A Beginner’s Guide to a Low-Carb Diet
There has been a lot of buzz around low carb diets over the past few years, and the benefits have been scientifically proven. However, if you are someone who has been following another diet, or no diet, starting a low-carb diet might seem intimidating. Where do you begin? As producers of a range of low-carb foods, let us shed some light on this.
What is a low-carb diet?
First things first, as a beginner you need to know exactly what a low-carb diet is. To put it simply, a low-carb diet is just that: a diet low in carbohydrates. Different diets and different people will limit just how low in carbohydrates their diet needs to be, and some low-carb diets focus on the glycemic load of foods as opposed to the carb count. Overall, low-carb diets minimize your carbohydrate intake, while increasing the portion of calories you receive from protein and/or fat.
How does a low-carb diet work (blood sugar and insulin response)?
When we eat fewer carbohydrates, we lessen the glucose coming into our system. This leads to fewer and smaller spikes in our blood sugar, which in turn lowers the insulin in our bodies. When there is less glucose to use as energy and less insulin telling our bodies what to do with the glucose, our bodies can burn the stored fat for energy instead, which is why many people who consume a low-carb diet tend to lose weight. By managing and controlling our bodies’ blood sugar and insulin levels through a low-carb diet, we can manage a number of health problems, including weight gain and diabetes.
What to eat on a low-carb diet?
As we mentioned earlier, there are many types of low-carb diets and each has a different approach. Some include more protein, some include more fat, but they are all lower in carbohydrates. One key thing to remember is that a low-carb diet is not a “NO carb” diet, as we all need some carbs, and based on the foods that contain carbs, a no-carb diet would be virtually impossible.
Common low-carb diet foods can include:
- Fats – nuts, seeds, full-fat dairy, fatty fruits (like avocado and olives), health oils, fatty fish (like salmon)
- Proteins – meats, fish, poultry, eggs
- Low-carb vegetables – including spinach, lettuce, cauliflower, zucchini broccoli, bell peppers, onions, garlic
While those eating a low-carb diet will also include specific fruits into their eating plan, they tend to keep these at a minimum due to fruits containing fructose (which is a natural carbohydrate).
For more information on the benefits of a low-carb diet, and some amazing food items to get you started, visit our website at www.go-lo.co.za.