What is a Low Carb Diet

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According to a survey, around 10 U.S states have stated that obesity is one of the most common problems they’re facing as 70% people in those states are obese. The exact reason for this problem is still unknown, however, nutrition experts are pointing their fingers at excessive intake of carbs and blaming it for the rapid weight gain among people. Consuming too much carbohydrates can cause weight gain rapidly. And sadly, a lot of what we eat (rice, bread and pasta) contains a lot of carbs. While a normal diet encourages to take 200-300 grams of carbs per day, a low carb-diet is focused on restricting it to 50 grams or less. The solution to the obesity problem lies in a low carb diet. Let’s get to know what a low carb diet is:

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What Is A Low Carb Diet?

A low carb diet is a diet that restricts or limits carbohydrates intake in your meals and encourages on taking proteins and fats in higher quantities. The health benefits of this diet are many, with weight loss being the most important one. This is a diet that emphasizes on taking the right proportions of carbs which are obviously very low. One should aim to limit the carb intake to 50 grams or less.

A low carb diet often confuses people because it encourages to eat foods that are high in fats. Various studies have shown that eating natural fats is not dangerous if you’re on a low carb diet because the intake of starch and sugary foods is limited.

Limiting or avoiding sugar and starch containing foods aids in stabilizing blood sugar levels and also lowers the level of fat storing hormone insulin. Thus, the rate of burning fat in the body increases and helps in losing weight.

What To Eat In A Low Carb Diet?

These are the low-carb foods that you should include in your diet and make sure they are unprocessed.

Fish: Fish are high in proteins and offer many health benefits. Salmon, trout, haddock etc., are fish that can be taken when you’re on a low carb diet because they are carb-free.

Meat: Meat is also a carb-free food that you can have in your meals. While grass-fed meat is the best, you can also take chicken, beef, lamb and pork.

Eggs: A boiled egg is said to have 1.1g of carbohydrates. However, eating omega-3 enriched eggs and pastured eggs is what’s best when you’re on a low-carb diet.

Fruits: There are many fruits which are low in carbs such as apple, watermelon, pears, blueberries, strawberries, peaches and cucumbers.

Vegetables: Mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots etc., can be included in the diet.

Specific Dairy: Cheese that contains less than 1g per ounce carbs can be included such as mozzarella, cheddar, gouda, and goat. Other than that, butter, heavy cream and yogurt can also be taken.

Seeds And Nuts: Nuts and seeds that are low in carbs can be eaten. These include pine nuts, brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans etc.

Oils And Fats: Eating the right kind of fats is important when you’re on a low carb diet. Some good choices are butter, and ghee . Other than that, it is also vital to use oils that are low on carbs such as olive oil, cosh fish liver oil, lard etc.

What Foods To Restrict When On A Low Carb Diet?

One of the most essential things that shouldn’t be neglected when you’re on a low carb diet is to avoid foods that are high in carbs.

Here are the foods that you need to restrict:

Sugar: Beverages such as juices, cold drinks, ice cream, candies and every thing that is loaded with sugar should be avoided.

Trans Fats: They are high in carbs, especially, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated trans fats.

Gluten Grains: Barley, rye, spelt, wheat and other grain containing foods such as pasta and bread should be avoided as they are high in carbs.

Vegetable Oils: They too contain a considerate amount of carbs. Canola, sunflower and soybean oils should be avoided.

Sweeteners: Aspartame (found in diet coke), sucralose, saccharin etc., found in beverages and juices should be avoided.

Dairy Products: Milk is high in carbohydrates and should be avoided.

Processed Foods: Factory made foods should be avoided.

Benefits Of A Low Carb Diet

A number of studies have shown healthy benefits of eating a low carb diet. Let’s get to know some of these benefis:

Weight Loss: The first and the most important benefit you’ll get from following this diet is weight loss. This is because it restricts you from eating sugar and carbohydrates resulting in chnages in the body.

Suppresses Hunger: An elevated blood sugar level urges you to eat more. A low carb diet keeps the blood sugar levels low and keeps you satiated. Thus, the calories you take are lowered too. This is also a key factor when it comes to losing weight.

Increases Levels Of HDL (Good Cholesterol): Unlike LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), HDL is good for the body. HDL helps to carry cholesterol away from the body via excretion, thus, it lowers the risk of heart diseases.

Reduces The Chances Of Getting A Type-2 Diabetes: Less sugar intake means reduced chances of getting diabetes.

Low Carb Recipes To Know About

Here are some low carb recipes that will make you fall in love with them:

Swedish Breakfast Buns (40 minutes) 

Ingredients:

  • Almond flour - ¾ cup
  • Whole flax seeds - 1 tbsp
  • Shelled sunflower seeds - 1 Tbsp
  • Psyllium husk powder - 2 Tbsp
  • Baking powder - 1 tsp
  • Salt - ½ tsp
  • Light olive oil - 2 Tbsp
  • 2 eggs
  • Sour cream or creme fraiche - ½ cup

Method:

  • First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Take a bowl and add almond flour, seeds, psyllium, salt and baking powder. Mix them all nicely. Next, add eggs, olive oil and sour cream in the same bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Leave for 5 minutes so that you get a non-sticky dough.
  • Cut the dough in 4 pieces and press it to shape like balls and place in a cake pan. If it’s sticky, you can use parchment paper to reduce stickiness.
  • Bake it to for 25 minutes until it gets brown.

Voila! Your breakfast is ready.

Tex-Mex Scramble (25 minutes)

  • 5 eggs
  • Water - 2 Tbsp
  • chopped green pepper - 1/8 cup
  • chopped red onion - 1/8 cup
  • Diced cherry tomatoes - 2
  • thawed and drained frozen spinach - 1/2 cup
  • Chopped jalapeno pepper slices - 5
  • slice pepper jack cheese - 1
  • Pace Salsa - 2 Tbsp
  • Olive oil - 2 tbsp

Method:

  • Preheat a pan over medium heat by adding olive oil.
  • Take another pan and add eggs, tomatoes, spinach, jalapeno, water, green pepper, and red onion together.
  • Now pour it into the pan you preheated earlier. Cook until the eggs look ready. Once they do, turn the heat off and add from top the pepper jack cheese.
  • Cover with a plate or lid and let it stay for 5 minutes.
  • Add salsa from the top and it’s ready to be served.

How Soon Can You See The Results?

The diet begins to show results in the third week.

The Verdict

A low carb diet is for all those who are frustrated with their excess weight. This diet is no less than a miracle when it comes to offering health benefits and helping to shed weight in the most healthy manner.

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