Considering a low-carb diet plan is something that crosses the radar of millions of people who are trying to find ways to lose weight and obtain a healthier lifestyle.
A healthy low-carb diet has both benefits and drawbacks, like most specific eating plans.
Weighing both the advantages and the disadvantages can help an individual determine if a low-carb diet food list is right for them.
Example of low-carb diet include meals that contain nuts, fruits, fresh vegetables, meats, and meals low in bread items.
Low Carb Diet | Benefits, Mistakes and Foods Video Review
What is a Low-Carb Diet?
According to the Mayo Clinic, a low-carb diet menu consists of greatly reducing foods that are high in starches and carbohydrates.
Some low-carb diet foods include:
- Red meat
People following a low-carb diet menu can enjoy a diverse range of foods, but there are also some serious limitations to this type of diet plan as well.
This is why food tracking with an app like Noom with an extensive food database is clinically proven to promote weight loss.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, a healthy eating plan would be very similar to a low-carb low sugar diet plan.
By Harvard’s Healthy Eating Plan, it is recommended that people consume whole grains, foods that contain healthy fats, and very little sugary drinks and foods.
Sugary drinks and foods would include soda, sweet teas, many processed foods, desserts, and alcohol.
The Harvard Healthy Eating Plan also recommends people pay attention to the type of carbohydrates they consume, as opposed to limiting simply all carbohydrates.
Many low-carb diet tips point to healthy carbohydrates that exist in vegetables that are loaded with much-needed nutrients.
“The fewer carbohydrates you ingest, the more often your body will have to rely more on fat for its fuel source. You want to cut out completely refined grains or sugar (even juice), processed foods, dairy, and eat less than two pieces of fruit a day. Instead, focus on eating more colorful vegetables, healthy fats like those found in avocado, coconut oil and cold-pressed olive oil, nuts and seeds, and a variety of proteins found in fish, grass-fed beef, poultry and legumes,” states Eva Selhub, MD, an internationally recognized resilience expert, physician, author, speaker, scientist and consultant.
What Are Low-Carb Diet Ingredients?
The best low-carb diet recipes include healthily balanced portions of foods that provide your body with all the nutrients, proteins, amino acids, and antioxidants it needs.
Low-carb diet recipes include ingredients such as mushrooms, nuts, catfish, salmon, steak, pork, butter, tomatoes, blackberries, and radishes.
People who enjoy eating dairy food will be pleased to discover that ingredients such as sour cream, yogurt, milk, butter, and cheese are all part of what is considered a low-carb diet menu.
If using lean meats such as fish and adding a significant amount of vegetables, this type of low-carb diet meal plan mimics a Mediterranean diet.
When considering how does a healthy low-carb diet work, it is important to remember that meals should be evenly balanced, and most of a person’s diet should center around produce.
An example of a low-carb diet that includes healthy fruits would be cheese, blackberries, a boiled egg, and a slice of bacon for breakfast.
According to Diabetes, Obesity, & Metabolism, another example of a low-carb diet would be a catfish fillet for supper, along with baked green asparagus drizzled with olive oil, a hard-boiled egg, and a lettuce salad loaded with radishes, broccoli, and tomatoes.
Concerning low-carb diet ingredients, the U.S. National Library of Medicine with the National Institute of Health released a publication titled “Health Effects of Low-Carb Diets: Where Should New Research GO?”
This publication, released in 2014, states that there is an effect on a person’s metabolism when greatly limiting carbohydrate intake.
Low-Carb Diet Nutrition Facts
Supported by an article shared by Scientific American, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says that while some saturated fats and carbohydrates can be healthy for a person, refined and sugary carbohydrates post numerous health risks, especially when consumed on a regular basis.
What Does a Low-Carb Diet Do?
If you’re wondering is a low-carb diet healthy, you’ve joined hundreds of thousands of other individuals who are trying to find out if a low-carb diet weight loss program is the right choice.
Starting by asking the question, “How does a low-carb diet work?” will help you to discover if this is the right nutritional lifestyle for you.
A low-carb diet essentially restricts the number of carbohydrates a person intakes through meals, snacks, desserts, and drinks.
Many people would not think about carbohydrates being in drinks but liquids such as shakes, smoothies, some sodas, and some fruit drinks do contain a significant amount of carbs.
Try tracking some of your favorite drinks in an app like Noom to see just how much sugar you’re consuming.
The reason a person limits their carbohydrate intake is due to many carbs digesting and turning into sugar that the body stores.
Limiting the intake of carbohydrates can help to contribute to weight loss and it also can be healthy because a person on a low-carb diet plan for weight loss will not eat as much processed foods.
