Many people would be willing to try sugar free/low carb if they had guidance as to how and where to start. It's not difficult, but can certainly be overwhelming to start. This is a shopping list that I keep myself. I may not buy everything on the list every time, but its an excellent reference. Some of these items may not be essentials for the sugar free/low carb newbie, but keep it on hand for when you are more comfortable with low carbing.
THE TRUE CARBOHYDRATE COUNT IS THE
CARBS MINUS THE FIBER.
Carbs - Fiber = true carbohydrate count.
High fiber will help you to widen the variety of foods you can eat.
- Meat and Fish (all kinds, but opt for leaner meats and try turkey instead of hamburger and sausage as a much healthier alternative)
- Shellfish (all except imitation crab meat)
- Deli Meats and hot dogs (watch labels - nitrate free is preferable)
- Green Beans
- Yellow Squash
- Spaghetti Squash
- Green, Red, Yellow and Orange Bell peppers
- Tomatoes (go easy on these as a general rule)
- Bean Sprouts
- Brussel Sprouts
- Bok Choy
- Peppers (jalapeño, etc.)
- Snow Peas
Fruits (berries have the lowest sugar/carb content)
*The following foods are not off limits, but they are a bit higher in carbs*
- Heavy Whipping Cream
- Half and Half
- Sour Cream
- Cottage Cheese
- Ricotta Cheese
- All hard and soft cheeses
- Real butter
- Cream Cheese
- Plain Greek Yogurt or low carb specialty yogurts such as "CarbMaster." Just watch serving sizes!
Other Items used for snacks or low carb cooking
I've included some of them here, but altogether do try to avoid "Sugar Free" products as much as you can because they contain artificial sweeteners that just aren't good for anyone's health. Plus, for some people, artificial sugars can cause a stall in weight loss.
Sometimes I do eat these products though as a special treat, but I really try to do my best to stay away from them and eat as organic and "whole" as possible.
As a much better option, always opt for Stevia products over artificial sweeteners such as Splenda. Stevia is plant derived and is the most natural option. In fact, you can grow a Stevia plant on your own and use it to sweeten your food at home!
- Sugar Free Jell-O
- Sugar Free Pudding Mix
- Diet Hot Cocoa (read labels)
- Diet Soda
- Crystal Light (mix is better than pre-made)
- Sugar Free Kool-Aide
- Low-Carb tortillas (read labels)
- Flax Seed
- Nuts (watch portion sizes! Almonds are best. Cashews are the worst)
- Pork Rinds
- Nut flours and Guar or Xanthan Gum-(Not an essential this minute but when you get more comfortable with everything and want to start baking low carb you'll need this to replace the gluten in flour which you won't be using. I'll get into low carb baking later on)
- Coconut Oil
- Olive Oil
- Protein Powders (no-carb protein powders)
- Lemon juice
- Davinci Sugar Free Syrups for deserts and coffee (health food stores or bought online)
- Beef Jerky and Slim Jims
- Peanut Butter(in moderation) but try other nut butters such as almond butter too-sooo good!
- Miso soup (you know that soup with tofu and seaweed that they serve as an appetizer at Japanese restaraunts? Well, its verrry low carb and really tasty! They have individual packets to make instant Miso Soup at Walmart in the Chinese Food section)
- Tofu (extra firm is usually easier to work with)
- Pickles (Dill only)
- Sugar Free Syrup to use on Mock Pancakes is fine (check carb content)
**Please remember that low carbing is not one size fits all. You may choose to add or subtract items on this list based on your personal health choices, and your carb limits and preferences. **