Sugar – Friend or Foe

It is helpful to know which foods contain a lot of sugar so that you can avoid them. There are plenty of foods that are low in sugar and are suitable for a low carb diet. The list of allowed foods includes seeds and nuts, fruit and vegetables, fish, and meats. Eggs and dairies contain small amounts of sugar. Whole grain breads and products contain healthy fiber, a small amount of fat, and some carbohydrate. Whole grains include brown rice, barley, and bulgar. Eggs are high in fat and protein and low in carbs and sugar.

Meats contain essential minerals, fat, and protein and are low in carbohydrate content and sugar. If you are on a low carb diet, you can eat duck, lamb, bison, chicken, and other types of meat. It is recommended to eat fish meat and seafood, including perch, trout, mussels, and oysters. Except for cold-water fish, fish is low in carbohydrates and sugar and high in protein.cookies

Check the label before buying and avoid foods that list sugar as one of their main ingredients. Avoid products that contain agave sugar, beet sugar, brown sugar, and raw sugar.

Avoid desserts with lots of sugar – you can create your own recipe, reduce the amount of sugar, or modify it to make it low carb friendly. You can make low-carb, low-sugar desserts such as jello, fruit smoothies, and sorbets. You can buy sugar-free jello and combine with fruits. It may come as a surprise but many products contain sugar, including breads, crackers, salad dressings, ketchup, and mustard. To cut down on sugar, you should know which products have added sugar and in what amount. A serving of diced pears or mandarins has a total of 17 grams of sugar. Cookies, and chocolate chips have 21 grams of sugar per serving. Some muffin mixes, pies, and snack cakes also contain a lot of sugar. Soft drinks and drink powders have large amounts of added sugar. While most soft drinks contain about 11 percent, lemonade tops the list with over 90 percent.

Other foods that are packed with sugar include nougat and candies, pies, cakes, and dried fruits. Dried fruit and fruit roll ups are loaded with sugar. Dates have 66 percent sugar, raisins are 59 percent sugar, dried pears have 62 percent, and dried prunes – 38 percent. Cereal bars and ready-to-eat cereals are high in sugar. Granolas, fruit and nut bars and cereals contain up to 55 percent sugar, especially the low-fat versions. They contain even more sugar. Flavored yogurts have more sugar than plain yogurt. You can have plain yogurt with fresh or frozen blueberries or strawberries instead of flavored yogurt.

Low Carb Options for a Long Haul Flight

travelIf you are on a low carb diet and flying overseas, you probably wonder what your options are. Some airlines serve no carb meals while others allow passengers to bring Atkins protein bars and other snacks onboard. Another option is to pre-order a high-fiber meal.

Airline Carriers

There are many factors that people take into consideration when flying oversees – ticket costs, connecting flights, comfort, passenger safety, and food onboard. American Airlines, for example, offers low carb meals inflight, as well as special meals such as vegetarian, diabetic, kosher, Muslim, and others. A sample list of foods to bring with you may include celery with cream cheese, hard boiled eggs, and protein bars. Airlines such as Alaska Airlines and Air Canada offer low sodium and gluten-free meals while passengers flying with Northwest are served low carbohydrate meals. Low carb meals are also offered by TWA. Another option is to order a diabetic meal. Many airlines offer diabetic meals, including United Airlines, Northwest, Delta, Continental, Air Canada, and American Airlines. Singapore Airlines offer diet-friendly meals with no carbohydrate or starch content. Lufthansa recently announced plans to offer reduced-carbohydrate options on its long haul flights. Passengers flying from Los Angels to Germany can choose this option. Business class passengers will be served a menu that includes a dessert, entrée, and appetizer. British Airways also offers a selection of meals to passengers with special dietary requirements. Customers can order a carbohydrate controlled meal with reduced sugar content.

Some airlines also offer a vegetable and fruit plate and a cheese and fruit plate. Whether you can have fruits depend on your diet of choice. Fruits are not allowed during the Induction Phase of the Atkins Diet.

