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momof1 05-13-2013 06:39 PM

hidden carbs?
So as you can see by my stats I am new to this lifestyle. I refuse to call it a diet because to me that indicates a stop time...and I refuse to look back. Anyway, I have been very diligent about counting my carbs as I do not yet "just know". My question to all of you pros - are there any foods that have hidden carbs or anything that I should be careful about carbs creeping in and not being calculated in my daily total?

Mommie22boys 05-13-2013 07:09 PM

Heavy whipping cream comes to mind. For example, my carton says 50 calories per Tbls, 5 grams of fat, 0 grams of protein and 0 grams of carbs. If you do the math: 5g fat x 9cal/g = 45 calories. Not 50 as stated in the carton. So, where did the other 5 calories come from?...look to hidden carbs.

Boo. :down: I wish cream was carb free.

cfine 05-13-2013 07:13 PM

Hot dogs

Z 05-13-2013 07:16 PM

Anything less the 1 carb per serving may be marked 0 carbs on the package.

The more processed something is, the more likely it is to contain some amount of maltodexrin or dextrose or starch or something.

I assume that I will eat 10 grams of undocumented carbohydrates every day, and limit myself to 20 grams of documented carbohydrate. The rule of that 10 point buffer:

I never get to assume I didn't eat those undocumented carbs. if all I ate was spinach, I assume that there were 10 undocumented or rounded carbs that snuck in.

Ntombi 05-13-2013 09:38 PM


Originally Posted by Z (Post 16423203)
Anything less the 1 carb per serving may be marked 0 carbs on the package.

That's almost true. In the USA, the FDA rules state that anything with under 0.5g of a macronutrient may state that it has 0g on the label. Anything with 0.5 to 0.999 may state that it has "<1g" on the label.

For example, cream has 6.6g of carbs in a cup. If you break that down to a tablespoon serving, the label could say that it has zero, when it really has just under a half a gram, which definitely adds up if you have several tablespoons in a day.

If you have any dairy product that says it has zero or under a gram, I would round up. Eggs also have 0.6g of carbs in a large egg, more for larger eggs. Organ meats and shellfish all have carbs too.


Originally Posted by Z (Post 16423203)
The more processed something is, the more likely it is to contain some amount of maltodexrin or dextrose or starch or something.


If I cook at home, I know the carb count. I also tend not to buy a lot of really processed foods. If I eat out, I assume that there are hidden carbs in some foods, and act accordingly. That doesn't mean I don't eat out, but I just make adjustments.

Atkins Chick 05-13-2013 09:52 PM

And that sugar free gum you're chewing to hide your ketone breath? Carbs??? Yup... I count 1 gram per piece.

Pami 05-13-2013 09:58 PM

I wrote this about 9 years ago, but it's not outdated yet:
Where are you going to find hidden carbs?

Oh wow, where do I start? Well, the obvious ones are protein bars, candy bars, ice cream; basically all the sweet stuff you would find in your store that says "sugar-free" on the label. Even Jell-O has hidden carbs. (It's a sure bet that there are hidden carbs in a product if a label states "net carbs, digestible carbs, impact carbs, effective carbs, etc". If they have to say that, then you know they are trying to hide something.)

Here's a short list of some of the hidden carbs (as well as carbs you may think you don't have to count) that I've found:

1- Cheese-

These vary, but for the sake of simplicity, count 1g per ounce.

2- Coffee-

Count .8g per 6-ounce cup of brewed coffee (keeping in mind that most cups these days are much larger than 6 ounces).

Count .7g per rounded teaspoon of instant coffee.

3- Crystal Light-

Count 1.25g per 8 fluid ounces.

4- Cream-

Count 6.6g per cup of heavy whipping cream, or .4g per tablespoon.

Count 10.4g per cup of half & half, or .6 per tablespoon.

5- Deli meats-

These vary w-i-d-e-l-y. Check the ingredients (most contain sugar in some form; corn syrup is very common) as well as the nutritional panel.

6- Eggs-

Count .7g per large egg, or 2g per 3 eggs.

7- Jell-O-

Count 1.5g per 1/2 cup (prepared).

8- Mayonnaise-

Count .25g per tablespoon of real mayonnaise. Mayonnaise-type salad dressings (Miracle Whip, SpinBlend) are 2g per tablespoon.


These vary, but most of them use starch fillers, and some of the liquid preparations have sugar. Check out Cheri's newbie site for a link to the carb counts of some of the more common medications.

10- Organ meats-

Beef liver has the highest carb count I've found, with 9g carbs per 4-ounce serving. As far as I'm concerned, this is just a happy excuse to get out of eating it.

11- Shellfish-

Count 2.9g for clams, .6g for lobster, .8g for Dungeness crab, 1g for shrimp, 2.7g for scallops. (All counts are for 4-ounce servings.)

12- Spices-

Red pepper, chili powder and cinnamon have over half their carbs coming from fiber, but most of the spices you use don't have significant amounts of fiber. For 1 teaspoon, count red pepper as 1g (.7g fiber), black pepper as 1.7g, garlic powder as 2.3g, Lite salt as .5g, chili powder as 1.4g (.9g fiber), cinnamon as 2.1g (1.4g fiber), ground cumin as .9g, oregano as .5g. A fresh garlic clove is 1g.

13- Splenda-

Liquid Splenda has 0g carbs, but if you use the packets or the granular variety, count 1g per packet, or 1g per 2 teaspoons (24g per cup) of the granular.

14- Vinegar-

This one surprised me. I would have never guessed that vinegar has twice the carbs of cream! (Well, I knew about the balsamic vinegar, but never thought about white vinegar, cider vinegar or wine vinegar having so many carbs.) Count .8g per tablespoon (12.8g per cup) of white vinegar, .9g per tablespoon (14.4g per cup) of cider or wine vinegar, and 2g per tablespoon (32 per cup) of balsamic vinegar.

Anjikun 05-14-2013 08:35 AM

Another way that you could deal with this "hidden" carb issue is to use an online tracker and just accept the values, knowing that there may be some hidden carbs in there. Try to hold your carbs to a certain number of grams, but if you find you are not losing, tweak them downward until you are losing.

I really hate tracking, but I've found that if I don't do it carb creep sets in, and if I get above a certain level I start bingeing, and then all bets are off. So for me it's necessary to make tracking as easy as possible, which does NOT include driving myself crazy trying to account for grams/half-grams of hidden carbs here and there.

momof1 05-14-2013 06:30 PM

Thanks for all the great advice and info! That's why I ask the pro's

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