The Low Carb Diet is based on a reduction in the consumption of simple carbohydrates in food such as white rice, pasta, and bread.To compensate for the reduction in carbohydrate, one should increase the intake of proteins such as meats and eggs, and good fats, which are present in foods such as avocados, nuts, olive oil and fish such as sardines and salmon.
This diet is very effective for weight loss because metabolism works best with increased protein and good fat in the food, helping to reduce inflammation in the body and fight against fluid retention.
The foods allowed in the Low Carb diet are:
- Fruits, vegetables and legumes;
- Meat, chicken and fish;
- Olive oil, coconut oil and butter;
- Nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts;
- Seeds in general, such as chia, flaxseed, sunflower and sesame;
- Coffee and sugar-free teas;
- Water, from 2 to 3 liters per day.
In addition to being used for weight loss, this diet is also indicated to treat problems like high cholesterol, diabetes, high triglycerides and high blood pressure.
In this diet it is important to avoid all foods that have a high amount of carbohydrates.That way, a good option is to check the food label before consuming. However, some examples of the types of foods that should be avoided are:
- Sugar : including foods such as soft drinks, fruit juices, sweeteners, sweets, ice creams, cakes and biscuits;
- Cereals , such as wheat, barley or rye, and foods such as bread, biscuits, savory, toast;
- Trans fats : packaged potato chips, frozen ready meals, margarines;
- Tubers such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, macaxeira, yam and aipim;
- Others: rice, pasta, farofa, tapioca and couscous.
Thus, an important tip is to try to avoid all kind of industrialized products since they usually contain a high concentration of carbohydrates, giving preference to fresh natural products and vegetables.
Low Carb Diet Menu
The following table shows a 3-day example of the Low Carb diet.
|Meal||Day 1||Day 2||Day 3|
|Breakfast||2 fried eggs with cheese + 1 teaspoon sesame + sugar-free coffee||1 cup sugar-free coffee + 2 scrambled eggs with tomatoes and basil||sugarless tea + 1 slice of low carb bread with cheese and a string of olive oil|
|Morning snack||1 apple + 7 cashew nuts||1 glass of green juice with cabbage, pineapple, lemon and 1 tablespoon of chia||1 kneaded banana + 1 tablespoon peanut butter|
|Lunch dinner||zucchini spaghetti + 120g of meat + raw green salad with olive oil||fillet of salmon + vegetables, sautéed with olive oil||pumpkin puree + 130g pork loin + braised cabbage with olive oil|
|Afternoon snack||sugar-free coffee + vegetable omelet made with 2 eggs||unsweetened tea + 1 slice of low carb bread with peanut paste||avocado vitamin with chia and vegetable milk|
To follow the diet Low carb should drink 2 to 3 liters of water per day, as this is a diet rich in fiber. In addition, it is also important to include in the daily diet the good fats, increasing the consumption of olive oil, nuts, peanuts, avocados, coconuts and fish.
Benefits of Low Carb Diet
Following a low carb diet brings health benefits like:
- Give more satiety, because the increase in the consumption of proteins and fats removes the hunger for longer;
- Lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides;
- Increase good cholesterol;
- Help control diabetes;
- Improve bowel function by containing more whole foods;
The amount of carbohydrates in the low carb diet varies according to the individual’s need and the level of physical activity practiced, but carbohydrates should constitute less than 40% of the calories in the diet.
In general, the less carbohydrate in the diet, the greater the stimulus for weight loss, but it is recommended that the reduction of carbohydrates be done with the follow-up of a nutritionist, as it can cause problems such as mood swings, immunity and headaches.