Low carb diet, short for low carbohydrate diet, is food or plating which has a lower amount of carbohydrates, meaning, a reduced amount of pasta, bread, starchy meals like potatoes, and processed foods, giving way to more wholesome options. These options could either be a larger portion of proteins and a larger portion of fats, and of course vegetables. Simply means, eating much healthier food and focusing on the foods which give more nutrients than energy and glucose.
The effect of such food choices? Weight loss, the accumulation of lean body mass, improved health and health markets, basically less visits the hospital on account of metabolic disorders. Doctors recommend this type of eating as the best way to feed, seeing as it saves several people from developing all the diseases that are a result of poor food choices. Good news? No need to count calories. These foods are also low-calorie foods as well, giving you the chance to eat healthily, and be healthy. You can easily say goodbye to the tape measure. People who eat low carb diets sometimes could have a higher fat diet, which is also termed as a keto diet. The attention is then being shifted from labeling foods that are high in fat as unhealthy and including some of these diet choices into modern-day living.
Basics: What to Eat, What To Avoid
With the craze about a low carbs diet reaching its peak, it is easy to begin to be overwhelmed about what you can eat and what you can’t eat. It is no joke that our entire meal sometimes is filled with large amounts of carbohydrates, making choosing a low carb diet less natural.
If you were wondering what you could eat, well, just bear in mind that this time, instead of carbs, you should start by taking more of the proteins, and vegetables, as well as fats and oils. If you are able to understand that 90% of processed foods contain large numbers of carbohydrates. It is challenging, as expected, yet if you are able to compile a tidy little list, you would most probably be on the top of it in no time. First of all, focus on getting in just about 20 to 50g of carbs in a day. Well, you are thinking cannot actually count and measure the food you are about to eat and would like estimates, well, a few can be laid out for you.
What to Eat
You know you should not eat more than 50g of carbs a day right, so here are a few foods that contain less than 20g of carbohydrates.
- 1 cup of berries.
- Tennis ball-sized Apple.
- 8 ounces of milk.
- ½ cup of corn.
- 1 slice of bread
These are a few ideas that can help shape your eating choices. Choosing foods that have more parts of the other food groups, like proteins, fats, vegetables, and oh, do not forget fruits. Stick to lean meats, like chicken breast. Lean pork is an excellent idea, sirloin too, with fish and eggs also spice up the food.
Get a few leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds and add to your diet. Cauliflowers, broccoli, spinach, nuts and the butter obtained from them each help to reduce your cravings for other foods that contain carbs.
Plain milk and yogurt are excellent options for you. Stick to unsweetened versions because the more sugar, the higher the carbohydrate content. Whatever is carbohydrate, the most you should have should fit within your palm. Planning your meals actually helps a lot with sticking to the diet, ensuring that at the end of the day, you achieve your goals.
What to Drink
When doing a low carb diet, you should, by all means, watch what you eat, so that you do not spoil all the work you have previously done and feed yourself carbohydrates. First of all, water is the absolute best choice when it comes to low carb diets. It has zero carbs and should be your first option when deciding what to drink. A close second would be the coffee and tea if taken without sugar.
A glass of wine falls neatly within the low carb range. So does a diet soda. You should, however, be careful, as certain diet drinks actually have a high amount of sugar and yet have been misnamed ‘diet’. Milk can sometimes fall within the range, especially when it’s half a normal glass. You might, however, want to stay clear from your sodas, milkshakes, sugary drinks, energy drinks, and, unfortunately, too much of orange juice. One day should be enough, especially if it’s not too sugary. Sugary drinks should go off the menu.
Yes, size does matter, for those asking. A larger glass means larger amounts of carbs, especially for sugary drinks. You find that the 1L Coca Cola bottle contains up to 159g of carbs, which is over three times the limit you should have for a day. The 400 ml can, however, contains 35g. Some of the sugar can remain in your system and be metabolized over days, therefore interfering with your low carb diet.
What To Avoid When Eating A Low Carb
There are a number of foods you would rather not eat if indeed, you are keen on following a low carb diet for whatever reason. First of all, certain foods are no brainers and should be taken off your diet. Candy, cake, sugary beverages should be avoided. However, when it comes to staple foods, it could get a little tricky deciding what can stay and what shouldn’t. Some foods, because of their health benefits, you might want to regulate or reduce, but not remove from your diet options entirely. You should, therefore make these choices based on your dietary target for the day. Here are a few options:
- Bread – bread in all forms is brimming with carbohydrates, whether they are from whole grains or refined flour. You should prefer to limit or avoid them completely.
- Sweet fruits – unfortunately, sweet fruits do not meme the cut. One medium banana can contain up to 27 g of carbohydrates. Mangos can also contain that amount, especially when it is up to 165g. You are looking at 28g of carbs. You can eat such foods sparsely if you are trying to stick completely to the low carb diets.
