As low carb diets have been steadily gaining popularity over the last several decades, many companies have jumped on the bandwagon to produce specialist low-carb foods. Typically, these products use sweeteners instead of sugar, and various flour substitutes instead of flour.
The quality and taste of these products vary, but one area where significant progress has been made is sweets and cakes. This is clearly what most people would miss most on a low carb diet, so there is no need to despair – plenty of sweet treats to choose from, with zero sugar in sight.
Couple of words of caution: firstly, these treats do contain calories and additives, so although they are low carb, they are hardly the healthiest food to eat when dieting. It is fine to have them as occasional treats, but don’t be tempted to have several on a daily basis. Secondly, some sweeteners such as malitol can have a laxative effect, or just simply disturb your digestion and leave you feeling bloated.
Livlife low-carb bread
This product became available in Waitrose across the UK on 22 July 2013. Although better than most conventional breads (14g net carbs per 100g), it is based on wheat and soya flour and is full of chemicals. Read the full review of Livlife low-carb bread…
This is without a doubt the best brand there is for low carb snacks. Started by Dr Atkins – the founding father of modern low carb dieting – and very much focused on producing low-carb foods that are suitable for Atkins diet, including the Induction phase. Many of their chocolate bars and biscuits taste at least as well as their sugary counterparts, and usually only contain 2-3 grams of net carbs per bar. In the UK, Atkins products are available from Boots and Superdrug, as well as online.
Cavalier produce a range of chocolates and chocolate bars sweetened with Stevia. Stevia is a herbal sweetener which has no effect on blood sugar, and so is an acceptable sugar substitute for low carbers. Their dark chocolate range is excellent – very authentic taste. Please note though that Stevia can cause some digestive discomfort in some people, so try a little bit at first to see if it suits you.
DeBron is a Dutch company specialising in sugar-free sweets and candies. In the UK, the range is available from Boots and various online shops. The selection they carry is very wide, and if you miss any particular favourite such as fruit gums, they probably have a sugar-free alternative for you. The taste is usually ok but not great. Please also note DeBron products use malitol extensively, so can have a laxative effect.
De Bron range