All posts by Jeff Fidler

Seasonal Fruits – The Low Carb Way

Your Guide to Seasonal Low Carb Fruits

Using seasonal fruits in your smoothies means better prices and better taste. Learn which fruits are in season and how you can use them in low carb and keto-friendly recipes!

When you browse the fruit section of your local supermarket or grocery store, you’ll likely see many of the same options year-round, thanks to global sourcing. But, if you pay close attention, you’ll also see many fruits come and go from the aisles as the months change through the year as local suppliers conduct their harvests over the different growing seasons. Prices may also change, giving you an idea of what is in season (lower prices) vs out of season.

When shopping for fruit, it is helpful to know what times of year are best to find certain types of fruits so you can get the most bang for your buck; fruits that are in season will not only have better prices, but they will also taste better! Knowing the best time of year to buy certain fruits will also help you reduce waste as in-season fruits tend to spoil less quickly.

The following guide will help you break down the best fruits to buy during each season of the year. We’ve kept our focus on the types of fruits that can be found in Canada. We’ve also included the net carb count per cup for each fruit. If you are following a low carb diet, look for the fruits listed in bold for your best low carb options!

Spring Fruits: April – June

Although spring is still too early to harvest most fruits, especially in Canada, there are still several fruits that grow quickly as the weather starts to warm up. We also see many of the fruits in the springtime from global suppliers. Here’s a list of fruits that are in season during the spring:

  • Apples – 12 net carbs per cup
  • Avocados – 3g net carbs per cup
  • Bananas (year-round) – 20 net carbs per cup
  • Coconut (year-round) – 5g net carbs per cup
  • Mangos – 25g net carbs per cup
  • Rhubarb – 4g net carbs per cup 

Here’s a great recipe we found for low carb rhubarb crisp. If you don’t already have them at home, The Low Carb Grocery carries many of the ingredients you will need for this recipe, including almond flour, ground flaxseed meal, cinnamon, liquid stevia, chia seeds and erythritol.

Summer Fruits: July – September

Summer, of course, is prime season for growing a wide variety of fruits. Here are some of the delicious fresh fruits that you can expect to be in season during the summer months:

  • Apricots – 14g net carbs per cup
  • Avocados – 3g net carbs per cup
  • Bananas (year-round) – 20g net carbs per cup
  • Blackberries – 6g net carbs per cup
  • Blueberries – 12g net carbs per cup
  • Cantaloupe – 7g net carbs per cup
  • Cherries – 10g net carbs per cup
  • Coconut (year-round) – 5g net carbs per cup
  • Honeydew Melon – 15g net carbs per cup
  • Nectarines – 13g net carbs per cup
  • Peaches – 10g net carbs per cup
  • Plums – 10g net carbs per cup
  • Raspberries – 5g net carbs per cup
  • Strawberries – 6g net carbs per cup
  • Watermelon – 7g net carbs per cup 

Try this fun summer recipe for low carb frozen yogurt popsicles!

Autumn Fruits: October – December

Many of the fruits that come into season in the late months of the summer continue their growing season into the fall as well. Here are some of the most common fruits you’ll find in season during the fall.

  • Apples – 12g net carbs per cup
  • Bananas (year-round) – 20g net carbs per cup
  • Cranberries (raw) – 8g net carbs per cup
  • Coconut (year-round) – 5g net carbs per cup
  • Grapes – 16g net carbs per cup
  • Kiwi – 12g net carbs per cup
  • Limes – 5g net carbs per fruit
  • Mandarins – 10g net carbs per cup
  • Pears – 12g net carbs per cup

Try this recipe for low carb cranberry walnut bars. For this recipe, you will need low carb powdered sugar. We recommend using Swerve Icing Sugar for its similar consistency and taste to traditional powdered sugar – its “the ultimate sugar replacement”!

Around the holidays, you can also try out this recipe for keto cranberry sauce, flavoured with monk fruit sweetener and cinnamon and orange zest.

Winter Fruits: January – March

While it may seem odd to consider some fruits as “in-season” during the winter months in Canada, you can still find a number of fruits at their best during this time of year:

  • Apples – 12g net carbs per cup
  • Bananas (year-round) – 20g net carbs per cup
  • Coconut (year-round) – 5g net carbs per cup
  • Grapefruit – 11g net carbs per cup
  • Kiwi – 12g net carbs per cup
  • Lemons – 6g net carbs per cup
  • Oranges – 9g net carbs per cup
  • Pineapple – 12g net carbs per cup

We found a great recipe for Keto-Friendly Hummingbird Cake here. If you’ve never heard of hummingbird cake before – well, you’re missing out! It is a layered (optional rum-soaked) cake with a cream cheese frosting that originates from the Caribbean, so it traditionally features lots of fresh fruits including bananas and pineapples. However, these fruits can be tricky to incorporate if you are on a low carb diet. Don’t worry – this recipe takes into account the amount of net carbs in these fruits and uses just a small portion of fresh pineapple and banana extract instead. If you still find that it isn’t fruity enough, try adding a few drops each of Flavorall Liquid Stevia in Banana, Pineapple, Coconut + more than 20 other flavours. Customize this recipe to make it your own!

Note that this recipe requires a good quality, extra-fine blanched almond flour. Anthony’s Goods carries this type of almond flour that can help you perfect this recipe and many more! Bring this Keto Hummingbird Cake to your family gatherings around the holidays – but don’t expect to bring home any leftovers!

When in Doubt, Buy Frozen!