Other Options

While some airlines offer diet-friendly and diabetic meals, others have a more limited selection of options. In this case, you may want to pack food for your long haul flight. Keep in mind that some airlines don’t allow meat. Pack your food and make sure that the package is sealed. Another option is to buy food at the airport, but this is more expensive. Keep in mind that the rules vary from one country to another. In some cases fruits, cheese, nuts, and other products cannot be brought into another state. Have a big breakfast before your flight. You can have sausages or bacon and a veggie omelet. Other meal ideas for your long haul flight include roasted sweet potato, avocado and raw carrots, roasted chickpeas, and fresh fruits. You can also pack a trail mix with peanuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, and raisins. Raisins are high in sugar content, however. It is better to have dried berries instead. The type of food to bring along also depends on your route and whether it is a particularly long flight. If it is a 9- or 12-hour flight, you may want to pack food for breakfast, lunch, or dinner (depending on your flight time). Make sure you bring high protein and non-starchy vegetables with you. Pack containers with salad, string cheese or sharp cheddar, low carb dips, and some pepperoni. And drink plenty of water while onboard so that you stay hydrated. If you love herbal, black, or green tea, you may want to pack a few teabags for your flight. Just ask the flight attendant for a cup of hot water.

Avoid foods and drinks that boost your blood sugar levels, for example, noodles, rice, and bread. Sauces served onboard often contain sugar. Make sure you order in advance. Most airline carriers require a 24-hour notice.

Dining at a Non Low-Carb Friendly Restaurant: What to Do

Low-carb diets have become increasingly popular, and some restaurants are now offering different reduced-carbohydrate meals to attract customers and increase their revenues. Still even if just a few meals suit your diet, you can have a balanced dinner or lunch.

What to Order

If you are on a ketogenic or another carbohydrate-restrictive diet, you may want to ask whether they serve sides other than French fries, polenta, and mashed potatoes. Ask whether they offer grilled zucchini or broccoli, carrot or rutabaga mash, or roasted summer squash. The choices also depend on the diet you follow. If you are on the Paleo Diet, for example, you can have nuts and fruits, vegetables, and animal protein. Just avoid meals with thick sauces because they are high in carbohydrates. If you are on the South Beach Diet, then you can have fish, poultry, lean meats, whole grains, nuts, vegetables, and olive oil. At a non-low carb friendly restaurant, you can order pork tenderloin or loin, duck breast, chicken, skinless turkey, and fish. Combine with brown rice or grilled or steamed vegetables and avoid rice and potatoes. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you can order a meal made with vegetables, beans, and tofu. Choose a dish that is sautéed, broiled, grilled, or baked. You can combine it with a sauce. rest_low_carb

If you are on the Atkins Diet, avoid sugars, starches, and grains and opt for red meat, heavy cream, vegetables, and dairies. Some restaurants are Atkins-friendly, but most aren’t. One option is to order steaks and a salad without croutons .Roasted turkey and rotisserie chicken are also good options. You can have gravy, but it contains a small amount of carbohydrates. Some foods are low in carbohydrates while others are carb-free. For example, a sirloin steak and house salad each contain about 13 – 15 grams. Wings with blue cheese are very low in carbs and are ideal if you are on a restrictive diet (they have just 4 grams). Then a side of bacon is practically carb-free, which makes it a safe choice.

Types of Restaurants

Some restaurants make for a better choice than others although they are not low-carb friendly. Fish restaurants are one example. You can have liberal amounts of fish, including rainbow trout, tilapia, salmon, lobster, and even shrimp cocktail. Some restaurants even list sodium and fat content and calories to make it easier for customers with special dietary requirements to choose a meal. There are different types of restaurants, for example, quick service, fast casual, casual dining, fine dining, and others. There are also restaurants that feature Chinese, Indonesian, Italian, and other cuisines. Regardless of the type of restaurant, look for items such as salads, grilled burgers, grilled chicken with tomatoes and lettuce, grilled seafood, and low-carb barbeque. Barbeque and stir-fries without starches and sugar are also good choices. There are other factors to take into account. Fine dining restaurants, for example, offer high quality food, but are pricey. An entrée may cost you $20 – $30 or more. Fast food restaurants, on the other hand, offer inexpensive options with prices within the $8 – $10 range. The main downside is that the meal options are more limited. There are some options, however. One is vegetarian fast food meals such as Caesar salad, vegan grilled vegetable plates, and others. Veggie burgers, pizzas, and pastas are off the list of allowed foods, however. In some cases, your only option is to order chicken or green salad.