Different diets have been incorporated as part of a healthy lifestyle. However, not all of these diets have been successful in the long term. A proper low-carb diet has shown sustainable effects. It has been practiced since the 1920s, under the term ketogenic or keto diet.
A low-carb diet is the fundamental source of weight loss and controlling various conditions caused by weight gain such as hormonal imbalances and diabetes. It has proven to work as it restricts and controls the intake of unnecessary calories.
Sticking to this diet can be somewhat tricky. Some of the foods are fairly healthy, but the amount of carbs in them is too high for a low-carb diet. Nutritionists put emphasis on the amount of carb consumption per day, which is typically 20 – 100 grams.
If you are finding it challenging to figure out which foods to consumer on this diet, here are 15 foods to avoid on a low-carb diet.
Nutritionists put more emphasis on avoiding bread when following a low-carb diet. This is because of its high and often empty carb content. This applies to all types of bread, including the whole-grain. What to avoid in this category is just anything made from flour, such as, tortillas, rolls, buns, and bagels.
These foods are considered to have simple carbs that unnecessarily increase calories and making it harder for fat burn. Even though it should be avoided, it can be incorporated into the diet by eating low-carb bread which only has 1.8g carbs per serving.
Portion sizes are very important in this case, try to keep them small. Measuring the calorie amounts can be very challenging, but counts are usually written on the packaging; read them before serving. For popular bread, the average count for 1 slice white bread is approximately 14g of which 1g is fiber, 1 whole-wheat bread slice has 17g with 2g fiber.
Just like bread, pasta contains high carbohydrates. Basically, all the grains such as rice, wheat, and oats contain increased amounts of carbohydrates. Both white, brown or whole wheat has the same amount and should be limited as much as possible to have significant results.
Considering that in most cultures these are the staple foods that make a meal, getting rid of them can sound unnatural. There is nothing as simple as having a bowl of oats for breakfast, burger or sandwich for lunch and lasagne or pasta for dinner.
Therefore, breaking this habit can be very hard for most people. But, with the help of the internet and nutritionists; there are quick and easy recipes ready to offer substitutes. These will help you prepare a delicious meal you will be eager to try again at the same time meeting the recommended carb intake.
This can be very confusing for a lot of people. This is because it has always been taught that fruits are good for maintaining a healthy body. A reasonable intake of fruits and vegetables lowers the risk of cancer, heart diseases and improves digestion. To a larger extent this is very true but it is also true that they contain significant amounts of carbs. This totally disqualifies them from the low-carb diet list.
Fruits have high sugar content, which is not suitable for a low-carb diet. Dried fruits are a complete ‘do not eat’ on this type of diet, especially, raisins, apricots, dates, and peaches. These have approximately 20 – 33g carbs, a very high count for fruits.
However, fresh fruits have a lower count than the dried ones. If you want to incorporate any fruit into your diet, don’t take pulpy juice; go for fresh fruits and in smaller servings.
4. Beans and Legumes
Beans and legumes are very nutritious and offer various health benefits. They have anti-inflammatory properties; therefore, they reduce inflammation and lower the risk of heart disease. The high fiber and protein content they have aids in digestion and they are preferred in most diets. Despite the nutritious value they have, legumes and beans have detectable amounts of carbs.
For protein, other foods can be substituted such as meat, fish and poultry products. Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, artichokes and fruits like avocados and nuts can be consumed to give your body enough fiber it needs to fully function.
In cases were by beans and legumes cannot be avoided, take them in moderation. What to keep in mind with these, is that they are nutritious, healthy and can help you to significantly reach your weight goal. For a low-carb diet, just consume them in small quantities and watch your daily carb restrictions.
5. Starchy Vegetables
Just like fruits, vegetables are good in assisting with losing and maintaining body weight through controlling blood sugar. This is because they are filling with, and have a water content which easily fills up the stomach. Vegetables are also rich in fiber which is very important for fast food digestion. However, not all vegetables have this effect on the body or only have these essential nutrients.
There are some vegetables that are richer in starch than in fiber and are to be limited in a low-carb diet. Most root vegetables are starchy, for example, yams, potatoes, and beetroots.