If shopping according to the seasons proves too difficult for you, another way to always ensure you have fresh fruit is to buy it in frozen packages. Frozen fruits are always packaged when they reach their peak ripeness and, of course, they will have much longer shelf lives than fresh produce.

Here’s a recipe for low carb ice cream using frozen fruits.

Low Carb Fruit Smoothies

So, you might be wondering. What else can you do with all of these great low carb fruit options on a daily basis? Well, for starters, don’t get too carried away. As you can see from the net carb counts above, it can be very easy to go above your daily recommended carb intake if you are following a ketogenic or low carb diet. But, small amounts of low carb fruits can still be incorporated into delicious keto-friendly smoothies that taste great!

Here’s how to build your own low carb smoothie:

1. Choose a milk base.

This can be dairy or non-dairy, depending on your preferences. Note that regular fat milk can easily kick you out of ketosis, so if you choose the dairy route opt for a higher fat content. Non-dairy options are great sources of fibre and still contain good amounts of healthy proteins and fats. Always opt for unsweetened versions to avoid hidden carbs. Try one of these options with your next smoothie:

2. Add ½ cup – 1 cup of low carb fruits (choose seasonally for the best taste!). 

3. Add some fat and protein to your shake.

4. Add a boost of fibre for smooth digestion.

5. Add some natural zero-carb sweetness (optional).

6. Spice it up or add some low carb flavour (optional).

  • Cocoa Powder (note that this is pure cocoa powder, so it will add a bitter but chocolate-y taste to your smoothie. Best paired with a natural sweetener!).
  • Cinnamon – opt for Ceylon or “True” Cinnamon rather than cassia cinnamon (commonly found in supermarkets) as it contains less coumarin, a toxin that can be harmful if eaten in large quantities.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Flavorall Liquid Stevia Drops – available in 25 flavours! A great way to replace the taste of some of those higher carb fruits.
  • Ginger Powder
  • Turmeric for its anti-inflammatory properties (FYI – it will make your smoothie a vibrant yellow colour! Try it with mangoes, bananas and citrus fruits for a tasty tropical smoothie blend.)
  • Moringa for a boost of essential vitamins and minerals. Try out this Peanut Butter Berry Smoothie Recipe featuring Wild Tusker Moringa Powder.

7. Blend together all the goodness and enjoy!

 

Stay Connected

If you made your own low carb smoothie, share the recipe in our comments on Facebook or tag us on Instagram! We also love to stay connected with our Weekly Newsletters for updates on the latest products and special sales. And please leave us a Google Review with your Low Carb Grocery feedback!


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Sandwich & Wraps – The Low Carb Way

Delicious Low Carb Sandwiches & Wrap Alternatives

Sandwiches and wraps can still be enjoyed no matter what your dietary restrictions are. Learn about the different ways to customize your favourite lunchtime meals whether you are on a low carb, gluten-free, plant-based or other diet/program.

There’s no need to give up sandwiches and wraps at lunchtime, even if you are on a low carb diet. Not only are they fast and easy to make, but they taste great and can be made in any number of combinations according to your circumstances and preferences. And, there are a number of alternative ways to make them to suit different lifestyles and diets. That’s the beauty of the sandwich – its versatility and endless possibilities!

Low Carb Concerns?

Fortunately for low carb dieters, the deli counter is one place where you can definitely count on what you’re buying to fit your diet. Meats and cheeses are great low carb and keto-friendly toppings to add to your sandwiches or wraps. Balance it out with some fibre-rich vegetables and an oil-based sauce to ensure that you stay in ketosis. Oh – and the bread? Read on to learn how to navigate the question of what to put your keto sandwich innards between.

Choosing low carb meats is not hard; high-fat meats will ensure that you to stay in ketosis, such as pork or beef. Or, you can opt for a lighter meat like chicken or turkey and add fats in other elements such as avocado, oil-based dressings, or cheese. Either way, make sure to look for natural, non-GMO and farm-raised meat that is free from artificial preservatives and any other additives. Natural types of preservatives include salt and/or celery. The key is to find good quality meat, because this is what matters. Low quality meat raised with added hormones and chemical preservatives strip the original product of its nutrients and can have very damaging effects on the body including – but not limited to – inflammation, weakening the immune system, lowering fertility, and increasing your risk of chronic diseases. Also be sure to avoid any deli meats with glazes or spice rubs that may have added sugars as these can cause you to unknowingly raise your net carb count.

The main issue with eating sandwiches and wraps while trying to stay in ketosis is the bread or bun replacement. Luckily, there are a number of low carb bread options available that still taste great! Many are made from almond flour, which adds a great boost of Vitamin E and healthy fats to your ‘wich. Alternatively, they can be made with flaxseed meal, coconut flour or other types of nut and seed meals that all provide high amounts of fibre, healthy fats and essential vitamins and minerals.

Gluten-Free Concerns?

It can also be hard to find the right gluten-free bread or wraps for your sandwiches. Luckily, some of the keto-friendly options mentioned above fit into this category, too. Some other gluten-free brands of breads and wraps that we love are Slice of Life Carb Wise Bread and Live Organic Food Raw Wraps.

The Low Carb Grocery carries a number of gluten-free products. Just look for the purple “Gluten-Free” tag on our product web pages:

Keto diets are naturally low in gluten, as wheat and grains are the main carb culprits! Even if you are not gluten-intolerant, it can be a good idea to try out some of these amazing gluten-free alternatives, or they could naturally fit into your diet. Some people report better digestion and increased energy levels by eliminating gluten from their diet. Being gluten-free can also have other indirect benefits. By not consuming wheat or grains, you are inadvertently forced to consume more fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts in their place. These alternatives also usually have higher fibre content, which is why they help with digestion and feelings of fullness for long-lasting energy throughout the day.