Many processed foods are stacked with sugars and high amounts of carbs, which far exceed the recommended dietary intake suggested by the Dietary Guidelines provided by the USDA.
Does the Low-Carb Diet Work?
There is controversy among professionals on whether a low-carb diet works.
To decide if this type of meal plan is the right choice for you, it is important to ask yourself why you are considering a low-carb diet plan.
Some people choose a high protein (meat based) low-carb diet and others prefer to go with a low-carb vegetarian diet.
When asking the question if a low-carb diet works, you must first decide which type of diet plan you’re considering.
Not all carbohydrate-restricted meal plans are the same.
There’s the Mediterranean meal plan, which consists of lean meats, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.
There are also a low-carb vegetarian diet and low-carb diets like a keto diet which is a low-carb high-fat diet.
Any low-carb diet has the potential to work for a length of time.
But, the important factor is finding a lifestyle eating habit that is both healthy and sustainable for the long run.
According to HSPH.Harvard.edu, one of the benefits of ingesting fewer carbs is in taking more nutritious vegetables and reducing the intake of unhealthy foods such as highly-processed foods, white sugars, refined carbs, and white flour products.
Each of these has consistently been reported by food and health experts to be unhealthy items to intake, especially when moderation is not used.
These foods, which are all high in carbs, can lead to obesity and other medical problems.
Are There Low-Carb Diet Side Effects to Worry About?
Typically, with any type of diet plan, there can be side effects to worry about, which range from mild to severe.
If you’re a person with a chronic health issue, it is advisable to seek medical guidance before committing to any type of diet plan. Side effects of a typically healthy low-carb diet include bad breath, nausea, headaches, and only temporary improvements in weight loss.
These side effects are detailed by the Mayo Clinic, which also suggests what you can eat on a low-carb diet that would limit side effects and negative health outcomes.
The Mayo Clinic states that diets higher in protein have benefits due to helping a person feel full longer, and it also states that what you can eat on a low-carb diet may only result in minor weight loss progress that is not enduring for years to come.
Because of this, it’s important to keep a diet balanced and to ensure you’re consuming healthy foods that keep you feeling full, and that also provide appropriate nutrition levels.
Track your food intake with an app like Noom for accurate nutritional values.
As always, combining exercise and consuming recommended intakes of water will contribute to improvements in health and will also potentially have a positive impact on any weight-loss goals.
What Are the Low-Carb Diet Benefits?
There can be numerous benefits in the short-term for low-carb diets, as reported by agencies like the American Heart Association.
Benefits to engaging in a low-carb diet plan for weight loss include cutting back on calorie intake, managing weight, and eating more natural foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
“Dietary Protein and Weight Reduction” is a publication produced by the American Heart Association in the early 2000’s.
This article states that high protein and low-carb diets are not typically harmful, but they often do not pose the advantages that are advertised by many companies and organizations.
The article states that if calories are reduced, including through restricting the number of carbohydrates consumed, an individual may lose weight and be able to control calorie consumption.
This, combined with exercise and a balanced nutrient intake, can be successful in helping an individual climb down from obesity and pursue a healthier lifestyle.
High-calorie intake and obesity is also linked to respiratory problems, a lack of energy and good sleep health.
Benefits of low-carb diets can include finding a more balanced nutrition intake and enjoying more natural foods.
An example of a low-carb diet being successful is a person having a weight loss and health goal and being able to meet those goals through following carb restrictions to better balance their meals.
Other benefits may include consuming fewer chemicals used to process foods, eating foods higher in fiber, which promotes a healthy digestive system, and short-term weight loss.
A high protein low-carb diet plan is a specific type of meal plan pursued by people who seek carb-restricting diets. This also can contribute to moderate weight loss.
Long-term weight loss is achieved on a low-carb vegetarian diet and a low-carb low sugar diet by many participants of these diet plans who have combined exercise, increase in water consumption, and healthy lifestyle activities with their nutrition changes.
Is There a Low-Carb Diet Alternative?
Many people prefer alternatives to a high protein low-carb diet meal plan.
- Keto diet
- Vegetarian diet
- Paleo diet
Paleo diets include natural foods such as leafy green vegetables, many raw and uncooked foods, nuts, regional produce, seeds, and fish.
This is among the more natural and organic diets in circulation and it includes refraining from eating processed foods.
Keto diets are often used and this kind of meal plan focuses on eating a very low-carb high-fat diet.
On a ketosis diet, a person can eat butter, bacon, sausage, and all the cheese they want; but their carb intake, including vegetable carbs, is greatly limited.
What is the Low-Carb Diet Cost?
