One thing to keep in mind. The fewer carbs you eat, the safer it is to eat fat. If you are keeping your carb intake under 15 grams per meal you can eat as much as 70% fat and see your cholesterol and lipid fractions improve. If you are eating 30-40 grams of carbs per meal, go easier on the fat!
Here are a bunch of ideas that I've picked up over the years by hanging out on the old alt.support.diet.low-carb newsgroup. This should get you started.
- Pancakes Whey Protein powder can be cooked up to make pancakes. Add some low carb strawberries or raspberries (frozen works great) and some sugar free Maple Syrup and you've got a delicious breakfast. Recipe on my Indispensible Low Carb Treats page.
- Potatoes A great substitute for mashed potatoes can be made by steaming or boiling cauliflower and pureeing it in a food processor and then adding some cream or half and half, butter or salt.It doesn't taste like cauliflower.
- Rolls If you can eat gluten, you can make delicious rolls that are very similar to popovers using the Magic Rolls recipe. You can find it HERE in the Eades' Low Carb Comfort Food Cookbook. Search for "Magic Rolls." It's on page 22. Make extra and freeze in a plastic bag.
- Veggies Here's a list of some very healthy very low carb vegetables you should eat as much as possible. Romaine Lettuce, Boston Lettuce, Red Lettuce, Mesclun mix, green beans, artichokes, avocado, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, eggplant, olives, spaghetti squash, acorn or butternut squash (small amounts), zucchini.
- Pasta Instead of pasta with its 50 gm per tiny 2 ounce serving, put sauces over lightly steamed zucchini strips you make with a vegetable peeler. Or use spaghetti squash.
- Sugar Substitute When baking, instead of using Splenda powder which contains maltodextrin, a sugar in baking quantities that can become significant, use DaVinci sugar free syrup which can be bought at Marshall's or TJ Maxx in the specialty food section. There is no sugar at all in these. I cook with the Caramel or Vanilla and use the White Chocolate for things like Cocoa. Usually a direct substitution works--1 tsp syrup for 1 tsp sugar. Do not do this for recipes which depend on sugar to hold everything together. It does work for custards and puddings.
- Cookies You can make delicious very low carb macaroons with a recipe on the Indispensible Low Carb Treats page.You can also make cookies using almonds ground very fine, but if you are trying to lose weight, almond flour is very high calorie and not a good option.
- Snack Food Sunflower seeds in the shell make a good "finger food" snack that are low carb and take the place of chips while watching the game, etc.
- Candy Low carb cream cheese fudge makes a nice chocolate candy treat. recipe on the Indispensible Low Carb Treats page.
- Pizza When it's pizza time, get a meat/veggie combo and just eat the toppings. Some people make "meatza" using a thin lining of pepperoni as the bottom crust when they make pizza at home.
- Chinese At Chinese restaurants, Hot and Sour soup works. So do barbecued spareribs and teriyaki strips, though they have some sugar. Ask that no sauce be put on the ribs. Some places do a crispy duck that works. Chicken with string beans often does too. There are some carbs in all of these, so don't eat there every day!
- Other restaurants Besides the obvious "chunk o' meat" entries try the steak "bistro" salads or Caeser salads with grilled chicken or shrimp (not fried!). Avoid any salad where you can't add the dressing yourself, though, as some chains will serve you bits of lettuce drenched in sugar as "salad." Stick with blue cheese, Parmesan pepper corn, or classic Italian dressing. Many flavored vinaigrettes are full of sugar. Many Steak House chains sprinkle MSG on their steaks which may improve flavor but leaves you ravenously hungry an hour later. That's what MSG--and soy sauce which contains natural MSG--do. Avoid those restaurants if you're trying to lose weight!
- Nuts Almonds, walnuts, and pecans are low carb in reasonable quantity and full of very healthy oils that lower cholesterol. You can heat them on a cookie sheet for a few minutes with a coating of DaVinchi flavored syrups to make them fancy.
- Sinful Desserts For a fancy dessert try making a low carb cheese cake. Use the Classic Philly 3 Step Cheese cake recipe and substitute DaVinci sugar free syrup for the sugar and bake for a few minutes longer than usual. Instead of graham crackers, use a crushed nut crust made by chopping walnuts or almonds and pressing them into the pan.
- LOTS OF GREAT RECIPES HERE Google Groups Advanced Search for "REC" on alt.support.diet.low-carb. If you are looking for something in particular, search the newsgroup for "REC" and the name of the food.
- BREAKFAST Most "low carb" cereals are full of soy, which may not be good for your thyroid. If you must eat cereal, stick to high bran cereals, but read the labels carefully. Instead of using milk, which is full of fast carbs, try using a little half and half or else stir in some plain yogurt. Most people are at their most insulin resistant at breakfast, so if you can, try eating the classic eggs and meat breakfasts. Use the lower carb Rye Vita Dark Rye or Sesame Rye crackers instead of toast.
- AVOID PRODUCTS LABELED "LOW CARB!" Most of them aren't. Using a variety of bogus tricks food manufacturers sell a lot of products, like Atkins Advantage bars that are full of sugar alchohols that WILL raise blood sugar. These included Maltitol and Lacitol. The only sugar alcohol that is reliably low carb is Erythritol. Unfortunately, it is very expensive and though it looks like sugar, it does NOT cook like sugar, so avoid the tempation to buy it as a sugar replacement. Sadly, the good candies that used to be available with erythritol have disappeared.
- AVOID ALL "SUGAR FREE" OR "DIABETIC" FOODS. Again, they may be free of sucrose, but they are full of sugar alcohols that will raise blood sugar and many of them are full of flour which turns into glucose as soon as it hits your digestive tract. The people who run the companies that sell "Diabetic" foods full of flour and starch deserve to have their feet amputated like the poor victims who eat their products.
Copyright Janet Ruhl 2007. If you are NOT reading this on http://diabetesupdate.blogspot.com the content has been STOLEN.