Plant-Based Concerns?

There are a lot of plant-based options for sandwiches and wraps. In fact, you can usually find products that are suited for a number of overlapping diets and lifestyles. A lot of keto-friendly, paleo-friendly and gluten-free products can be made from plant-based ingredients.

The good thing about plant-based alternatives is that they usually add other nutritional benefits to your meal, including important vitamins and minerals as well as healthy omega-3 fatty acids. These are often found in different kinds of nuts and seeds, which, when ground into a fine powder, are a great substitution for traditional white or wheat flours.

The main issue when trying to build a plant-based sandwich or wrap is finding replacements for the fillers such as the typical deli meats and cheeses. Not to fear – there are many plant-based options to choose from!

These days it is not hard to find plant-based alternatives for meat. Some good replacements include tofu, tempeh, large mushrooms such as portobello, and quinoa, lentil or bean-based vegan patties. All of these are not only rich in protein (that is just as beneficial for building muscle tissue as animal protein) but also tend to be higher in fibre which can help you feel fuller, longer. If you are following a low carb diet, protein-rich legumes could be high in net carbs – so be sure to double check before you indulge in a veggie burger and accidentally fall out of ketosis.

As far as vegan cheeses, you can usually find nut-based versions at most specialty retailers. These are a more sustainable dairy alternative and there are a number of allergen-friendly options to find. You can also add other creamy elements to your sandwich or wrap that can replicate some of the same sensations as cheese. For example, avocados, tahini (sesame paste), vegan mayonnaise, hummus, very soft tofu or nutritional yeast can add that familiar texture and flavour of cheese, while also being high in other nutritional benefits.

Make Your Own at Home!

Still concerned about your low carb bread options? Try making your own! It’s not as hard as it sounds, and you can totally customize it to your personal preferences and dietary needs.

Anthony’s Goods provides a range of products that can be used for making your own bread (and other baked goods!) from the comfort of your own home. All of their products are guaranteed either premium quality or organic, and cover a range of cooking and baking needs.

Baking at home is one of the best ways to ensure that the food you are eating is clean, free from any artificial ingredients and tailored to your specific dietary needs. Plus, it can be really fun! Read on to learn how to make your own homemade low carb bread:

Start with a base of one or all of these:          

+ baking powder and a pinch of salt!

Add the following fibre boosts:

 

Mix the dry ingredients with a healthy oil or fat to make it all stick together:

  • Avocado oil
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil (melted)
  • Egg whites
  • Grass-fed butter (melted)

Finally, add your own personal touch with any or all of these:

Bake in a glass baking dish or deep baking pan lined with parchment paper at 350˚ for 10-15 minutes, or until you see a golden-brown colour and small cracks on the top of the bread. Test ready-ness with a toothpick by sticking it into the centre of the bread. It should come out clean with very little to no crumbs when the bread is done baking.

If all this sounds too hard, you’re still in luck. KZ Clean Eating offers a grain-free, high protein bread mix that comes ready to bake with its own tin container. All you have to do is add water, bake and enjoy fresh, warm homemade bread (it still counts, right?).

Stay Connected 

If you try making your own low carb bread at home, we’d love to know your recipes and tips! Share photos and recipes of your delicious homemade bread on Facebook or tag us on Instagram! We also love to stay connected with our Weekly Newsletters for updates on the latest products and special sales. And please leave us a Google Review with your feedback!


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salad options for low carbers

Keto-Friendly Salad Tips & Recipes

Low Carb Keto Salad Ingredients  

You might question whether salads are okay to eat on a low carb diet, as some vegetables and salad dressings can be high in carbs. Read this guide to learn how to make your salads keto-friendly!

Salads are the perfect lunchtime meal for any diet, including keto. They are totally customizable to your preferences and needs, and there’s lots of ways you can make them low in carbs, too. Salads are a great way to get enough fibre in your day and break up some of those heavier meals that are known to the keto diet.

One way to turn your salads from boring to boundless is with different salad dressings. These can transform the same simple ingredients into a completely different meal. Here are some of our top picks for keto-friendly salad dressings:

  1. Primal Kitchen Salad Dressings

These keto- and paleo-friendly dressings can also double as marinades. Cook your meat and dress your salad with these sauces for a truly cohesive, restaurant-quality dish! Bonus – they are also free from soy and canola oil.

Choose from a variety of delicious flavours such as Green Goddess, Caesar, Greek, or Ranch! Each serving contains just 0.5g to 2g net carbs, depending on the flavour you choose.

  1. Fresh Dress Homemade Salad Dressings

With 0g net carbs, this is your ultimate choice for a keto-friendly dressing! It also means you have some net carbs to spare in the rest of your salad, if you choose. These dressings are made in Ontario with all-natural ingredients such as first pressed pure olive oil, premium vinegars, and fresh herbs and spices. Have homemade dressing in the convenience of a resealable glass bottle right at your fingertips! Try our favourite flavours: Wicked Caesar and Greek Lightning! (available in store only).

  1. Walden Farms Salad Dressings 

Not only are these dressings zero calories, but they are also 0g net carbs! Walden Farms has created a line of unique and versatile flavours such as Balsamic Vinaigrette, Asian Dressing, Creamy Bacon and Chipotle Ranch! If you can’t decide on just one, try our sampler pack! These single-serve packets are also perfect for on the go and taking your lunch to work.

