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What Food Can I Eat on a Low Carbohydrate Diet?

What Food Can I Eat on a Low Carbohydrate Diet?

Consuming fewer carbs can have impressive advantages on the overall health of an individual. It significantly reduces hunger levels, leading to automatic weight loss, without the need for calorie counting. Losing just five percent of your body weight has been shown to reduce your risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and improve metabolic function in liver, fat, and muscle tissue. Though the overall weight-loss is wholly independent of the type of diet you follow, the low-carb diet has a little edge over low-fat based diets. A low-carb diet is a diet that restricts carbohydrates, such as those found in sugary foods, pasta, and bread. It is high in protein, fat and healthy vegetables. For a very long time, people have followed a low-fat eating regimen to shed those extra kilos; however, when looking at the overall health benefits, low-carb diets tend to be more effective in the long run.

What constitutes a low carb diet?

  • For the starters, carbohydrates are one of the three major nutrients essential for the proper functioning of the body. 
  • The other two are protein and fat. The body breaks carbs down to produce energy immediately or stores it in the muscle or liver for later use.
  • However, if the body does not use these stored carbs, the body converts them to fat.
  • A low-carb diet varies from an individual to another individual. A general low-carb dietary regimen may include 50 to 100 grams g of carbohydrates per day. 
  • It is considered a ketogenic diet below this limit, while 100 to 200 g of carbohydrates per day is a moderate-carb diet.
capsicum

Why choose a low-carb diet?

Many people follow low-carb diets because if the body does not receive more carbohydrates, it will not store excess fat. The idea, then, is that the body will burn some of the stored fat rather than the carbs, which will promote fat loss. This reason explains Ketosis to some level. How? Let's have a look at it. The body, in general, follows two metabolic pathways, namely, glycolysis and Ketosis. In the absence of sufficient carbohydrates, the body resorts to Ketosis in which it starts burning the fats stored in the body to gain energy.

So, what then is a keto diet?
  • A ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet. It is a protein-based diet that powers the body to consume fats instead of starches to produce vitality. 
  • When your body is devoid of sufficient carbs to burn for energy, it starts burning fat, which results in ketone formation and is used to draw power for all the activities; this process is known as Ketosis.
  • While on Ketosis you can consume whole foods, such as eggs, lean meat, oily fish, low-carb veggies, and low-carb naturally grown sustainable products, like low-carb flours (almond, chickpea, etc.). When on a ketogenic dietary regimen, you cannot eat any processed or refined foods items.
  • A keto diet is quite impressive compared to other diets regarding demonstrated weight reduction benefits, and treat PCOS to some extent.
  • It has also appeared to decrease cancerous tumours’ danger, treat cognitive impairments like Dementia, Depression, Alzheimer's disease, and control diabetes and insulin levels. 
fruits

Why should you refrain from consuming processed sugary food items?

People who consume a comparatively large amount of sugary stuff are far more likely to develop conditions such as extreme weight gain, hypertension, harmful cholesterol levels, and coronary heart diseases. The Indian diet is exceptionally high in carbohydrates and includes various sweet delicacies, which result in rapid weight gain in the long run. Hence, try and refrain or limit sweetened beverages, grain-based items, fruit drinks, dairy, and ghee-based sugary desserts. Even if the nutrient labelling on the drink claims to be free of added sweeteners, its naturally occurring sugars are far more concentrated than you would find in a piece of fruit. Focus on consuming fruits as a whole because juice offers empty calories and is of minimal nutritional value, thus foiling your weight loss attempts.

1. What do the studies have to say?

A study has found a molecular link between sugar-based diets and early Dementia. As per the results, glucose causes damage to an essential enzyme in your cells that is involved in reducing abnormal protein build-up in the brain, thus triggering Alzheimer's.

2. Salads? Yes! Provided you keep the following pointer in mind.

Grabbing a salad for lunch may seem like a savvy dietary choice, but it is essential to know that some bottled dressings such as French and Caesar, often have about seven grams of sugar for each two-tablespoon serving.

