Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to get over Type 2 diabetes? Do you want to be healthy and strong? Do you think you are going to see the same tips that your gym or doctor told you; you are wrong and right also. Read through to get a complete picture on low carb diet plan health benefits and various facts associated with this diet. There is a lot of talk going on today about low carb diet. Join the rage today and find yourself to be not only brisk, but healthy and smart.
In The Article
What is a Low Carb Diet?
- Low carb diet also mentioned as high-fat diet refers to the restriction of carbs in one’s diet and the intake of a high proportion of vegetables and fruits and fats.
- One has to avoid one’s intake of foods that are rich in starch and sugar like bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, French fries, porridge, potato chips, and muesli. It also requires avoiding margarine or industrially that imitates butter and contains a high proportion of Omega-6 fat.
- Sweet fruits and beer are also to be avoided or can be taken in small quantities. Sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit juices, white pasta, and pastries are also to be avoided.
- It is best to cover whole carbs like vegetables, whole fruit, legumes and whole grains. Certain other foods that are healthy and can be included in this diet plan like meat, eggs, fish, and seafood especially fatty fish like salmon or mackerel.
- Other food items include nuts and vegetables especially those that are grown above the earth like broccoli, cabbages, asparagus, courgettes, aubergines, tomatoes, and peppers.
Foods to Avoid in Low Carb Diet
A low carb diet plan helps you to lose weight, reverse Type 2 diabetes and also helps you to be healthy. It would be appropriate add here that this type of diet contains only 20-100 grams of carb a day depending on one’s own personal tolerance.
Some of the unhealthy foods to avoid are:
- Bread in the form of bread loaves, rolls, bagels
- Bread made from refined flour
- Flat breads, such as tortillas are high in carbohydrates
Useful Information about the popular bread:
- A slice of whole wheat bread contains 17 grams of carbohydrates
- A 10-inch flour tortilla contains 36 grams of carbohydrates.
- A 3-inch bagel consists of 29 grams of carbs.
- Most grains like rice, wheat, oats, and others are high in carbohydrates and need to be limited or avoided.
- Fruits like bananas, raisins, dates, mango, and pear though good for health are bad as far as a low carb diet is concerned; they are high in carbohydrates. However, fruits like berries can be enjoyed. Hence it is best understood that these fruits are taken in moderation considering one’s personal carb tolerance.
- Starchy vegetables like a sweet potato that grow below the soil are to be avoided or limited as they contain much more digestible carbs than fiber. It is also best to avoid corn, potato, and beet. So it is to be best understood that it is best to choose non-starchy, high-fiber vegetables for eating.
- Pasta is bad for consumption; 1 cup of pasta contains 40 grams of carb, while 1 cup of whole wheat pasta contains 37 grams of carbohydrates. However low carb alternatives for pasta can be had by adding vegetables or with shirataki noodles.
- Juice is one of the worst beverages you can drink on a low-carb diet; 12 ounces of unsweetened apple juice contain 48 grams of carbohydrates and a 12-oz serving unsweetened grape juice provides a whopping 60 grams of carbs. As a bottom line fruit juice should be limited or avoided, especially on a low-carb diet.
- Breakfast cereals like a cup of cooked regular or instant oatmeal, whole-grain cold cereals and grape nuts cereal contain high carbohydrates are to be avoided in a low carb diet plan. Steel-cut oats are considered healthier as they are less processed. So as a general rule whole-grain cereals are high in carbs and are best avoided or minimized.
- Beer is very high in carbs and is best avoided in this diet plan.
- Sweetened yogurt; though yogurt is a tasty, healthy and versatile food is full of carbs when flavored or sweetened. It is, however, a better alternative to take half a cup of plain Greek yogurt topped with a half cup of blackberries or raspberries.
- Gluten-free baked goods that have been linked to prevention of various diseases like celiac disease also contain equal and more carbs than those foods baked with gluten. It is best to stick to whole foods or use almond or coconut flour to make your own low-carb baked goods.
- Beans like lentils, peas, black beans, pinto beans, chick beans and kidney beans contain high fiber and high carbohydrates also. They are to be taken in small quantities depending on your daily limit of carbs.
- Chips and crackers add up to one’s carb intake; so it is best to avoid chips, crackers, and other processed snack foods.
- Sugar and honey in any form are high in carbohydrates and low in nutrients and are to be avoided.
- Milk is high in carbs though it is full of nutrients like calcium, potassium and several B vitamins. It is better to substitute milk with unsweetened almond or coconut milk to make lattes or smoothies. Avoid drinking milk in large quantities.
Healthy Low Carb Food List
The first healthy low carbohydrate food is eggs that contain almost zero carbohydrates and is loaded with all sorts of nutrients and is also healthy.