Home Made Salad Dressings

Making your own keto-friendly dressing at home is another great option, because you can control every aspect of it to fit your dietary needs. It’s easy to skip on the added sugars that you find in most grocery store brands, and you can choose flavours that you enjoy. The Low Carb Grocery carries Canada’s largest selection of low-carb, sugar-free, sodium-free and low-calorie sauces, dressings and ingredients that are perfect for making your own salad dressings at home. Try out a new recipe today!

Here’s how you can make your own dressing at home in just a few simple steps.

1. Start with a base of oil:

  • Olive oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Flax oil for an extra boost of omega-3s
  • Sunflower oil
  • Sesame oil for an Asian-inspired dressing

2. Add a splash of vinegar: balsamic, apple cider vinaigrette, white or sherry are all great choices. Or, add soy sauce or tamari and some citrus juice (low in carbs!) to make an Asian-style dressing. Coconut aminos, made from the “sap” of coconut trees, are a great low-glycemic and soy-free alternative to soy sauce.

3. Get creative with flavours and seasonings. You can add garlic (fresh or powdered seasoning), red chilli flakes, black or pink peppercorns (crushed), or ginger. Adding fresh herbs such as dill, basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano and sage will brighten up your salad and balance out the fat or protein elements. We love The Garlic Box’s Roasted Garlic Sea Salt as a 2-in-1 addition to homemade salad dressings, or even just sprinkled over salads:

If you want a more fruity or sweet-leaning salad dressings, try using Flavorall liquid stevia drops! Mix these drops with a low carb yogurt or light olive oil, lemon juice and seasonings for a well-rounded salad dressing perfect for spring or summer. Check out this keto-friendly raspberry vinaigrette recipe we found, made with Swerve Confectioners natural sweetener. Substitute a portion of the fresh raspberries in this recipe with Flavorall Radiant Raspberry Drops for less carbs and big flavour!

The possibilities are really endless when you’re making your own dressing. Make enough for the week so you always have fresh, homemade dressing in your fridge.

Now let’s get into the salad recipes…

Green Salads 

Most greens are keto-friendly and rich in fibre to keep you feeling full and promote healthy digestion. Start with a base of any or all of the following nutrient-rich greens: spinach, kale, chard, romaine or leaf lettuce. Mixing in fresh herb leaves, such as basil or mint is a great way to add flavour and vibrancy to an otherwise dull salad. Broccoli is also a great low carb base for a hearty, protein-rich salad that will keep you feeling full for hours. Check out this recipe for easy Keto Broccoli Salad.

Next, add some protein – remember, this doesn’t just have to come from meat or cheese. Nuts, seeds and avocados all contain low to moderate amounts of protein and higher amounts of fat, making them perfect for keto. These are also better for heart health as they contain omega-3 fatty acids. Eggs are also a great addition as they contain essential nutrients that are hard to find from other food sources. Try this Keto Cobb Salad recipe with ranch dressing!

Finally, drizzle with your dressing of choice for a final dose of fats and enjoy!

If you feel like you’re missing a “carb-y” element in your salad try some of these suggestions:

  1. Cut your low carb bread into bite-size cubes.
  2. Drizzle melted butter, olive oil or coconut oil over the cubes.
  3. Season with garlic, parsley, oregano (optional), salt, pepper and parmesan cheese (optional).
  4. Toss everything together and place on a flat baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake at 400˚F for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Alternative Salads

Greens don’t have to be your go-to salad base. There are many other salads you can make that are keto-friendly using other foods as your base. Check out our list of unconventional keto-friendly salads that you can try to switch up your salad routine!

Kelp Noodle Salad 

Kelp Noodles are low in calories and carbs, and they are gluten-free. Make a spin on pasta salad with these nutrient-dense noodles. Kelp noodles contain over 70 minerals including iodine, potassium, magnesium and calcium! These minerals can help with metabolism and improve thyroid function. Truly a superfood, you will also find more than 21 amino acids, various vitamins and enzymes that aid with healthy digestion. Try out this visually stunning, vegan, gluten-free and keto-friendly recipe for Crunchy Asian Kelp Noodle Salad. Substitute tempeh for a protein of your choice and add extra oils to increase the fat content to make this fit your macronutrient profile.

You can follow this and similar recipes using Konjac Noodles, in case you can’t find kelp noodles at your local supermarket. They are similar in texture and mild in taste meaning you can create virtually any recipe with them!

Cucumber Avocado Tomato Salad

This chunky salad fits into any diet and is perfect as a side dish or on its own. Check out this recipe we found for this bright and satisfying Mediterranean-style salad, best enjoyed family-style! It is super simple and quick to prepare, and only requires a few ingredients that you probably already have in your fridge. Make your own dressing or pair this salad with one of our low carb Greek dressings!

Variations of this recipe might include other low carb veggies such as zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, artichokes or hearts of palm. Try grilling them for a tasty and comforting warm salad.

Chicken, Tuna or Egg Salad 

Why not eat your protein in salad-form? These classic dishes are an unconventional approach to the traditional green salad and are a great way to ensure you are getting enough protein and fats in your diet. They will keep you full and there are many ways to customize them to your liking! Add vegetables to the mix in small chunks for some balance in textures and flavours and a boost of fibre. Try out any or all of these recipes:

Turn any of these into a delicious sandwich with one of our low carb breads, wraps or pitas!

Connect with the LCG 

If you tried any of the recipes in this article, share it with us on Facebook or tag us on Instagram! We also love to stay connected with our Weekly Newsletters for updates on the latest products and special sales. Also, please leave us a Google Review with your Low Carb Grocery experiences!


