread topped with avocado, cottage cheese or nut butter
  • Oatmeal topped with sliced pears, nuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds and/or flax seeds
  • Low carb granola topped with berries, cherries or dried apricots
  1. Drink More Water

Often, we confuse feelings of hunger or sweet cravings for simply being dehydrated. When sugar cravings strike, try to drink some water, wait 10-20 minutes, and see if you still feel hungry. You can also add things like cucumbers, berries and citrus juice to your water for a light and satisfying flavour.

Staying hydrated also helps us feel better in general and can combat some of those unpleasant side effects such as headaches and nausea. It is also important to increase your water intake when you include more fibre in your diet to prevent constipation or digestive problems.

  1. Manage Stress

Stress and emotions can impact our food cravings, and many studies have shown that sweet foods can have a calming effect on stress hormones. Before you make any major diet or lifestyle changes, it is extremely important to make sure your mental health and stress levels are managed properly. However, sometimes our diet can also have a reverse positive effect on our moods; so, improving your lifestyle could also help alleviate some of the emotional stress we endure when we do not take care of ourselves properly. Either way, stress and lifestyle go hand-in-hand.

Some ways to combat stress include talking to a friend, family member or trusted support person, doing something you enjoy every day or taking a walk in nature. Exercise, especially, has proven to be beneficial for relieving stress because of the mood-lifting hormones that are released when we sweat and move our bodies. If you constantly feel stressed, exercising may be the last thing on your mind, but try to get yourself to do some kind of physical activity at least a few times a week – whether it be a light walk, yoga, stretching or hitting the gym.

  1. Swap Out Your Old Products

Finally, it can help to find healthy replacements for foods you once loved so you don’t feel like your options are limited when you cut out sugar. Feeling deprived can lead to more intense cravings and can even cause complete regression.

Below, we put together a list of our favourite sugar-free products to buy, which can make the transition to a sugar-free diet easier:

Stay Connected

We hope that this article helps you in achieving your goals to cut or reduce sugar in your diet. If you would like to share your thoughts or experiences, don’t forget to head over to our Facebook and Instagram pages. We’d also love if you could share your thoughts through a Google Review. Please also consider subscribing to our Weekly Newsletters for updates on the latest products and getting first access to weekly sales!


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What impact salt has on the keto diet

Ketogenic Dieting & Salt

The Importance of Salt on a Keto Diet

Learn how to prevent the keto flu and why getting enough electrolytes when following a ketogenic diet is extremely important.

We have been told over and over that eating too much salt is bad for our health. This is generally the case for most people – unless you follow a ketogenic diet. Sodium is an essential nutrient, especially when the body undergoes the changes involved with ketosis. In this article, we explain why you should manage your sodium and electrolyte intake if you follow a ketogenic diet or low carb diet, plus tips and recipes that can help.

The Role of Sodium and Electrolytes in the Body

The six essential electrolytes we need in our diet are:

  • Sodium
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Chloride
  • Phosphate
  • Magnesium 

Electrolytes are chemicals that facilitate nerve and muscle function, regulate blood pressure, balance the amount of water in the body, stabilize the pH (base/acid) level of the body, and help rebuild damaged tissues. Sodium and potassium, in particular, are two electrolytes that help our bodies stay hydrated. It goes without saying that hydration is essential to proper functioning of the brain and our other vital organs. Sodium also plays important roles in nerve cell communication and the functioning of muscle tissues.

A certain level of water is required inside and outside our cells in order for them to function optimally. But how do our cells know how much water to hold onto and when to expel or take in more water? Chemical signaling is the answer, and this is where sodium and other electrolytes come into play. Basically, when there is a high concentration of these molecules on one side of the cell membrane, a process will occur that allows them to pass through the cell membrane until concentration levels are rebalanced. This amazing intuitive process is known as osmosis, and it is one of the ways our body is able to maintain a stable inner state for optimal functioning. It also allows for proper absorption of nutrients and removal of waste materials from various organs.

The Effects of Electrolyte Imbalances

We obtain electrolytes from the foods, fluids and supplements we consume. When we consume too little or too much of them, we can experience side effects. Electrolyte imbalances may occur when we lose fluids (via sweat, urination, vomiting or diarrhea), not drinking or eating enough and due to certain medications or certain heart, kidney and liver disorders. It is unlikely that you are getting too much of these electrolytes in your diet, apart from sodium which can be found in very high amounts in processed foods and restaurant meals. It is best to avoid these types of foods, but still consume sodium in other ways.

