Ketogenic Diet Food List: Everything You Need to Know
Hidden Carbs and Nutrition Labels
Going on a ketogenic diet can be very difficult in the very beginning. Knowing what to eat and what not to eat takes some time to get used to, so if you make some mistakes in the beginning don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s better to make a mistake and learn from it than to make a mistake and not realize it was in error.
There’s always going to be foods that are bad for us when it comes to eating. Some foods are particularly sneaky at hiding carbohydrates from us. Here’s a small list of common items that sometimes have hidden carbs:
- Low-carb products. There’s a lot of choices when it comes to bars, snacks, and foods. It’s better to stay away from these, but if you have no choice make sure to read the label. Many use high glycemic index sweeteners in their products.
- Spices. As mentioned above, spices do have carbs – but certain ones have more carbs than others. These include onion powder, cinnamon, garlic powder, allspice, and ginger. Always read labels and make sure no added sugar are in your spice blends.
- Fruit and berries. Most fruits are not allowed to be consumed due to the high sugar content. Many people still eat berries, but you have to control your portioning with these. Be careful blueberries and cranberries as they add up in carbohydrates fast.
- Tomato-based products. Lots of people use tomato sauces and canned diced tomatoes. Make sure to read the nutrition labels – food companies are infamous for messing with serving sizes to make their foods seem “healthier.” Make sure that there are no added sugars.
- Condiments. It’s almost tradition to add sauce to a meal – but be careful about your favorites. Sometimes condiments and sauces can show minuscule serving sizes which skew the actual carbs that are inside. Make sure you read the nutrition and ingredient lists well.
- Peppers and chiles. Be very careful when you use small peppers as sometimes they can be incredibly sweet inside. There can sometimes be 3-4g carbs in a tiny chili pepper. When using bell peppers, try to opt for green as red/yellow bell peppers will have slightly more carbs.
- Diet soda. You can drink diet soda, but it’s recommended to cut it out completely. Some people report being knocked out of ketosis after a large consumption of artificial sweeteners. Studies also show a link between sugar cravings and artificial sweeteners – cutting the soda out will help curb your cravings.
- Chocolate. You can eat chocolate on keto, but you have to be very cautious with the serving sizes. You want to stick to very dark chocolate (90% or higher), as this will have much fewer carbs.
- Medicine. Cold medications, cough syrups, and flu remedies often contain lots of sugar. Some of the generic over the counter cough medicines contain 20g of carbs per serving, so be very careful when sick. There are usually sugar-free or diabetic alternatives.
There are so many food items out there that contain hidden sugars and carbs. Always be careful about what you’re purchasing and try to make as much from scratch as you can from home.