Carbohydrates are essential in providing our body with energy for survival. However, consumption of carbs also requires moderation or else it will lead to a chain or chronic health conditions. A low-carb diet plan initially faced a lot of flak but over the years people have come to understand its significance, thanks to scientific research.
Following a low-carb diet doesn’t mean you need to leave no trace of carbs in your home. It only requires you to limit your carbohydrate intake by avoiding certain foods and having other options. A daily intake of 60 to 130 grams of carbohydrates is permissible with a low-carb diet. That would be equivalent to 240 to 520 calories.
What To Eat In A Low-Carb Diet Plan?
You can include all kinds of foods that are unprocessed and derived from natural sources. Your weekly menu should contain the following items.1
- Meat like beef, lamb, pork, chicken, and others (preferably grass-fed)
- Fish like salmon, trout, and haddock
- Vegetables like spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, lettuce, mushrooms, bell peppers, brussel sprouts, kale, celery, green beans, asparagus, tomatoes, mushrooms, and radishes
- Fruits like apples, avocados, citrus fruits, pears, blueberries, and strawberries
- Nuts and seeds like Almonds, walnuts, sunflower, chia and flax seeds
- High-Fat Dairy: Cheese, butter, and yogurt
- Fats and Oils: Coconut oil, olive oil, and cod fish liver oil
What To Avoid In A Low-Carb Diet Plan?
The following foods are total antagonists to your low-carb diet as they are loaded with high calories and plentiful of additives and trans fats. These are often available in pre-packaged and processed forms.2
- Sugar-laden foods like soft drinks, fruit juices, candies, and ice cream
- Gluten grains like wheat, spelt, barley, and rye
- Trans fats often found in fried, baked, and processed foods
- High omega-6 oils like sunflower, corn, and canola oils
- Artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, cyclamates, and acesulfame potassium
- All that’s labeled “diet” or “low-fat”
5 Benefits Of Following A Low-Carb Diet Plan
1. Excellent for weight loss and a healthy way to suppress appetite
2. Helps to burn abdominal fat that is responsible for obesity, high BP and diabetes
3. Prevents the risk of atherosclerosis by lowering bad cholesterol and raising good cholesterol
4. Improves blood-sugar regulation and by bringing down insulin resistance and reversing type-2 diabetes
5. Prevents the onset of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It has also been found to be very effective in people suffering from epilepsy.
The Side Effects Of A Low-Carb Diet
Adopting a low-carb diet is both a mental and physical challenge. Not only will you be missing foods that you used eat previously, but your body will take at least 2-3 weeks to get used to the new diet. In the meantime, you are more likely to experience a lot of cravings and hunger pangs.
Studies have also found that people tend to urinate or poop more when they are on this diet. This is because the proteins we eat have a lot of nitrogen-based amino acids. Nitrogen gets converted to urea in the body which gets excreted through urine and feces.
The side effects can be managed better by cutting down carbohydrate intake gradually instead of one go. Always make sure that your daily intake is around 100-150 grams. Anything lower than this can aggravate the side effects. In the absence of too many carbs, your body needs time to make your fat stores the new energy source. This is the phase when the cravings and side effects are the strongest.
Just remember to stay committed to the reason why you wanted to adopt the low-carb diet in the first place. With a fair amount of determination and willpower, you will eventually ease into it.
|↑1||Low Carbohydrate Foods. Indiana University|
|↑2||Carbohydrate Counting. American Diabetes Association|
|↑3||Mansoor, Nadia, Kathrine J. Vinknes, Marit B. Veierød, and Kjetil Retterstøl. “Effects of low-carbohydrate diets v. low-fat diets on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.” British Journal of Nutrition 115, no. 3 (2016): 466-479.|
|↑4||Tay, Jeannie, Natalie D. Luscombe-Marsh, Campbell H. Thompson, Manny Noakes, Jonathan D. Buckley, Gary A. Wittert, William S. Yancy, and Grant D. Brinkworth. “Comparison of low-and high-carbohydrate diets for type 2 diabetes management: a randomized trial.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 102, no. 4 (2015): 780-790.|