"I just can't lose weight"
"I'm always hungry"
"I just can't fight this craving!"
Do these sound familiar? If the answer is yes then don’t worry, you’re not alone. Most people are probably thinking the same thing as they read this.
What most people don’t know though is that all of these complaints can be helped by controlling your carb intake and making sure that your body is getting the right nutrition to get you through the day. In fact, a low-carb diet has been shown to help people lose more weight than a low-fat diet.
When you begin to cut your carb intake you begin improving HDL (the good type of cholesterol your body needs), you also reduce the amount of triglycerides in your blood, thereby improving your blood pressure.
So if you’re watching your waistline or care about your health, here are a few low-carb foods to start including in your diet:
If you're looking for a low-carb breakfast option, eggs are it. Did you know that there is less than a gram of carbohydrates in an average egg and that studies have shown that people who eat eggs in the morning didn’t feel the need to snack as much throughout the day.
2. Meat & Poultry
All animal proteins are considered zero carb with the exception of organ meats like liver. If you want the best for your body, choose lean options like chicken breast or beef sirloin.
3. Fish & Seafood
Just like meat, fish and seafood are also considered zero carb foods with the exception of shellfish which contain a small amount of carbs.
The healthiest options are white fish, salmon, and sardines which are rich in omega-3 fats which is important for your heart, brain and joint health.
4. Asparagus & Mushrooms
Pretty much every vegetable is low-carb - with the exception of starchy root vegetables like potato, carrots, parsnips, turnips and butternut squash – but, as with most things, some are better than others. Asparagus and mushrooms have some of the lowest carbohydrates per 100g, plus they’re also high in protein so it’s a win, win really.
Cucumber only have a 4% carbohydrate content, and they’re low calorie, and they’re super hydrating! In fact, each of these lovely green veggie snacks contain more than 95% water.
Cauliflower is an amazing low-carb alternative to, well, pretty much anything! Mashed it’s a great alternative to white potatoes, grated it can be turned into a delicious pizza bass and riced it makes a super egg fried rice alternative!
When it comes down to it, all oils are “zero carb” but that doesn’t mean you should use just anything, but there are some that are super good for you. A few “good for you” oils include things like olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil and peanut oil – there are more but we’d be here for days.
Some of the not so great ones include vegetable oils like canola and palm oil which are high in trans-fats and are heavily processed.
Coconut oil has been shown to reduce appetite, boost fat burning, especially stubborn belly fat.
8. Walnuts & Pecans
Low-carb and rich in Vitamin E, fibre, and heart-protecting omega fats, walnuts and pecans are the perfect snack. Both are low carb compared to almonds, cashews, and pistachios. Just keep in mind that they are high in calories so make sure you control your portions. A handful a day is more than enough.
9. Nut Butters
All nut butters are excellent low-carb options but with macadamia butter only has 2g of carbs per tablespoon. Almond butter has 3g, peanut butter at 4g, and cashew butter with 5g.
10. Dark Chocolate
If you’re craving a little coco then always go for a dark chocolate with 70 to 90% cocoa – this keeps the sugar content lower (or you can opt for raw chocolate, which is often sugar free).
Studies have shown that dark chocolate in moderation can help lower blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. Plus, around 25% of the carbs found in dark chocolate are fibre, so the total digestible carb content is even lower. The ideal snack is one square (10g) a day which gives you 50 calories.
Cheese lovers rejoice! One of the tastiest low-carb foods is cheese…but not all cheese is created equal. Avoid processed “plastic” cheeses and anything with a “z” instead of an “s”, these are filled with all sorts of chemicals, preservatives and other nasties you really shouldn’t be eating. Instead, go for options like cottage cheese, feta, and halloumi.
Heavy cream is only 3% carbs which makes it great in low-carb dessert recipes. Enjoy a bowl of strawberries or blueberries with whipped cream – just don’t add any sugar – and you have an easy, quick and delicious healthy snack.
A great breakfast or snack, yoghurt is packed with benefits. Choose Greek or live options, as they have added benefits like more protein and B vitamins as well as gut healing probiotics. Avoid low-fat fruit options, they’re high in sugar, just one serving may have up to 20g of sugar, which is around 4 teaspoons!
Loaded with healthy fats, fibre, and potassium, half an avocado is 100 to 150 calories and has around 7 to 10g of carbs, of which 5 to 8g is fibre.
Add it to your mains, salads or have it as a snack. You can even make dark chocolate mousse with avocado and it makes a great replacement for butter!
15. Kiwi and Watermelon
One medium kiwi or 1 cup of diced watermelon have around 10 to 11g of carbs making them two of the lowest carb fruits along with cranberries, strawberries, rock melon and grapefruit.
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