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Low Carb Foods
How do you plan low carb meals? Eating low carb is surprisingly easy, once you get accustomed to the diet. You can make many delicious recipes. Over the last decades, low carbohydrate diets have become so popular that there are plenty of cookbooks. You can also find recipes online.
Many people find that they can easily adapt their favourite recipes to make low carb meals. This means that your meals really do not have to change very much. You can probably still cook and eat most of your family’s favourite foods.
You just have to make sure that the high carbohydrate foods are separate, so that you can leave those for the rest of the family while you have a little more of the main dish.
One of the best things about low carbing is that you can eat with family and friends without needing special foods. It is also perfect for restaurant dining. Restaurants always have plenty of choices and you can just ask them to hold the fries or rice (or at least, choose the whole grain brown rice for a lower glycemic index version of rice, not white rice).
When you are planning low carb meals at home, remember to include salad. In fact, if you are used to having two courses of main dish and dessert, you may want to switch to salad and main dish. This will make sure that you eat enough vegetables as well as avoiding overeating sweet tasting foods.
Most people will want to have three meals a day and maybe one or two snacks. You should not skip meals because you need to keep your metabolism active. That is why Dr Atkins recommends never going more than 6 waking hours without eating.
For breakfast, you have a lot a choice. You can have traditional breakfast foods like bacon and eggs, sausage, omelet. Or you can have anything else that you want from your plan. You may find that you enjoy a chicken salad first thing in the morning, or fish with a creamy sauce.
If you need to eat and run, you could make a crust less quiche one evening and grab a big slice from the refrigerator each morning. Be adventurous, and you will find it much easier to keep to the low carb diet for the long term.
Remember, low carb meals keep you satisfied longer. This is because of their higher fat content. Do not try to cut down on fat in your meals. It is not necessary and it will not help you lose weight.
In fact, trying to control your fat intake is a big mistake on a low carb diet and could cause you to go off plan very fast. So try to get used to the idea that those unlimited foods really are unlimited, and allow yourself plenty of them.
One of the big benefits of eating low carb meals is that you do not have the blood sugar swings and insulin spikes that eating a lot of carbohydrates brings. This means that you will probably have more energy and those mid afternoon blues will soon be a distant memory.
If you are pre-diabetic, this way of eating is much better for your health in the short and long term. So if you plan your low carb meals correctly, you will not need snacks.
These days, there are many foods that support a low carb meal plan in your local supermarket. Need some low carb food products for an on-the-go lifestyle? Check out the Online Nutrition Superstore today.
Choosing The Best Low Carb Diet For You
Low carb diets have always been a diet of choice for many throughout the world, but it can be difficult to determine whether low carb diets are the best option for you or not.
In this article, we will compare the aspects of the Mediterranean Diet, Paleo Diet, and the Atkins Diet, so that you can make an educated decision when choosing the best low carb diet for your needs.
1. The Mediterranean Diet
Although all three diets are equally popular, the Mediterranean Diet is generally chosen by individuals who enjoy eating healthily meanwhile enjoying foods that are succulent and based on cuisine from the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. The majority of this diet is comprised of vegetables, fruit, unrefined grains, legumes, and olive oil.
In comparison to the Atkins diet that avoids carbs from every source aside from plants. The Mediterranean diet is a great way to improve heart health by ensuring that healthy components are ingested throughout the day.
2. The Atkins Diet
As one of the most popular low carb diets in the world, the Atkins Diet is renowned for focusing on reducing carbohydrates. In comparison to the Mediterranean Diet, those who participate in the Atkins diet do not ingest as much gluten, a commonly known allergen.
The benefits associated with low carb diets pertain to maintaining healthier levels for blood sugar, thus reducing the secretion of insulin and the production of glucose. Low carb diets are a great choice for individuals who are suffering from diabetes as it helps to maintain appropriate blood sugar levels.
3. The Paleo Diet
The entire basis of the Paleo Diet is to eat as humans did 10,000+ years ago and it has recently become one of the most popular diets available to the general public. There are a variety of different opinions throughout the Paleo diet community in regards to how many carbs people should ingest but the majority of your carbohydrates will be derived from root vegetables. The majority of the diet consists of animal fats, seeds, nuts, animal proteins, and non-starchy vegetables.
The Paleo diet is generally seen as the most beneficial of the three diets as it helps to eliminate the majority of problematic foods before all of the vitamins are even considered. Plus, individuals in health circles have noticed that people on the Paleo diet are far more satisfied at the end of their meals in comparison to those on low carb diets and the Mediterranean diet.
