All posts by Jeff Fidler

The Best & Worst Fruits & Vegetables for Low Carb Diets

The Best (And Worst) Fruits and Veggies for Low Carb Dieters

When most people think ‘low carb’, the most common things that come to mind are always the same; bread, pasta, and sugar. While these are certainly a huge part of what the low carb diet is all about, they aren’t the whole story. Lots of people are surprised to learn just how high in carbs some of their favourite fruits and vegetables are. Without a little bit of research, it’s easy to make a mistake when choosing between what you think are healthy choices, and what actually might be working against your diet.

Here, we list some of the best fruit and vegetable choices for low carb diets, and some of the worst fruit and vegetable offenders when it comes to carb counting. Fear not, however. Even if your favourite happens to make the high carb list, rest assured there are always alternatives that you can substitute in its place to give you a similar flavour, but help keep the carb count low.

Fruits to Avoid

We all love fresh fruit, of course, but because of that delicious sweetness that they have, you can be sure that there are naturally occurring sugars in there that can crank up the carb count very quickly.

Some fruits that have naturally high carb counts include:

  • Bananas
  • Grapes
  • Mangos
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Pineapple
  • Kiwi

While low carb diets come in several different variations, even a moderate low carb diet can be thrown off very quickly by consuming too much fruit. If you’re worried about missing out on the other nutrients found in these fruits, be assured that you can get everything your body needs from alternative sources, especially vegetables that are much less likely to have high levels of carbs or sugars.

Vegetables to Avoid

That said, however, there are also some vegetables that low carb dieters should steer clear of. While not nearly as high in carbs and sugars as the fruits we mentioned above, some veggies still contain enough carbs so that you’ll want to make sure that you moderate your intake. Here are the veggies on the top end of the carb count list:

  • Potatoes
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Bell Peppers
  • Green Beans
  • Beets
  • Squash

A Note on Beans, Peas and Other Legumes

While often mistaken for vegetables, peas, corn, beans, lentils and other similar foods are actually classified as legumes or grains. These are all higher in carbs than vegetables and should be kept to a minimum, or avoided entirely, while on a low carb diet.

Best Fruits for Low Carb Diets

Now let’s get to the good stuff!

These are fruits that are much lower in carbs and are much easier to integrate in to your meal plans. While they still have the delicious, fresh sweetness that you want from fruit, they are lower in sugars and don’t hit your carb counts nearly as hard. Here are some of the best choices for low carb fruits:

  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Plums
  • Peaches
  • Coconut

Gram-for-gram, these fruits are significantly lower in carbs than many others you’ll find at the grocery store. While these still need to be managed and moderated as part of your diet, they are safer in general.

It’s easy to incorporate these fruits and others like them in to your normal diet routine with things like low carb jams and jellies available online or in-store at The Low Carb Grocery.

Best Vegetables for Low Carb Diets

When it comes to the best low carb vegetables, there are plenty of options available that cover a very wide range of tastes. Generally, most of these vegetables will be the ones that grow ‘above ground’, such as leafy vegetables and stalk vegetables.

Here are the top vegetables to consider as part of your low carb diet:

  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Avocado
  • Olives
  • Asparagus
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Zucchini
  • Cabbage Broccoli

These vegetables can be eaten pretty freely on most low carb diets, but of course it doesn’t mean you should throw caution to the wind. Regardless of what individual foods may be considered technically ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for a particular diet, monitoring your intake of all foods is important to stay on track and meet your goals.

You can even add more vegetables in to your diet plan with crunchy, salty vegetable snack chips. You can find many options for vegetable snack chips here at The Low Carb Grocery, online and in our stores.

We hope that this guide has helped you refine your diet plans and your understanding of fruit and vegetables carb counts, and given some ideas on what you may want to add to your next shopping trip to the grocery store.

Who knows, you may discover a fruit or vegetable suits your taste buds more than you thought it would, and those are always pleasant discoveries to make.

mmm - low carb pasta

Tips for Making Delicious Pasta Meals the Low Carb Way

Pasta is such a huge part of the world of food that it would be a real shame if you needed to say ‘goodbye’ to it forever just because you are taking on a low carb lifestyle. Fortunately for today’s low carb dieters, there are plenty of options out there to help make sure that pasta lovers get to keep delicious Italian pasta dishes on their menu, without sacrificing any of the flavour.

We’ve put together a handful of handy tips, and a few product recommendations, that will change how you think about pasta on a low carb diet plan. You have multiple choices for low carb noodles in all the classic styles, as well as every kind of sauce you can think of, including some new ones you may never have tried before. So, now that you’ve got pasta on your mind, let’s talk about how you can add pasta to your meal plan today!

