Low-carb diets are rising in popularity and it’s probably because of their ability to help with weight loss. But as with any dietary approach it can be done right or wrong. Let’s look at the basics of low carb so that you can use it to your advantage and avoid the usual pitfalls.
The low-carb approach to nutrition is based around limiting carbohydrates and replacing them with healthy sources of fat and protein. There are two types of carbs – starches (pasta, potatoes, bread, corn, rice, etc.) and sugars (white sugar, honey, fruits, etc.) and both have the ability to increase blood sugar and insulin levels, either slowly or rapidly in case of simple sugars. Foods containing sugars make it easier to overeat and they make you produce more insulin, the fat storage hormone. So, the idea is that limiting such foods should have weight loss and health benefits. But that can only be true if you do it right.
My Advice: Choose wholesome, naturally low-carb foods
Very commonly people think that cutting carbs is the silver bullet that solves all of their dietary problems. Unfortunately, that is not the case. If you used to eat pizza and cookies and now you eat pizza and cookies that are low-carb (yes, both exists) then you are probably still overeating and still feeding your body highly refined, nutrient poor food. The magic can only start happening if you switch to real foods that are naturally low in carbohydrates like eggs, fish, sea food, meat, vegetables, nuts, or seeds. These foods are rich in beneficial nutrients and don’t spike your blood sugar.
Choosing real foods instead of highly refined products is a great first step but there’s a lot more. You need to learn the carbohydrate content of common foods, how to replace your favourite carb-rich ingredients, or how to transition safely from a regular diet. We will go through all of these topics in the following articles but you can test your low carb knowledge in our quiz right now.
You should avoid beans and lentils on a low carb diet.
How many g of carbs are in 100 g of macadamia nuts?
You need carbs before a ride to avoid running out of energy.
How many carbs are in a typical can of beer?
Avocado is a great low-carb fruit.
How many carbs are in 100 g of mustard?