High Protein Low Carb Diet
High protein low carb diet is commonly used for weight loss purposes. The high protein low carb diet program reduces the intake of carbohydrates the main energy providing food class. Instead, these high protein low carb diet plans focus on getting the major part of energy for the body from proteins.
How High Protein Low Carb Diet Works
There are some vital nutrients needed by our body in large amounts because they are the main source of energy. These nutrients are proteins, carbohydrates and fats. There are many foods containing one of these without having the other two.
There is a common misconception that only fat causes obesity; however, carbohydrates are also a major reason behind weight gain. There are two types of carbohydrates: complex carbs and simple carbs.
Complex carbs come from whole grain food items, like bread, pasta and rice etc. While simple carbs often referred to as empty calories, come from sugar, soda, syrups etc. Experts believe around fifty percent of our carbohydrate intake should consist of complex carbs, as they are absorbed in the blood gradually, providing a steady supply of energy.
On the other hand, simple carbs are required in small amounts only, since they are the major reason behind obesity. The excess sugar consumed is stored in body as fat, resulting in weight gain.
On the other hand, when you are on a high protein low carb diet, sugar intake is reduced and the major portion of energy is obtained from proteins. This provides a twofold benefit; it provides you with just the right amount of energy required, but does not provide the body with excess starch to be converted into fat.
Benefits Of High Protein Low Carb Diet
A high protein low carb diet is mainly used to get rid of obesity. It helps in weight control and a quicker weight loss. Since a high protein diet makes the body use its stored fat in order to gain energy, it means the body works automatically to put off the excess weight.
A High protein low carb diet does not deprive the body of the essential nutrients. Since, protein is used as the main energy source, with a little amount of whole grain carbs are also, the body gets the appropriate amount of vitamins, minerals and fibres.
Furthermore, a high protein low carb diet also stabilizes blood sugar levels. So, people who are diabetic or have hyper insulin medical condition, are recommended to follow this diet to maintain a healthy life.
Although a high protein low carb diet is preferred for weight loss, people with certain medical conditions are strictly prohibited to increase protein intake.
High protein diet usually has a high amount of saturated fats. Thus, it is not a healthy diet for people who have cardiovascular diseases. This diet may result in increasing their blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Since, protein diet reduces the calcium content of bones, people with osteoarthritis, or any form of bone or joint pain, should never go for a high protein diet. It can also make the kidneys overworked.
Carbohydrates are an essential fuel for the nervous system, so reducing their intake can lead to lower mental power. Moreover, high protein low carb diet can also cause headaches, constipation, and diarrhoea.
Therefore, it is strictly advised to follow the diet under expert supervision after consulting your medical specialist.
Food Classes Used In High Protein Low Carb Diet
There are certain types of food containing high protein content and a very low content of sugar or carbohydrates. These are natural foods and can be included in your weight loss plan safely.
1. Meat, Fish, Poultry
Types of food, like beef, chicken and fish, are high in proteins and have no carbohydrate content. One ounce of any of these foods contains seven grams of protein and zero carbohydrates.
To be precise, four ounces of cooked beef has thirty four grams of protein, while four grams of cooked salmon fish has thirty grams of protein. Both of these contain zero grams of carbohydrates. Other foods in the same food class providing high protein and no carbs include chicken breast, tuna, lamb and beef.
2. Soy Diet
Soy food products may also be used as a part of your high protein low carb diet. Protein powder, easily available in the market, is actually soy protein isolate. One ounce of this protein powder contains twenty five grams of protein and no carbs.
Similarly, another rich source of proteins, containing a low carb content, is soft and hard tofu. Soft tofu is rich in protein, but has only seven grams of carbs. The carbohydrate content of hard tofu is even less. Other such food products include soy based patty and soy based sausages.
3. Dairy Products And Eggs
Dairy products, like milk, cream and yogurt, contain both proteins and carbs. As it primarily depends upon how these products are consumed, their nutrient values vary. If energy powders and sugar are added to milk, it is enriched with carbs.
Similarly, if yogurt is consumed with sugar, it will also provide carbohydrates. However, these products are rich in protein and have very low carbohydrate content.
Cheese is a good source of protein, containing low carb content. Similarly, eggs are a rich source of proteins. Eggs, too, are low in carbohydrate content.
