A low-carb diet has become a buzzword in recent times when it comes to healthy eating behaviour. There has been a lot of hype on a low carb diet and how it helps people eat healthier. A low-carb diet is a diet that limits carbohydrates food sources found in sugary products, bread, and refined cereals. It is basically high in protein, fat, and fibre-rich vegetables. There are several types of low-carb diets, and multiple studies have shown that they support weight loss, as well as promote overall health.
What Is A Low-Carb Dieting?
Low-carb diets limit the number of carbohydrates a person consumes, and focus on adding proteins, healthy fats, and vegetables.
Carbohydrates are one of the three major macronutrients that the body needs to function well, the other two are protein and fat. Carbohydrates offer the body energy, which the system breaks down to use immediately or store for future use in the muscles and liver. However, if the body does not use stored carbs for a long time, then the body converts it to fat.
This diet pattern emphasizes one to consume wholesome foods that can keep one satiated and nourishes the body. A low-carb diet is effective in losing weight, as it reduces overall appetite, while protein and fats fill you up.
Foods To Include:
Dairy Products: Milk, yoghurt, butter, cheese, and cream are allowed without any restrictions, even the full-fat versions. However, avoid low fat and flavoured products.
Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts and cashews are packed with healthy fats and seeds like sunflower are allowed. Nut butter like peanut, almond butter can also be included.
Meat: Lean and red meat are protein-rich foods that keeps you full and satisfy hunger.
Seafood: Fish like salmon, mackerel, trout, haddock and sardines are abundant in healthy omega 3 fatty acids.
Eggs: Egg is one of the complete sources of protein and healthy fats that are a good choice in a weight loss meal plan.
Oils: Coconut and olive oils are allowed while following a low-carb diet.
Fruits: Apples, oranges and strawberries are allowed to be taken in moderate amounts and bananas need to be avoided.
Fresh Vegetables: Greens, onions, pepper, cauliflower, spinach, broccoli, carrots etc.,
Foods That Maybe Included
A healthy, active person, who don’t need to lose weight, can afford to eat a few more carbs, which include:
Unrefined Grains: Brown rice, oats, quinoa, and other millets.
Legumes: Lentils, black beans, pinto beans, etc.
Dark Chocolate: Choose organic brands with at least 70% of cocoa in moderate amounts. Dark chocolates heaped with antioxidants offer many health benefits if consumed in moderation.
Sugar-free carbonated beverages, like sparkling water.
Foods To Avoid
Sugar: Soft drinks, fruit juices, candy, ice cream and other products that contain added sugar.
Refined Grains: Wheat, Maida, rice, barley and rye, as well as bread, cereal and pasta.
Trans Fats: Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.
Diet and Low-fat Products: Low-fat
foods are packed with sugars and trans-fat. dairy products, breakfast cereals or crackers are low-fat but contain added sugar.
Processed Foods: Highly processed
Fruits: Mango, grapes, chickoo, bananas, and pineapples are loaded with carbs and sugar.
Starchy vegetables: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, yam, corn are high in carbs.
A Sample Low-Carb Diet Plan
Early Morning: Warm water with Ginger, lemon, mint & 1 tsp chia seeds – 1 glass
Breakfast: Pesarattu with onions, carrots topped -1
Mid-Morning: Orange - 1
Lunch: Oats upma with lots of vegetables -1 cup 1+ cumber Raita - 1 cup
Mid-afternoon: Green tea – 1 cup
Evening: Avocado -1
Dinner: Horse gram soup - 1 cup +Paneer tikka -1 cup
Bedtime: Warm lemon water with 1 tsp chia seeds -1 cup
Promotes Weight Loss
Several pieces of evidence have revealed that people who follow a low-carb diet tend to lose weight faster than those who follow low-fat diets. This diet pattern helps the body to get rid of excess water and reduce insulin levels, thereby leading to rapid weight loss.
Augments Cardiac Health
High levels of triglycerides increase the risk of cardiovascular problems, as these fats get accumulated in the veins, restricting the blood flow towards the heart, which increase the risk of cardiac arrest. High carbs in the diet, especially fructose increase triglyceride levels. Studies have disclosed that a low-carb diet can lower the production of fat molecules and shield the heart.
Carbohydrates after breaking down in the system are converted into sugar. Thus, a carb-rich diet may lead to higher sugar levels and fluctuate insulin production. While a low-carb diet reduces the risk of developing diabetes and control blood sugar levels.
A low-carb diet is beneficial for the body when followed under the proper guidance of a nutritionist and at the same time, it should be well-balanced with other essential nutrients required for the body. It is well-known to manage weight, lipid profile, control diabetes and boost metabolism.