A low carb diet, more specifically a low-carb and high-fat one (LCHF), allows you to be both healthier and leaner as you eat real food without having to worry about hunger. Today, we will share everything we know about this particular diet plan if you are interested in reducing the amount of carbs in your daily eating plan.
The low carbohydrate diet indeed means that you consume less carbohydrate, but it is also done by taking up a higher portion of fat. Apart from that, you will also need to minimize the intake of starches and sugar. This way, you can still consume other delicious foods while losing your weight.
If you have a risk from diabetes or are a diabetic, the low carbohydrate diet will benefit you. Many scientific studies have shown that this particular diet can help you control sugar while losing your weight too.
Considering the purpose and main idea of a low carb diet, then the low carb diet plan is generally the one that limits carbohydrates, such as those we can find in bread, pasta, and sugary foods. At the same time, the diet plan is high in fat, protein, and healthy veggies.
Even so, this is most likely one question that pops out in your mind when you plan for your low carbs diet plan: how many carbs in a low carb diet? Bear in mind that the less carbs you consume, the bigger the effect you can benefit in terms of blood sugar level and weight.
We often refer to this diet as high protein low carb diet. For the low carb, high protein diet, the eating plan is also associated with the effects on glucagons and insulin. The idea is still the same, though: by limiting the amount of carbs intake, your insulin level is lowered. Hence, more glucagon is produced to burn stored fat, thus shedding the excess fat and weight.
The protein intake is one important aspect to take into account in high protein low carb diet. Eat fish, red meat, poultry, eggs, tofu, and low-fat cheese such as feta, Muenster, mozzarella, and cottage cheese as a source of protein.
Leafy green veggies, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, broccoli, celery, aspargues, green beans, mushrooms, and cucumber are also allowed in high protein low carb diet.
This diet plan, in general, will call for you to take 25 grams of fiber intake each day. For a comparison, there are 6 grams of fiber in a cup of whole wheat spaghetti. Some fats are also allowed in this diet plan, such as butter, avocado, nut oils, and olive oil.
Usually, artificial sweeteners and diet sodas are still allowed in high protein low carb diet, as long as in moderation. The same goes for a light beer or a glass of wine—the carbs, without a doubt, count as well.
In order to round out the nutritional needs, people who are doing the high protein low carbs diet are recommended to take a supplement containing high quality vitamins and minerals, in addition to 90 milligrams of potassium in minimum.
Note that this diet is called low carb instead of no carb. Hence, again and again, limit the amount instead of eliminating it. The amount will depend on various factors, but the general rough guide is typically less than 20 grams every day for optimum effect. If you want some benefits from this diet, such as an effortless weight loss, you may aim for staying under 100 grams every day at minimum.
Another thing you have to keep in mind with your low carbohydrate diet is that a proper one means that you get a much more energy coming from natural fat, such as olive oil and butter.
Remember the biology class you took when in elementary school: there are two main sources of energy for our body. They are carbohydrates and fats. By taking away most of the carbohydrates, your body thus will switch to burn fat as the source of energy, coming from the fat in the food or your fat stores. For this reason, people call this diet a low carb, high fat diet.
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Well, how much fat should you consume? The answer is simple: as much as you need in order to feel satisfied. Whatever else burned by your body will be taken from your fat store; hence you can shed your weight. If you eat way more fat than you are required in order to feel great, your fat loss will be slowed down. On the other hand, consuming too little fat will cause you to feel hungry and tired.
Eat only when you are feeling hungry and stop once you feel satisfied. Eating is actually that simple.Following this, we will show you what foods you are supposed to consume for this diet, as well as what foods you will always want to avoid to achieve the success.
The next question is: what to eat on a low carb diet? Here is the list of low carb diet foods you can consume:
Eat any type of meat, including chicken, pork, beef, and game meat. Feel free to eat the skin on the chicken and the fat on the meat, and it’s highly preferable to choose grass-fed or organic meat.
In general, all kinds of fish (and shellfish) are recommended. Fatty fish are a great choice to consume, such as herring, salmon, or mackerel. However, avoid breading.
It’s always preferred to consume organic eggs, and any kind of egg is great (boiled, omelets, fried, and such).
4. Vegetables and Berries
Veggies that grow above the ground, such as all variants of cabbage (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts), zucchini, asparagus, olives, eggplant, mushrooms, avocado, lettuce, cucumber, spinach, peppers, onions, and tomatoes are recommended. For the berries, they are good as long as you consume them in moderation.
5. Dairy Products
Choose the full-fat options such as sour cream, high-fat cheeses, real butter, and cream (with 40 percent fat). Avoid skim milk and regular milk since they contain high amount of milk sugar. Low-fat and sugary, flavored products should be avoided.
