Top 8 Low-Carb Mistakes

by Allison Bush Editor

You know how some foods just instinctively seem low-carb - or appear to genuinely be so, based on the package labels, but somehow aren't? Isn't that maddening? Here's Amy Tenderich's personal list of dreaded "fake-out foods" that spike her blood sugars when they seem like they shouldn't.

Strong man holding protein shake image.

Protein shakes

Tasty and filling, they’re supposedly only 9 grams of carb per an 11 oz. can, but post-drink blood sugars disagree with that assessment. Many protein shakes and nutritional supplements have added sugar, so it’s important to look at the label to evaluate if it can be included as part of your meal plan.

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Rice cakes

I like the more "gourmet" compressed variety, which state that they only contain 8g carb per TWO cakes, but my blood sugar tells me VERY differently.

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Light beef bologna

Light beef bologna is a favorite snack of mine, which supposedly has virtually no carbs - but not dosing for it at all is always a mistake.

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I love hummus, but must I remember that it's made of mashed garbanzo beans, so I must remember to dose for at least 20g carb if I'm going to indulge at all - despite the fact that the packaging says 7g of carb per 2 Tbsp, which sounds so insignificant...

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Ranch dressing

We buy light ranch dressing as a dip for the kids, but I it like on veggies, too. Why does my blood glucose always spike even though the bottle says just 3g of carb per 2 Tbsp? How much of it could possibly adhere to a handful of mini-carrots, anyway?

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Peanut butter

OK, the mainstream brands are all fat bombs, but couldn't they at least be low-carb? The labels say just 7g carb per 2 Tbsp, so the problem's gotta be that I eat too much once I get started. Hey, it IS addictive.

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Cocktail sauce

Once again the cocktail sauce jar gives that magic value of 7g per 2 Tbsp, and I never eat too much of this stuff. What's even in there besides tomatoes and spices? And darn it don't you know, even teriyaki sauce can catapult your blood sugar.

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Bacon bits

I add bacon bits to my salads and more; it's all about the garnish and condiments when you're stuck with bland gluten-free foods. But the stupid bacon bits always seem to contribute to a blood sugar spike despite the label: only 2 carbs per 1.5 Tbsp.

Allison Bush
Meet Our Writer
Allison Bush

Allison Bush is a former HealthCentral editor who covered a wide range of health topics.