A low carb diet is something that a lot of people will turn to in a bid to lose weight, and while it can certainly help, you don’t want to, of course, cut them out completely. If you’re considering a low carb diet in a bit to shift some pounds, these are the things that you need to know.
Consultant Dietitian and Expert for the TerriAnn 123 Diet, Ro Huntriss shares her expert knowledge and the things we need to know about low carb diets.
What it means to be low carb
When you think of a low-carb diet do you actually know how many carbs you’re allowed to eat on a daily basis? The number might actually surprise you. To be considered a low-carb diet, eating under 130g of carbohydrate each day falls within a low-carb diet and you might be surprised to know that a typical slice of bread has just 15g of carbohydrate.
The different carb types
When we think carbs it’s easy just to think about things like pasta, bread and potatoes. But in actual fact, there are different types and sugars are carbohydrates too. Foods with natural sugars like milk and fruit, therefore, have carbs, as do the foods with added sugar like biscuits and cakes, these are also carbs.
Blood sugar levels
Our blood sugar levels are affected daily by the foods that we eat, and it’s not just dietary sugar that will have an impact. Carbohydrates that break down into sugar will also affect your blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, a low-carb diet can be a good option for helping to reduce your blood sugar levels.
Getting enough fibre
Eating a low-carb diet might have an impact on the amount of fibre you consume, so you need to ensure that you’re getting enough. It’s important that you up your intake of vegetables and eating things like whole grains, nuts and seeds will ensure that you get enough fibre.
What you replace your carbs with
When you start a low-carb diet you will be replacing the carbohydrates that you’d normally eat with other foods to ensure that you feel full and have enough energy to get through the day. But just because you’re eating low-carb you don’t have to eat more saturated fats like bacon or butter, which is usually associated with the Atkins diet. Instead, eat more protein and unsaturated fats which are things like avocados and oily fish.
Your low-carb diet
Even if you’re on a low-carb diet there’s no need to avoid starchy carbs like bread and pasta, switch to whole grain options to ensure that you’re getting enough fibre and just keep track of the amount you consume of them.
If you want to stick to your low-carb diet for the long run, then it’s important that you plan ahead with your meals so you’re never caught off guard. You have plenty of ideas of snacks and meals so you don’t get bored of eating the same things day in and day out.
It’s important to note that low-carb diets aren’t suitable for everyone. If you have an existing medical condition, are pregnant or breastfeeding, you will need to get advice from your GP before you begin any kind of weight loss programme.
Treating epilepsy in children
A low carb ketogenic diet has been used for decades as a way of successfully managing epilepsy in children.