As long as you consume nuts in moderation, they make a way better snack instead of candies.
Sauces that are high in natural fat are highly recommended, such as cream and butter for cooking, since they will make the food taste better and you more satiated. Hollandaise sauce or Bearnaise one is also great, as well as olive oil and coconut oil.
Aside from those foods, do not forget to drink these: water, coffee, and tea. Drink them on most days. For coffee, the one with full-fat cream is preferred for this diet.
What about vegetarians? If you are one of them, then you may notice that the low carb foods may not be suitable to your diet. First of all, though, you will need to identify if you are a lacto-ovo vegetarian or a vegan.
The first category is often simply referred to as a vegetarian and can still consume eggs and dairy products. On the other hand, vegans do not consume any foods derived from animal.
The low carb vegetarian diet ideally includes eggs and dairy products that contain low carbohydrates and without added sugar. They are high in both fat and protein, so vegetarians are perfect for this low carb diet plan. Foods such as eggs, Greek yogurt, yogurt, kefir, cheese, and grass-fed butter are recommended and rich in vitamin B12, which cannot be found in plant foods.
Meanwhile, other foods we have listed above will be suitable for vegetarians, except for the meat. As an alternative to meat, vegetarians can instead consume soy for their low carb diet plan. Foods such as tofu and tempeh contain high level of protein and fat, but they have low carbs. This way, they are perfect for this diet—even vegan can eat them as well.
Now we have found out what foods are great for this low carbohydrate diet. Now, what comes next is: what not to eat on a low carb diet?
As briefly mentioned earlier, you need to avoid foods that are high in carbs. Typically, they have high level of sugar. Below is the list of foods you are supposed to avoid if you wish to achieve a success for your low carbohydrate diet.
Sugar, in fact, is the worst kind of food to consume. Foods and drinks such as buns, cakes, chocolate, breakfast cereals, soft drinks, candies, and sports drinks are rich in this. You will also need to avoid sweeteners that worsen the effect.
Foods such as potatoes, pasta, bread, porridge, muesli, French fries, and potato chips are supposed to be avoided. What about wholegrain products? Well, they are merely less bad. Do you know that legumes, such as lentils and beans, are high in carbs?
However, consuming root veggies in a moderate amount may be fine as long as you are not consuming extremely low carbohydrates.
Margarine in general is imitation of butter the industry products, containing unnaturally high amount of omega-6 fat. It has no benefits for your health and even worse, it tastes awful. Statistically, margarine is associated to allergies, asthma, as well as other diseases related to inflammation.
In short, beer is actually the liquid form of bread and contains rapidly absorbed carbs.
Unlike vegetables, fruits are naturally very sweet and contain lots of sugar, making them not ideal to consume as many as you want every day. However, it does not mean you should completely avoid fruits. Rather, treat them as if they are candies—for snacks while watching movies or chatting with friends who pay you a visit.
Other kind of food you will want to avoid is the so-called low carb products, such as chocolate and pasta. These products, unfortunately, work poorly. If you see through the creative marketing the companies used to advertise those products, you can see how they are actually packed with carbs, preventing loads of people from weight loss.
You can follow these two simple tips if you wish to avoid this kind of useless and junk products. First, do not eat the low carb versions of any high carb foods, such as bars, chocolate, cookies, ice cream, pasta, or bread, unless you are completely sure of the ingredients used, such as when you are making them yourself. Second, avoid products that state the words “net carbs” since it is most likely only a way to get you fooled.
Even so, there are also some kinds of foods you can still consume, only for special occasions. Just like where fruits are ideally to consume as if you are snacking—meaning you do not take them too often—here are some foods you can consume when the time is considered right. However, note that this may slow down your weight loss a bit.
First is alcohol, such as dry wine, either dry white or regular red wine, brandy, whisky, cocktails, and vodka. It is more preferred if they are without sugar.
Second is dark chocolate, especially those containing more than 70 percent of cocoa. However, it is recommended only to consume the chocolate a bit.
Dark chocolates are known to contain high antioxidants, which can also provide health benefits. Even so, again and again, the benefits are true if you eat it in a moderate amount.
There are some low carb diet benefits you can enjoy. As we have briefly mentioned earlier, the low carb diet is to prevent or treat some chronic health conditions or diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and hyperinsulinemia.
There are a number of scientific studies that have been performed in order to show the benefits of the low carbohydrate diet. According to them, many of the benefits are positive.
For instance, according to the research published in the New England Journal of Medicine, subjects who consumed a low carb diet shed more weight compared to those who took up a conventional diet during the first 6 months.