The side effects of electrolyte imbalances include:

  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Thirst
  • Muscle weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Heart problems
  • Respiratory problems

Extremely low levels of sodium can also induce comas, seizures and even death in certain cases (a condition called hyponatremia). As you can tell, electrolytes are extremely important to our health! If you suspect you might be deficient in any of these electrolytes, you can get your levels tested after speaking with a physician.

What Happens to Your Body When You Enter Ketosis?

The initial transition into ketosis often comes with a number of uncomfortable physical side effects, which have popularly referred to as the “keto flu”. These side effects usually occur and peak within the first 3-5 days after starting a ketogenic diet, or if you become dehydrated and/or lose a lot of electrolytes while in ketosis. Keto flu symptoms usually include fatigue, brain fog, nausea, constipation, irritability, difficulty sleeping, sugar cravings and muscle soreness. These are all signs that you should increase your water and sodium intake, whether you are just starting a keto diet or experience these symptoms any time during ketosis.

One of the main reasons people experience these symptoms is due to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. As mentioned, this is usually due to a loss of too many fluids. Ketosis causes more frequent urination, which means that the body’s stores of water and electrolytes get depleted more easily. This fluid loss occurs because the storage of sugar, or glycogen, requires three water molecules for every molecule of glycogen. When the body starts to burn through all of its glycogen stores as you cease consuming more carbs, a lot of these water molecules that were stored previously are expelled as well. This tends to cause rapid weight loss at the beginning of a ketogenic diet, which is mainly water weight. While this can be a good sign that the keto diet is working, it can also lead to severe dehydration if you are not increasing your water and electrolyte intake proportionately.

Restricting carbs from the keto diet also lowers insulin levels, which can further promote water loss. When insulin levels drop, the kidneys react by excreting more sodium and water. If sodium and water levels are not replenished, you can experience the symptoms of keto flu.

How to Consume Sodium Properly

There is a lot of salt (sodium chloride) in processed foods and restaurant foods – but this is no free pass to start eating these frequently to combat the keto flu. These foods tend to contain a lot of other harmful ingredients and there are healthier ways to increase your sodium and electrolyte intake.

Here are some ways you can increase your sodium intake to relieve side effects of keto flu:

  • Drink 1 or more cups of salty bone broth every day – this is also a great source of protein and other important nutrients!
  • Add 1-2 teaspoons of salt in daily meal preparations.
  • Eat pickled foods such as olives, pickles and sauerkraut.
  • Choose standard rather than “low-sodium” sauces and seasonings for cooking.
  • Shake some salt into a glass of water a couple of times a day. Adding some lemon or lime juice can also help boost hydration.

Keep in mind the difference between sodium and salt. Sodium is a pure mineral, while most table salt is a compound mixture of sodium chloride. While this commodity product might seem all the same to you, there are some healthier choices on the market when it comes to salt. Some of your best choices for salt include:

  • Pink Himalayan Salt, which also contains calcium, potassium, magnesium and other beneficial minerals.
  • Iodized Salt, which contains iodine that helps with thyroid health.
  • Kosher Salt, which is similar to regular table salt (sodium chloride) in composition, except that is prepared in accordance with traditional Jewish law. The larger flake size also adds a different texture and more intense flavour when used in cooking or sprinkled over food.
  • Dulse or Dulse Salt – dulse is a type of seaweed that is a great source of sodium, calcium, potassium and iron. Sprinkle dried dulse flakes or dulse salt over food for a great boost of ocean-derived minerals!

Food and Drinks Rich in Electrolytes

Before we dive into some recipes, we developed a list of low carb and keto-friendly food and drinks that are rich in electrolytes. Try incorporating these options into your daily meals to ensure you maintain healthy levels of electrolytes on a low carb or keto diet.

