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It is a well-known fact that if you are planning on losing weight effectively, you need to cut down on your carbs. Carbohydrates are the compounds in food that provide energy to the body. Yet, if the body does not require that energy, it converts it into fat, resulting in weight gain. By reducing the number of carbs in your diet, you force the body to burn fat to make up for the deficit. So, it is easy to wonder about low carb diets. After all, most of the commonly consumed foods are rich in carbs.
The Benefits of a Low-Carb Diet
A reduced risk for Type-2 Diabetes
Decreased risks for heart diseases and metabolic syndromes
Potential for improvement in cognitive function
What Is Exactly Low Carb Food?
What Does a Low Carb Diet Plan Look Like?
- Simple Refined Carbs: table sugar
- Simple Natural Carbs: fructose and lactose
- Complex Refined Carbs: white flour
- Complex Natural Carbs: beans and whole grains
What Can I Eat On a Low Carb Diet?
Generally speaking, a low carb diet will be focusing mainly on protein. Additionally, it will be devoid of most kinds of legumes, grains, breads, starchy vegetables and sweets. In some cases, a few kinds of seeds and nuts should be avoided in the diet as well. The following items are the foods that you should be including in a low carb diet.
Generally speaking, you should be limiting your choice of vegetables to those that grow above ground. These are usually limited in the number of carbs they provide.
Some good options include:
- Brussel sprouts
Fish and Seafood
Almost all kinds of fishes and seafood are perfect for a low carb diet. After all, they contain next to no carbs, with most fishes offering no carbohydrates whatsoever. However, you should avoid preparations that make use of other carb-heavy ingredients such as in bread. Good options include mackerel, salmon, and sardines. These fishes can also provide you with several other beneficial nutrients.
There are quite a few other food items and condiments which you can include in your low carb diet easily. For example, cream and butter can be excellent choices as they contain natural fat which is healthier for the body. They can improve the tastes of food considerably. Consider using olive oil, one of the healthiest cooking oils available. Dairy products such as Greek yogurt, high-fat cheeses, and sour cream can be excellent choices. Avoid regular milk and other processed milk as they will contain a lot of sugar.
The Risks of Low Carb Diets
Less Serious Effects: When you start on a low carb diet, there will be a few side effects as your body adjusts to the new diet. You can experience issues such as lethargy, headaches and bad breath. However, these are temporary issues that tend to resolve after a few weeks. However, if they persist, you should visit a doctor immediately as it may be a sign of low blood sugar levels.
My name is Holly, I'm a registered Dietitian and personal trainer in Colorado (Dietetics and Health Fitness from Central Michigan University, Master's degree in Human Nutrition emphasizing in Exercise Science from Colorado State University)