Shopping For Low Carb Meats?
Here Are 11 Handy Tips

Low carb meats can provide tons of nutrients and satiate your appetite.

Whether you’re a lifelong carnivore who’s delighted to learn that the meats you’ve always craved may actually be good for you, or you’re a starchaholic near-vegetarian tuning into the poultry and beef section for the first time in a long while, here are 11 tips to shop for low carb meats.

1. Keep an eye out for hidden carbs in meats.

Sauces and dips, breading and fillers, added sugar and flour... these hidden carbs can be found in a staggering variety of items in the meat section. Even meats that seem about as “low carb” as they come--such as all natural bacon, pork rinds, and beef jerky--can contain hidden carbs. (For instance, most commercial beef jerky contains four grams per serving of high fructose corn syrup.)

2. Don’t freak out about the salt content.

Talk to your doctor first, obviously, but unless you are a severe hypertensive, or you have some kind of allergy or weird metabolic reaction to salts; chances are that reasonably elevated levels of sodium in your meats won’t do much harm. For a deep discussion about dietary salt, click here.

3. Don’t bother buying low fat meats--unless you love the taste.

If the Lipophilia Hypothesis is correct, animal fats may actually be far better for you than mainstream conventional wisdom has led you to believe. And the marbled fat in most steaks contains lots of the Omega 3 fatty acids that the mainstream medical community is always trumpeting as “heart healthy.”

4. Branch out and expand your palette.

If you’re like most Americans, chances are that your lifetime protein sources have not gone beyond major staples like chicken, beef, pork, and seafood.

But there are thousands of interesting cuts of meats out there! Each provides a unique flavor profile, texture, and culinary possibilities. Fresh organic ground bison, sauteed with onions and peppers and spices, can make a hearty and delicious meal. Venison, lamb, ostrich, wild turkey, and rabbit can also be procured at your grocery store or local butchers.

5. Find discounts on low carb meats via the internet.

Omaha Steaks, for one, sells frozen filet mignons and hamburgers. Other companies out there can provide great deals on fresh-frozen, non-hormone laden, humanely prepared meats.

6. Get low carb meats you and your family will actually eat.

Remember: what looks good on the butcher’s shelf may not seem so appealing when you find it lying limply in your meat drawer days later. Sure, experiment now and then. But your goal should be to feed your family, not to waste food. With that said, you might be surprised at how a little creative cooking can make even the strangest proteins suddenly tempting.

7. Befriend your butcher.

Most people shop for low carb meats anonymously. But if you take the time to get to know your butcher, he or she can open your eyes to cool cooking tips as well as to time-tested ideas for side dishes and storage.

8. To save time, make many dishes at once and store them in your fridge or freezer.

Cordon off a Sunday afternoon and spend several hours cooking meals and snacks for the upcoming week. Use leftovers from one dish to supplement another. For instance, roast a chicken or turkey; then use the carcass to make fresh homemade soup.

9. Buy frozen meat in bulk.

10. Remember that low carb meats are not necessarily carb free.

Oysters, clams, shellfish, liver, and organ meats, for instance, can contain significant amount of carbs.

11. Shop for high quality products.

Employ safe handling, check for expiration dates, and be aware of any medical conditions or allergies that you or your dining guests might have; and shop accordingly. Many people prefer products that are free of nitrates, hormones, and other artificial chemicals. Talk to your butcher to make sure that your meats were prepared in an ethical and humane manner.

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