No single food group is bad for you. It is always important to remember this when starting any new diet and if you don’t take that approach, then you will likely end up feeling sluggish and potentially suffering from various deficiencies. Thus, a diet that completely cuts out carbohydrates permanently is not a good idea for most people.
However, there are certainly a lot of benefits to eating low carb and definitely by lowering your intake compared with what you might be used to. The problem is that the modern diet is packed with carbohydrates. And not only are these carbs, they are ‘simple carbs’ meaning they don’t contain other elements like fiber and fat to slow down the absorption of sugar.
Examples include white bread, chocolate bars, fizzy soda drinks and more. All these things will give you a sudden surge of sugar to the blood stream as the body absorbs it rapidly. This in turn means you’ll feel high in energy but that can immediately change once the body releases insulin to counter the increase in sugar. This then causes all that sugar to be removed from the blood stream. Much of it is stored as fat because you don’t need it right then and there and at the same time, you can actually feel a ‘crash’ as your sugar levels suddenly dip. Tryptophan is left behind and will cross the blood-brain barrier to be converted to serotonin and then melatonin, making you feel sleepy.
Meanwhile, the high sugar levels in your system can potentially risk damaging your insulin sensitivity, slowing your metabolism and increasing the risk of diabetes. Sugar can likewise directly cause inflammation and damage to your nerves.
So, in short, it is a good idea to change your diet and to switch to lower carb alternatives. Try to rely a little less on bread, on potato chips, on pasta and instead look for healthier alternatives. Not only will your energy and your health improve but you will likely get more nutrition from your food by steering away from highly processed snacks.
Here are some excellent choices…
Mushrooms are a delicious savoury source of protein which can be a great alternative to having potatos on the side of your plate. Choose mushrooms that have been exposed to sunlight while growing and you’ll gain a large dose of vitamin D along with the other benefits.
Mushrooms are also packed with other nutrients and as far as their versatility goes, you can even use halves from a large mushroom in the place of bread slices – thereby creating a nice carb-free sandwich!
Speaking of sandwich alternatives, another great option is to choose lettuce. Crispy iceberg lettuce is delicious and refreshing but it is also very versatile and practical.
Having a nice fresh salad with some eggs and tuna (coming up!) will serve as a good alternative to a sandwich but better yet, why not use a lettuce wrap to hold your filling together?
This is another good bread alternative that will also pack in some additional nutrition and be nicely hydrating.
While lettuce is great for cold salads and sandwich wraps, cabbage can do the job nicely for warmer meals. You can again use this to replace the carbs that often go on the side of your plate by just adding a little cabbage or red cabbage.
Better yet, why not learn some Polish recipes like golumpki or bigos. The first is beef that has been wrapped in cabbage and dipped in a tomato source. The latter is a mixture of various meats with cabbage and sauerkraut. Both are delicious and carb free!
4. Vegetable Chips
Missing the delicious feeling of eating potato chips? Unfortunately, these are unhealthy in just about every way imaginable. But what you can do instead, is to make your very own vegetable chips.
Just slice some thin pieces off of some carrots, sweet potatoes and parsnips, stick them on a tray in the oven with some oil and bake. They taste just as delicious but are much lower in carbohydrates.
Okay, now we’re getting toward what will serve as some of the staples of your diet once you choose to lower your carb intake. Eggs are fantastic for just about everything.
Not only do eggs taste delicious while being suitable to use in a wide variety of different ways but they are also very low in carbs while being high in protein and healthy fats.
Eggs contain all of the essential amino acids we need, making them one of the only ‘complete proteins’. On top of that, they are also high in choline which is converted to the important neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the brain.
6. Vegetable Smoothie
A fruit smoothie is a delicious and very healthy way to get a ton of important nutrients in your diet. This will boost your energy levels, support brain function, strengthen your immune system… you name it!
The only slight problem? It’s also high in sugar. Really high – in fact it can actually cause very serious damage to your enamel in a short amount of time if you drink too much smoothie and it certainly won’t fit into a low carb diet.
Fortunately, there is a solution. That solution is to instead focus on vegetable smoothies. These can be just as nutritious while having much lower carbohydrates and also being a great way to get nutrients easily.
Another absolute favorite among low-carb dieters. Avocados are high in fats and not low in calories, but they are still very healthy in terms of the nutrition on offer and what they can do for you.
They also happen to be among the most delicious foods you’re allowed to eat when you go low carb and they can lend themselves to being used in a variety of ways. Avocado with egg, with salmon, with cheese… it’s all delicious and that’s what makes low carb diets so easy to stick to.
Avocados are rich in protein, they are a good source of lutein and they’ll also provide you with omega 3 and 6. The lutein content is especially interesting, as this can help to increase your cellular energy, while also supporting healthy vision and much more.
If you want to add a little garnish to your salad or sandwich, then you can choose a cucumber guilt free.
They’re nutritious and highly hydrating but because they’re largely water, they’ll not add many carbs to your diet.
Cucumbers are very convenient and easy to eat and can really improve a sandwich or a salad, so keep them on hand!
Aubergine is another delicious vegetable that is fine to enjoy in a low carb diet. It also happens to be a very versatile and useful ingredient in cooking that can even go so far as to replace pasta.
Why not just making some moussaka for example and simply leaving out the pasta sheets and potato if they’re in the recipe? They taste fantastic with cheese.
Tuna is another food you might find yourself relying on a lot once you choose to go low carb. Tuna is a fantastically lean source of protein, meaning it contains few calories and little fat but can still help you build muscle.
It’s also heralded as a brain food. That’s thanks to the high content of omega 3 fatty acid which encourages the communication between neurons and which is also known to reduce inflammation.
The only downside to tuna is that it is high in mercury. Don’t eat more than a can a day.