Know Your Noodles

Traditional pasta noodles are usually made mostly from semolina flour, but this is definitely not something that works with a low carb diet. Even egg noodles can still contain a very high amount of carbs. For a low carb pasta dish, you’ll need to choose an alternative type of low carb noodle. The most popular low carb noodles are made from a combination of things like high-protein soy flour, wheat gluten, and fibre along with reduced amounts of semolina flour to bring the total carb count down. Some brands use other ingredients such as chickpeas and lentils in order to raise up the fibre and protein content and lower the total carbs.

Italian Style Noodles

Italian style noodles are available in all the classic traditional types of long, short, tube, and flat noodles. Long Italian pasta styles include spaghetti, fettuccine, linguine, and angel hair. Shorter Italian style pasta comes in shapes like rotini, fusilli, penne, elbow macaroni, or shells. Some other Italian style noodles include flat lasagna noodles, and noodles designed to be stuffed like cannelloni and manicotti. Here’s a list of many different types of Italian style noodles:

Spaghetti Spaghettini
Linguine Fusilli lunghi
Vermicelli Capellini
Bucatini Tagliatelle
Pappardelle Fettuccine
Mafaldine Stringozzi
Trenette Penne
Rigatoni Macaroni
Paccheri Tortiglioni
Trenne Manicotti
Ditalini Cannelloni

Shop our entire selection of low carb Italian noodles here – find exactly the kind of noodles you’ll need for your next pasta meal, all made with low carb ingredients.

Asian Style Noodles

Shirataki noodles are Asian style noodles and are different from other types of low carb noodles because they are actually made from a water-soluble dietary fiber called ‘glucomannan’. This makes them very low in digestible carbs, and perfect for all kinds of Asian noodle recipes. Shirataki noodles are typically either white or seaweed, and come in several styles including long ramen-style noodles as well as more traditional shapes like spaghetti and fettuccine. You can browse a wide range of Shirataki noodles at The Low Carb Grocery.

Homemade Pasta

If you want to take on even more control over your pasta, consider making your own pasta noodles using the low carb flour options available from several different brands. When you hunt for recipes online, be sure to look for recipes that call for Wheat Protein Isolate 8000 and Oat Fibre 500. Of course, making noodles from scratch requires more planning and effort than simply choosing a pre-made pasta, but for those low carb chefs that like to do things their own way, all the ingredients you’ll need to make your own noodles can be found online or in store at The Low Carb Grocery.

Select Your Sauce

While there are dozens of different types of sauces to choose from, they all generally fall in to a few simple categories based on their core ingredients, or the style of cuisine. Here are the most common categories for sauces to go with your noodles.

Cream Sauces

Most cream sauce recipes are already low in carbs, but also tend to be higher in fat. Cream sauces are ideal to pair with lighter meats such as chicken and seafood, or skip the meat and include your favourite veggies for a lighter meal.

Tomato Sauces

Tomatoes are a very common ingredient in a lot of Italian dishes, but since they can contain a lot of natural sugars they aren’t ideal for a low carb diet. Luckily there are several brands that have low carb versions of classic tomato sauces, so just be sure to choose a brand you trust, and always read the label.

Pesto Sauces

For a low carb pasta dish, pesto is just about as perfect as you can get! Since they are primarily made with an olive oil base, they are very safe for low carb dieters. You can try both the classic pesto sauces, or switch things up and opt for a creamy version. Pesto sauces are also very easy to make yourself using fresh local ingredients, no cooking required!

Asian Sauces

If you are preparing an Asian dish such as a noodle stir fry, there several Asian style sauces to choose from like teriyaki, hoisin, or Szechuan, which are all available in low carb varieties and can be sweeter or spicier depending on the type of flavor experience you are looking for.

Check out our full range of sauces for Italian style pasta and sauces for all other styles of cuisine – shop online or in store at The Low Carb Grocery.

Meat and Veggies

Once you’ve got the basis for your pasta dish down by choosing your noodles and your sauce, go ahead and customize it any way you want by adding your favourite meats and low carb vegetables to complete your meal. Pasta is one of those types of cuisine where it’s really fun to experiment with new tastes and flavour combos, so don’t be afraid to try new things.

 

Now that you’ve probably got a serious craving for some pasta, take some time and browse around our entire Pasta & Noodle section to get even more inspiration.  

We have everything you need to make this a delicious and satisfying pasta meal you’ll remember and come back to again and again!