Calcium-Rich Foods:

  • Fortified dairy products and plant milks
  • Tofu
  • Sardines
  • Dark leafy greens such as spinach, collard, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens etc.
  • Okra

Potassium-Rich Foods:

  • Leafy greens
  • Mushrooms
  • Cucumbers
  • Avocados
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Eggplant
  • Coconut water

Chloride-Rich Foods:

  • Seaweed
  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce and leafy vegetables
  • Celery
  • Olives

Phosphate-Rich Foods:

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish and seafood
  • Organ meats (liver, kidneys, etc.)
  • Nuts – salted nuts are also a great way to get more sodium in your diet (and they’re tasty!)
  • Dairy products
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Soy

Magnesium-Rich Foods:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Nuts
  • Spinach
  • Dark chocolate (aim for 70% or higher and eat in moderation!)
  • Avocados
  • Tofu
  • Salmon, mackerel and halibut
  • Leafy greens

Low Carb Electrolyte Recipes

Below, we’ve included some helpful recipes that can make getting your daily electrolyte dosage easier! Use these recipes when you are just starting keto, or when you feel particularly low on electrolytes. Consider bookmarking these recipes for meals to have after a workout, a long day of activity or if you notice yourself experiencing any symptoms of the “keto flu”.

Drinks

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner 

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Antioxidants impact on overall health

All About Antioxidants

Antioxidants, Diet & Health

Learn why we need to consume antioxidants in our diet and how to incorporate them with your own customer one-week meal plan.

Antioxidants are select vitamins and minerals that we can obtain through food to support our body’s optimum level of functioning. These vitamins and minerals protect our cells against damage from free radicals, which are toxic or waste particles that circulate throughout the body due to natural processes, pollution and things like processed or artificial foods.

High levels of free radicals in the body can cause inflammation, which is a natural pathogen-fighting response by the body, but it can also have very harmful long-term effects if left unmanaged. High, persistent levels of inflammation in the body has been linked to a number of chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer, skin diseases, asthma and other respiratory diseases, digestive issues and arthritis – just to name a few. The point here is that it is important to reduce inflammation. One way to do this is to consuming antioxidant-rich foods and cut down on other substances in the diet that can have inflammatory effects. You can also reduce inflammation through stress reduction, regular exercise and weight management.

In this article, we go in depth about how to prevent inflammation through your diet. We also have lists of foods that are rich in antioxidants and discuss more about inflammation-causing substances. You’ll also find a custom one-week meal plan to make incorporating more antioxidants into your diet simple and easy!

Antioxidant Rich Foods

Below is a complete list of antioxidants that can come from both plant and animal sources:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Beta-carotene
  • Lycopene
  • Lutein
  • Selenium
  • Manganese
  • Zeaxanthin

In addition to these, the following antioxidants and phytonutrients can only be found in plant-based foods:

  • Flavonoids
  • Flavones
  • Catechins
  • Polyphenols
  • Phytoestrogens

Phytonutrients are not essential to your diet, but if consumed, they can help prevent diseases and keep the body functioning optimally – like antioxidants.

As you can tell, this is quite a long list of things to look out for. Luckily, nature has made it quite simple for us; most foods that are rich in antioxidants also have vibrant coloured skin or flesh, such as deep purple and red, dark green, and bright yellow or orange – so they are easy to spot! These different colours correspond to their respective vitamins and minerals. That is why something like iceberg lettuce, which is not as brightly coloured as something like kale or beet greens, does not contain as many nutrients in comparison. That said, nutritional density is responsible for the amazing colours of many vegetables and fruits!

For example, leafy and cruciferous green plants like spinach, broccoli, kale, and artichokes – as well as green or matcha tea – are all rich in several of the antioxidants listed above. Blueberries, cranberries, red grapes, acai berries, aronia berries, eggplants and other deep red or purple foods all contain similar antioxidant profiles as well. Citrus fruits, apples, onions, garlic, peas, beans, lentils, soybeans, sesame and flax are also good sources of antioxidants. The key is to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to make sure you are getting adequate levels of all antioxidants.

Dark chocolate, red wine and coffee are also rich sources of antioxidants, but these should be consumed in moderation. They can also have inflammatory or other negative effects if consumed in excess. For example, dark chocolate can still contain sugars (look for 70% or higher to avoid excessive sugar) and is a very concentrated source of calories. One great way to still enjoy the antioxidants from cocoa is to buy vegan, unsweetened, or keto-friendly chocolate, or add pure cocoa powder and cocoa nibs to things like smoothies, granolas and yogurt.

Red wine and coffee, on the other hand, can both cause dehydration and other negative side effects if consumed too much. Alcohol also uses up a lot of the body’s resources to help pass it through the system, while coffee, which contains caffeine, can cause cortisol levels (the stress hormone) to rise, sending the body into an inflammatory state.

