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What Can I Eat On a Low Carb Diet? Learn How To Start A Low Carb Diet

what can i eat on a low carb diet

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 ‘what can I eat on a low carb diet? After all, most of the commonly consumed foods are rich in carbs.

The Benefits of a Low-Carb Diet

A low carb diet can have several benefits apart from aiding in weight loss. Take a look at some of them below.
 
  • 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?

Not all low-carb diets are uniform. In fact, different people might be following a different low carb diet plan, depending on their specific requirements.
 
However, a low carb diet is generally considered to be one which delivers only 20% to 30% of the daily calorie requirement from carbs. As a result, you will end up consuming approximately 50 to 100 grams of carbohydrates only in a day. Since the body is unable to rely on the food for its energy it turns to the fat stored within and starts burning it instead.

What Does a Low Carb Diet Plan Look Like?

Of course, a low carb diet will have an insufficient amount of carbs. However, it is not as merely striking off certain foods from your list. You need to consider the type of carbs you are cutting out and by what margin.
 
The fact is that there are two kinds of carbs, simple and complex. These can be further divided into different categories. Take a look at some of them below along with common sources of each.
 
  • Simple Refined Carbs: table sugar
  • Simple Natural Carbs: fructose and lactose
  • Complex Refined Carbs: white flour
  • Complex Natural Carbs: beans and whole grains
 
Generally speaking, you should aim to reduce carbs but concentrate mainly on the refined carbs. Retain mostly natural carbs in the diet. Refined carbs can be found in foods like soda, white bread, cake, and pasta.

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.

Vegetables

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:

  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Collards
  • Kale
  • Zucchini
  • Spinach
  • Olives
  • Avocado
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions

Fish and Seafood

what can i eat on a low carb diet

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.

Meat

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Meats are another group of foods that do not contain any carbs whatsoever. Moreover, being rich in protein, they are perfect for low carb diets.
 
Protein makes you feel fuller for a more extended period and will be particularly useful if you are exercising along with the diet. Almost any kind of meat is suitable for this diet including lamb, chicken, beef, and pork. However, to keep your meals healthy, you should opt for meats from organic-fed animals.

Eggs

what can i eat on a low carb diet

Eggs are an excellent source of protein and a few other nutrients. They also contain a meager amount of carbs. Therefore, you should consider adding them to your low carb diet. However, you need to keep in mind that the way you prepare the eggs may affect the dish’s overall carb amount. A good idea would be to consume organic eggs as they are the healthier choice.

Other Foods

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

While there are several benefits to low carb diets, there are a few downsides that you should be aware of. After all, it is important to examine any diet from all angles before coming to a decision.
 

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.

 
Stress on Kidney: Low carb diets that are high in protein can put a lot of stress on the kidneys. Drink lots of water to avoid complications.
 
Constipation: Consuming too much of fiber can actually cause constipation instead of clearing it.
 
With a proper plan, a low carb diet can be immensely beneficial. However, it is vital to ensure that you formulate the plan with care, taking into consideration your lifestyle and other health factors.
what can i eat on a low carb diet

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Author Bio:

what can i eat on a low carb diet

Holly Klamer

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)

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Jackie Parker

1 Comment

  • Hi, I’ve been having some weight issue for a while. I can say I’ve tried a few rigorous diets, but the main problem with all of them was that I’ve gained some pounds again and I just couldn’t maintain my weight. But accidently I came across this 3 week diet on the internet, and decided to give it a try. You can find information about what types of food to eat and what to avoid and I can tell you that it helps you to easily stick on with the diet plan. I have avoided carbs and fat and the results were there, in less than a month. The problem with my previous diet plans was mostly my mindset. With this diet I didn’t have this issue and the results were inevitable.

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