As people consider what to eat on a low-carb diet, they often wonder what a low-carb diet costs.
Any time a person chooses to pursue a new nutrition or diet plan, weighing in the cost of it is important because if it is not sustainable, it won’t be beneficial.
In many cases, low-carb diets are not expensive and do not require a lot more money than standard eating habits.
The drawback, for some people, to a low-carb diet, is having to plan meals ahead of time.
Low-Carb Low Sugar Diet
If you’re someone who has been used to grabbing a bag of chips or going through a fast food drive through to ward off a hunger attack, a low-carb diet is going to take some considerable changes in habits.
Low-carb low sugar diet is an eating change that would require an overhaul of grocery shopping habits, but it can also lead to improved health.
This can be a good thing for health reasons, and it can also actually save a person money when they don’t indulge in drive-through chains and snacks in the checkout lane.
Low-carb diet snacks are probably among the most expensive types of food on this type of meal plan.
Examples of what to eat on a low-carb diet for snacks include low-carb diet foods such as almonds, macadamia nuts, berries, sunflower seeds, celery, cold cut broccoli and carrots, and beef jerky.
This would be considered a low-carb low-calorie diet.
What Can You Eat On a Low-Carb Diet?
Low-Carb Diet Directions
To follow a low-carb diet, be prepared to plan for healthy meals.
A high protein low-carb diet plan is often used by athletes and people who need energy while also maintaining their weight.
Many people find themselves cheating on what is a low-carb diet healthy meal plan due to not being prepared.
Preparation includes food tracking and the extensive database of foods managed by nutritionists with Noom is ideal to keep you focused on eating the right foods.
Having fruit on a low-carb diet is a great way to replenish yourself during hunger cravings without cheating on your goals. Fruit on the low-carb diet is best when utilizing berries.
What you can eat on a low-carb diet also includes whole grains, eggs, and fun foods such as dark chocolate and flavored tea.
Berries are low-carb diet foods that have tons of antioxidants and are also able to be quickly packaged in plastic baggies and taken with you on the go.
What not to eat on a low-carb diet includes ready-prepared meals from grocery stores such as ravioli, frozen pizza, chips, and packaged foods such as hamburger or tuna pasta meals.
What not to eat on a low-carb diet also includes sweet foods such as donuts, candy, white bread, white rice, and white potatoes.
Low-Carb Diet Results
While there is controversy surrounding what is a low-carb diet and how low-carb diet recipes may be helpful for a person, the evidence does exist that this kind of nutrition change can help lead to weight loss.
For people who want to manage their calorie intake, reducing carbohydrates is an ideal way to begin the process.
Some people experience struggles in doing a complete meal overhaul all at once. Having fruit on a low-carb diet can help lead to success.
How Does a Low-Carb Diet Work?
As stated previously, doing something sustainable is important, and it is okay to take small steps toward a big goal.
Low-carb diet results can include getting more fit, cutting back dress and pant sizes, and finding more energy and a healthier immune system.
These things are only accomplished if a person has a balanced intake of food and does their best to follow a wellbeing lifestyle that also includes regular increments of exercise and activity.
Plans such as a low-carb high-fat diet have also been reported to help people think more clearly and to feel full throughout the day, without consuming a lot of junk food or unhealthy snacks.
Low-Carb Diet Weight Loss
If you have been asking, what can you eat on a low-carb diet, you are not alone.
This is something that is often considered by people before they take on a new eating change.
Low-carb diet weight loss is most effective when a person is stringent in their carb-calorie intake.
Avoiding foods such as French fries, bread, sweets, plates of pasta, corn, and white rice, and items made from white flour are important.
If you’re thinking what can I eat on a low-carb diet, you may consider having salads with meat or fruit for lunch and trying breakfasts that include berries, eggs, and a slice of low-carb whole wheat toast or nuts.
The best low-carb diet is one that is sustainable and allows a person to feel full throughout the day.
The best low-carb diet also includes a healthy amount of fresh vegetables and fruit so a person receives a proper sum of antioxidants and minerals that are important to good health and good digestion.
What Users Are Saying
“Low carb will change your entire perception of weight loss, hunger and cravings. There is literally no other lifestyle like it. I feel no hunger, I feel no change in moods, I feel no change in energy throughout the day. It’s a game changer.”
“I keep reading that low carb or keto diet gives you more energy but i still haven’t seen that benefit. I am on low carb for the past three weeks (might even have touched ketosis but i doubt it) and i haven’t seen any spikes in energy or mental clarity or any of those awesome sounding benefits.”
