Understanding High Protein, Low Carb Diets
The diet contains a lot of fatty foods which might seem strange if you’re trying to lose weight. But, in actual fact natural fats are good for you; it is things like sugars and carbohydrates that often cause us to put on weight.
So what can you eat and what should you cut out?
What foods can I eat?
- Meat and Fish – You can eat plenty of meat and fish on this diet but make sure you go for unprocessed meats. These are great for the diet and can be eaten in large amounts.
- Vegetables – All kinds of cabbage is great for the diet such as cauliflower, broccoli and Brussel sprouts. Plenty of other vegetables like lettuce, onions, peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms are also great.
- Wholegrains – It can be very hard to remove carbs from your diet altogether and is not always good for your health. Wholegrains are a great alternative so go for brown rice and quinoa.
- Eggs – These are good for your diet and you can have them however you like. Scrambled, in an Omelette or hard boiled, no matter how you prefer them, you can include these in your diet.
- Nuts and Seeds – These can be a great snack as part of your diet but you should go for natural varieties. Almonds, walnuts and sunflower seeds are just a few of the things you can include.
- High-Fat Dairy – Things like cheese, full-fat cream and milk are good for a low-carb diet. This might seem strange when trying to lose weight but fatty foods can actually be good for you.
- Water, Tea and Coffee – These might be the things that you drink on a daily basis anyway, but they are good for the diet. Avoid using sweeteners or sugar in your tea and coffee if possible.
What foods should I avoid?
- Sugar – This is the worst for the diet and you should avoid anything high in sugar, such as soft drinks, chocolate, cake, buns, pastries, ice cream, breakfast cereals and juices high in sugar.
- Diet and Low-Fat products – Although these can often be marked as healthy alternatives, they often replace the fat with sugar, which is one of the worst things for this diet so avoid them.
- Starch – Bread, pasta, potatoes, crisps, porridge and white rice are all high in starch and carbs. Opting for wholegrain products is a much healthier alternative.
- Fruits – This is okay in moderation and you should opt for berries when eating fruit, but you should avoid fruits that are high in natural sugars as these won’t help you lose weight.
- Beer and Cider – Unfortunately, you should cut these out of your diet as they are both high in carbs. Wine is okay but still has some carb content, whilst spirits are low in carbs. Go for Vodka, whisky or brandy instead.
Is it safe for dietary conditions?
A low carb diet should be fine for most dietary conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease and high cholesterol. For those with gluten intolerance, you are likely to have cut a lot of carbs out of your diet already, so following a low-carb diet could help you to lose that last bit of weight. The diet can also be good for people with diabetes but there are some things you should watch out for.
Low carb diets can help reverse the effects of Type 2 Diabetes and normalise blood sugar levels. But you should be careful when undertaking this diet as it could reduce your need for medication and insulin injections. If you’re planning on undertaking this diet you should do so slowly and ideally contact a doctor for advice as you will most likely need to reduce your medication.
So I should cut out carbs right away?
Not necessarily. Like undertaking any diet, there can be some side effects at first when making such a drastic change. Although you should start to see results quickly and feel healthier, it is always best to start in moderation. Many people can struggle when undertaking a low carb diet which can put them off attempting it again. Some of the most common side effects you may experience are;
- Leg cramps
- Bad Breath
- Heart Palpitations
- Reduced Physical Performance
These symptoms can occur because your body is used to having much higher levels of carbohydrates and sugar. Removing all of these at once can cause adverse effects on the body and lead to less productive results. The solution to these problems can be as simple as reducing the carbs in your diet slowly to ease the adaptation.