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Atkins Article: Shopping Tips for the Atkins Diet

Atkins Article: Shopping Tips for the Atkins Diet
Plan your shopping expeditions around these items.
The following fruits and vegetables are all relatively low in carbohydrates:
Chopped spinach
Whole-leaf spinach
Chopped kale
Chopped collards
Snow peas
Green beans
Artichoke hearts
Asparagus spears
Chopped broccoli
Unsweetened strawberries
Unsweetened blueberries
Unsweetened raspberries

Frozen cooked shrimp
Frozen crab meat (not artificial "crab product")
Atkins sliced bread

Cheese. Try to keep several types in your refrigerator. Fresh cheeses include cottage cheese, ricotta, chèvre and mascarpone. They are terrific for breakfast or dessert with a sprinkling of chopped nuts and berries. Semisoft cheeses such as Brie and Camembert are delicious with low-carb crackers and toasted protein bread. Firmer cheeses, such as Gruyère, Parmesan, Gouda and cheddar can be eaten by themselves. Blue cheeses, such as Roquefort, Gorgonzola and Maytag Blue, pair well with salads and make wonderful sauces for vegetables. Buy cheese in small quantities and experiment until you find at least a half dozen you enjoy.

Cream/butter. Add cream to your decaf coffee instead of milk for richer flavor and fewer carbs. Sweet butter is generally preferable to salted butter because it is purer in flavor. If you use butter for sautéing, mix it with a little oil to increase the burn temperature. Or use ghee, which is clarified butter, instead. This means that the milk solids in butter that cause it to burn at low temperatures have been removed.)

Eggs. Few foods are as versatile. Keep a half-dozen hard-boiled eggs on hand at all times. They are a perfect protein snack.

Protein. Whether your protein preference is poultry, fish or red meat, try to make purchases as frequently as possible, and prepare and cook them the same day. Freezing is a convenient option, but shouldn't be a first choice. If you do freeze, be sure to wrap items carefully in freezer paper and defrost in the refrigerator. Most of us purchase whatever is on sale but, when your budget allows, experiment with more exotic quality proteins, such as buffalo, duck breasts and seasoned all-natural poultry sausages.

Cold cuts. When possible, buy fresh from the deli counter, rather than prepackaged. Baked ham, smoked turkey, corned beef and sliced roast beef are great to have on hand for snacks and salad additions. Nitrate-free salami or pepperoni are good occasional treats, as is the more exotic prosciutto di Parma.

Salad vegetables. Buy only as much as you will consume in a five-day period. Wash and wrap greens as soon as you get home to preserve freshness and to ease salad preparation. Wash and spin-dry greens and pack in plastic bags with a sheet or two of paper towels in between to absorb excess moisture.

Vegetables/fruits: Depending on the season, keep your vegetable bin filled with broccoli, green and yellow squash, cauliflower, eggplant, green beans, jicama, mushrooms, asparagus, bell peppers, green onions, leeks, spinach and broccoflower. When berry season rolls around, enjoy relatively low-carb strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. Buy berries in small quantities and consume as soon as possible; they don't keep well.

Tofu: Firm tofu is great for stir-fries, while silken tofu is a high-protein, controlled carb substitute for bananas in smoothies.

Fresh Herbs These will liven up the flavor of most savory dishes.
Green onions
Parsley (Flat-leaf, also known as Italian, is more flavorful than curly parsley.)
Ginger. (A root, not an herb; buy as needed for recipes.
Nothing beats the flavor and fragrance of freshly grated ginger.)

Our thanks to the Atkins Center for this article. This article will give you some basic information about the Atkins Diet Approach for Weight Loss and Good Health, but is not a substitute for reading the books for the details of this plan (or the book for whatever low carb plan you choose to follow.)