Effects of Cooking

Cooking certain antioxidant-rich foods like tomatoes can actually make antioxidant nutrients more bioavailable (easier for our bodies to process and use). Other antioxidant-rich vegetables such as broccoli and zucchini can lose some of their nutritional value when cooked. Overall, it is best to eat both raw and cooked fruits and vegetables to (See our article Top Ten Tips for Eating Healthy for more healthy eating tips).

Inflammatory Foods and Substances

Trans fats and high levels of omega-6 fatty acids are some of the most common causes of diet-induced inflammation. These are found in things like margarine, modified or “hydrogenated” oils, deep-fried foods and other processed foods. Trans fat is an easy thing to spot, since it is listed on the nutrition facts label of most processed packaged food. However, oils containing trans fats are often used by restaurants and fast food joints, which don’t always reveal their nutrition facts to customers. You can ask an employee of the establishment if they know what kind of oil, they use to fry their food, or steer clear of fried and fast foods altogether. It is particularly important to know what is going into your body to be able to successfully manage your health, so don’t be afraid to find out!

Processed meat, often beef and pork, can also cause inflammation levels to rise. This is because these products contain high levels of trans fats and other reactive compounds added through the refining process, which cause inflammation. When buying beef, sausages, bacon, ham, smoked meats and beef jerky, be sure to look for indications of high quality, unprocessed meat such as Grass-Fed, Farm Raised and Organic labels (see our recommended beef jerky). The same standards should be kept in mind when purchasing milk, yogurt, cheese and other meat by-products that tend to go through similar heavy processing.

Finally, refined sugars and carbohydrates such as those found in processed cereals, packaged sweets and pastries, white bread and certain types of hamburger and hotdog buns and pizza crusts will cause inflammation. Part of the body’s inflammation response involves insulin resistance, and at the same time high blood sugar levels can trigger more inflammation. This cyclical problem is part of the reason why people with type 2 diabetes tend to experience higher levels of inflammation. Refined carbohydrates also release other inflammatory substances into the body, further increasing inflammation levels. If these conditions are sustained over time, it can lead to serious health problems. That is why, whether you follow a low carb or sugar-free diet for health reasons or not, it is always a good idea to eliminate processed, white sugars and refined carbohydrates. Opt for natural sources of sugar (such as organic cane sugar or coconut sugar) or natural sweeteners, and always consume in moderation.

The Low Carb Grocery offers a wide selection of low carb alternatives to traditionally high carb foods, so don’t forget to check out our inventory here if you are looking to still enjoy these foods while cutting out refined carbohydrates and processed sugars.

Antioxidant-Rich Weekly Meal Plan 

We put together a table below – a one-week meal plan – incorporating a variety of antioxidant-rich foods. These recipes are also perfect for summer weather, get-togethers and family meals!

Monday
Breakfast Blackberry Banana Infused Overnight Oats – perfect for grabbing out of the fridge with no prepping or cooking on a Monday morning! Instead of oats you could also use coconut flour, flax meal, chia seeds or Greek yogurt for a keto-friendly version of this breakfast.
Lunch Rainbow Sandwich on whole grain or low carb bread with turkey, bell peppers, avocado, greens or sprouts, and roasted beets or pickled cabbage.
Dinner Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup (add shredded chicken for extra protein).
Snack/Dessert Frozen berries with yogurt or granola and milk.

 

Tuesday
Breakfast Berry Blast Protein Smoothie with antioxidant-rich berries and chia seeds.
Lunch Rainbow Chicken or Turkey Wrap made with lettuce, tortillas or low carb wraps!
Dinner Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup (add shredded chicken for extra protein).
Snack/Dessert Crackers or crispbreads topped with hummus, cheese, avocado, nut butter or pesto. You could also snack on Ivanhoe, Nothing But Cheese snacks!

 

Wednesday
Breakfast Green Smoothie made with fruits, spinach, hemp seeds and moringa – an antioxidant powerhouse.
Lunch Mediterranean Pita Pocket with chicken, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, red onions and feta cheese and tzatziki or this delicious “The Garlic Box” balsamic vinegar dressing.
Dinner Kelp Noodle Stir FryKelp noodles are a great low carb noodle alternative! They are also extremely high in antioxidants and are the richest natural source of iodine. You could also use shirataki noodles or brown rice. Make extra to have as leftovers!
Snack/Dessert A cup of green tea and fresh fruit such as watermelon, citrus fruits or berries.