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Buying Low Carb Bread – Tips & Ideas

Looking to Cut Carbs but Don’t Want to Give up Your Bread?

Bread is a staple in our day-to-day lives, and often a key component of breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks. But it’s tough to say goodbye when we start a low-carb diet. Fear not! There are a number of great low-carb bread options, plus additional options that you can substitute for bread in your diet.


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Here’s the Problem with White Bread…

White bread will throw you out of ketosis, and furthermore, it has gone from a traditionally homemade kitchen staple to an unruly, highly refined grocery commodity. Commercialization has caused bread manufacturers to forego nutritional value in the wake of mass production and cost savings. What we find now in our grocery stores is highly processed bread made from refined flours with added sugars and preservatives. During the refining process, the grains are stripped from naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, fibre and protein – leaving behind starch as the primary ingredient. This makes the body absorb whatever nutrients are left very rapidly during digestion, which can spike blood sugar levels and lead to sudden crashes. Side effects of this may include but are not limited to irritability, digestive issues and inflammation (consult your doctor if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms).

Next time you’re at your local supermarket, grab the most popular bread brand and take a look at the ingredients on the back. Chances are, it’ll be the length of half the loaf and contain a number of items you might not even recognize.

What Should You Be Looking For?

Buying the right bread for you isn’t easy. There are a number of things you might consider when shopping for a bread to meet your keto, low carb, gluten-free, diabetic or other needs. Here’s a list of our suggestions for things to look for, good things, regardless of your diet or lifestyle choice:

  • The absence of food additives – AKA, short ingredients lists with things you recognize or have some idea of what they would be.
  • Added fibre sources (oat fibre, wheat fibre, psyllium husk, chia seeds, flax seeds, etc.).
  • Added protein, or protein sources, such as almond flour, vital wheat gluten, or other protein sources.
  • Any other vitamin or mineral source that can amp up the nutrition of your bread.

Low Carb Breads We Love

At The Low Carb Grocery, we are always on the lookout for the latest health food trends in Canada, with a focus on low-carb and sugar-free dieters’ needs in particular. We believe that there is a great low-carb substitute for all of your favourite foods!

Here are some of our favourite low carb breads:

Bakers Deluxe

Bakers Deluxe Dream Bread taste very similar to your previously favourite bread and toasts well. You can enjoy a variety of flavours, including plainpumpernickel and rye with caraway seeds. With only 2g of net carbs per 2 slices, it is the perfect low-carb substitute for your sandwiches, toast, or even repurposed as breadcrumbs.

In addition, 2 slices of Bakers Deluxe Dream bread will give you 14g of protein (from wheat) and 16g of fibre! The addition of oat fibre, wheat fibre, golden flaxseed meal and almond meal gives this bread a well-rounded nutrient profile. Oat fibre is great for preventing blood sugar spikes, keeping you feeling full and energized longer, and it can even support the good gut bacteria for overall health. Oat fibre also allows for the soft and crumb-less texture of this bread.

What the nutrition facts won’t show you is that this bread is also high in essential omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E which has anti-aging properties, and manganese, which is necessary for many functions of the body.

Chompies Breads

Chompies Breads has been praised for its miraculous similarity to high-carb bread. Thick slices and a higher moisture content mean that you won’t feel like you’re eating dieters’ bread, often characterized by dryness and unsatisfyingly thin slices. The best part? Chompies Breads has only 1g net carb per slice.

Enhanced with vital wheat gluten, sesame seeds and nutritional yeast, this bread packs a protein punch with 8g of protein per slice. It also has flax seeds, oat bran, rye flakes and millet to give it a well-balanced earthy taste and no added preservatives. Available in sesame or multigrain flavours!

Dimpflmeier

Formerly named Carb Smart Bread, Dimpflmeier PowerSlice Bread is similar to a Scandinavian-style rye bread – but packed with powerful nutrients! It is baked with artesian spring water giving it the best clean, light flavour that nature can provide. With only 1g net carbs per slice, this bread can be enjoyed by low-carb dieters or anyone looking for a more nutritious substitute for their regular bread.

Dimpflmeier PowerSlice Bread also contains 15g of protein per slice due to the additions of wheat, pea, whey and rice protein. It also contains some great sources of fibre including oat fibre, brown and golden flax seeds, wheat fibre, psyllium husk, and chicory root fibre (inulin). All of these will aid in healthy digestion, promote the growth of good gut bacteria and keep you feeling full and satisfied longer. Who knew you could unlock so much power in a slice of bread!

Slice of Life

Slice of Life Carb Wise Bread is not only low-carb, but also gluten-free! With only 3g net carbs per 2 slices, you can enjoy its nutritional benefits as a part of any diet. Made with almond flour and flax meal, this bread is packed with protein (10g per 2 slices) and has an added boost of fibre from psyllium husk. Pumpkin seeds also provide a good source of magnesium, an important mineral that is often lacking in our diets.

Other Low-Carb Bread Substitutes

Don’t limit your options to bread look-alikes – many vegetables can be prepared or used in a way that mimics bread, too! And, vegetables can be just as low-carb as the products listed above. Here are some of our top suggestions:

  • Lettuce, chard or collard green wraps. The larger leaves of either swiss chard or collard greens make these a great substitute for keto and paleo-friendly wraps.
  • Nori (seaweed) sheets. Seaweed is a powerhouse of nutrition, and another great substitute for traditional high carb wraps. Its nutritional benefits including high levels of antioxidants, calcium, folic acid, iron and a host of other vitamins and minerals.
  • Sweet potato toast. Using just a sliver of this nutrient-rich root vegetable, you can bake it with some olive oil and seasoning until it becomes slightly crispy and toast-like. Layer it with avocados, greens, eggs, nut butters, or any other toppings you usually put on a toasted piece of bread and be amazed!
  • Roasted cauliflower slices. Roasting cauliflower is a great way to add a carb-like texture to your plate – minus the net carbs! Packed with fibre and other important nutrients, cauliflower is a great carb substitute in many recipes. Try out slices of roasted cauliflower instead of an English muffin for delicious, keto-friendly eggs benedict!