“It works – but you have to work at it. If you cheat you are wasting your time. If you go back regular high-carb eating the weight will come right back (ask me how I know). I lost 140lbs – been at my current weight for about 6 years. Walking has been a BIG feature of my weight loss. It starts with walking down to the end of the block and back. One day you will feel like going further and then in a year you will wonder how it ever was that you only felt like walking one block.”
The Bottom Line on Low-Carb Diet
Low-carb diet tips point to a person using a high protein low-carb diet plan.
This is one option that seems to be popular with individuals who have maintained good results over the years of participating in this kind of nutrition change.
The bottom line of having a low-carb low-fat diet means choosing foods that you love and learning how to get creative with them.
If you’ve eaten a lot of processed and heavy-starch foods over the years, it may take some adjustment.
But, taking one step at a time can be beneficial. It’s also important to compare this diet plan with others if you’re wondering what can I eat on a low-carb diet.
Low Carb Diet | Benefits, Mistakes and Foods Questions & Answers
Low carb diets drastically limit the amount of carbohydrates eaten. It favors nutritious vegetables and foods with a high fat and protein content over processed and sugary foods.
Many foods are available on a low carb diet. These include eggs, most meats and seafood, vegetables and some fruits.
There are 5.8 grams of carbs in one cup of diced tomatoes making them a good choice for a low carb vegetable.
While adjusting to a low carb diet can be an unpleasant, there are ways to make the process easier. Drink plenty of water, avoid processed foods and eat higher carb counts before exercise.
Keep carbs at bay by removing sugary drinks and processed foods while eating more eggs, vegetables and other low carb options.
For the first two weeks, eat less than 20 grams of carbs daily. Then add in low carb fruits, vegetables and nuts. Once nearing the weight loss goal, add in additional carbs to slow weight loss. Moving forward, only eat as many carbs the body can handle without gaining weight.
Cherry tomatoes are a healthy low carb food. There are only 6 grams of carbs in one cup of cherry tomatoes.
Avoid pasta, cereal, breads and other grains. Also stay away from foods with added sugar and beer.
Foods high in carbs include fruits, bread, rice, yogurt, milk, beans and starchy vegetables. Sugary foods and ice cream also make this list.
Atkins allows for a wide variety of low carb food options. Proteins include eggs, chicken, beef, and salmon. Kale, broccoli and spinach are some low carb vegetables. Cheese, yogurt and butter are low carb dairy options.
While most low carb diet plans keep intake at 50-150 grams per day, any amount less than 225 grams for a 2,000 calorie diet would be considered low carb. This works out to diets with less than 45% of a daily caloric intake being carbohydrates.
Balanced low carb diets with nutritious foods have many benefits to offer including weight loss and reduced risk of diabetes.
Low carb diets limit the amount of extra sugars that stored in muscles, the liver and cells that, when not used, is turned to fat. Lower sugar levels force the body to utilize fat that has been stored in the body, thereby burning it off.
To lose weight, the typical person would need to keep carb counts around 100-150 grams daily. Those that exercise regularly may need to increase this amount to maintain energy levels.
The daily recommendation for carbohydrates is 45-60% of the total calories. For a 2,000 calorie diet, this would be between 225-325 grams.
The modern Atkins diet focuses on high fiber vegetable, lean proteins and healthy fats. It can be an effective way to lose weight.
During the first two weeks, Atkins dieters can expect to lose six to ten pounds. This slows to 1-3 pounds per week during the Ongoing Weight Loss Phase. At the Pre-maintenance Phase, dieters will further slow to about one pound per week.
Carbohydrates are found in many fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy. This includes rice, beans and whole grains.
Foods with carbs include dairy, starchy vegetables, sweets, fruits and beans.
There are many fruits low in carbs. These include watermelon, passion fruit, avocados, and apricots.
Fruits are included in the Atkins diet. Cherries, berries and melons are included in Phase 2, with a wider variety added during Phases 3 and 4.
While a healthy food option, carrots fall on the higher end of the carb spectrum. In ½ cup raw, chopped carrots there are 4 grams of carbs.
There are only 3.1 grams of carbs in a single cup of whole, white mushrooms. Adding mushrooms helps keep carb counts low and contributes amount of daily recommended vegetables.
Amounts less than the recommended 225-325 grams of carbs per day are considered a low carb diet. Typically these diets limit intake to 50-150 grams per day.
Foods with bad carbs include those that are processed, high in refined sugars and grains and low in nutrients and fiber.
A carb crash is tiredness one feels after eating high amounts of carbohydrates. Other names include sugar crash and reactive hypoglycemia.
Diets high in protein, especially when coupled with a reduction in carbohydrates can cause negative side effects including headaches.