 

Thursday
Breakfast Vitamin-E rich Almond Flour Pancakes with berries and sugar-free maple syrup. Yes – you can have these healthy, low carb pancakes on a weekday!
Lunch Leftover kelp noodle stir fry.
Dinner Spaghetti Squash with Chicken and Avocado Pesto – make extra to have as leftovers!
Snack/Dessert A cup of green tea with fresh fruit or veggies dipped in hummus.

 

Friday  
Breakfast Omega-3 rich Chia Pudding topped with berries and nuts. (Prepared the night before).
Lunch Leftover spaghetti squash or cauliflower rice with leftover pesto chicken.
Dinner Lentil Burgers served on regular or low carb buns with Baked Sweet Potato Fries. If you follow a carb-restricted diet, check out our blog post about Low Carb Potato Substitutes.
Snack/Dessert Chocolate Cherry Crunch Nice Cream (no-churn!)

 

Saturday
Breakfast Almond Flour Pancakes with berries and nut butter.
Lunch Leftover lentil patty with salad of spinach/kale, celery, cucumber, avocado, red onions, dried cranberries with a tahini dressing.
Dinner Oven baked Wild Caught Salmon or Arctic Char with Antioxidant-Rich Roasted Veggies. Make extra veggies to have as leftovers!
Snack/Dessert Raw Chocolate Macarons made with raw cocoa powder and shredded coconut. These healthy and delicious treats are great to have around the house for a few days!

 

Sunday
Breakfast Spinach and Bell Pepper Egg Bites with a side of fresh berries.
Lunch Antioxidant Salad with leftover roasted veggies, spinach/kale, celery, cucumber, avocado, red onions, dried cranberries with a tahini dressing.
Dinner Grilled Chicken Kabobs stacked with colourful vegetables! Serve with a side of Homemade Sweet Potato or Low Carb Fries.
Snack/Dessert Leftover raw chocolate macarons or frozen berries with yogurt or granola and milk.

Stay Connected

If you enjoyed reading this article or tried our our one-week antioxidant meal plan, please share your thoughts and experiences on our Facebook page or tag us on Instagram! We also love to stay connected with our Weekly Newsletter for updates on the latest products and special sales. And please, we’d love to hear your feedback with a Google Review!


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Healthy, Tasty Pancake and Waffle Mixes

Delicious, Easy to Make Pancake and Waffle Mixes!

Wondering how to choose from so many wonderful low carb pancake and waffle mixes? This guide will help you make the best decision based on your preferences and dietary needs!

Everyone loves a good stack of flap jacks every now and then – and luckily there is a pancake mix out there for just about any diet! Whether you are looking for the lowest carb, gluten-free, nut-free, fluffiest or most convenient pancakes, we are sure we can help you find the best match!

In this guide, we will break down our curated selection of low carb pancake and waffle mixes into categories based on different features you might be looking for. To start your decision-making off simply, we have divided our inventory into two main categories: gluten-free and not. Scroll to whichever section suits your needs to discover more details about the brands that fall under its category!

In each section, we listed the pancake mixes in ascending order of lowest carb to highest carb (note that this is based on the given serving size for each mix; the actual amount of carbs will depend on how much you eat). All other features are discussed in more detail under each brand name. Now, let’s dive in!

Gluten-Free Mixes

LC Foods Gluten-Free Pancake Mix

This low carb pancake mix is made from a proprietary blend of tapioca, almond and coconut flours as well as flax meal, which gives it a unique light and fluffy texture! This pancake mix is not only gluten-free but also checks off a number of other boxes. It is high in fibre, sugar-free (sweetened with natural stevia and monk fruit) and our lowest carb gluten-free mix. The blend of different flours and meals also gives these pancakes a wonderful sweet, nutty taste that is best enjoyed with a sugar-free syrup and a creamy nub of butter.

It should be noted that LC Foods does process vital wheat gluten in the same facility as its other gluten-free products. That said, food safe cleaning procedures are followed to ensure limited cross contamination.

Here’s our quick breakdown of this product:

Serving Size: 38g
Net Carbs: 2g
Sugar: 0g
Fibre: 13g
Protein:
2g
Gluten-Free? Yes!
Nut-Free? No; contains almonds.

