Apr 20th 2018
So many of us fight the battle of the bulge. Large portion sizes in restaurants and high caloric processed foods make gaining weight a big problem in the U.S. The fact is that if you eat more carbs then your body needs, it stores them in the muscles and liver for later use, or converts them to fat.
Although in the short term, low carb diets may work faster than conventional diets, studies suggest conventional diets and low carb diets produce the same long term outcomes. Care must be taken not to consume too much saturated fat while on a low carb diet because of its potential to increase LDL cholesterol a risk factor for coronary heart disease. But, low carb diets have been associated with improvements in heart protective markers such as increased HDL and decreased serum triglycerides.
Most low carb diets only allow for 20 to 50 grams (g) of carbohydrates per day, so it is important you choose the most nutritious foods while on these low carb meal plans such as:
- • fish, eggs, and lean meats such as sirloin, chicken breast, or pork
- • leafy green and cruciferous vegetables
- • nuts and seeds, including nut butter
- • olive oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, and avocado oil
Each of the following provides about 15 gms of Carbs:
- • tennis ball size apple, orange, or 1/2 cup of blueberries
- • unsweetened dairy products like cheese, or (8 oz plain milk or 6 oz Greek yogurt)
- • ½ cup of peas, beans, or other legumes
- • 1 small baked potato
- • 1 slice whole grain, seed or almond bread
Some low-carb substitutions include:
- • lettuce leaves instead of bread slices or taco shells
- • portobello mushroom caps instead of buns
- • baked butternut squash fries
- • eggplant lasagna (substitute eggplant slices for pasta levels)
- • cauliflower mashed instead of potatoes
- • squash instead of noodles or spaghetti
- • zucchini ribbons instead of pasta
Note: You should follow your Doctor's advice while on a low carb diet. If you notice any discomfort like weakness, you may simply need more calories but do consult your Doctor. If you notice constipation, you should increase fiber intake from vegetables, whole grain breads or a supplement. Drink plenty of water. Dried prunes can help too, but they are high in carbs so limit daily intake to 2 prunes per day (about 14 grams of carbs).