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The change to a low-carbohydrate, sugar-free diet can be spurred by numerous factors -- the desire to lose weight or lower the risk of diabetes, for example. But discerning which foods fit into this way of eating can be confusing, because most foods contain at least a small amount of carbohydrates or sugar. Look for animal proteins and sugar-free beverages; these foods are carb- and sugar-free.
The majority of teas and soft drinks are loaded with sugars, so it is important to choose beverages which use artificial sweeteners instead. Diet soda, unsweetened tea and sparkling water are alternatives with no carbs or sugars. Beware of fruit juices, as fruit contains natural sugars which usually translate into a high carbohydrate level.
Oils and Fats
Oils and fats contain neither carboydrates nor sugars, making them an acceptable flavouring choice for people on a no-carb diet. Checking labels is still important, though. Many salad dressings have added sugar. Also, watch out for trans fats, because they have a tendency to raise the levels of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) in the blood.
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Red meat contains almost no carbohydrates, so it is an acceptable choice for low-carb diets. However, debate rages on as to whether or not large amounts of red meat are harmful. Studies have shown that red meat increases the risk of heart disease. This may be due to the amount of fat that a typical cut of red meat contains, so look for leaner cuts when possible.
Pork is high in protein and carb-free. Some pork products, such as pork rinds, do contain carbohydrates, though. Choose lean cuts and serve it without any breading.
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Poultry contains no carbohydrates and is often lower in saturated fat than red meat. Because of the smaller fat content, it is considered better for the heart, making it a healthy choice for low-carb diets. Stay away from any fried preparations. Frying poultry adds unnecessary fats and carbs to a meal.
Fish, like poultry, is high in protein and low in saturated fats, and the additional health benefits of fish are numerous. Omega-3 fatty acids are abundant in fatty fish, such as salmon and sardines. Studies have suggested that a weekly serving of fish can even lower the risk of heart disease. As with any other protein, cook fish without any breading.
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