- Most meats except liver contain zero carbohydrates
- Beef is loaded with important nutrients like iron and B12.
- Lamb is also full of nutrients like beneficial fatty acid and contains iron and vitamin B12.
- Chicken also a zero carb meat is an excellent source of protein and contains many beneficial nutrients; it is best to go for fattier cuts, like the wings and thighs.
- Pork especially bacon is the favorite of low-carb dieters; always buy bacon locally that is less processed, contains no artificial ingredients and is not burnt.
- Jerky or the meat cut into strips and dried is a perfect low carb snack; try to make it on your own and avoid the store ones.
- Other low carb meats include turkey, veal, venison, and bison.
2. Fish and Seafood:
- They are rich in rare nutrients like B12, iodine, and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Salmon is a popular fish with zero carbohydrates and it has substantial amounts of omega-3 fatty acids which are heart-healthy fats and contains B12, iodine, and Vitamin D3.
- Sardines, an oily zero carb fish is one of the most nutrient-dense foods that supply all the needs of the body.
- Shellfish also contains only small amount of carbohydrates and is one of the best nutritious foods.
- Other low-carb fish and seafood include haddock, lobster, herring, cod, tuna, catfish, and halibut.
3. Vegetables, especially leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables are low in carb:
- Root and starchy vegetables like potato and sweet potatoes are best avoided.Broccoli with 7% carbs is high in vitamin K, vitamin C, and fiber has potent cancer-fighting plant compounds.
- Brussels sprouts are related to broccoli and kale and have rich sources of vitamin C and vitamin K.
- Kale, again a low carb diet food is full of fiber, vitamin C, Vitamin K and carotene antioxidants
- Tomatoes are eaten as a vegetable has an abundance of Vitamin C and potassium.
- Onions, also a low carb vegetable adds flavor to food and has high fiber, antioxidants, and various anti-inflammatory compounds.
- Another low carb vegetable Asparagus is high in fiber, vitamin C, folate, vitamin K, proteins and carotene antioxidants.
- The tastiest and versatile vegetable cauliflower is high in vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate and used in a low carb diet.
4. Vegetables that contain low carbs
- The other vegetables that contain low carbs are eggplant, cucumber, bell peppers, green beans, mushrooms, celery, spinach, zucchini, Swiss chard, and cabbage.
- There are also fruits and berries that form a part of a low carb diet. They include avocado, olives, strawberries, grapefruit, apricots, lemons, kiwi, oranges, mulberries, and raspberries.
- Nuts and seeds are popular in low carb diets. Nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, peanuts, chia nuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, cashews, coconuts, pistachios, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds can be had like snacks. Nut flours and seed flours can also be used to make low-carb bread and other baked goods.
- Dairy products like cheese, heavy cream, full-fat yogurt, and Greek yogurt.
- There are many fats and oils that also form a part of a low carb diet. It includes oils like butter oil, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and other fats and oils like avocado oil, lard, and tallow. Ensure you avoid refined vegetable oils like soybean oil and corn oil.
- Most herbs, spices, and condiments especially salt, pepper, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, mustard, and oregano are low carb diet foods and can be used for their flavor and nutritional qualities.
- Beverages like water, coffee especially black coffee or with cream or full –fat milk from a low carb diet plan. Tea also helps to boost fat burning. Club soda or carbonated water minus the sugar is a well recognized low carb diet food.
- Lastly, dark chocolate containing less sugar is a healthy low carb food helps improve brain function, reduce blood pressure helps lower risk of heart disease.
Healthy Low Carb Snacks
Being on a low carb diet does not mean that you need to miss on your snacks. You can have healthy and tasty snacks.
Some of the snacks that you can have included:
- Avocado crisps
- Blackberry Coconut Fat Bombs
- Cloud Bread
- Black Pepper Beef Jerky
- Easy Hummus
- Buffalo Chicken Celery Sticks
- Kale Chips
- Five-Ingredient Baked Cauliflower Tots
- Cheesy Jalapeno Mushroom Bites
- Fruit Kebabs
- Crispy Parmesan Tomato Chips
- Easy Pizza Bites
- Easy Pumpkin Quick Bread
- Four-Ingredient Healthy Almond Donuts
- Healthy Chocolate and Coconut Bliss Balls
These snacks are best prepared at home and relished.
Low Carb Vegetables Above Ground
It is to be well understood that vegetables that grow above the ground are low in carbohydrates and can be eaten freely.
They include vegetables as spinach, lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, asparagus, cucumber, Brussels sprouts, kale, eggplant, olives, broccoli, green yellow and red pepper, tomatoes, zucchini, and kale.