These are one of the healthiest sources of food. Most nuts are low in carbs and cholesterol and contain a rich amount of essential nutrients and proteins.
Nuts can be consumed as snacks between meals. However, there are some nuts containing sugars. But, generally nuts can be incorporated in your high protein low carb diet.
Beef or turkey jerky is usually low carb, but check packaging. Some brands contain sugar. One popular low carb brand is Buffalo Bill’s Jerky Snacks.
Low Carb Shakes
There’s nothing like a good shake to start the day, and low carb shakes will be the perfect treat for you. You will find that these low carb meals in a cup will be some of the best foods low in carbs that you can eat, and you will be much less likely to cheat on your diet as you make these delicious shakes and low carb drinks.
There are dozens of foods on the low carb food list that you can use to make your own shakes, and it will be a whole lot easier for you to be faithful to your low carb diet plan and low carb living habits if you take more meals in the form of shakes.
Ingredients For Your Shake
There are many ingredients that you can use to make your delicious low carb shakes, and the truth is that you can come up with all kinds of delicious recipes and shakes using just the simple foods on the low carb foods list. If you’re planning on making your own shakes, it may be a good idea to think of ingredients that you can use.
Here Is A List Of Some Of The Things That You Can Add To Your Low Carb Shakes:
Unsweetened Peanut Butter
Peanut butter makes a killer ingredient for a milk based smoothie, and you will find that it will help to make it a lot more filling as well. You will probably be able to fill up with just a single cup of milkshake if it has peanut butter, as this form of butter is very filling.
Peanut butter does have some carbs, but it’s fairly low in carbs provided you can find the unsweetened kind. You will be able to make your own delicious shakes if you add peanut butter to it.
For example, you can make a peanut butter and banana milkshake, and it will be a fairly low carb drink that will be very filling and very good to get a lot of protein after a workout.
Protein powder is usually used by bodybuilders and people that do a lot of exercise, and the truth is that it is one of the best things to take if you want low carb shakes to help you recover after a heavy workout. Your body will need the protein, and you can make your own delicious drinks fairly simple by adding a spoon of your favourite protein powder to milk or water.
The great thing about protein powders is that they are usually fairly low in carbs, as they are rich in protein and other important nutrients. They usually have a nice sweet taste, so you will definitely enjoy the shakes without having to worry about the carbs.
Fruits And Berries
Fruits are often fairly high in carbs, as they are loaded down with natural sugars. However, did you know that there are some fruits that have less carbs than others, such as melon or watermelon?
You can also enjoy some delicious berries in your smoothie or low carb shakes, and these delicious little bundles of nutrients will be incredibly good for your health. They are also nice and low in carbs, but they will add a tangy sweet flavour to your shakes.
You can use them to make shakes using milk or yoghurt as the base, though they will taste better with fruit juice (which is not permitted as part of your low carb diet).
Nuts are rich in protein and fats, as well as fibre. They will have some carbs, but nowhere near as many carbs as the foods that you are trying to cut out.
Nuts fall onto the list of foods low in carbs thanks to their high fibre content, and you will be able to enjoy some delicious nuts in your shake. You can add some pecans to a milkshake to give it a delicious rich flavour, or you can blend some almonds in with yoghurt.
It’s important to limit the amount of nuts that you eat, as they do have some carbs. Still, if you just want to use it to add texture and flavour to your drink, it will be a great way to make a delicious low carb smoothie.
Oats are one of the controversial foods for those that are trying low carb living, as it does contain some carbs. However, unless you are very strictly cutting back on all carbs, you will find that eating some oats is permissible. This is because oats have a lot of fibre that counteract the carbs, so you can eat oats without cheating on your diet.
You will need to keep the amount of oats that you eat fairly limited, but putting some oats in your peanut butter milkshake can help to add even more body and a whole lot more fibre and protein.
Yogurt makes a great base for a fruit smoothie, and it will be best when mixed in with berries. You will be able to use the tangy flavour of the berries to blend with the sour taste of the natural yoghurt, though you may need to add more berries than you would if you were making your shake with milk.
The thing about yoghurt is that it may be hard to find the kind that is made without sugar, but only the natural yoghurt that is full fat will be allowed as part of your low carb diet. If you can find this natural yoghurt that is sugar free, it’s a great base for your smoothies and low carb shakes.
Milk is the perfect base for just about any shake, and you will find that almost anything can be blended into a smoothie or low carb shake if you use milk.
