At its most basic, a low-carb diet reduces how much of our food comes from grains or starchy veg such as potatoes. It limits or cuts out sugary foods, bread and pasta in favor of foods rich in protein and natural fat. The last is good news if you like heavy cream or half-and-half in coffee. Many studies show that low-carb eating has lots of benefits, both for how we feel and overall health. Once you understand which foods to avoid, you can forget counting calories and just get on with enjoying your food.
Losing weight successfully is about more than reducing calories because focusing on calories alone introduces other problems, like hunger and a feeling of deprivation.
When you’ve built the low-carb eating habit, you’ll find you feel full for longer, so you don’t want to snack on sugary or starchy foods. It all adds up to better, faster, weight loss.
Increasing the number of vegetables in your diet has many health benefits. Cauliflower for instance, is reckoned to be one of the most health-giving vegetables in the world, even better than broccoli or cabbage when eaten in similar quantities, reducing the risk of cancers such as prostate cancer and colorectal cancer. Steamed cauliflower conserves more of the nutrients than boiled, and this is true of many other veggies too.
Other benefits of a low-carb diet include reduced blood sugar and lower insulin levels, both of which can help control diabetes (both type one and two). Risk of heart disease falls too because a low-carb diet reduces triglycerides, which are a type of fat found in the blood. They can cause hardening of the arteries and increase your risk of strokes or heart disease.
BOOST YOUR ENERGY
Eating junk food, or processed foods filled with refined sugars and carbohydrates can give you a quick ‘high’, but you may have noticed your energy levels soon crash and you feel sluggish. Those foods take more energy to digest so you also soon feel hungry again.
Some energy giving foods include:
- Water! Staying hydrated staves off hunger, mood swings and headaches.
- Eggs. Eat them any way you like for protein, amino acids and good fats.
- Spinach. It contains lots of iron, which is vital for high energy levels, and is easy to use either cooked or raw in salads.
- Apples. With a high fiber content, apples take longer to digest, slowly releasing energy rather than delivering it all at once like sugary snacks.
Huge Choice of Foods
Both healthy animal foods and plants fall into the low-carb diet food groups. Compared to bread and rice which have relatively few nutrients, foods such as spinach or avocado are extremely nutrient-rich, and low in carbohydrates. Similarly, the versatile yet humble cauliflower is packed with all good things from proteins to vitamins C and B6 to mention just two.
You also don’t have to restrict yourself to purely fresh foods you prepare yourself. Diets that demand huge amounts of time in the kitchen tend to be the ones we give up on soonest. Forward-thinking food manufactures help us maintain a healthy diet habits with handy products like riced cauliflower you can use in multiple ways, from sautéing to mashing to making salads straight from the pouch.
When you’re stocking up on store cupboard staples, remember to read ingredient lists on the back of the product. Sometimes the manufacturer will promote words like ‘natural’ or ‘healthy’ on the front, but reveal huge amounts of sugar or other additives (which we’re trying to avoid) on the back.
With all the health and weight loss benefits of eating low carb, there’s little reason not to give it a go. If it sounds hard or complicated, start small and work up. Your body will thank you for it.
This post is sponsored by Fullgreen,the brand that I personally love!