- Berries – they contain more fiber than carbs and can be enjoyed in moderation even if you are eating very low carbs.
Who Should NOT Do A Strict Low-Carb Diet?
Every food group has a significant impact on the eater. This is why totally removing any of the six food groups from your diet can be tricky. Instead of maintaining a strict balance between the diets is better. However, nevertheless, people who have kidney disorders and children, as well as teenagers should not consider a low carb diet. Also, people who already have diabetes and are on insulin, high blood pressure patients and breastfeeding mothers can avoid the strict low carb diet.
What Are The Health Benefits Of A Low Carb Diet
People looking to lose midsection or abdominal weight benefit from choosing a low carb diet, mostly because it immediately allows them to begin losing the weight. People who want a flat stomach, after discussions with a dietician, can find that they can benefit from a low-fat diet. One thing that the diet does is, it satisfies hunger more quickly, reducing the amount of food you eat in general. This leads to smaller portions, especially if this low-fat diet makes way for a higher amount of proteins. This, of course, leads to fewer bouts of hunger and reduces the chances of overeating or making poor food choices.
Excessive sugars being removed from any diet is great news, especially since it reduces the risk of getting type 2 diabetes. It also curbs obesity, meaning you have far fewer chances of getting any diseases due to metabolic disorders. However, adopting a low carb diet is safer than removing carbohydrates from the diet completely.
If you have recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you would be amazed at how you can reverse the diagnosis by sticking to a low carb diet. You also reduce the chances of having increased symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and indigestion. You also greatly reduce your cravings. Some people have reported having better, acne-free shin, improved nootropic effects, better concentration. These are reasons why a low carb diet is actually worth the try.
Women with fertility issues have also stated that they are actually seeing improvements once they decided to stick with low carb diets. A reduced seizure rate in people living with epilepsy has also been noticed. In fact, there are a million and one people who have posted their testimonies all over the internet about how they feel better, lighter on their feet, and more energetic. In the end, it can be said that sticking with a low-fat diet is indeed the better route to take.
Side Effects Of A Low Carb Diet
Everything that has any effect on people’s metabolism has side effects. Studies have been conducted which unfortunately show that low carb diets are not exactly benign in the long run. While a person may feel the exhilarating experience in a week or a little over a week, people start experiencing the effects after a few weeks of strictly following the diet.
If you immediately stop eating sugary food, your body adjusting itself may cause several discomforting situations, which are potential side effects. You may start off with getting the flu, meaning you tend to have flu-like symptoms, including malaise, resulting in lower energy levels.
Some symptoms you might find yourself battling with are :
These are side effects you get until your body adjusts. You can actually get dehydrated because carbohydrates are hydrophilic, meaning with a low carb diet, you retain less water. Choose to take more fluids to avoid this unpleasant side effect, or start by cutting down on your carbs slowly, rather than abruptly.
Other side effects you may experience are more scale cramps, palpitations, reduced alcohol tolerance, and reduced physical performance. You may even have bad breath and surprisingly constipation. People have found that they develop gall stone problems, hair loss, increased risk of atherosclerosis, thanks to the high protein. You could also develop the keto rash if you are following a high-fat diet. Gout is also a side effect of a low carbohydrate diet.
The most logical way to avoid these harsh side effects is to take your time when making your decisions about going carb-free. Take care to get a medical consult before going ahead with it. Water is everybody’s best friend, and so taking a good amount of water is always recommended. Some people recommend simply having a reduced amount of each of the food groups, meaning eating all of them in a near-perfect balance according to the body’s needs, even if at the end of the day, the portions favor fats and proteins over carbohydrates.
1. How can I decide to do a low carb diet, and how do I go about it?
You should confirm with a medical officer who would run some tests to check your general state, especially the state of your kidneys before embarking on such a diet. You should also begin small, rather than rush into the dieting. Reduce a little at a time so that your body gets used to the change over time.
2. Can breastfeeding mothers do a keto diet?
For every woman who may be breastfeeding, it is wise to wait until after the breastfeeding process is over before introducing such hard meal choices into your diet. This is because the milk formed in your breasts is generally formed using the nutrients available in your body. You want your child to have everything necessary for good growth.
3. Is Keto Diet a form of low carb diet
Yes, Ketosis is a low carb diet which borders on using more fats and oils which degrade into ketone bodies. This then results in less storage of fats and therefore faster weight loss.
4. Do I need supplements while on low carb diets
Yes, chances are you might need supplements. Everyone’s body reacts differently to food, do it is advisable to check your mineral and vitamin levels frequently, to avoid a deficiency, and supplement where necessary.
Choosing to go full-on low carb has its advantages and disadvantages. The bottom line is, it has several health benefits which are generally worth the try. After all, you really do not want to be unhealthy all the days of your life. Hopefully, this article has answered some pertinent questions regarding going on a low carb diet, and your decision has been made a little easier! Good luck-!