Healthy Food

LOW-CARB DIET

 

WHAT IS A LOW-CARB DIET?

A low-carb diet is a diet that limits carbohydrate intake. The idea is to eliminate carbs primarily found in grains, bread, pasta, sugary foods, and starchy fruits and vegetables. Instead, one is to delight in a whole foods diet rich in natural healthy proteins, fats, vegetables and fruit. Low-carb diets have been considered very successful in weight loss and are the foundation for many popular diets such as Keto and Atkins. 

WHAT DO YOU EAT ON A LOW-CARB DIET?

This is what to eat on a low-carb diet:

  • ​Eggs

  • Lean meats

  • Fish

  • Leafy green vegetables

  • Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, brussels)

  • Nuts and seeds (including nut butters)

  • Oils from fruits and nuts (olive oil, coconut oil)

  • Low-Carb/ Low-GI fruits (berries, melons, apples)

  • Unsweetened dairy products 

  • Water, unsweetened tea, low-carb alcohol

WHAT DO YOU AVOID ON A LOW-CARB DIET?

This is what not to eat on a low-carb diet:

  • Grains

  • Rice

  • Pasta

  • Bread

  • White potatoes

  • Refined sugar 

  • Processed carbs

  • Starchy fruits & vegetables

  • Beer, soda, fruit juice

PROS OF A LOW-CARB DIET

What are the benefits a Low-carb Diet? There are many advantages of a low-carb diet. In terms of weight loss, low-carb diets have been seen to lead to steady weight loss.  Since a large portion of the American diet today comes from carbs and we live in an age where many of those carbs are processed, obesity has become a leading health problem. Just like with Paleo, eliminating simple carbs and refined sugars helps, sugar cravings suppress over time.  However, unlike other diets, foods aren't so restricted (only high carb foods), thus many people don't feel hungry on this diet. Low-carb diets have a spectrum. There are extreme versions such as Atkins, to diets based around low-GI eating. 

Medical studies have shown benefits to include: improved blood pressure, promotion of heart & circulatory system health,  regulated spikes in blood sugar, lower cholesterol. As always, if you're considering any diet, it is always best to consult your doctor. 

CONS OF A LOW CARB DIET

What are the harms of the Paleo Diet?There are thought to be a few negative side effects of a low-carb diet. Common concerns of a low-carb diet depend on how extreme you limit your carb intake. Although carbohydrates aren't needed for survival, they do act as the primary source of our energy. Drastically cutting carbs  may lead to some temporary health effects including mood changes, low concentration, headaches, weakness, fatigue, constipation or diarrhea. (Reducing carb intake to less than 20 grams a day can lead to ketosis, burning fat for energy, the concept behind the Keto Diet).

Other concerns of eliminating carbs are possible deficiencies in vitamins and minerals (such as Vitamin D and fiber.) However,  other foods rich in these nutrients and supplements can help bridge any deficiency gaps. This diet is not recommended for people under 18 as their bodies are still developing and benefit from nutrients found in whole grains, fruits and veggies.

SHOULD I TRY A LOW-CARB DIET TO LOSE WEIGHT?

Bottom line, with a low-carb diet weight-loss can happen quickly and steadily!  It's a diet high in protein which is essential for  muscle tissue in a weight-loss plan that includes exercise. Low-carb diets restrict carbs and insulin levels reduce and fat stored in fat cells can become available for energy. In fact, I attribute my grand weight loss success of 75 pounds to a low-carb Paleo diet. However, my experience might not translate to everyone. Not all bodies are the same and not all diet types work for every individual. If you think this diet may be right for you and wish to give it a shot, I'd be more than happy to work with you to reach your goals. As always, consult your doctor before engaging in any type of diet, exercise and weight loss plan.

*Consult your doctor before engaging in any diet & fitness program*