You can use dark chocolate to make healthy chocolate milk, or you can add some peanut butter and bananas to make a delicious filling smoothie. Berries will blend nicely with milk, and you can even use milk to stretch your yoghurt. As long as the milk you’re using is full fat, you should have no problems keeping your low carb shakes as low in carbs as possible.
Ice is one of the things that you’re going to have to add to your shakes, as there’s nothing like a cold shake to wake you up in the morning or help you restore your body after a solid workout.
If you want to use regular ice (made from water), it may thin your shakes out a bit if they are made with milk or water. However, if you want to make your shakes thicker and richer, you may want to toss your berries or fruit in the freezer. When you blend them for your shake, you will find that they will make your shake cold while also giving it a much thicker and richer consistency.
If you do want some kind of sweetener for your shakes, you will find that there are sugar alternatives that will be acceptable in your low carb diet plan. Aspartame is one such example, as it is an artificial sugar that contains no carbs and no calories. Beet sugar is also permitted in small quantities, as it Stevia.
You will find that these sugars can affect your blood sugar level, though not as drastically as regular sugar. You can add them to your smoothies and shakes if you want to make them a bit sweeter, though it’s still best to limit the amount of these sugars that you eat – just like you’re limiting your consumption of regular sugar.
Extracts And Herbs
Many people despair when making low carb shakes because they are unable to make shakes that taste delicious thanks to their limited ingredient options. However, did you know that you can make some very delicious drinks just by adding a few herbs and extracts? For example, if you add some cinnamon to a peanut butter milk shake, it will make it much more filling and tastier.
You can add some vanilla extract to milk and ice for a low carb shake that will taste just like ice cream (and can be like ice cream if it’s frozen), or you can blend some mint in with lime juice for a minty fresh shake. You will find that these herbs and extracts come in all flavours, and they can make your low carb shakes very tasty.
Dark chocolate is actually permitted while on the low carb diet plan, as it is free of carbs. The carbs are only present once the sugar is added, but natural chocolate has no sugar in it.
You will find that even bittersweet chocolate is permitted on the low carb diet plan, as it is low enough in sugar that you won’t need to worry about it affecting your body. If you use dark chocolate to make your shakes, it can give them body and flavour that will make them very enjoyable!
Low Carb Snacks
Low carb snacks are not usually something that you would expect to find, as the words “low carb” and “snacks” often don’t go in the same sentence. This much is true if you are thinking of snacks like cookies, cakes, and all those other sweets that you enjoy, but the good news is that there are a lot of low carb snacks that you can enjoy for your low carb living.
If you want to find foods low in carbs, there are hundreds of them – and many can be made into delicious snacks that you can enjoy without worrying about the carbs or the fat. If you are trying to follow a low carb diet eating only foods on the low carb food list, there are many delicious snacks that you can make!
Here are a few examples of some awesome low carb snacks and low carb appetizers you can make if you want to snack on a little something:
Full Side Salad
A salad may not seem like a good snack, but did you know that you can make yourself a very filling side salad without racking up the carbs or the calories? You can make your salad using any kind of lettuce that you like, and it can be topped with a few slices of avocadoes and a hardboiled egg (remove the egg yolk if you really want to keep it light).
You can add a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and olive oil each to make a delicious dressing for your salad. The total grams of carbs will be 8 grams for the entire plate of salad, making it one of the best low carb snacks around. It will contain a bit more fat, but the good news is that all the fat comes from completely natural sources!
Cheesy Turkey Roll-Ups
Just because you can’t enjoy a fruit roll-up, that doesn’t mean that roll-ups are off the menu altogether. You can have yourself a delicious turkey and mozzarella cheese roll-up that will be a very high protein low carb snack.
Use a mozzarella cheese stick – preferably skim or partially skim-milk cheese – and roll the slice of turkey ham around the cheese. You can even add a small slice of cherry tomato if you want, and the total carbs content will be less than 4 grams.
It will be about 150 calories if you use an ounce of turkey ham and a cheese stick, but it will keep you nice and full until meal time!
Delicious Seafood Cocktail
It’s hard to avoid eating shrimp cocktails, but the fact that they contain a whole lot of ketchup usually means that you aren’t going to be able to add them to your low card diet. Or can you? Using a single tablespoon of cocktail sauce with one quarter of an avocado and 2 ounces of cooked shrimp will be a great way to turn your evening into a real low carb party, and you can always add an extra garnish of cilantro, parsley, or some raw onion.