Corn is also amongst the vegetables high in starch and should be avoided on a low-carb diet. The vegetables that will support this type of diet, but should also be taken in small servings include asparagus, broccoli, and lettuce. These will provide you with fiber and help you maintain your low-carb diet which equates to significant weight loss.
6. Fat-free Salad Dressing
Most foods that elaborate they don’t have specific ingredient or nutrients usually have a higher content of another. Most people opt for low fat or fat-free salad dressings because the description suggests ‘healthy’, thus they choose it for their low-carb diet.
You may find most low-carb diet salads healthy, with the mixture of all essential nutrients like protein and fiber. Using a fat-free salad dressing on a well-prepared salad diminishes the whole purpose of the diet. This is because most low fat or fat-free dressings contain more carbs than anticipated. Their carb count is approximately 10g in 2 tablespoons.
However, this should not hinder you from enjoying your favorite low-carb salad, use a full-fat dressing instead. A creamy, full-fat dressing has no high carb content thus will help you minimize its intake. For a more healthy dressing, make your own homemade dressing by mixing olive oil and vinegar.
Can beer just be called food and drink? Considering the number of carbohydrates that are in this beverage, it can serve the same purpose as solid food. Research shows that beer escalates the rate of weight gain. This is because the nutrients in this liquid are absorbed faster than in solid food.
Also, after consuming beer, the chances are high that you will need solid food. When calculating the nutrient intake, this will be the same as having double food servings thus an increase in the caloric intake.
Even though beer should be avoided on a low-carb diet, other alcoholic beverages can still be enjoyed. Substitute the beer with dry wine, it has very low carb count. Also, hard liquor like vodka and whiskey have no carbohydrates. If you don’t like anything strong, try making cocktails out of liquor, but make sure to use a mixture that does not contain any carbohydrates or is a low sugar beverage.
8. Sweetened Yogurt
There are various ways of incorporating yogurt into your diet. The highly recommended type of yogurt is plain and low-fat. This is because full fat or the sweetened and flavored yogurts have high amounts of carbs.
Most people prefer the sweetened or flavored varieties because they look and taste edible than plain ones.
Unfortunately, if you want to stick to a low-carb diet and maintain your body weight, or better yet, lose some you should limit the intake of sweetened fruit yogurt.
A serving of fruit–flavored yogurt contains up to 47 grams carbohydrates. This is competitively higher than any desert serving ergo is not suitable for a low-carb diet.
To cut on these carbohydrates, you can have plain Greek yogurt mixed any berries. This delight will keep the carbohydrates under 10g, making it easy for digesting. Probiotic yogurts are also be included as they are helpful in regulating the digestive system.
Milk is mostly taken for its richness in calcium and vitamin B, essential nutrients for strong bones especially for the development of children. However, it also is a source of carbohydrate nutrient as it has higher sugar content. Even though healthy, too much intake of milk can cause stomach problems like loose stool. This happens a lot to those who are lactose intolerant. If you are sensitive to too much lactose and on a low-carb diet, this is a consumable you want to stay away from.
However, it can be taken on smaller quantities and occasionally in a low-carb diet or use cream instead. For example, you can have it in coffee or cereal, but avoid drinking it. Safe alternatives for drinking or making smoothies are the dairy-free products. These include, rice milk, almond milk or coconut milk. They are good for losing, maintaining weight and sticking to the low-carb diet.
10. Sugary Foods
Most people when advised to stay away from sugary foods on a low-carb diet, they assume it only refers to treats like candy, cakes or cookies. Of course, these are the number one items on the off-limits list. But, there are other natural sugars that may contain an as high amount of carb as processed sugar.
It’s not a secret that most people prefer natural sugars to processed when on low-carb diet or when trying to lose weight. It only sounds logic to do that, but these natural sugars contain high carb counts. An example of the most prefers natural sugars that have high carbs are maple syrup with 13g per tablespoon, honey has 17g and agave nectar has 16g compared to 12.6g carbs in processed white sugar. When on a low-carb diet avoid natural sweeteners such as stevia, as they often contain high carb content and have little nutritional value.