Complex carbs take longer for the body to break down. They are found in high fiber foods, vitamins and minerals. Simple carbs are mostly found in processed, unhealthy foods.
Complex carbs can be found in whole grains, potatoes and other starchy vegetables, peas, beans and green vegetables.
Adding more fats into a diet by using fats and oils for cooking, picking meats with a high fat content and adding heavy cream to coffee.
Low carb diets do have higher proportions of fat.
To build muscle, carbohydrates should make up 50% of the daily calories. For a 3,000 daily calorie plan, this would work out 1,500 calories, or 375 grams.
Protein should make up about 1.4 grams per pound and fats should make up about 23% of total calories daily. The remainder of calories should be carbohydrates.
No carb snack foods include sugar-free gelatin, hard boiled egg whites, string cheese and lettuce wrapped tuna.
Zero carb foods fall primarily with meats. Beef, pork, lamb, trout, salmon and sardines contain no carbohydrates. Butter and extra virgin olive oil also contain no carbs.
Carrots are made up of 49.5% sugar carbs. They contains a higher amount of sugar than they do fiber or starch.
Pineapples are not a low carb food. One pineapple contains 119 grams of carbohydrates.
Fruit is allowed on low carb diets. Choose low carb fruits such as berries. The stricter the carb count, the harder it will be to incorporate fruits.
To eat less carbohydrates, reduce the amount of processed foods. Increase low and no carb foods.
Diabetics should keep their carb intake to 45-60 grams per meal and 15-30 grams per snack. A 2,000 calorie per day diet would contain about 250 grams of carbohydrates.
Choose complex carbohydrates over simple sugars. This includes vegetables, beans, fruits, nuts and whole grains.
White carbs consist of highly processed foods. In large doses, these cause erratic sugar levels and can lead to health problems.
Low carb diets can be a safe option to lose weight. Include healthy meats along with vegetables, grains and fruits.
Hormones are a huge reason people overeat. Low carb diets help regulate hormones in turn causing a lower caloric intake.
The typical amount to lose weight would be between 100-150 grams daily.
A daily diet consisting of less than 225 grams of carbs is considered low carb. Some plans restrict intake to 50-150 grams per day.
The low carb high fat diet is useful for regulating insulin levels. It consists of the restriction of high carb foods and the addition of foods high in healthy fats.
The Atkins diet works by increasing the amount of low carb foods and reducing the amount of high carbs options. This helps regulate sugar levels and reduces weight.
Prediabetics should keep carb counts to about 50-60% of the total calories each day. For a 2,000 calorie diet, 1,000-1,200 of those calories should be from carbohydrates.
To measure carbs, subtract insoluble fiber from total fiber and total carbs. If this leaves 5 grams of fiber or more, subtract half that amount from the remaining total carbs.
Most foods contain carbohydrates. This includes dairy, fruits, starchy vegetables, grains and sweets.
Starchy carbs can be found in potatoes, pasta, bread, rice and grains. The term is deceptive as carbohydrates consist of sugars, starches and fiber.
Beans contain a denser source of carbohydrates making them a starchy food. They also contain high amounts of protein.
Complex carbs are made of long-strung sugar molecules. Peas, beans and whole grains are starchy complex carbohydrates.
High carb foods include processed foods, oats, bananas and quinoa.
Look at the serving size and the total grams of carbohydrates per serving. Dietary fiber can be subtracted from the total carb count because it is not digested.
Counting carbs is usually done through nutritional labels or looking up nutritional values online. Journal the amount of carbs eaten during the day and add together for a total daily intake.
Intake should range between 45-65% of the total calories. For a 2,000 daily calorie diet, this would be 225-325 grams of carbohydrates.
Atkins dieters should see a 6-10 pound loss within the first two weeks. This will slow to 1-3 pounds per week during the Ongoing Weight Loss Phase and 1 pound in the Pre-maintenance Phase.
The Ketogenic Diet plan includes healthy saturated and monounsaturated fats as well as polyunsaturated omega 3s. These come from a wide variety of animals fats, seafood, butter and oils from olives and avocados.
A no carb diet would include most meats and seafood, eggs, nuts and most vegetables. Fruits can be added in limited amounts.
For a 2,000 daily calorie diet, 250 grams should be from carbohydrates. Aim for 45-60 grams each meal and 15-30 grams for snacks.
No carb diets are good for weight loss provided that the foods are nutritious and unprocessed. Meats, vegetables and healthy fats are recommended.
Benefits of low carb diets include weight loss, lower risk of diabetes and heart disease, improvement in cognitive function and improved hormone regulation.
Summer Banks has researched over 5000 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with professionals in the weight loss industry and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University.