Good Dee’s Pancake Mix

This grain-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, maltitol-free and soy-free pancake mix is made with plant-based ingredients and a high quality blanched almond flour. It is sweetened naturally with erythritol and stevia extract. The perfect balance of sweetness and saltiness.

Let’s call this the blank-slate batter – its relatively neutral taste and ingredients means that you can easily customize your pancakes the way you like. Try adding fresh or dried berries, nuts, spices, yogurt, jam or nut butter to these versatile pancakes for a bit more morning pizazz. It’s a great mix to have that everyone in the family can enjoy.

All of Good Dee’s products are made with low carb, ketogenic and sugar-free dieters’ needs in mind. Browse their entire range of low carb bake mixes

Serving Size: 18g
Net Carbs: 1g
Sugar:
0g
Fibre: 2g
Protein:
3g
Gluten-Free? Yes!
Nut-Free? No; contains almonds.

HoldTheCarbs Stevia Pancake and Waffle Mix

All HoldTheCarbs bake mixes are made with nutrition and satisfaction in mind. The founder created these recipes in her home kitchen to serve her low carb, high protein lifestyle, while still enjoying her favourite foods. This pancake and waffle mix makes light yet filling pancakes with a moist texture. Made from a base of almond flour, coconut flour and whey protein, they are a healthy and delicious way to start a busy morning. These pancakes have even fueled the founder as she competed in the Ironman Triathlon!

Serving Size: 12g
Net Carbs: 1g
Sugar: 1g
Fibre: 2g
Protein:
3-4g
Gluten-Free? Yes!
Nut-Free? No; contains almonds.

Available in regular and high protein (contains whey protein) versions.

Lakanto Pancake and Waffle Mix

This mix contains the highest amount of net carbs out of all of our gluten-free mixes, so it may be best enjoyed on lazy keto or more indulgent days. However, the higher carb count can be attributed to some high protein ingredients! Chickpea flour and brown rice protein give this mix one of the highest rankings in terms of protein and a unique texture more similar to traditional pancakes. This mix also features some of the cleanest, whole food ingredients making it one of our favourites. Pair it with Lakanto’s Maple Flavoured Syrup for a completely sugar-free breakfast!

Serving Size: 27g
Net Carbs: 6.5g
Sugar: 0g
Fibre: 11g
Protein:
5g
Gluten-Free? Yes!
Nut-Free? Yes!

 

You may also be familiar with Lakanto’s monk fruit sweeteners, which are used in this pancake mix for a delicious sugar-free morning treat!

Gluten-Containing Mixes

LC Foods Banana Pancake Mix

This banana-flavoured counterpart to LC Food’s Gluten-Free Pancake Mix we saw in the last section is still low in carbs and high in fibre and protein! Plus, banana-flavoured anything is probably a rare occurrence for low carb dieters! This mix uses natural banana and brown sugar flavours to impart warm and comforting flavours, minus the carbs.

Serving Size: 27g
Net Carbs: 1g
Sugar: 0g
Fibre: 8g
Protein:
6g
Gluten-Free? No.
Nut-Free? May contain trace amounts of peanut or other nut particles due to manufacturing.

Dixie Diners’ Carb Counters Pancake and Waffle Mix

Dixie Diners’ Club is a well-known brand amongst the low carb community! As part of their extensive line low carb bake mixes, this pancake mix comes to you with low calories, low carbs and zero sugar! Packed with protein from soy, whey and egg whites as well as pure vegetable and oat fibre these are great fuel to start the day that will keep hunger and cravings at bay.

 

Serving Size: 8.4g
Net Carbs: 1g
Sugar: 0g
Fibre: 2g
Protein:
3g
Gluten-Free? No.
Nut-Free? Yes!

 

New Hope Mills Pancake and Waffle Mix

Fluffy and crispy – enough said!

Actually, we have a bit more to say. This pancake mix packs a protein punch, ranking number one among both our gluten-free and gluten-containing mixes. New Hope Mills uses a blend of wheat gluten, milk protein concentrate and a low-glycemic cornstarch in this batter, making it much higher in protein and lower in carbs than traditional flour mixtures.

