Managing your carbohydrate intake is very important because you need to get a balance of the three types of that exist; starch, fiber, and sugar. For people seeking to manage health conditions like diabetes, it is important to take steps to overall health and wellness such as exercise, proper rest, and managing stress. While carbs are important in the diet, you should be careful to monitor your intake as too much can significantly raise your blood sugar levels and contribute to obesity. While it’s obvious that the triple scoop sundae topped with jelly beans is loaded with carbohydrates, there are some foods that have hidden carbs so you need a discerning eye when planning your meals. We want to help you make the right choices so we’ve put together a list of foods that contain hidden carbs. Be sure to comment and tell us which of them took you by surprise!
- Milk substitutes
Soy milk and almond milk are great options for anyone who's lactose-intolerant or just looking to mix things up a bit. But watch out for flavored varieties, which tend to have more sugar. For example, a cup of vanilla almond milk has 16 grams of carbs. A cup of chocolate soy milk has 23 grams, compared to plain soy milk, which has about 12 grams of carbs.
It's a good source of calcium and often provides good-for-you bacteria called probiotics. But some low-fat, fruit-flavored varieties have upward of 40 grams of carbs for an 8-ounce serving. For a lower-carb alternative, try Greek yogurt. The plain, no-fat variety has about 9 grams of carbs for the same size serving, and it also packs more protein than the regular stuff.
- Salad dressing
Italian, Russian, Caesar, or French? Practically any bottle you reach for will have some sugar. The amount varies by brand, so check labels. You should also consider making your own. Olive oil and vinegar is an easy option. Or at least stick to the recommended serving size on the bottle. A tablespoon or two is unlikely to send your blood sugar soaring, but if you drown your salad, you could be in big trouble.
- Sugar-free cookies
Sorry to disappoint you, but sugar-free doesn't equal carb-free. Some sugar-free cookies have nearly as many carbs per serving as their regular counterparts. Check the nutrition facts label before making your choice.
- Protein bars
Don't assume that high-protein means low-carb. Many bars, especially those aimed at athletes who need extra energy, have plenty of both. Need a healthy snack before your workout? A banana with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter might be a much better option.
When you decide to take charge of your diet and start to cut certain foods that are high in carbohydrates, you tend to go for the obvious choices like bread, rice, crackers, and pasta, not realizing there are many foods that contain hidden carbs. We wanted to shine some light on some of them for you and hope our list was very helpful so you won’t continue to make poor choices. Remember that if you are living with diabetes it can be managed with dietary changes. Stay tuned to our blog and be sure to follow us on social media for more tips to guide you along your journey to a healthier lifestyle.