Low-Carb Taste Tests (aired 6/18/04)

You see low-carb food everywhere these days — thanks to the popularity of the Atkins and South Beach diets. Subway and Burger King are among the many restaurants now serving up low-carb meals. And your supermarket is bursting with low-carb foods. Consumer Reports just looked at four normally high-carb foods to see if their low-carb alternatives can satisfy your carb cravings.

The food served at this restaurant doesn't look any different, but it is. This food is all low-carb — just some of the many low-carb options offered here.

We want you to feel like you can come out to a restaurant and know specifically what you're eating, the carb content."

If you're on a low-carb diet, you don't have to go to a special restaurant. These days there are plenty of options labeled low-carb at your supermarket.

Consumer Reports just tested low carb alternatives for four carb-laden favorites: pasta, ice cream, bread and beer.

The ice cream was a far cry from the real thing. All three kinds tested were gummy and foamy or really icy. And to add insult to injury, these ice creams still pack plenty of fat and calories.

When it came to the breads, some of them were a real disappointment, too.
One bread was rather sour, and it had the texture of a wet sponge."

And some of the pastas were dry and rubbery. Testers said even adding sauce wouldn't help the worst ones.

But if you've sworn off carbs, Consumer Reports says don't despair. Several products are a decent substitute for the real thing.

For bread, try Arnold Carb-Counting Multigrain or Sara Lee Delightful Wheat. Both rated very good.

If you can't live without pasta, there are three worth trying. Keto Spaghetti, Bella Vita Penne Rigate, and CarbXTract Fettuccine all rated good.

And there's good news for carb-counting beer drinkers as well.

Jamie Kopf)"The beers we tested did pretty well. And unlike many of the other low-carb products we looked at, the beers had fewer calories across the board than their regular counterparts."

The best beer bets — Michelob Ultra and Miller Lite. Both are similar to light beer, with a slightly less intense flavor.

If you find all the low-carb claims on food totally confusing, we can help. Tomorrow night, Consumer Reports takes a look at low-carb labels and why you can't necessarily rely on them. Plus, why low-carb foods may actually undermine your efforts to lose weight.

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