A low carb diet is very beneficial for a lot of people. Although weight loss is often the motivating factor as to why some people start on low carb diets, a diet that has reduced levels of carbohydrates have a number of health benefits as well.
A low carb diet helps a lot in controlling glucose and insulin levels in the bloodstream, which is something that diabetics and pre-diabetics need. It can also increase HDL or good cholesterol levels in the body, which is good for your heart’s health. It can also improve your mental concentration and emotional balance, lower your heartburn, and improve the health of your gums.
Unfortunately, a lot of people find starting a low carb diet daunting. That is mostly because they do not know which food type they should eat as part of a low carb diet meal plan. They have also come to believe that they would have to give up eating their favorite foods when they go on a low carb diet.
It is really not that difficult to get started on a low carb diet. Here are five steps that can make your low carb dieting a lot easier for you to start and sustain in the long run.
1. Eat your vegetables. A lot of low carb diets exclude vegetables from their meal plans because vegetables contain carbohydrates. However, vegetables also have other nutrients that the body very much needs to keep healthy. You should include vegetables in your diet, but stay away from the starchy ones such as potatoes and corn.
2. Eat more fatty food. Fatty foods is what your body needs to maintain a high level of energy and to keep our bodily processes running like clockwork, especially when the carbs are low. The essential fatty foods that you should include in your diet are fish, lean meats, organic fatty meats – yes, saturated fat does not cause heart disease – avocado, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and nuts.
3. Eliminate white food. One significant way that you can cut back on carbohydrates is by eliminating your white food such as white sugar, white rice, flour and potatoes. You can use ground nuts or coconut flour instead of white flour. Also, mashed cauliflower is proving to be a good substitute for mashed potatoes.
4. Give up your sweets. Perhaps one of the things that turn people off from low carb diets is that they have to give up eating sweet things. The thing with sweet-tasting foods is that the sweeter they are, the more carbohydrates they have. Definitely discard any sweet juices and processed foods that contain high fructose corn syrup or HFCS. But this is not really so bad. You can still eat fruits, and dark chocolate (minimum 70% dark chocolate).
5. Focus on the quality of your food. You may come to believe that you will not enjoy a meal that is low on carbohydrates, but eventually you will find out that it is not true. As long as the food is prepared well and is flavorful, you will enjoy it, even if it is low in sugar and low in carbs. You will also feel fuller without eating as much.
Remember: Eat real foods, not processed foods!