Carbohydrates for every (3.5 ounces or 100 Grams)
- Eggplant- 3
- Pepper (Green, red and yellow)-3,4 and 5 grams respectively
- Cauliflower-4 grams
- Asparagus-2 grams
- Lettuce-2 grams
- Spinach-1 gram
- Brussels sprout-5 grams
- Kale- 4 grams
- Zucchini-3 grams
- Broccoli-4 grams
- Cucumber-3 grams
- Olives- 3 grams
- Avocado-2 grams
- Tomato-3 grams
Low Carb Vegetables Below Ground
Most vegetables that grow below the ground are high in carbohydrates. This includes tubers and starchy vegetables. However some low carb vegetables include radish and carrot. Garlic and onion though high in carbs are used for flavor.
Low Carb Fruits
A discussion about a low carb diet plan and its benefits would be incomplete without mentioning low-carb fruits in your eating plan.
Some of the low carb fruits are:
- Watermelon, a popular summer fruit is low in carbohydrate but rich in water content. It will fill you up and provides fewer calories; even its rind has lots of benefits.
- Strawberries are also a popular choice of those looking for berries with low carb intake; it has the best source of potassium and Vitamin C.
- Cantaloupe or the popular orange melon available in summer gives only 8.16 grams of carbohydrate per 100 grams of fruit.
- Avocados have low carbohydrate in addition to healthy monounsaturated fats that are good for the heart.
- Honeydew, another low carb fruit that is high in Vitamin C and potassium, it helps maintain good blood pressure, pH balance, and a healthy metabolism.
- Peaches, a sweet juicy treat with fewer carbohydrates; it can be served with cottage cheese or as a peach blueberry smoothie.
Low Carb Nuts
Some nut varieties that have low carbohydrates:
- Brazil nuts
- Macadamias and Pine Nuts
Some of them though high in carbs have high protein content and can be included in the meal plan.
Top 10 Health Benefits of Low Carb Diet
- Low-carb diets lead to an automatic reduction of appetite in a good way. Studies have shown that when a person eats less of carbs and more of protein and fat, they eat fewer calories.
- Low carb diets are one of the best ways to lose weight; these diets facilitate the elimination of excess water from the body. This brings about rapid weight loss in the first few weeks and good weight loss in 6 months.
- A lot of fat is eliminated from the abdominal cavity; this is the fats that is harmful and causes serious metabolic problems.
- Low carb diet plans lower the triglycerides or the fat molecules in the blood that are some of the well-known risks for heart disease.
- It increases the HDL or good cholesterol in the blood; the reason being such a diet is high in good fats.
- Low carb diet plans help in reducing the blood sugar and insulin level; it is probably the most right way. Diets scarce in carbohydrates are an effective way to treat and also reverse type II diabetes.
- Blood pressure is controlled by a diet scarce in carbohydrates that helps to control stroke, kidney disease, and heart disease.
- For metabolic syndrome, a serious disorder of known to lead people to heart disease and for type 2 diabetes, low carb diet is a treatment.
- The level of LDL or Low-Density Lipoprotein or bad cholesterol is controlled. Small LDL particles are changed into bigger ones and there is a reduction in the number of LDL particles that float in the blood.
- Low-carb diets are therapeutic for several brain disorders; they have been studied for brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Low Carb Shopping List
Here is a grocery list with low carbohydrate filled items:
A low carbohydrate shopping list should consist of those food items that are low in carbohydrates and high in fats and protein.
Here are some items that you can include in your list:
- Include leafy colorful vegetables like spinach, cabbage, artichokes, avocados, green beans, brussels sprout peppers, asparagus, squash, cucumbers, carrots, and also celery, onions, tomatoes, broccoli, mushrooms and also Be sure to include vegetables that grow under the soil.
- Fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, peaches, blueberries, grapefruit, lemon, raspberries, and blackberries are not way far behind on this list.
- Poultry food products including chicken, meat, beef, lamb, pork (including sausage and bacon), ground beef, fish and seafood items like fatty fish, white fish is a must. Ensure nitrate-free ham, roast beef, pastrami, salami pepperoni, turkey etc. is also part of your shopping list.
- Full-fat dairy products such as butter and cheese items should form part of your diet. Needless to say, plain Greek yogurt, cream cheese, heavy cream, cottage cheese, sour cream, eggs and whole milk for kids can also be included.
- Nuts like Macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, walnuts and pecans, peanuts, other tree nuts, and nut butter is easy to crunch and digest.
- Include natural fat items like avocado oil, coconut oil, nut oil, and olive oil. Tallow, duck fat, schmaltz (chicken fat), and Lard will also help you to gain strength.
- Milk extracted from coconut is healthy and fresh. Solidified coconut oil or widely known as coconut butter, dark chocolate, coffee and tea also constitute the list of low carbohydrate free food items.
Do you want to embrace a low carbs diet plan?