Carbohydrate Count

Most diets require the dieters to keep track of the number of calories in each of the foods they eat, and the meals and beverages they consume.

The low carb diet is different -- instead of counting calories, you only need to concern yourself with your carbohydrate count. There are many ways that you can track your carb intake.

One of the things to remember, though, is that there can be a significant difference between raw and cooked foods.

With raw foods, you generally are only concerned with the weight, or size, of the food, and the related carb count. Cooked foods, however, can often include additional seasonings, fats, or hidden ingredients that can alter the carbohydrate count quite drastically.

If you're serious about tracking your carb intake to have the most success with your low-carb diet, you might want to consider purchasing a carb counter. With this device you can easily determine the carbohydrate count of different foods, regardless of their ingredients.

You can also use a list of foods and their carbohydrate counts to help you figure out whether different meals fit into your low carb diet. Again, though, for this to be of value, you really need to know the full ingredient list for a dish.

A food list will help, however, as you plan your own meals. By comparing your food lists with the types of dishes you enjoy you can figure out which are the better choices for your low carb diet. Sometimes even by eliminating or reducing a high-carb ingredient, you can adjust the recipe with little change to the taste of the dish.

If there is a particular recipe that you enjoy, but the carbohydrate count is too high, you can go online and find equivalent low-carb recipes. Usually, these recipes will include the carb count, as well as other nutritional information, but, because you have the ingredient list, it is easy to figure out yourself if you have to.

Don't worry too much about carb counts, though. If you're too enthusiastic, you might deprive yourself of important nutrients because your carb count for the day, or the meal, has been met.

Make it simple. Use the carbohydrate count to help you decide whether to include certain foods in your meals. Balance this against the foods you like, and the types of foods you need to eat to maintain a healthy balanced diet. And use the carb count to help you support decisions to avoid high-carb snacks that have no place in your diet.