How to Shop for a Low Carb High Fat Diabetic Diet

I go over a register receipt and describe what I bought.

At a little over $50, this wasn’t inexpensive, but, it also wasn’t that expensive. In addition to this store, I eventually started going to a restaurant wholesale warehouse to get the following, which costs between $35 and $45: cabbage, onions, green bell peppers, mustard greens (gai choy), green onions, bok choy, ginger, peanuts, tomatoes, and sometimes, other things.

This list was from June 2019, before I cut back on fats. I was only a few months into eating low carb.

FS means First Street, the store’s brand. Ground turkey and eggs (a deal).

FF means Foster Farms,and it was a discounted cut up chicken.

Chobani yogurt was a treat, but it’s a bit high in carbs, like all dairy products. I wouldn’t exclude it, but… it’s easy to eat too much yogurt, if you have a big tub (and like yogurt).

Italian salami was a treat. I don’t really eat much of that anymore.

Then I got veggies: romaine lettuce, green cabbage, cauliflower, green onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, Anaheim chiles. Chiles are an great way to add a unique, strong flavor to your foods. The same goes for onions and tomatoes.

First Street poultry was probably more chicken.

Snacks: Bakenets pork rinds, a jar of roasted peanuts.

Lastly, a jar or tub of Parmesan cheese. LR means La Romanella, a store brand.

My current shopping is similar, but less meat.

Don’t Buy So Many Labeled Foods (from Oct. 31, 2019)

There’s a pretty easy way to get around reading all the food labels while
you’re doing the LCHF diet: don’t buy foods with “nutrition facts” labels.
Buy from the vegetable section, the deli fridge, and the meat department.

Most of the food in boxes, cans, and bags have starches and sugars in them.

It’s like the sugar-free, low carb options are the "needle in the haystack".

While you will need a LCHF food list to pick out the right foods, the fact is, if you avoid root vegetables and fruits, you’re not likely to pick high-carb vegetables.

Food Lists

The main list I use is from the Facebook T2 group. I like it because it lists what you can eat.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/Type2DiabetesSupport

This site lists what you cannot eat. A bit less convenient, but still useful.

https://www.verywellhealth.com/food-lists-for-dr-bernsteins-diabetes-diet-2241676

My personal shopping list usually looks like this:

Tomatoes, onion, lettuce (lots of it), cabbage, bell peppers, garlic, celery, mustard greens, kale, radishes, napa cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, jalapenos (or other chile), green beans, okra, mushrooms.

Ginger if I’m running low.

I get peanuts, often. Almonds too.

Meats are usually a tray of cheap chicken, some beef, maybe ground turkey, maybe pork chops. I get eggs if I’m running low.

I might get cold cuts, but I’m dialing back the cured meats and not eating them daily.

I might try out a new spice mix. I avoided them in the past, because I just bought individual spices, but now I’m being a little lazier.

For oils, it’s usually olive oil. If I need a frying fat, I buy the fatty ground beef, or more chicken, and render fat. I could also get lard, but I don’t fry that much.

I might buy a butter, but that’s really infrequent.

I buy a block of cheese sometimes.

Tofu, miso, and mung bean and soybean sprouts (the ones with long tails).

If I didn’t have access to fresh lemons, I would buy limes and lemons.

Partially Off Limits

Carrots – I don’t get them, generally, but if I want some flavor, I will buy one or twho. They need to be eaten only shredded and raw, and used as a flavor, not a thing to eat.

Seaweed – only in small amounts, because it’s high in carbs. Just use it for flavor, and don’t eat the fronds.

Off Limits

Just see the linked lists above. They outline all the forbiddens. Also, I won’t even go into the following areas of the store:

  • Bread aisle
  • Canned soups
  • Frozen meals
  • Chips and Sodas

There’s labels to read in there… so just stay away!

Meal Plans? Nah

I’m not good at meal planning because I eat Japanese style.

What that means is you eat around 4 or more different things per meal.

A typical keto-ish meal would be:

  • miso soup with cabbage, daikon, maybe a small cube of tofu, or egg
  • piece of meat
  • some boiled vegetable, like green beans, kale, okra, etc.
  • maybe another veggie, prepped another way, like sauteed.
  • or maybe just some sliced raw vegetable.
  • or maybe a salad.
  • another piece of leftover meat, cold, or maybe a boiled egg.
  • cold veggie leftovers
  • maybe tepid leftover soup
  • pickled cabbage or cucumber

There’s usually not 10 items in the meal. It’s usually 4 to 6 items, but there’s always some leftovers in reserve for the next meal.

Serving sizes are pretty small, but it’s still a big meal that fills up a 9" plate, a small side plate, and a small bowl.

Back when I was growing up, a ten-item meal wasn’t that unusual.

You don’t make 10 items in a day. You make only two or three new things per day, but make enough so you can eat it over two or three days.

These days, it’s more like one item per day.

Typical Macros

I’ll edit this page and put actual meals together with numbers, but my typical macros are like:

Protein: 20.6g; Carbs: 9.0g; Fat: 17.0g

Protein: 15.4g; Carbs: 14.1g; Fat: 8.4g

And a bad example

I went to the buffet once, a salad bar, and broke the rules, eating a few pieces of fried chicken wing. I also got too much food. Still, it was only 800 calories because I made an effor to stick to the rules.

Protein: 49.6g; Carbs: 23.9g; Fat: 55.1g

This salad bar wasn’t mostly salad. I got meats.

If I didn’t succumb to the fried chicken, my carbs would have been below 20g, closer to 18g.

I also suspect my fat intake was higher than 55g. The carnitas was greasy, and I used it like a dressing.

The Macro Values in Percentages

This isn’t strictly necessary, but you can get some percentages for the macros:

The last set of numbers is fake. I just made an idealized low-carb-high-fat meal.

So, that shows why it’s called “low carb, high fat”: Calories from fat dominate.

In fact, the lighter the meal is, the less fatty it is, and you end up with nearly a 33% split across all three macros. That’s not what we want.

LCHF recommends 70% fat, and 10% carbs. The way to achieve a meal that’s 70% fat is simple: cut the protein and carbs, and add a little extra fat.

Look at the last set of numbers. I copied the numbers above it, and reduced the protein and carbs. It’s almost 70% fat.

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