Defeat Diabetes

Baby Steps to Low Carb: Your Simple Guide to Getting Started

3 mins read

“Is fruit low carb?”

“Will I get enough fibre?”

“Can I drink coffee?”

“I thought fatty foods were bad for me?”


Let’s back up a little… Eating low carb is not a new, fad diet. In fact, it’s not a diet at all. It simply means eating real food. Less food out of a packet and more stuff your grandparents probably ate. It’s also not something you need to fear, or that’s hard to do or stick to.

So, whether you’re motivated to improve your blood glucose levels, lose weight, improve your overall health, or are simply curious about a new way of eating, we’re here to help you easily navigate the world of reduced carbs.

Before you start Googling and get confused with different messages, start with our 4 R’S, the starting point for any low carb journey:

1. REVIEW: What do you eat now? 

  1. Take your 10 favourite foods and put them all out on a table or kitchen bench. 
  2. Write each item in a list on the left side of a blank sheet of paper.
  3. Next to each item, write down the carb content per serving. You’ll find this on the nutrition label. It’s usually the first column (don’t worry about carbs per 100 grams for now).

2. REMOVE: The sometimes-sneaky sugary culprits

Now that you know what your biggest carb offenders are, it’s time for a spring clean (no matter what season it is!).

Start with your pantry or cupboard, and take out:

  1. Any item with a carb per serve of more than 10 grams. 
  2. Table sugar (that includes coconut sugar, agave, honey, maple syrup, rice malt syrup).
  3. Biscuits (sweet and savoury, like Saos and Vita-Weats)
  4. Chocolates (except for 85% or more dark chocolate!)
  5. Potato chips
  6. Pasta (both wholemeal and white pasta)
  7. Bread (all varieties, including sourdough)

Your shelves may look bare at this point, but don’t worry! We’ll soon be re-stocking them with delicious food.

3. REPLACE: Make low carb swaps

Go back to your ‘favourite food’ list. You can replace any food you removed with a high carb count with something that won’t spike your blood glucose levels. Here are 10 of the most common swaps:





85% low carb bread Ultra Fluffy Bread Rolls


Konjac pasta

Zippy Zoodle Bolognese


Low carb or konjac rice

Cauliflower Fried Rice


Simply Swap Foods porridge

Creamy Cinnamon Porridge


Low carb potatoes, extra green veg

Cottage Pie with Cauliflower Mash


Olina’s Crackers

Seed Crackers


Vogel’s Low Carb Granola or Blue Frog Granola

Cinnamon Squares


Raspberries, blackberries, strawberries (frozen or fresh)

Raspberry Chia Pots, Mixed Berry Smoothie


Nuts, cheese

Cheese & Rosemary Crackers

Yoghurt (sweetened)

Greek yoghurt

Yoghurt, Nuts and Raspberries


4. REDUCE: Your ‘white’ foods – bread, pasta, potatoes, oats

It may initially seem daunting to completely remove lots of food from your normal diet. While we know that the fewer carbs you eat, the less your blood glucose will rise, some people may prefer to start their low carb more slowly.

Try instead to reduce the amount of white food you eat each day. If your usual day includes bread at each meal, try having it at one meal instead or cut down the serving size. See how you feel and try gradually lowering it (and replacing it with a lower carb option) each time.


By following the four R’s, you should be well on your way to reducing carbs you eat daily. Be sure to read food labels so you understand what you’re eating and its possible impact on your blood glucose levels.

If you’re looking for more low-carb tips, why not start a free trial of Defeat Diabetes, the award-winning low-carb program developed by doctors and dietitians to see how delicious and enjoyable low-carb foods can be? 

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