Once you understand the basics of the Keto lifestyle (protein, above-ground vegetables, and healthy fats), you may want to consider counting carbs, at least for a short time, to see where you are in the process. It can help you learn to maintain ketosis, the metabolic state that allows your body to burn fat for energy. Not all carbs are created equal. Some can sneak into your diet unnoticed and sabotage your efforts to stay in ketosis. Let's explore some of the most common sources of hidden carbs on the keto diet and provide tips and tricks for finding and avoiding them.

Read Labels Carefully
One of the most important things you can do to avoid hidden carbs is to read food labels carefully. Look for the total carbohydrate count and the fiber and sugar alcohols. Subtract the fiber and sugar alcohols from the total carbs to get the net carb count, which is the number that matters on the keto diet. Some products may list net carbs on the label, but these values may not be accurate, so it's always best to do the math yourself.

Take the time to learn how nutritional labels work because they can be misleading. Heavy whipping cream is an excellent example of this. One tablespoon is actually 0.4 g, but it is rounded down on the label to zero carbs. That doesn't sound like a big deal, but it certainly can be if you use more significant amounts of cream in recipes or far more than a tablespoon in your coffee throughout the day.

Watch Out for Sauces and Condiments
Sauces and condiments can be a hidden source of carbs, as they often contain added sugars or thickeners. Ketchup, barbecue sauce, and salad dressings are all examples of condiments that can be high in carbs. Instead, try making condiments at home using keto-friendly ingredients like mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, and spices.

Be Wary of Processed Foods
Processed foods, like deli meats and packaged snacks, can also be a hidden source of carbs. These products may contain fillers, preservatives, and other ingredients that can add up quickly. Instead, focus on whole, unprocessed foods like meat, fish, vegetables, and nuts.

Avoid Hidden Carbs in Beverages
Beverages can be a sneaky source of carbs, especially if you're not careful. We all know that fruit juices, soda, and energy drinks are all high in sugar and carbs. But even seemingly innocent beverages like coffee and tea can contain hidden sugars in the form of creamers or flavored syrups. Diet drinks often include some carbs. A large diet lemonade from Chick-fil-A sounds like a good choice, right? It has an astonishing 21 carbs!

Stay Mindful When Eating Out
Eating out can be challenging as many restaurants have hidden carbs in their dishes. Ask your server about your meal's ingredients and preparation methods. If they don't know, request that they find out for you. Don't be afraid to make special requests, such as asking for a salad without croutons or requesting a bunless burger.

Finding hidden carbs can be frustrating, but with a little effort and mindfulness, you can avoid these sneaky sources of carbs and stay in ketosis. Remember to read labels carefully, avoid processed foods and sugary beverages, and be mindful when eating out. By following these tips and tricks, you'll be well on your way to keto success.

What hidden carbs have you found?