There is also another study performed by the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, finding that the researches subjects who suffered from a high prevalence of metabolic syndrome or diabetes lost more weight while doing a carbs-restricted diet during 6 months, compared to a fat- and calorie-restricted diet.
The letter study also showed an improvement in terms of triglyceride levels and insulin sensitivity among test subjects, even when the findings have been adjusted to take weight lost into account.
Even though low carbohydrates diet works for many people, this one does its own flaws.
The biggest one is most likely the fact that the healthy carbs are cut from the meal plan, in addition to the unhealthy carbs, and then being replaced with meats, fish, poultry, and cheese that are high in fat.
With unlimited amount of meat and fat to eat, and only carbs to restrict, is considered as a dangerous practice that makes many health experts criticize this diet. As many as scientific studies that have proved how beneficial the low carb diet is, there are also many that showed how very unhealthy this practice could be.
For instance, studies by the University of Alabama at Birmingham showed that obese rats being fed with the low carb high fat suffered from more dangerous heart attacks compared to those being fed with a low fat diet.
And do not forget that some people may take the practice of cutting carbs to extremes. After all, remember that our body still needs carbohydrates as they are used to produce energy. Fiber provided by carbohydrates is needed to help proper digestion, insulin regulation, and colon health.
Apart from that, vital organs also need carbohydrates in order to properly function, such as the central nervous system, the kidneys, the heart, the brain, and the muscles.
Hence, when you decide to take this approach to regulate your appetite and keep your body healthy, always do the practice of healthy carb cutting. Limit the amount rather than eliminating it.
You can start your low carb, high fat diet right from now on. We have provided you the general information about this particular diet type to help you with your how to do a low carb diet question.Once you have a clear idea about what to eat and what to avoid, you can start working on your low carb diet plan.
Breakfast is not a mandatory in a low carb diet. Once you stick to your diet, you are least likely to feel hungry with the fewer tendencies to eat as often. This is why skipping breakfast is perfectly okay if you are not feeling hungry—perhaps, a cup of coffee will be enough.
In fact, skipping breakfast has become a popular version for an intermittent fasting. This can speed up your weight loss as well as Type 2 diabetes reversal. Apart from that, do not forget the benefit from saving money and time.Meanwhile, we have some tips for you to prepare your lunches and dinners while you are doing the low carb, high fat diet.
First, eat meat, chicken, or fish dishes served with veggies along with a sauce that is rich and full in fat. Rather than potatoes, consume the meal with mashed cauliflower, for instance. Second, when you prepare casserole, soup, or stew, opt for ingredients containing low level of carbohydrates.
Third, get yourself a cookbook written specifically for the low carbs, high fat diet. In general, though, you can actually use most recipes in cookbooks as long as they are suitable for your low carbs diet.Fourth, drink water as you eat your meal. This will prevent you from eating too much.Cooking the meals yourself is always a great way if you wish to start your low carbohydrate diet more easily.
These diet plans can serve as an idea or guide for you if you are still wondering how to start a low carb diet. Bear in mind that how many carbohydrates you consume will depend on your goals in term of health.
For instance, if you have a stable weigh, your health goals will be different to those with T1 diabetic or more weighs to shed. Even so, as long as the foods you choose to consume contain low carbs, free from sugar, and free from grain, and you have your appetite well regulated, you may not find planning the diet for you a troublesome process.
Below, we have a weekly meal plan merely as an example. You will still need to calculate your own in order to achieve the accuracy as the one below will serve merely as a guide.
Adjusting your appetite will take some time, but it will eventually change anyway. In the meantime, increase the intake of healthy fats in every meal whenever you are feeling hungry. This will help you feel fuller and satisfied for longer.
Even so, always remember that you need to decrease the amount of carbs to consume while doing this. Otherwise, the diet will be no more than any standard and typical high carb high fat diet.Pour more healthy oils to dress your salad, consume nuts for snack, and such.
Here are some diet plans that you may try.
1. Low Carbs Breakfast Meal Plan Ideas
These foods are great for your breakfast with low carbs to consume if you are not feel full enough to skip the breakfast time:
a. Eggs and bacon.
b. Leftover from dinner last night.
d. Coffee served with cream.
e. Boiled eggs and a can of mackerel, or boiled eggs with butter or mayo, or mashed boiled eggs with salt, pepper, chopped chives, and butter.
f. Salmon, avocado, and sour cream.
g. Cheese served with butter.
h. A chunk of brie cheese served with some salami or ham.
i. High fat yogurt with seeds and nuts (you can also add berries but be sure not to use too much).
