A low carb diet aims at restricting carbohydrates in high sugar food items such as bread and pasta. This diet emphasizes lean protein, vegetables and healthy fats. Depending on the person and their situation, I usually recommend counting net carbs ranging from 75-40 or less per day. I typically pick this number based on regular eating patterns and goals. This is a less extreme diet than the popular ketogenic diet which promotes ketosis through typically consuming 30 net carbs or less per day (although I utilize this diet as well). The following is a great general guideline to base your low carb diet on:
Say yes to:
-Lean protein (preferably wild, grass fed and free range): fish, eggs, chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, etc.
-Non-starchy Vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, spinach, swiss chard, leeks, onions, carrots, etc.
-Low Sugar Fruits (in moderation): blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, citrus, strawberries, kiwi, etc
-Nuts and Seeds: walnuts, almonds, chia, flax, macadamias, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
-Healthy Fats: olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, grass fed ghee/butter, walnut oil
-Hydrate: half your body in ounces of water per day. Black coffee and unsweetened tea can also be great low carb beverage choices.
Not all "whole foods" support a low carbohydrate diet. Although some of the below foods can be healthy choices in other instances, they are foods that contain higher carbohydrate content and may not be the best choices for a low carbohydrate diet plan. Be Careful to consume the following in moderation:
Be careful with:
-High starch vegetables: potatoes, sweet potatoes, plantains
-Legumes: lentils, chickpeas, black beans, navy beans, pinto beans, etc
-Dark chocolate: try to get the highest % cocoa possible (70%+) for the lowest sugar content
-Grains: brown rice, quinoa, oats
Although sticking to whole foods is always preferable, there are some low carb items that can be used to stay on track in your weak moments! Try out these ideas to replace some of your higher carb/high sugar foods:
Bread ---> Carbonaut Low Carb GF Bread
Pasta ---> Low Carb LuluPasta (made with Lupin)
Rice ---> Riced Cauliflower
Mashed Potatoes ---> Mashed Cauliflower
Cookies ---> HighKey Cookies
Pizza ---> Cappello's Keto Pizza
Not only do low carb diets promote weight loss, but this diet is very useful in reducing abdominal belly fat. This is due to this diet's impact on improving insulin sensitivity. Adopting a low carb diet can also reduce inflammation and decrease your risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Other positive impacts of a low carb diet include reduced triglycerides, "bad" LDL cholesterol, better blood glucose homeostasis, blood pressure, lower hunger hormones and improved "good" HDL cholesterol. Not only will you reach your wight loss goals with this diet, but you will be promoting reduced inflammation and optimal health!