It’s hard to eat low-carb when you don’t eat much meat or fish. Fact.

by | May 4, 2023 | Food Facts

Stir It Up Favicon

It’s hard to eat low-carb when you don’t eat much meat or fish. Fact.

Let’s face it,Keto (a renovated Atkins for the new millennium) consists of eating bacon, sausage and egg every meal time, salmon and avocado if you’re feeling hip.

Grains, pulses and pasta are out, fat, dairy, eggs and meat are in. Sugar in ANY form is a no-no (bye bye cocktails, sweetcorn and squash) while avocados, lettuce and broccoli pass with low carb flying colours.

Reader, I tried it- a few times and it works; like any restrictive eating regime works. But God is it joyless. And definitely not something I could stick to long term given my affection for confection.

And neither do I think that the cult of Keto gives you enough fibre- no brown bread, lentils, beans, peas etc and it wreaked havoc with my, err, system.

That said, our bodies could almost certainly live without a daily dose of white carbs; potatoes, rice, pasta, breads and pastries and be the better for it- it’s now a commonly held scientific belief rather than a cult-driven, trending diet. A high-carb diet is now linked to everything from diabetes to Alzheimersvia depression and heart disease.

Basically the harder your body has to work to digest your food, the better it is for you..

But how does that work on a weeknight, when you’ve been working all day, get home pretty tired and have 30 mins to get tea on the table and the kids are screaming for pasta but you’d rather not?

I’ve taken a few leaves out of the Keto book here and mixed them with some of my own..

1. Try out some different ratios. A 500g bag of pasta usually feeds us. If I include more veg and possibly a handful of lentils, 250g is enough. Use wholemeal pasta for even more virtue.

2. Instead of rice in a risotto, pilaf, salad or side, try a grain that’s low GI (doesn’t spike your blood sugar) like quinoa, bulgur, barley or buckwheat- these are also higher in protein. Try adding chickpeas and halving the amount of grain per serving. Riced cauliflower is also a great way to pad out rice- and has some extra nutrients.

3. Sweet potatoes have half the carb content of white potatoes and more nutrients. Baked they are sublime, mashed with butter, and eaten with chickpeas and a warm tahini dressing- try this recipe.

4. If the kids love mash, try mixing it up with lower GI roots like swede, carrot and sweet potato. I sometimes make swede chips with rosemary and garlic (that gets an interesting reaction!)

5. If you love potatoes baked in cream like a Dauphinoise, try it with celeriac instead, or a mixture of celeriac and potato- much lower in carbs and better for your blood sugar.

6. If you’re making a noodle dish for the family- chuck in a bag of beansprouts or extra protein (like egg or tofu) and stir fry before adding the noodles- you can plate a portion for yourself sans noods.

7. Soups are you’re low-carb saviour. If it’s got something hearty like lentils, pulses or grains for ballast, no bread is needed.

8. If bread is your thing, I found theselow-carb wrapson Ocado. They’re actually ok if (if a little pricey).

9. If yoghurt or omelette doesn’t flick your morning switch, try makingan oat-free granola- the crunch is very satisfying.

10. And if we’re eating bisciuts, sweets or cakes, it makes sense to eat them after a meal- that way the effects on blood sugar are minimised.

While diet restrictions are at best inconvenient, at worst, life-limiting, they often result in innovation in the kitchen. Courgetti anyone?

Jacquie x