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A common mistake when eating a low-carb diet is getting fooled by the creative marketing of special “low-carb” products.

Remember:  an effective low-carb diet for weight loss should be based primarily on whole food.

Prioritize what humans have been eating for thousands or likely millions of years, e.g. meat, fish, vegetables, eggs, butter, olives, nuts etc.

If you want to lose weight, avoid special “low-carb” products that are full of carbs. This should be obvious, but creative marketers are doing all they can to fool you (and get your money). They will tell you that you can eat cookies, pasta, ice cream, bread and plenty of chocolate on a low-carb diet, as long as you buy their brand. They’re often full of carbohydrates. Don’t be fooled.

How about low-carb bread? Be careful: if it’s baked with grains it’s certainly not low carb. But some companies still try to sell it to you as a low-carb option.

Low-carb chocolate is usually full of a kind of sugar alcohol — maltitol — that may actually be partially absorbed by the body, but which the manufacturer does not count as carbs. If the maltitol is absorbed, it is likely to raise blood sugar and insulin levels.

The remaining carbs end up in the colon, potentially causing gas and diarrhea. Furthermore, any sweeteners can maintain sugar cravings.

Low-carb chocolate made with erythritol or stevia is likely to be okay.

Here are three examples of what to avoid:

  1. Atkins’ fairy-tale cookies
  2. Julian Bakery’s high-carb low-carb bread

These three companies are not unique. There are thousands of similar companies who may be trying to trick you into buying their “low-carb” products, that often contain starch, sugar alcohols, wheat flour, sweeteners, and other additives.

Two simple rules to avoid this:

  • Don’t eat “low carb” versions of high carb stuff, like cookies, bars, chocolate, bread, pasta or ice cream – unless you are sure of the ingredients (ideally, by making it yourself).
  • Avoid products with the words “net carbs” on them. That may be a way to deceive you.

Focus on eating good quality, minimally processed real food. Ideally the food you buy shouldn’t even have a list of ingredients (or it should be very short).