Check out our blog article about low-carb potato substitutions for more similar recipes and inspiration!

Other Low-Carb Bread & Bakery Products

At the Low-Carb Grocery, we also carry low-carb versions of other products that are traditionally high in carbs, such as low-carb bagels, buns, flatbreads, wraps, and tortillas. See our selection below:

These great products can be transformed into homemade low-carb burgers, tacos, burritos, wraps, flatbreads and more! Note that not all products may be low enough in carbs to be suitable for a keto lifestyle. Be sure to read the Nutrition Facts on our product pages!

Shop our Store Today!

Whether you are new to low-carb eating or a seasoned pro, check out some of these low-carb bread alternatives. Low-carb food trends are always evolving and innovating – you might just find your new favourite low-carb bread, wrap, tortilla, pita, bagel, bun or flatbread! The Low-Carb Grocery is the best place to shop for these carb-conscious products but can’t find them at your local big box grocery store.

Stay Connected

If you tried and loved any of these low-carb bread options, please leave us a review on our website or on Google Reviews! We also love to stay connected via Facebook, Instagram, and our Weekly Newsletters to keep you updated with the latest product releases and special sales.


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Helping With Sugar Cravings – The Low Carb Way

Dealing with Sugar & Carb Cravings on a Low Carb Diet 

If you are just starting to reduce the amount of carbohydrates in your diet, you may be feeling especially hungry and sluggish and, on some nights, you could really go for a dessert…

This is a completely normal and common experience that many people have when they cut out carbs from their diet all at once. Your body becomes accustomed to the diet you regularly follow – whether it’s clean or not – and so the initial switch to a new diet will always send a shock to your system. Luckily, there are many ways to help reduce these cravings and satisfy them in a way that will not ruin your progress!

What Causes Sugar & Carb Cravings?

Carb or sugar cravings are really just your body’s reaction to not having its usual fuel source, glucose. When your body is reliant on a high amount of carbs and sugar for fuel, it is regular to a certain metabolic cycle, which includes drastic blood sugar spikes and constant secretion of insulin levels. It is actually used to being thrown into overdrive on a daily basis, and so these cravings can feel very intense when you finally cut them out. But, sustaining your body in the long run with a high amount of carbs and sugar (and depending on your genetics) can have very serious negative consequences for your health. The goal should be to get your body to run smoothly throughout the day on consistent, clean diet rich in nutrients, so you don’t have to deal with the short and long-term physical effects of a sugary diet.

Sugar Cravings and Ketosis

It takes your body about 6-8 weeks to fully enter ketosis, that is, the metabolic process of converting fats into energy (ketones). During this time, you may experience sugar cravings since you will be cutting your normal carb intake down to 5-10% of your daily consumption.

Sugar cravings are easy to identify. They can feel like:

  • Extreme tiredness
  • Uncontrollable hunger and thirst
  • Irritability
  • Intense desire for high carb foods (not necessarily just sweet things)

The good thing is that once your body has completely switched over to ketosis, the carb cravings should disappear as your body learns what it needs instead (fats). Until then, it is important to stay on track of your ketogenic diet and understand that while the transition may be difficult, it will only be temporary.

How to Reduce or Manage Cravings

There are some unexpected causes of sugar cravings. Learn what they are below and how you can better manage cravings for a more pleasant transition into ketosis.

  1. Don’t cut out carbs too slowly, or too quickly.

There are two ways to cut carbs, either all at once or more gradually. The key to both is measuring your macronutrient intake (daily percentages of fat, protein and carbs). It is extremely important to keep track of your macros if you are trying to reach or stay in ketosis. There are several apps that can help you do this, as you may not know the exact amount of net carbs in your fruits and vegetables, for example.

Going cold turkey on carbs can help reduce sugar cravings more quickly as your body becomes accustomed to its new source of fuel. However, sometimes going cold turkey can be more difficult. However, if you choose to go the more gradual route, be aware that sugar cravings may persist longer.

Whichever route you choose, here’s a quick list of low-carb products to reassure that the transition doesn’t have to be painful and unsatisfying:

  1. Make sure you’re getting the right amounts of macronutrients.

Usually, your body craves sugar when you de-energized since it is converted into energy (glucose) very quickly. Remember, our bodies are programmed to keep us alive; although we live in a modern society, our bodies are always prepared if we enter “starvation mode.” Instead of sending your body into an emergency response mode, make sure you are feeding it enough of what it needs and at the right time. Timing can play a big role in getting used to a new diet, try to plan your meals around the same time each day so your body gets into a rhythm, again making it harder to fall out of balance.

When you are in ketosis, your body will try to convert fats into fuel. But if you are not consuming enough fats, your body will panic and send you signals to get more fuel, FAST! And this is when the sugar cravings start.

Make sure you brush up on exactly how many grams of fats, proteins and carbs you need each day for your specific dietary needs. Typically for a ketogenic diet, the percentages of your daily macronutrient intake should be 5-10% carbs, 20-25% protein and 70-80% fats. For a list of FAQ, please visit our blog article here. 

