One way that some people prevent their blood sugar from spiking is to eat fewer carbs. This way of eating may help reduce sugar highs, crashes, and cravings. It focuses on fueling your body primarily from fat and protein, which provide stable and consistent energy.
It can be tough to stick to a lower-carb approach outside of the house, where starchy snacks and hidden sugars pop up everywhere. So, the best place to start eating lower-carb is at home, where simple substitutions can help you control your blood sugar.
Here are some quick ideas for how to stock a lower-carb kitchen:
Swapping regular sugar for non-sugar sweeteners is a great change to make. And, there’s no reason to put up with weird aftertastes anymore. Low and zero-carb sweeteners keep getting better and better: monkfruit or allulose in your coffee or baked goods can provide an authentically sweet flavor.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are packed with healthy protein and fats, and are incredibly versatile for cooking. They might also be the easiest on-the-go lower-carb snack around since there is minimal prep involved. Looking for a more flavorful nut and seed snack? Try salt and vinegar or Sriracha flavored mixes to help curb cravings.
Nut and Seed Butters
Nut and seed butters such as peanut butter, almond butter, hazelnut butter, sunflower seed butter, and tahini are great to have handy in a lower-carb kitchen. They’re flavorful and tasty in a variety of recipes, both savory and sweet. Choose “natural” or “unsweetened” styles for even less sugar.
Bone Broth and Stock
Stock up on bone broth and stock. These pantry staples can be the foundation of many soups, stews, and sauces. Or, keep it simple and prepare a hot mug of bone broth packed with your favorite seasonings. This can create a satisfying low-calorie and zero-carb snack.
Spices and Condiments
Don’t be shy with flavors. If you’re embarking on a lower-carb journey, you likely want your meals to make your taste buds dance. Fill your pantry with spices (e.g. cinnamon, garlic, turmeric, and curry), and check the nutrition facts on your favorite condiments. There are tons of options that have few or zero carbs such as mustard, hot sauce, mayo, and many dressings.
Dark and Sugar-Free Chocolate
It’s the Golden Age of high-quality dark chocolate. Packed with antioxidants and flavor, it can help satisfy sweet cravings after a meal. Sugar-free options are also available and make a great addition to baked goods.
Bacon and Eggs
What’s a better start (or end) to the day than the smell of bacon and eggs? Eggs are useful in a lot of meals, and with a little creativity bacon (in moderation) can be as well. Adding veggies alongside these meals is recommended, too.
If you’re reducing your carbs, people tend to naturally compensate by cooking with more fat. Olive and avocado oil are more beneficial than vegetable or seed oils such as canola oil. You might even find yourself using saturated fats such as butter, coconut oil, bacon fat, lard, or beef tallow more often.
There are so many pickled, salted, canned, and preserved snacks that you can add to your shopping cart. Think tuna, sardines, olives, pickles, and beef jerky.
Milk and plain yogurt contain a bit more carbs, but heavy cream, sour cream, and cheese have fewer carbs. Use these ingredients to enjoy a savory treat every once in a while.
Take your lower-carb approach to the next level by baking your own starches and sweets. Almond flour and coconut flour are two of the most popular alternatives to regular flour, and they open up a whole world of possibilities from pizza dough to birthday cakes.
As you can see, lower-carb living doesn’t have to be boring for your palette or your pantry.
If you’d like more lower-carb options to keep your kitchen full, reach out to your One Drop coach for ideas.
ASweetLife is a non-profit diabetes magazine. It was created by people with diabetes for people with diabetes (and those who love and care for them). ASweetLife has made it a mission to eloquently and persuasively show that diabetes health goals are achievable with common sense lifestyle adjustments, especially carbohydrate restriction. Eating fewer carbs means taking less medication, dealing with less stress, and reducing your risk of complications. It’s an empowering message, and the number of willing listeners is growing every day.