From the word ‘low’ and ‘carb’, the low-carb eating is a type of diet where carbohydrates are strictly limited. Not entirely prohibited, but only limited.
Carbohydrates are mostly found in foods like bread, pasta, pizza, and other sugary edibles. When on a low-carb eating, you should steer clear of these foods and opt for high fiber and protein-rich meat, dairy, fruits, & veggies, as well as whole foods in particular.
Low-carb diet is an effective and healthy way to lose weight. Doctors highly recommended this diet, and has long been followed by many for decades. Low-carb eating is also used in the keto diet. However, the ketogenic diet itself is more complicated since it has to be a high-fat, moderate protein, and low-carb diet.
Low-carb eating itself is primarily eating whole foods that will make you feel full for the day, without depriving your body of the essential nutrients.
Learn more about low-carb eating and its benefits below.
What is low-carb diet
For starters, when you’re on a low-carb diet, you have to eat fewer carbs, and focus more on consuming foods that are high in healthy fats and protein. This can also be referred to as the ketogenic diet. However, not all low-carb eating directly results in ketosis.
Since this type of diet has been used for many years, food manufacturing companies produce more low-fat foods and beverages that can be easily found on supermarket shelves. Like non-fat milk, coffee creamers, lunchables, biscuits, and even chips. Although you can eat these foods while on a low-carb diet, not all these can be eaten on a keto diet.
Moreover, low-carb diet doesn’t mean you have to fear carbohydrates and fats entirely. Because not all fats and carbs are considered unhealthy. There are foods that contain natural, healthy fats like avocado, salmon, and cheese. While foods that have healthy carbs are beans, whole grains, sweet potatoes, and quinoa. Yet, these healthy carbs must be consumed less if you’re on a low-carb diet.
Also, never forget to minimize your starches and sugar intake while on this type of diet. When you start avoiding these kinds of foods, your blood sugar stabilizes and your fat-storing hormone insulin drops. Thus, making it helpful for people who are suffering from weight issues, high-blood, and diabetes.
Low-carb eating is also an efficacious way to burn stored fats and lose some weight healthily. The higher-protein and healthy fats intake, alongside the presence of ketones, will make you feel satiated the whole day. And as your body gets used to minimizing or avoiding sugary and starchy foods, your cravings become more manageable.
Low-carb eating paired with exercise is a perfect combination to lose weight faster and to achieve better and quicker body goals.
What to eat while on a low-carb diet
- Fruits: berries, cherries, kiwi, pears, plums, apples, peaches, and clementine
- Vegetables: asparagus, broccoli, bell peppers, spinach, zucchini, kale, Brussel sprouts, cucumber, radish, eggplant, tomatoes, and cabbages
- Nuts: macadamia, pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, and peanuts
- Seeds: flax seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and hemp seeds
- Dairies and eggs: Greek yogurt, heavy cream, unsweetened butter, soft-ripened & hard-aged cheese, and pastured eggs
- Milk: almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, macadamia milk, and oat milk
- Unrefined grains: quinoa, brown rice, and oats
- Fats and oils: avocado, cacao nibs, coconut oil, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and extra virgin coconut oil
- Meat: chicken breast, pork tenderloin, lean patty, lean strip steak, lamb, and turkey
- Fish: omega-3 rich fatty fishes like salmon, anchovies, tuna, tout, tilapia, herring, haddock, and cod
- Seafoods: oysters, bay scallops, shrimps, lobsters, and crabs
- Beverages: sugar-free carbonated drinks, tea, sparkling water, black organic coffee and espresso (without sweeteners)
When you’re craving for something sweet, dark chocolate is best recommended. Opt for one that contains at least 70% of cocoa.
Wine is also allowed, but only in moderation. Choose wines that have no added carbohydrates or sugar.
Dark chocolate and wine are rich in antioxidants, which provide other health and anti-aging benefits. However, consuming too much can hinder the progress of low-carb eating.
What not to eat while on a low-carb diet
- Hghly-processed foods: fast foods like burgers & fries, factory-made consumables, canned soups, pretzels, potato chips, gravies, and fatty dressings
- Sugary: packed juice, sodas, jams, candies, donuts, muffins, cake, syrups, and other store-brought frozen desserts
- Saturated foods: bacon, sausages, biscuits, full-fat dairy products, chicken skin, and other fried foods
- Trans fats: refrigerated dough, microwave popcorn, frozen pizza, commercial baked foods, stick margarine, coffee creamer, and fried foods
- Refined grains: white rice, white bread, and white flour
- Starchy fruits & vegetables (only limited but not restricted): banana, dried fruits, raisin, prunes, corn, beets, peas, butternut squash, turnips
- Low-fat products (only limited but not restricted): cereals, crackers, bagels, and tortillas
Health benefits of low-carb eating
- Weight loss — since you’re eating fewer carbs, cutting down your sugar intake, and staying away from trans fats, saturated fats & processed foods, you will lose weight more effectively and healthily
- Healthier gut — low-carb eating prevents tummy troubles like indigestion, bloating, IBS, cramps, reflux, and constipation
- Reversed type 2 diabetes — low-carb diets can potentially help reverse type 2 diabetes symptoms and normalize blood sugar levels. Carbohydrate reduction and staying away from sugary food & beverages all help control blood sugar.
- Reduced cravings — carbs, fried foods, sugary edibles, and fast foods contain ingredients that makes your crave more. Staying away from these foods will help your brain send signals to your body and digestion to crave less until you’re no longer interested in eating them.
Is low-carb eating for everyone?
Generally, low-carb eating is perfectly healthy and can be followed my most people. However, those who have weight issues may need to ask advice from their nutritionist or doctor because they will need a more restricted low-carb diet.
Those who are obese, malnourished, or have anorexia nervosa will need to either increase or decrease their carbs, protein, and fat intake. Therefore, they may not be effective for a low-carb diet.
Those who are lactating and pregnant should also ask their doctors too before going on low-carb eating. Nutrition is very important for babies. When a woman is pregnant, all the foods she eats plays an essential role in the fetus’ development while in the womb.
And when lactating, nutrition provides enough milk for babies. Depending on the mother’s age, weight, and health condition, low-carb eating is a case to case basis.