Also, if you constantly feel hungry, adding more protein to your diet may be the answer. Nick’s Sticks 100% Grass-Fed Beef Sticks and BUFF Artisan Bison Meat Sticks are both great protein-packed snacks to have on the go and in between meals. Fibre can also keep you fuller longer, and it does not count as a net carb. Try adding more vegetables to your plate during meals or try Smart Sweets Stevia-Sweetened Gummies as a high-fibre, low-carb snack – each package contains 28g of fibre and just 3 net carbs! Aim for at least 30-40g of fibre each day. Another great source of fibre is raw seeds such as chia, flax and pumpkin. Anthony’s Goods Organic Flaxseed Meal can be added to smoothies, yogurt or low-carb granolas. Nud Fud and Rawnata Crackers are both made with whole, raw seeds and are high in fibre. Both of these are low-carb and great for dipping and topping, so pair them with your favourite kind of cheese, hummus or guacamole to increase your intake of fat – a highly satisfying midday snack!

  1. Drink enough water.

Sometimes your body confuses thirst with hunger. Signs of dehydration are very similar to hunger (why? Water can also be found in foods, such as fruits and vegetables, but eating heaping amounts of these is probably not the best way to get the amount of water your body needs). If you drink a glass of water and still feel hungry, then reach for a snack. No matter which diet or lifestyle you choose to pursue, always aim for 2-4L of water a day (depending on body weight and gender).

  1. Your emotions and stress levels could be playing a role.

Emotions affect your hormonal levels, and when your hormones and brain chemicals are imbalanced, your body can react in all sorts of ways to help rebalance them. For example, if you’re feeling down, the dopamine and serotonin rush you get from downing a tub of your favourite ice cream can really hit the spot. But this can lead you into a cycle of ups and downs, cravings and guilt – not to mention you definitely won’t be in ketosis anymore.

Before you make a major change to your diet, make sure that your mental health is in check. Adding the stress of trying to navigate a strict new diet can be extremely difficult if you are not ready. You can start by gradually replacing things with healthier alternatives. The good thing is that with a cleaner diet, you will also notice improvements in your mental and emotional states as your hormones will be more balanced.

  1. Plan your meals in advance.

When you are new to a diet, it can be tempting to revert back to old ways. That’s why we recommend taking a moment to plan ahead for the week or so. Plan what you will eat for each meal and make sure you have a stash of healthy snacks for those moments of weakness. Even plan for dessert cravings by stocking up on low carb snacks and sweet treats that can help you along the way. Some great examples are sugar-free chocolates, low-carb baked goods, or protein bars that come in delicious flavours. Learn the differences between all the different types of bars in our blog article.

Another great way to keep a stockpile of diet-friendly treats is to bake them right at home! Use sugar-free sweeteners in place of regular cane sugar – there are tons of options that bake very similarly to traditional sugar. Check out all of The Low Carb Grocery’s keto-friendly baking products.

Reducing the amount of decisions, you have to make on a busy weeknight after work can help you make better decisions in the long run. We all know too well how easy it is to order food or pick up food after a long day, and this can ruin days or weeks of progress. Help your future self by taking a couple of hours on your days off to prepare meals ahead of time, at least until you are more comfortable with your new diet and are ready for a change!

Get Started Today! 

If you liked this article or have other tips for curbing sugar cravings you’d like to share, leave us a comment on Facebook or tag us on Instagram! We also love to stay connected through our Weekly Newsletters and we welcome all feedback on your experience with us through Google Reviews.

With the right low carb foods, you can beat your sugar cravings into submission – so stock up on all the best low carb and sugar-free products today at The Low Carb Grocery Store.


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Boost Your Energy – Choose Healthy Foods

How To Boost Energy Levels by Eating the Right Foods

Believe it or not, we actually get most of our energy from the food we eat – not our mid-day coffees. The amount of energy we get from food depends not only on the quantity of food we eat, but also the type. Certain foods will leave us feeling energized, light and alert, while others can leave us feeling sluggish and hungry after a couple of hours.

Here are some tips to optimize your diet for high, sustained energy levels.

Understanding Foods Nutritional Components

There are two major nutritional components in food that delivery energy to your body. These are macronutrients and micronutrients.

Macronutrients

There are three main types of macronutrients that you obtain from your diet: carbohydrates, fats and proteins. If you follow a low-carb diet, or any diet from a professional or doctor, then you are probably accustomed to counting your intake of macronutrients on a daily basis.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates get converted into glucose, which is a source of energy for your body. If you are not following a low carb diet, this is probably your main source of energy.

An important type of carbohydrate that you should be consuming – whether you are on a low carb diet or not – is fibre. Fibre helps regulate blood sugar levels, meaning your energy will be sustained throughout the day, rather than experiencing spikes and crashes. It does not count towards net carbs, so you are free to consume a lot of this important nutrient.

Fats

If you are on a low carb diet, your main source of energy will come from fats. Fats are metabolized slower by the body, so you will naturally feel more sustained energy levels if you are consuming a fat-based diet. That said, some people report feeling sluggish or foggy when they first transition into a ketogenic or fat-based diet. This is usually due to the brain adapting to its new fuel source, ketones rather than glucose. A good way to increase energy on a high-fat diet is to consume MCT oils – as they help drive positive energy to the brain.

Protein

Consuming protein will keep you feeling full for a long time and will not cause spikes in blood sugar levels.

