A low-carb diet is one that restricts carbohydrate consumption (particularly easily digestible carbohydrates like sugar, bread and pasta) and replaces them with foods that contain protein and fats, and low-carbohydrate vegetables like salad. The Atkins Diet is one of the more famous low-carbohydrate diets. Generally all low-carb diets agree that processed sugar should be greatly reduced or completely eliminated.
Here at Real Foods, we aim to get as much information about products as we can communicated to our customers. Many of our ingredients and meals will have nutritional and carbohydrate information on their product page. If you would like carbohydrate information about a particular product or products, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will find out for you. If there are any products or recipes you would like to see us sell, please let us know at the same address.
Most vegetables are encouraged on low-carb diets. The only ones to avoid are those high in starch and sugars, these are mainly root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, potatoes and sweet potatoes. Corn, peas and beets are also fairly high in starch. However, portion size and preparation are also key to keeping your carbohydrate content down.
Try Salad Vegetables and Fresh Herbs, eaten raw, these vegetables are extremely low in carbohydrates and are suitable for eating in Phase One of the Atkins diet. Click on the highlighted vegetable to find out more about their nutrition and to buy them from our online webshop.
These vegetables are higher in carbohydrates than the salad vegetables (above) but they provide important nutrients and variety to your diet. The serving size and carb estimate is (unless otherwise noted) after you cook them. Some of these vegetables are only available seasonally in our webshop.
Eggs are a staple in low-carb diets, providing useful amounts of protein. They have been the subject of some controversy in the past regarding their cholesterol levels, however the latest studies suggest that eggs raise your LDL (or 'good') cholesterol levels, not the bad cholesterol levels. Eggs are also useful if you are baking low-carb goodies, egg whites can provide structure when cooking with alternative flours such as Gluten Free or Nut Flours. We sell them in both of our Edinburgh Stores but currently do not have them available for sale through our webshop. We are working on it!
Fats and oils
There are no carbs in fats and oils, the serving size is usually around a tablespoon. Cold-pressed oils are especially good. All of our oils can be found here in the webshop.
Butter (only available in our Edinburgh Stores - chilled item) and Ghee (clarified butter)
Mayonnaise (make sure it has no added sugar) - try this Egg-Free one with no added sugar. or this wasabi one to give extra bite!
Peanut and Coconut Oil for cooking
Vegetable oils - Rapeseed, Soybean, Walnut, Sesame, Sunflower, Safflower.
Canned tomatoes and tomato puree
Nut butters, including peanut butter
Pasta Sauces (with no added sugars)
Nuts - Almonds, hazelnuts, pecans and walnuts. Macadamia Nuts are particularly good. Cashews, pistachios and chestnuts are higher in carbs.
Seeds - Sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds
Our full drinks range can be found here in our webshop
Herbal Tea - Try ayurvedic, alternative or organic
Unflavoured and unsweetened almond and soy milks
Decaffeinated Tea and Coffee
Whey protein powder, plain, vanilla and chocolate flavours
Erythritol, xylitol and other sweeteners
Herbs and spices (Watch for mixtures with added sugars.)
Extracts (Avoid the ones with sugar) - try these Medicine Flower Extracts, they are cold-pressed, calorie and sugar-free and have a concentrated flavour that means you only need a very small amount to add interest to dishes.
Cocoa powder (unsweetened), try these Cacao Powders for rich flavours without any added ingredients.
Xanthan gum (Good for thickening and binding.)
Almond flour, Chestnut Flour or Coconut Flour (Keep these in the freezer.)
Mustard (except sweetened or honey mustard), try Extra Strong Dijon Mustard for a fiery kick
Cider and wine vinegar (use balsamic sparingly)
Lemon or Lime Juice (1 carb per teaspoon)
Try this range of Skinny Noodles, made from the konjac plant, they have 6.4 calories per serving and are a fat-free, low-carb alternative to traditional pasta and rice.
Skinny Body have a small range that includes bread, pizza and chocolate cake mixes that are low in carbohydrates and high in protein.
Miracle Noodle have a low-carb range of pasta and rice made from glucomannan (it's a polysaccharide from the konjac plant).
Paleo Bars are designed for people following the Paleo Diet but are also good sources of protein with minimal processing.
By Kim Betney
* Net Carb figures taken from the Atkins Nutritional Approach