Serving Size: ¼ cup (approx. 25g)
Net Carbs: 5g
Sugar: 0g
Fibre: 4g
Protein:
13g
Gluten-Free? No.
Nut-Free? May contain trace amounts of peanut or other nut particles due to manufacturing.

La Nouba Ready-to-Eat Belgian Waffles

These require absolutely no cooking – so they earn major points for convenience! Rave reviews from our customers highlight the tastiness and convenience of these true Belgian-style waffles. They are great to have as a quick breakfast, snack or dessert. Try them topped with yogurt, nut butter or jam and a hot cup of tea or coffee!

These waffles are sweetened with maltitol, which some people can tolerate but others may find that it upsets their stomach, especially when eaten in large amounts.

Serving Size: 1 individually packaged waffle
Net Carbs: 3.5g
Sugar: 0g
Fibre: 0.2g
Protein:
0.65g
Gluten-Free? No.
Nut-Free? Yes!

How to Make Your Own Pancake Mix

In the odd chance that you still haven’t found what you are looking for, you can also make your own pancake mix at home! This is a great way to control exactly what goes into your diet and meet the unique dietary needs of you and your family. Plus, you can make a big batch of the dry ingredients and store it for later use whenever. Here are our recommendations for the perfect pancake batter ingredients, although feel free to customize your mix exactly to your liking!

Low Carb and Gluten-Free Flours

We recommend using a blend of a few different flours when making low carb pancakes, as this will allow the pancakes to hold together better and provide a wonderful mix of subtle flavours!

You can also add the following meals to increase the fibre content of your batter. Why not make your pancakes healthful and indulgent?

Don’t forget to add a leavening (baking soda and/or powder) to your mix, as well as salt to taste.

Sweeteners

For a sweetened batter that is still low carb and sugar-free, try one of these natural sweeteners:

  • Stevia powder or liquid drops
  • Erythritol, which has a very neutral flavour but can cause a “cooling” sensation in the mouth when eaten! Recipe idea: Mint Chocolate Chip Pancakes.
  • Monk Fruit Sweeteners, which have a slight fruity flavour, but can still be very pleasant in pancakes and other baked goods!
  • Xylitol, which is also great for baking and has a very neutral flavour. Plus, it has been shown to improve dental health! (Just note to keep Xylitol on an upper shelf or locked cabinet. It’s made from birch bark and is completely safe for adult and children consumption but can be fatal for dogs – like chocolate).

Flavour Additions

Finally, to make your pancakes truly shine, add in some extra flavours, protein sources or other textural components:

Stay Connected

We hope that you enjoyed reading this article and found the perfect pancake mix for you! If you would like to share your thoughts or experiences, head over to our Facebook and Instagram pages. We also love to read and respond to our reviews on Google, so if you enjoyed an experience you had with The Low Carb Grocery, please take a minute to let us know here!

Please considering subscribing to The Low Carb Grocery’s Weekly Newsletter, too, for updates on the latest products, news and special sales.


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From Latin, Greek & Asian, to Indian & Caribbean Learn to Enjoy Low Carb Foods

Indian, Latin, Asian & Other Low Carb Options

Best Cuisines to Explore on a Low Carb Diet

Get inspired with different cuisines from around the world that can easily fit into a low carb or keto diet!

Are you getting bored with steak and vegetables, keto casseroles and omelettes on a low carb or keto diet? Go beyond the strict bounds of the Western diet to find other low carb and keto-friendly recipes that will blow your taste buds and your friends and family away!

In this article, we explore the best cuisines for cooking low carb and keto-friendly meals. It also includes shopping lists and a few recipes from each type of cuisine to get you started and help plan your next meal. We also linked our recommended low carb products that best fit these cooking styles.

Low Carb Latin America

The first thing that comes to mind when you think of Latin American food might be tacos and burritos. While these traditionally high carb foods can still be enjoyed on a low carb or keto diet with a great tortilla or wrap alternative, there is much more to this region’s cuisine than the Chipotle franchise shows to offer.

The essence of most Latin American cuisine revolves around well-seasoned grilled or barbequed meat (barbacoa), fresh vegetables and great flavours from different spices and herbs. The incorporation of fresh chili peppers, lime juice and other spices can transform any boring weeknight dish into a fabulous fiesta!

