A lot of people are now following low carbohydrate diets so they can lose weight and feel healthier. Eating a well-planned low carbohydrate diet can help to stop cravings and prevent cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Weight loss on a low carbohydrate diet works by helping your body to use fat as body fuel rather than carbohydrates, which in turn leads to greater weight-loss. For this reason it is important to increase your fat consumption slightly by eating healthy fats such as olive oil and those contained in nuts.
Tip: Include a one to two ounce portion of nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, cashews or Brazil nuts) in your diet which will also help to lower cholesterol.
Usually low carbohydrate diets include a lot of meat and fish but what happens if you are a vegetarian and want to follow this type of diet plan? Well, a low carbohydrate vegetarian diet may be easier to plan than you think. There are plenty of meat-substitute proteins such as tofu or soy sausage that can be added to vegetable dishes or healthy stir-fries. Tofu is particularly effective at soaking up marinades and is very versatile if you like experimenting with new recipes.
Foods to Avoid
Unfortunately in this day and age there are too many types of convenience foods that are bad for us. Foods that are high in carbohydrates and should be avoided when following a low carbohydrate diet are soda pops, desserts, protein bars, pasta and bread to name a few. Most of this type of food is processed and contains added sugar and white flour and should be avoided at all costs.
Foods to Eat
Low-fat dairy is a great source of low carbohydrate protein; it promotes healthy muscle and bone growth as well as protecting your immune system. Eat low-fat cottage cheese, eggs and low-fat milk or soya milk. Eggs in particular are beneficial to good eye health and contain B vitamins and cancer fighting minerals.
Tip: Toss low-fat cottage cheese or eggs into crisp, fresh salad or whip eggs, mushrooms and peppers into appetizing omelets and top with low fat cheese. Dark berries can be mixed with low-sugar yoghurts for a refreshing dessert.
Fruit and vegetables are important to any type of diet because of their vitamins, minerals and antioxidant properties. They are low in calories so you can eat plenty of them and they will keep you feeling full. On a low carbohydrate diet it is important to eat plenty of vegetables such as broccoli, kale, spinach, lettuce, asparagus, cauliflower, peppers, onions and mushrooms. Avoid starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn. Choose fruits such as tomatoes, cucumber, blackberries, blueberries or raspberries which are high in antioxidants and stay away from traditional fruits such as apples, bananas, mango, pears and dried fruit. Aim to consume one serving of fruit or vegetables with every meal.
Tip: Chop up onion, celery, tomatoes, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, garlic and add vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and cook on a low temperature until vegetables reach a soup-like consistency and serve hot!
Once you know what you can and cannot eat on a low carbohydrate diet you’ll realize you have plenty of options. With a little bit of recipe research you will soon be cooking your way to a healthier and slimmer you. Once you have your staple ingredients experiment with spices or different ways of cooking and preparation.
As with any new diet plan it is important to consult your doctor to make sure you are including enough vitamins, mineral and nutrients.