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Old 02-28-2014, 12:24 PM   #1
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Can Tabasco sauce really be that low-carb?

Ever since figuring out I'm getting about 5-10 net carbs a day just from spices (I'm a spicy food maniac) I've been trying to figure out how to lower this number without enjoying the food any less.

Anyway Tabasco sauce is both spicy and has a strong flavor. I figured it must be packed with spices but still they say it's only 0.8% carbs (0.2% net carbs).



How could this possibly be? Almost all of the dried spices I have bought are between 30-60% net carbs. Even if only 10% of the sauce was the spices it should still be few carbs rather than 0.something.

Are they using some kind of procedure to extract the spiciness and flavors while leaving behind the carbs?

Last edited by Mr_Geiri; 02-28-2014 at 12:27 PM..
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:35 PM   #2
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The only ingredients are red peppers, salt and vinegar. the peppers are steeped in the vinegar then I think strained out. I used to make my own version and that is what I did anyway. I think the carbs are pretty non-existent. (and I cannot imagine how the serving size is listed as 100 grams, LOL that would be one fiery meal!)
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Old 02-28-2014, 01:44 PM   #3
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Right, it's mostly vinegar.
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:06 PM   #4
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Yes. I am a chili-head too, and I count the carbs in my spices, and they're there, but very low.

I think Iceland may have different laws about servings. IIRC, many EU countries show most things as pertains to 100g, so you can compare apples to apples, and Iceland may be the same.
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:38 PM   #5
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It's not a serving size the tracker website just has the option of 100 grams which I tend to pick to get the percentage. It's from USDA data. I'm used to this since products here are labeled this way and it makes the math more simple when counting your total carbs.

Anyway I guess it could be similar technique as from extract drops... a lot of flavor with very little carbs.

I kinda assumed it was just vinegar with added dried peppers. But it must be done differently if the carb count is so low.

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Old 02-28-2014, 02:48 PM   #6
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Sorry for the double post I was gonna add this to my other one but messed up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimuae View Post
The only ingredients are red peppers, salt and vinegar. the peppers are steeped in the vinegar then I think strained out. I used to make my own version and that is what I did anyway. I think the carbs are pretty non-existent. (and I cannot imagine how the serving size is listed as 100 grams, LOL that would be one fiery meal!)
So is it a similar process as when you make stuff like vanilla extract? You get the flavor out but most of the structure is then taken out?
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:48 PM   #7
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It is. They're fermented/steeped and only a small portion of the peppers in Mexican style hot sauces are actually pulverized for the finished product. It's not a concentrated product like curry or a boiled down product like fish sauce. It's more like a pickle and the sauce is primarily brine.
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:50 PM   #8
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Ok thanx.

For my last meal I tried cutting down the spices by half and using more Tabasco sauce instead. It tasted great!
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Old 02-28-2014, 03:16 PM   #9
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If you like really strong spice, you can't go wrong with Dave's Scorpion Pepper sauce. My bottle says zero carbs (for a tsp, which is about all I can stand in a good sized portion of whatever I'm using)! I'm a spice head too.

ETA: I don't like the sauces with a strong vinegar flavor, and this one seems to just deliver heat without much vinegar. It's very concentrated.
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:22 PM   #10
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I've seen you mention choosing your foods by percentage of carbs on a couple of different threads now. That is a really bad way to approach low carbing because the percentage of carbs is going to vary depending on the amount of water, fat and protein in the food.

Any food that is low in protein and/or fat is going to be a higher percentage of carbs, while other foods may contain fat and/or protein (and therefore a lower percentage of carbs), but still be a "high carb" food.

You really need to be counting total or net carbs, not percentage of carbs.

Percentage of carbs in your daily total intake is a very, very different thing from percentage of carbs per food. They cannot be interchanged.
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Last edited by emily1965; 02-28-2014 at 05:23 PM..
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:28 PM   #11
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I don't mind the vinegar. I love Tabasco.

It says the same on the bottle. 0 per tsp.
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emily1965 View Post
I've seen you mention choosing your foods by percentage of carbs on a couple of different threads now. That is a really bad way to approach low carbing because the percentage of carbs is going to vary depending on the amount of water, fat and protein in the food.

Any food that is low in protein and/or fat is going to be a higher percentage of carbs, while other foods may contain fat and/or protein (and therefore a lower percentage of carbs), but still be a "high carb" food.

You really need to be counting total or net carbs, not percentage of carbs.

Percentage of carbs in your daily total intake is a very, very different thing from percentage of carbs per food. They cannot be interchanged.
I count the total net carbs. I just use the percentage as a tool to count the carbs when weighing my food.

I weigh everything with a digital scale... so having the percentage rather than "servings" is useful when counting the amount of carbs.

Last edited by Mr_Geiri; 02-28-2014 at 05:32 PM..
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:41 PM   #13
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I weigh everything, too. Fortunately it is a requirement of packaging on most mass market food in the US tht total net weight of product be included on the package, in grams. Worst case scenario I use some math skills to figure out the total nutrition for the package and then subtract or divide out the amount I'm consuming, figuring my carbs and calories from there. Like, if there's 74 gram of chocolate in my bar and three servings, I will just multiply everything by three when I'm calculating total amount in the product. Figuring out what an 8 gram serving is in terms of calories and carbs, from there, is quite easy with a tracking program.

Is that kind of what you're doing?
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:51 PM   #14
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Yeah kinda I just get the grams out of 100 grams and count from that rather than multiplying servings. For example I used 50 grams of bell pepper in my last meal. Knowing it's 6% net carbs makes this quite easy to calculate, 3 grams net carbs.
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:28 PM   #15
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What kind of spices are you using? What quantities? Ground spices? Peppers? Hot sauces? Salsas?

I love spicy foods and barely use any net carbs to get the heat and flavor. Are you sure your counts are correct?
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