Food Shopping List 

For your low carb Latin American recipes, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Fresh cuts of beef or chicken, or ground beef
  • Fresh white fish or shrimp
  • Hot peppers (jalapeno, green/red chili, poblano or serrano)
  • Bell peppers
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes or green tomatillos
  • Avocado
  • Limes
  • Cumin
  • Cilantro
  • Sour cream
  • Vinegar

Latin Low Carb Recipes 

Great Greek Low Carb

The Greek or Mediterranean diet has been highly coveted by health experts and other professionals in the health industry due to its focus on fresh vegetables, healthy fats, limited carbs and lean meats. This also makes it perfect for low carb and keto dieters to explore! Best of all, many of these recipes are simple and easy to prepare, following a whole foods approach to eating.

Food Shopping List

Here are some ingredients you can pick up at the grocery store that find their way into many delicious Mediterranean recipes:

  • Chicken
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumber
  • Bell peppers
  • Lemon
  • Garlic
  • Olives and olive oil
  • Oregano
  • Dill
  • Greek yogurt
  • Tahini (sesame seed butter)
  • Artichokes
  • Feta or goat’s cheese

Greek Low Carb Recipes 

Low Carb Asian Foods

Since wheat isn’t native to East Asian regions, it is pretty easy to find low carb recipes inspired by this region’s cuisine. That said, a lot of Asian dishes are eaten with rice or rice noodles. However, our catalog offers a wide variety of low carb rice or noodle alternatives that are also common to find in traditional Asian recipes!

Unfortunately, a lot of Westernized Asian restaurants may add high carb ingredients to their food such as corn starch and sugars. So, when it comes to this type of cuisine, home-cooked is always the best way to control exactly what you are eating. If you choose to dine out, be sure to ask a server to check the ingredients used in the kitchen.

Food Shopping List

  • Fresh or ground beef, chicken or pork
  • Shrimp/prawns
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Soy sauce or coconut aminos (soy-free)
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Mushrooms
  • Cabbage
  • Coconut cream or milk
  • Sesame oil
  • Curry paste
  • Chinese five spice
  • Green chili peppers
  • Seaweed or nori
  • Peanuts or peanut butter

Asian Low Carb Recipes

You can also bookmark our article that covers everything about Low Carb & Keto-Friendly Korean Cooking if you love this country’s cuisine!

Indian Low Carb

If you like spice and lots of flavour, Indian food should be your go-to! Many Indian dishes involve stews and curries served with rice or chapati, roti, or naan bread for dipping. These high carb foods can easily be substituted for shirataki rice, cauliflower or a low carb pita or wrap instead. We love these Mini Pitas by Joseph’s Bakery for dipping! Another great thing about Indian cuisine is that many recipes are also vegetarian-friendly. Eating a vegetarian meal at least once a week is a great way to reduce toxic food industry waste and serve healthy meals to your family!

Food Shopping List

The main ingredients you’ll need for Indian cooking are fresh vegetables and loads of spices and aromatics – so make some room in your spice cabinet!

  • Chicken
  • Shrimp
  • Tomatoes or tomato paste (for curries)
  • Eggplant
  • Chili powder or fresh chili peppers
  • Turmeric powder
  • Coriander
  • Curry powder
  • Garam masala spice
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Coconut cream, milk or coconut milk powder
  • Butter or ghee
  • Paneer cheese (or tofu)

Indian Low Carb Recipes

Low Carb Caribbean

Last but not least, if you dream of white sand beaches and turquoise waters – why not transport yourself to the Caribbean with these delicious recipes! Caribbean cuisine is big on flavour and features a lot of great seasonings for fresh grilled meat. Coconuts, native to those white sand beaches, are also used in a variety of ways in Caribbean cuisine, which is great news for low-carb high-fat and keto dieters!

Foods Shopping List

  • Chicken
  • Shrimp
  • Crab meat
  • White fish (wild caught halibut, cod and mahi mahi are all good options)
  • Coconut milk
  • Coconut oil
  • Cauliflower
  • Hot peppers (scotch bonnet peppers are traditionally used in the Caribbean, but these can be really hot! Try green and red chilis or jalapeno peppers instead for milder spice)
  • Limes
  • Cilantro
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Jerk seasoning or Jamaican curry powder – Hot Mamas also carries a range of Caribbean-inspired dry rubs and spice blends. See their full selection here!

Low Carb Caribbean Recipes

Start Experimenting Today 

We hope that you learned something about global cuisine and enjoyed reading this article!

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