2. Are all types of Oatmeal good for health?

Oatmeal and muesli are excellent sources of protein and fibre. However, do not buy flavoured versions of them. Some varieties can contain as much as twenty-thirty grams of sugar in each hundred-gram of helping.In addition to the health risks mentioned above of taking sugar, its consumption is linked to probable cancerous growths, depression, skin diseases like acne, and hyperpigmentation along with other health hazards. 

Foods you should stay clear-off:

  • Stay away from refined sugar, rice, flour, pasta, and other processed foods such as cereals, white bread, and crackers. The main problem with these foods is the degree of processing, which strips away most of its nutritional content and lacks fibre. 
  • Lessen admission of saturated fats and trans-fats as much as possible. Always use vegetable oils rather than solid fats while cooking meals. 
  • Decrease day by day admission of salt or sodium. Lessen to under 1,500-1,800 mg. if you have hypertension, diabetes, or interminable kidney infection.
  • It would help if you ultimately reduced the intake of refined grains like wheat, rice, barley, rye, bread, cereal, and pasta.
  • Keep away from trans and saturated fats like hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. Always use vegetable oils rather than solid fats while cooking meals. 
  • Many dairy products, cereals, or crackers are fat-reduced but contain added sugar. Keep in mind! If something looks like it has come straight from a manufacturing plant, don’t eat it.
  • Also, It’s best to limit starchy vegetables in your diet if you’re following a very low-carb diet.
spinach

The list of food items you can devour while on a keto diet:

  • Many green leafy vegetables and colored veggies, such as spinach, lettuce, mushrooms, cauliflower, tomatoes, etc.
  • Seasonal and organically grown fruits like apple, oranges, banana, guava, plums, and pears.
  • Browse an assortment of low-fat wellsprings of protein — including eggs, beans, poultry without skin, fish, lean meats, unsalted nuts, seeds, and soy items. If you eat meat, eat white meat, at any rate, multiple times more regularly than red meat. 
  • Nuts like almonds, sunflower seeds, groundnuts, pistachio, chia seeds, etc.
  • Leguminous food items like lentils, kidney beans, etc.
  • Dairy products like skimmed, low-fat milk, cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese.
  • Some healthy spices like turmeric, ginger, coriander, black pepper, etc.
  • Cauliflower is one of the richest sources of vitamin K. Garlic, another white consumable, contains organo-sulphur and flavonoids. These compounds boost immunity, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and protect against cancer.
  • Eat entire grain, high-fibre bread, and oats (unflavoured ones!). 
  • Other healthy white-foods include radishes, pine nuts, white beans, onions, mushrooms, and turnips.
  • No starchy vegetables: zucchini, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, leafy greens (like spinach, for example), and tomatoes.
  • If you are into dark chocolates, choose organic dark chocolate brands with at least 70% cocoa.

While the foods listed above all contain roughly equal amounts of carbohydrates, they are not all nutritionally equivalent. The dairy products on the list contain protein and vital nutrients, such as Vitamin D and calcium, in addition to the carbohydrate content. The fruit and vegetables also contain essential vitamins and minerals. Fruits are usually high in calories and low in fat but have varying amounts of carbohydrates and sugars. However, fruits are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, plus fibre. Fibre helps slow the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream, so you’re less likely to experience lows and mood swings. Choosing whole-grain bread and rice varieties will provide more nutrients than white varieties, even though the carb content is similar.

Bottom Line:

Though weight-reduction is a function of calories, it is linked to the overall calorie shortfall, so the diet doesn’t matter if weight management is the primary goal. However, low-carb diets fare better in managing lifestyle-related diseases like insulin resistance, hypertension, PCOS, depression, etc. No matter which diet you follow, keep yourself hydrated all the time, as thirst is mistaken for hunger many-a-times.

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