The total carb content will be roughly 9 grams for the entire cocktail, and you can enjoy yourself without having to worry about your carb consumption getting out of control.
Artichokes are some of the best conversation snacks that you can enjoy, and the truth is that they will be one of the best low carb snacks for those that enjoy the flavour of this flower-looking food.
The artichoke can be cooked in the microwave or on the stove once the thistle has been removed, and you can peel off the leaves one by one to enjoy the delicious meat at the end of each leaf.
Using a lemon or vinegar dip is the best way to keep it low fat as well as low carb, but you can always serve it with a mayo dip if you must. Either way, the artichoke itself only contains about 17 grams of carbohydrates, but it has 9 grams of fibre – equalling 8 grams of Net Carbs. It will be a fun, filling snack that you can share with your friends, and it is guaranteed to be a great conversation food.
Most people think of Caesar salad as being one of the highest fat salads on the menu. The truth is that it usually is thanks to the fact that it’s served with the fatty Caesar salad dressing. If, however, you want to enjoy a nice low carb snack, the Caesar salad can be one of the best. The salad is just plain Romaine lettuce, served with a bit of Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.
You can add grilled chicken to the plate in order to increase the protein content – great for a high protein low carb diet – but keep the dressing away. You may be able to add a single tablespoon of olive oil with lemon or vinegar if you have to dress it, but it’s best to eat it sans dressing. If you go without dressing, you’re only getting 12 grams of carbohydrates and 3 grams of fiber – not to mention 220 calories!
Rather than making yourself a peanut butter sandwich, why not consider using peanut butter as a dip for your delicious celery sticks. Celery contains almost no carbohydrates, but they have tons of fibre.
You can eat three large stalks of celery cut up into sticks, and dip them into 2 tablespoons of peanut butter – the natural kind with no sugar added, of course. This little snack will have just 208 calories, 8.5 grams of carbs, and 3 grams of fibre. All in all, it’s a healthy and tasty snack that you are guaranteed to love if you are a peanut butter fan!
The Japanese edamame beans are some of the tastiest that you will find, especially if you eat them by the handful. You can make yourself a plate of the delicious soy beans just by cooking them in the microwave for a few minutes. By adding water, you can basically boil the beans and have them ready to eat in a matter of minutes.
You can add a pinch of salt and pepper, as well as a teaspoon of lemon juice to add a tiny bit of flavour. These beans are incredibly high in protein and fibre, and only contain a small amount of carbohydrates. You can get just 8 grams of carbs from this snack, but it also contains 4.3 grams of fibre and will only add 97 calories to your daily intake.
You can’t go too nuts when eating nuts, as they contain a lot of fat – which will be bad for your body in many ways. However, you can eat a handful of your favourite nuts without worrying too much about it, as they are both low in carbs and high in fibre. Make sure that the nuts are both unsalted and unroasted, and eating just a quarter of a cup of these nuts will be delicious and nutritious.
You can even roast them yourself if you want, and they will taste great even if you don’t add any salt or flavouring to them. This snack will only give you 6.7 grams of carbs, but there are 4 grams of fibre and 205 calories to make it as healthy a snack as possible!
Most people think of a latte as being a snack that is incredibly high in sugar and fats, but did you know that using soy milk will cut back on the carbs and fat significantly?
You can make yourself the perfect espresso coffee and mix it in with some incredibly frothy soy milk, and you can serve it hot or cold (pour it over crushed ice) to make it the perfect beverage for you. The soy milk is a bit sweet naturally, but it will be fairly low in carbs. You will get 8.5 grams of carbs from this snack, and only 73 calories!
Hummus is made with chick peas, which are legumes – all of which contain both carbs and fibre. Hummus can be a solid snack choice, but it will be a bit higher in carbs than you might expect.
Dipping a few carrots into a simple cup of homemade hummus (made by blending cooked chick peas with garlic, salt, and lemon juice) is a great way to eat a snack that you are certain to enjoy, and it will help to fill you up very quickly.
You will find that this is a very high protein snack, but it only adds less than 16 grams of carbs and 133 calories to your daily diet.
These are just a few ideas of delicious low carb snacks that you can try, and the truth is that the sky is the limit when it comes to finding delicious snack and meal ideas for your low carb diet. As long as you eliminate sugar and focus on the protein, your snacks can be healthy, tasty, and low in carbs!
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