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Low Carbohydrate Foods

Submitted by Elizabeth on November 18, 2010

Low Carbohydrate Diet

A low carbohydrate diet, as the name suggests, is one in which the quantity of carbohydrates is very low. A low carbohydrate diet typically consists of low carbohydrate foods. There are some diets that advocate giving up carbohydrates completely. However, a low carbohydrate diet recommends lowering the total intake of carbohydrates and not eliminating them from the diet entirely.

Carbohydrates are an essential part of the diet, and hence, it is not advisable to completely eliminate them.

Apart from fats, carbohydrates are the main source of energy in the body. To successfully maintain a low carbohydrate diet, include lots of low carbohydrate foods in your diet and also learn some low carbohydrate recipes.

Apart from low carbohydrate foods, you can also consume complex carbohydrates.

While the simple carbohydrates are metabolized readily to give a surge of glucose in the body, complex carbohydrates are difficult to metabolize and therefore, do not cause sudden surge in the glucose levels. Most people, who are on a low carbohydrate diet for weight loss or for the management of diabetes, prefer consuming complex carbohydrates like whole wheat bread and other whole cereal products, wheat flakes, and brown rice. Simple carbohydrates, on the other hand, are refined wheat flour bread, white rice, potatoes, yams and other such things.

Most low carbohydrate recipes are high in proteins. When a person is consuming a low carbohydrate diet, the body can utilize proteins for energy. Your nutritionist will suggest the ideal carbohydrate-protein ratio for you.

You can consume low carbohydrate fruits when you are on a carbohydrate diet. However, try and avoid fruits like mango and banana, which are simple carbohydrates and which release large amounts of glucose into the blood stream. When you are on a low carbohydrate diet, it is also important to remain informed about what you are consuming. For instance, when you are buying foods at the market, be sure to read the label carefully. When you are on a low carbohydrate diet, not more than 15% of the total energy from your diet should be attributed to carbohydrates.

You can start with some easy changes before you make any drastic ones. It is important to make sure that you change over very slowly. There are many different types of low carbohydrate diets, and you will have to choose the kind of diet that you want for yourself. You can use a low carb food pyramid to pick out specific foods from the list.

Low fat carbohydrate foods are helpful in controlling your weight and obesity. Such foods also protect your heart from damage and have a low glycemic index as well. Some examples of these low carbohydrate foods are given below:

  • Lettuce, spinach and other leafy greens
  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumbers
  • Snow Peas, green peas, snap peas
  • Bean sprouts
  • Celery.
A low carbohydrate diet is a high fat diet. Most people feel that a low carbohydrate diet is the easiest and simplest way to get rid of excess weight. It is important that you check with your doctor before going on such a diet. Low carbohydrate diet foods include the following:
  • Fruits: Peaches, strawberries, avocadoes, black berries, blue berries etc. - these are permissible if in limited quantities.
  • Herbs and Spices: Basil, oregano, thyme, garlic, pepper etc. - limit these to one to two tablespoons.
  • Dairy: Heavy cream, cream cheese, butter, full fat sour cream, full fat cheeses - keep intake to one to two ounces a day.
  • Proteins: Pork products, beef, seafood, eggs, lamb, poultry and unsweetened whey protein.
  • Nuts and Seeds: They should be raw or roasted dry. Cashew nuts, peanuts, walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, almonds, sunflower and flax seeds are good options.
  • Vegetables: These should again be eaten in limited quantities - leafy greens, mushroom, sea vegetables, leek, eggplant, squash, sprouts, pumpkin, celery etc.
  • Condiments and Sauces: Avoid those with added sugar and keep quantities in check for the following: mustard, mayonnaise, tartar sauce, hot sauce, broth.
Foods that contain white flour and sugar are not included in a low carbohydrate diet.

Low carbohydrate snacks are those that contain hardly any carbohydrates. It is important to stock up on such snacks as they are nutritious and healthy and a good to reach for if you feel hungry in between meals. Low carbohydrate snack foods are easy to make and are delicious too. Try out the ones given below.
  • Roasted Soy Nuts
  • Celery with Peanut Butter
  • Popcorn
  • Raw vegetables with spinach dip
  • Low carbohydrate shakes (substitute ice cream with heavy cream or cream cheese or whipped cream.)
  • Peanut Butter Protein Balls
  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Low Carb Trail Mix
  • Celery with tuna
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Devilled eggs
  • Mushrooms with cheese spread inside
Plan your low carbohydrate meals keeping the above mentioned foods in mind.
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