Micronutrients

Micronutrients include the vitamins and minerals that your body needs to carry out and assist many important functions. A lot of micronutrients are involved in the metabolism of macronutrients; they help convert them into energy for the body. Look for the following micronutrients in your diet to help reduce fatigue and boost energy.

Potassium

Potassium is a type of electrolyte that’s important for many bodily processes that affect our energy levels. It is involved in the body’s fluid balance (preventing dehydration), nerve signals that regulate vital functions of the body; and muscle contractions, such as your heartbeats, that carry oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body. Oh My Okra, a crunchy vegetable snack made with okra, contains about 4x as much potassium as bananas. Other great sources of potassium are avocados, sweet potatoes and legumes.

B Vitamins

You have probably heard that B vitamins, such as B12 and B6, can help boost energy levels. This is because they help convert dietary energy (i.e. calories) into forms of energy that your body can use to carry out important functions. 

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are a group of vitamins and minerals that help reduce inflammation caused by oxidative stress in the body. When there are too many foreign/toxic particles – “free radicals” – in the body coming from natural bodily processes, air pollution and chemicals in the foods we consume, the body enters a state called oxidative stress. The body’s immune response to this is inflammation – a defense mechanism that repairs cells and fights off foreign invaders (and uses a lot of energy in the process).

Antioxidants include Vitamins A, C, E; a host of minerals including zinc, copper, selenium, manganese; and other pigment chemicals such as flavonoids. The best way to look for antioxidant-rich foods is by colour! Most fruits and vegetables that are either dark red or green will have a rich antioxidant profile, although they can also be found in meats and seafood.

Omega-3s

This type of fatty acid can reduce inflammation and feelings of fatigue.

Manganese

Manganese helps enzymes in the body metabolize carbohydrates and protein into energy.

Iron

Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of iron deficiency. This is because iron aids in the production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to other cells in the body. Oxygen is very important for processes such as food metabolism and other vital functions.

Which Foods Provide A Boost of Energy?

A lot of unprocessed whole foods contain all the necessary nutrients needed to convert them into energy your body can use. The reason we can feel fatigued from our diets is because all of the chemicals, processing, refining that goes into food manufacturing processes. On top of that, adding excess caffeine, alcohol or tobacco to our diets can cause fatigue because it requires more energy from our bodies to process these substances and we gain very little nutritional value from them.

The key is to look for foods that provide you with sustained energy, rather than spikes and crashes. Coffee and sugar-y foods will throw your blood sugar levels out of whack, which can be exhausting and counter-productive. To feel your best, opt for foods that are rich in the micronutrients listed above, fibre, and complex carbs and/or protein. Here are some suggestions:

  • Bananas are a great source of carbohydrates, potassium and vitamin B6.
  • Fatty fish contain omega-3s, vitamin B12 and folate. Folate works with vitamin B12 to enhance iron function’s in the body. Try eating fatty fish with a side of fibre- and iron-rich leafy greens for the ultimate energy boost.
  • Brown rice is less processed than white rice meaning it retains more of its original fibre content. This allows it to be digested more slowly for sustained energy release. Brown rice also contains manganese and vitamin B6.
  • Eggs are low-carb and packed with protein, meaning that they won’t cause insulin and blood sugar level spikes when digested. Eggs also contain an amino acid called leucine, which has been shown to stimulate energy production and promote protein synthesis for muscle growth. Eggs are also rich in B vitamins.
  • Apples can provide a better source of energy than a cup of coffee! This is because apples contain a good amount of fibre, as well as natural sugars which provide your body with sustained energy. Apples also contain high levels of antioxidants, which can slow the digestion of carbohydrates, resulting in sustained energy release.
  • Hummus made from chickpeas is a great source of complex carbs and fibre. There are also healthy fats in hummus, which can slow down the digestion of carbohydrates, meaning that you won’t experience blood sugar level spikes.
  • Edamame – Edamame, or soybeans, are a great low-carb source of protein, vitamins and minerals. They can be added to any dish, or even eaten as a midday snack. They contain 8g of fibre per cup, as well as very high amounts of manganese and folic acid – important for metabolic processes and preventing fatigue. Lentils are another good source of sustained energy with a similar nutrient profile to edamame.

Other Reasons You Could Be Feeling Sluggish 

If you often feel tired throughout the day, you could also be dehydrated. Water is necessary for almost every cellular function in your body, including energy production, so it is important to be drinking enough every day. Drink water even if you do not feel thirsty in order to avoid dehydration. Water also helps with smooth digestion, which can reduce feelings of sluggishness and fatigue. It can keep your bowel movements healthy, leaving you feeling light and energized. Try Innate Superfood Infused Water – rich in antioxidants that can give you an added boost of energy during the day. We also recommend liquid stevia drops to enhance your water at home!

  

You can also try swapping your coffee out for green tea or matcha. Although they contain less caffeine than coffee, the energy release from these sources is slower paced, meaning that they can provide you with lasting energy throughout the entire morning. You are also less likely to need another “pick-me-up” in the middle of the day because your body does not become dependent on surges of caffeine to keep running. Green tea can also decrease fatigue by helping to convert fats into energy and by causing the release of a hormone called norepinephrine, which stimulates the mind and body. Try to swap at least one cup a day of coffee for green tea or matcha and observe the results!

Share Your Thoughts!

If you liked our list, or would like to share other immune-boosting tips, leave us a comment on our Facebook page. We also are active on Instagram, provide updates on the latest sales and promotions in our weekly newsletters, and would love to hear how we did, good or bad, on Google Reviews.

We hope this article helped you understand how to fuel your body for sustained energy throughout the day, which can help you accomplish more and feel better overall!


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