When it comes to healthy eating, watching your carbohydrate intake is extremely important. While you may think that staying away from bread, pasta and rice is all that you need to do, there are actually a number of other foods out there that have a surprisingly high carb content.
Sauces and Condiments
While the majority of your plate may be filled with healthy foods, smothering all of this in a gravy or sauce can instantly make it carb-heavy. The reason for this is due to the way in which gravies and sauces are commonly made, with flour and sugar being added in order to create an appetizing product. Condiments such as tomato ketchup can contain around five grams of carbohydrates in just one tablespoon, while a small serving of honey mustard will have around 11 grams of carbs, mostly from sugar, and with many people opting for at least a few servings, this can quickly add to the carbohydrate content of the overall meal. The best way to avoid this is by creating your own sauces and condiments at home, or by always checking the ingredient and nutritional labels of a ready-made product, so that you can be aware of exactly what they contain.
Those that are trying to cut back on carbs will often opt for healthy whole foods, featuring plenty of fresh vegetables. While this may be the case, you need to take a close look at any salad dressings or spreads, such as nut butter, that you use. When low-fat products are produced, they often end up lacking in flavor, and, in order to compensate for this, manufacturers will usually replace fats with sugar, which reduces the fat count but increases the carbohydrate count. Rather than purchasing these products, opt for the full fat versions instead, but simply reduce the portion size that you consume in order to keep the calorie count low.
Many feel as though wraps are far healthier than the average sandwich, but not only do they contain the same amount of carbs, they are also filled with more fats and calories. This is because of the way in which tortillas contain large amounts of fat in order to be so malleable, which means that they are not a great sandwich alternative if you are trying to cut back on carbs.
Beans are extremely high in protein, and bring with them a wide range of health-boosting benefits, from protecting the body from heart disease to preventing cancer. However, for those that are trying to watch their carbohydrate intake, you need to be aware of the fact that many beans are actually also quite high in carbs. Just a quarter of a cup of chickpeas or black beans contains around 30 grams of carbs, so it could be worth looking into alternatives if beans are a food that you eat every day.
Reducing the amount of carbohydrates that you eat can really do wonders for your overall health, but unless you are aware of all of the sneaky carb sources out there, you will find it difficult to decrease your carb intake. From everyday sauces and salad dressings to calorie-dense lunchtime wraps, it is important to pay close attention to the nutritional attributes of just about everything that you eat if you are trying to make healthy changes to your diet.