The low carbohydrate or low carb diet is one of the most used methods to lose weight. The basis of this method is that by reducing the consumption of carbohydrates in the diet, fat stores can be used as an energy source.
In addition to losing weight, another benefit of a low-carbohydrate diet is stabilizing blood sugar levels. This is particularly useful for people with diabetes or people with insulin resistance.
This article analyzes the effects of the low-carbohydrate diet and its benefits and considers an example of what a low-carb menu with pdf would look like.
Low carb diet – low carb. What is it?
A low-carbohydrate diet or low-carb diet is a type of diet where the amount of carbohydrates is reduced, and they are replaced by proteins and fats. The low carb diet has a base similar to the ketogenic diet but is less strict.
The first thing to do when starting a low-carbohydrate diet is to limit the consumption of pasta, white bread, and refined flours. Certain fruits, non-whole grains, starchy vegetables, and refined sugars are prohibited on a low-carb diet.
Low Carb Diet – Benefits
So one of the main benefits of the low carb diet is regulating blood sugar levels .
When too much sugar or other simple carbohydrates in the diet, insulin levels skyrocket. That is why reducing carbohydrates in the diet softens the mechanisms of insulin rise and fall in the blood.
If this occurs chronically, the body loses the ability to process carbohydrates. This is known as insulin resistance, the step before type 2 diabetes. (1)
Some doctors and nutritionists use the low-carb diet as a treatment for prediabetics and type 2 diabetics.
Another benefit of a low-carb diet is reducing your appetite in the short term. It has been proven that when starting a low carb diet, the values of the hunger hormones ghrelin and leptin are better compared to a traditional low calorie diet. (3)
Additionally, diets high in refined carbohydrates can increase metabolism in the body, leading to accelerated aging. Although this benefit is still debated, research suggests that this diet could have anti-aging effects. (4)
The benefits of a low carbohydrate diet are:
- Regulate blood sugar levels
- Lose weight quickly
- Reduce appetite in the short term
- Prevent type 2 diabetes
- Fewer side effects than the ketogenic diet
- Reduce aging
How to do the low carbohydrate diet? – Example of a pdf menu
A low-carb diet menu should be high in healthy fat foods and fiber foods.
As for carbohydrate foods, they should not exceed 80 – 100 grams per day.
When doing a low carb diet, you must calculate the number of net carbohydrates. For example, vegetable fiber is a type of carbohydrate that is not digested, so it must always be subtracted when calculating.
In addition, it is recommended to increase the consumption of the amount of water that is taken during the day and to make a correct balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats macronutrients. This should be:
- 20% carbohydrates
- 20% protein
- 60% fat
To make it easier, below, you can see an example of a low-carb menu. The calorie intake is approximately 2000 KCal.
To see in detail the nutritional value of the menu example, a file is attached under the low-carbohydrate diet PDF menu.
Low carb diet example menu – 2000 KCal per day:
|Breakfast||Wholegrain yogurt without sugar 200 mL
Almonds 15 g
Fruit in pieces 50 g
|Lunch||Sole with brown rice
Grilled sole fillet 100 g
Broccoli 100 g
Virgin olive oil 30 mL
Asparagus 50 g
Cherry tomatoes 50 g
|Afternoon snack||Whole wheat toast 2 units
Avocado 40 g
Philadelphia cheese 15 g
with spinach parmesan
Eggs 40 g
15 g Parmesan cheese
150 g spinach
30 mL olive oil
15 g black sesame seeds
1 cup strawberries
The low-carbohydrate diet menu proposed is an example. Keep in mind that it must be adapted according to each person’s weight, gender, and age.
RELATED: Sugar Free Diet – Sample Menu Plan
Low Carb Diet Menu Tips
If you have decided to follow a low carbohydrate diet, you should read these tips to accompany the menu.
- Don’t overdo the amount of protein.
Too much protein is one of the first mistakes when on a low-carb diet. The recommended amount of protein should be about 100 grams per day. (4) While the importance of protein in terms of nutrition cannot be denied, the excess will not bring benefits and make you fat.
- Drink more water
By starting a low-carbohydrate diet, large amounts of body water are lost. Carbohydrates help retain moisture in the body, so in the first few days, you are likely to lose about 2 kilos through fluid in the urine. If you don’t drink more water, you can suffer from dehydration.
- Avoid simple carbohydrates
The first rule of thumb on a low-carb diet is to avoid simple carbohydrates: sugar, honey, sugary sodas, and bakery products should be limited to the maximum. These carbohydrates cause spikes in insulin levels and make you feel more like eating sweet foods.
- Don’t go overboard with sweeteners.
Sweeteners and most sugar substitutes do not add a digestible carbohydrate value. However, they have been shown to stimulate the urge to eat sweet foods. (7,8) On a low-carbohydrate diet, sweeteners such as xylitol, erythritol, and stevia are allowed but should be consumed in moderation.
- More fiber and less net carbs
The net carbohydrates in the diet are calculated as Total carbohydrate – vegetable fiber – sugar alcohols. Theoretically, fiber foods are carbohydrate foods. However, the human body cannot digest it. For this reason, they must be removed from the total net amount. In addition, consuming fiber has other benefits, such as preventing constipation.
Foods allowed on a low carb menu
The main allies in a low-carbohydrate diet are foods rich in protein and healthy fats. As well as low-starch vegetables like leafy greens.
All of these can be considered practically carbohydrate-free and low-glycemic foods. This is the basis of a low carb diet menu.
- Meats (fish, chicken, red meat)
- Oils (coconut, olive, sunflower, canola)
- Seeds (chia, flax, sunflower)
- grated coconut
Low carb foods
- Unsweetened cocoa
- Green leaves (Spinach)
- Cereal bran (oats, wheat, quinoa)
- Strawberries and berries
- Dark chocolate (70%)
Dieta low carb vs dieta cetogénica vs Dukan
The answer to whether a low carb diet is the same as a keto or Dukan diet is no. The ketogenic diet and the Dukan diet are two types of diets classified as stricter low carb. The amounts of carbohydrates in the last two are reduced to less than 50 grams per day.
The keto diet and the Dukan diet are not recommended for people who have never done this diet and should not be done for long periods.
A traditional low-carb diet is more nutritionally complete and safer. In any case, the idea is that both a low carb diet and the ketogenic diet are carried out under the supervision of a professional.
No Carb Diet – Yes or No?
It is essential to know that a low carbohydrate diet does not mean zero carbohydrates. Although the body can live without carbohydrates, the complete absence of this macronutrient makes digestion difficult and is associated with severe psychological disorders.
In addition, including fruits in the diet is essential to cover the vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Although fruits without carbohydrates do not exist, it is recommended to select those with less.
The contribution of vitamins and minerals makes being able to include fruits in a low carb diet can be healthy. (6)
The low-carbohydrate diet or low-carb diet is an effective regimen to lose weight and regulate insulin levels in the blood.
Carbohydrates should be limited to about 80-100 g per day on a low carb diet.
When doing a diet low in carbohydrates, you should increase your water consumption and ensure the consumption of vitamins and minerals.
The ketogenic diet and Dukan are two types of deficient carb diets.
I am substituting the consumption of simple carbohydrates (sugars, honey, sweets) and limiting complex carbohydrates (vegetables, cereals, pseudo-cereals), the first step in a low-carb diet.
In no case should a diet without carbohydrates be followed? Eliminating carbohydrates is dangerous for health.