All the low-carb diets being introduced these days sound pretty good to a lot of people, but how do you know what has a lot of carbohydrates unless you are a health expert? That is where a carbohydrate counter can come in handy. There are plenty of Web sites dedicated to these nifty charts, and they can help you stick to your low-carb diet for free!
A carbohydrate counter is used to find the amount of carbohydrates in a variety of food. Dieters can use a carbohydrate counter to figure out their daily intake of carbs with ease and understanding. An Atkins’ diet user can especially utilize a carbohydrate counter, but it can also be used for other low-carb weight loss diets and by diabetics, who need to keep track of carbohydrate levels.
Many Web sites offer free uses of a carbohydrate counter, and even more have emerged with the increasing popularity of the Atkins’ diet.
A basic carbohydrate counter Web site will list the amount of carbs in a food item for a specified serving size, such as one cup of lima beans or one ounce of mayo. If this is not enough for you, there are other carbohydrate counter Web sites that are more in depth.
An extensive carbohydrate counter Web site will break down a food item by both a weight amount (such as 100 grams) and per serving. Then the carbohydrate counter will list the amount of carbohydrates, fiber, and protein of the food item for nearly any version of preparation and a variety of serving sizes.
For example, asparagus as nine different ways of preparation: raw; cooked/boiled/drained; canned, solids and liquids; canned, drained solids; frozen, unprepared; frozen, cooked/boiled/drained, without salt; frozen, cooked/boiled/drained, with salt; cooked/boiled/drained, without salt; cooked/boiled/drained, with salt; canned, no salt added, solids and liquids; and canned, salt added, solids and liquids. It also has six different serving sizes that the carbohydrate counter measures: cup; spear, small (5” long or less); spear, medium (5-1/4” to 7” long); spear, large (7-1/4” to 8-1/2″ long); extra-large spear (8-3/4″ to 10″ long); and spear tip (2″ or less in length). And this table is just one food item. There are different counters with less detailed charts as well.
But using a carbohydrate counter does not have to be terribly difficult or complex. A good carbohydrate counter Web site will have individual food items listed as well as whole meals like chicken pot pie. Sometimes a carbohydrate counter will even provide company name meals like Healthy Choice and Betty Crocker. By simply clicking on the meal name you can find out the amount of carbs for the entire meal.
Generally, a carbohydrate counter Web site breaks down food items into relatable categories so you can easily find what you are looking for. Most carbohydrate counter Web sites have these main categories:
- Beans, Peas, and Soy Products
- Breads, Rolls, and Muffins
- Candies and Sweets
- Condiments, Preserves, and Spreads
- Dairy Products and Eggs
- Fast Food
- Fats, Oils, and Dressings
- Fish and Shellfish
- Grains, Hot Cereals, and Pasta
- Meat and Poultry
- Nuts and Seeds
- Prepared Foods (including boxed meals)
- Soups and Stews
And if you cannot seem to find the food item you are looking for on one carbohydrate counter Web site, you will most likely find it on another.