2. Low Carbs Lunch Meal Plan Ideas
a. Leftover from last night’s dinner.
b. Salad made of any combination of avocado, tuna, lettuce, spinach, chicken, salmon, bacon, olives, egg, feta cheese, tomatoes, spring onion, capsicums, beetroot, and such. Add oil and full fat mayo—be sure the mayo is not lite.
c. Crust-less pie with bacon and egg fillings.
d. Vegetable salad roasted and topped off with avocado oil or olive oil, and feta cheese. Add walnuts or pumpkin speeds to sprinkle.
e. Rice-free sushi.
f. Stuffed peppers with cream cheese.
3. Low Carbs Dinner Meal Plan Ideas
a. Good quality meat served with veggies that fill at least half of the plate. Add butter or cream cheese for fat, encouraging children to eat the veggies. Stilton can be added onto steaks, use hollandaise or cream sauces, and grated cheese onto broccoli.
b. Try making your recipes with no carbs, so remove the rice and instead double the veggies to the mix. A stir fry is a good idea.
c. ‘Pasta’ made from carrot, served with meatballs.
d. Swap lasagna sheets with zucchini slices.
e. Everything made from fish—the oilier, the better to boost the intake of essential fatty acids and omega 3—such as tuna, sardines, mackerel, and salmon.
f. Chicken tenderloin with bacon to wrap and cream cheese sauce as condiment.
g. Homemade burger with no bun. Use salad, cheese, mushrooms, grated carrot, and avocado for fillings.
4. Low Carbs Snack Plan Ideas
You can replace potato chips as your snack while watching TV or movies with nuts and olives. More options are below:
a. Mixed nuts.
b. Vegetables served with dip, such as cucumber sticks, cauliflower, or red, green, or yellow peppers.
c. Cream cheese rolls. In a piece of salami, a long slice of cucumber, or air dried ham, roll some cream cheese.
e. Sausage. Cut it in pieces and then add a piece of cheese. Stick a toothpick through the sausage pieces.
f. Low cat, high fat chips. Prepare this yourself simply by forming small piles made from grated parmesan cheese on your baking tray. Heat them in an oven you have preheated at 450 degree F or 225 degree C. Let the piles of cheese melt and show a good color—be careful, though, since they can easily burn. Serve them as chips and you can add some dip to accompany.
What to consume if you are not supposed to eat potatoes, pasta, and rice? Worry not as the alternatives are as better and fulfilling as them.
Try mashed cauliflower, you can easily make by dividing the veggie into smaller pieces. Boil them until soft with a pinch of salt. Remove the water and add butter and cream and mash.
Salads, especially those made from vegetables growing above the ground, with cheese are great. Alternatively, boil cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, or broccoli.
Cauliflower rice or veggies stewed in cream, such as spinach or cabbage, can also make a great alternative to that source of carbs to accompany your meal. Vegetables augratin is also interested, especially since you can make one yourself. And what about making your own vegetable spaghetti?
Unfortunately, not all places can serve the low carb diet foods that fit your needs. However, it should not prevent you from mingling with your friends while dining out.
Restaurants are the best choice if you want to stick to your low carb diet plan since they usually are not a big problem for you. For instance, to substitute French fries or potatoes, you can ask for a salad instead. Don’t forget to ask for extra butter as well.
But if you and your friends are dining out in fast food restaurants, hamburgers typically are the least bad choice. Kebab is a decent option, though, as long as you avoid the bread. When eating pizza, the toppings are usually fine—for you who are eating stricter, less pizza crust to eat. Without a doubt, avoid fries and soft drinks and opt for water instead.If you find no adequate food, opt for cheese or nuts for your emergency food.
In general, if you are eating strictly daily, it is less of a problem for you to make exceptions when your friends invite you to dine out. But if you are unsure what foods to serve, you can consider eating something at home first before you leave.
Typically, the low carb diet with more fat as well as a bit more protein to consume will not require you to eat as often. This way, do not get surprised once you find yourself no longer want to snack. People generally can do well on 2 to 3 meals every day.
If you keep feeling hungry between meals, chances are you do not eat enough fat. Well, you are not supposed to fear fat. Again and again, consume fat until you feel satisfied and great since this is one thing that can prevent you from the hunger, which may lead you to snack junk foods.Once the hunger between meals comes, you can look up the low carb high fat snack options to eat right away.
In your diet, do not forget to include a variety of veggies. It is especially true if you want to stay under 50 grams of carbohydrate every day, since this thus means enough room you can spare for one fruit and plenty of vegetables every day.
Potatoes and sweet potatoes can still be consumed if you are lean, active, and healthy. You can also add some healthier grains such as oats, quinoa, and rice, as well as legumes such as pinto beans, lentils, and black beans (as long as you can tolerate them, though) under the same condition.
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