The Nation's Health + Low-carb diets

There's no such thing as a "no-carb" diet

When I tell patients how I advise a wheat-free, cornstarch-free, sugar-free diet on the background of a low-carbohydrate diet, some people ask: "But can I live on a no-carb diet?"

Well, there's no such thing as a "no-carb" diet. Low-carb, yes. No-carb, no.

Here are the carbohydrate contents of various "low-carb" foods:

Gouda cheese--3 oz contains 1.65 grams carbohydrates
Mozzarella cheese--1 cup contains 2.89 grams carbohydrates
Walnuts--4 oz (56 nuts) contains 2.96 grams carbohydrates
Almonds--4 oz contains 1.38 grams carbohydrates
Sour cream--one-half cup contains 3.31 grams carbohydrates
Red wine--3.5 oz glass contains 2.69 grams carbohydrates
Eggplant--1 cup cooked contains 8.33 grams carbohydrates
Green pepper--1 medium-sized raw contains 5.52 grams carbohydrates
Cucumber--1 medium contains 4.34 grams carbohydrates
Tomato--1 medium contains 4.82 grams carbohydrates

(Nutrition data from USDA Nutrient Database)

In other words, foods thought to be "low-carb" actually contain a modest quantity of carbohydrates.

Such modest quantities of carbohydrates may not be enough to trip your blood sugar. But add up all the "low-carb" foods you consume over the course of a day and you can easily achieve 30 grams or more carbohydrates per day even without consuming any higher carbohydrate foods.

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