Unless you follow a ketogenic diet (high fat and low carb foods), carbohydrates are essential to your diet. Your body breaks down carbohydrates to create glycogen which it then uses for energy throughout the day. Without this energy source your body is forced to rely on fats as energy or protein (which are much harder for your to use) for energy.
Choosing the right carbohydrates is an integral part of maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. Eat simple carbohydrates like sugar, refined grains, and fruit juice and your glucose levels will spike quickly and fall hard leaving you energized for a short period of time but quickly tiring you out. Complex carbohydrates like whole grains, green vegetables, and beans however, take your body longer to digest and therefore help maintain relatively stable blood glucose levels throughout the day. With complex carbohydrates you’ll find yourself with more energy, that also lasts longer.
Still there are times when you want to limit your overall carbohydrate intake. For these occasions it’s helpful to know what low carb foods will help you to curb your cravings. Along with this list of low carb foods, we’ll also provide you with ways to limit your overall intake of carbohydrates.
Low Carb Foods
Lean meats naturally low in carbohydrates, so if you’re looking to cut carbs out of your diet all together chances are pretty high that you’ll be getting the majority of your protein from lean meats like turkey, ground beef, bison, lean pork, duck, and deer.
Aside from lean meats, fish are one of the best low carb food options available. They also happen to be packed with protein, essential vitamins and minerals, and of course heart healthy fats. Some of the most popular low carb fish options are bass, cod, herring, mackerel, and carp.
When it comes to low carb foods, it doesn’t get much better than ISOPASTA. It’s shares visual appeal, texture, and taste with real pasta without all of the carbs. Made from pea protein, soy protein, and whey protein making it far more protein packed than carbohydrate caked. With only 7 net grams of carbohydrates and a whopping 30 grams of protein in each 50 gram serving ISOPASTA is definitely the way to go when you’re cutting carbs but craving pasta.
When it comes to low carb foods, sticking with green leafy vegetables is your best bet. These include spinach, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, lettuce, and kale. Other vegetables tend to be high in starch and sugars which make them poor choices when sticking to a low carb diet.
Many fruits have simple sugars in them, which is what makes them so sweet and delicious, but a few are good options for a diet low in carbohydrates. Some of these include coconut, cantaloupe, apricot, grapefruit, and pineapples. Fruits are nature’s dessert, so it can be easy to eat more than just a single serving of them and convince yourself that it’s okay because they’re healthy. Portion control is always important to keep in mind no matter what you’re eating though.
Most dairy items like milk, yogurt, cheese, and butter are low carb foods. They also happen to be relatively high in fats though, so although they are not inherently healthy for you, they are good choices when following a low carb, or ketogenic diet. Just be sure that you portion control the dairy fats that you are consuming, so that your diet remains in balance.
Nuts and organic nut butters are low carb foods that pack in your necessary fats and proteins. Almonds, walnuts, cashews, and macadamia nuts are just a few delicious nut choices to keep your carb count low. When buying nut butters be sure that the ingredient list includes only the nut and maybe an oil or salt. Additional ingredients just add unnecessary calories and chemicals to your diet.
Simple Ways To Cut Carbs
Enjoy Open Faced Sandwiches
Cut your carb intake in half simply by leaving the top piece of bread off of your sandwiches. Eat them open faced and you’ll still get all of the healthy nutrients that whole grain bread has to offer without overdoing your carb intake. This also eliminates the problem of having to find bread substitutes that give you the taste and texture you deserve with your sandwiches.
Use Crushed Nuts To “Bread” Your Chicken
There is something about breaded chicken that just tastes so right. Unfortunately even a little bit of breading adds carbs to your diet that you just don’t need. But you can still enjoy the juicy flavors and the satisfying crunch that you want by breading your chicken with crushed up nuts instead of actual bread bits. Use your favorite nut or experiment with different flavors until you find the one you like the best.
Opt For A Burrito Bowl
Burritos are delicious. Rice, salsa, meat, beans, corn, and veggies all rolled up in a delicious wrap just begging for us to indulge. The funny thing about burritos though, is that they taste just as delicious out of the wrap and in a bowl, as they do with the added carbs. Since you’ll already be partaking in the rice why not save yourself a few carbs by opting for a burrito bowl next time.
Dip Veggies Not Chips
Not only are chips loaded with unhealthy trans fat, they are also packed with carbs. But you know what’s not packed with carbs or loaded up with trans fat and can also be used in chip dips? Veggies! Celery, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, cauliflower, and peppers are all great substitutions for chips when it comes to dipping snacks. They’ll satisfy your crunch factor while adding nutrients to your life.
Add Veggies To Your Oatmeal
Oatmeal is plenty healthy, but it’s also mostly carbs. If you’re determined to cut down on your carb intake but still want the health benefits associated with this breakfast treat then add a few hearty vegetables into the mix. You’ll end up serving yourself less oatmeal in your bowl when it’s sharing the space with veggies, which means less carbs and more flavorful delights for you!
Cook With ISOPASTA
Substitute ISOPASTA in place of traditional pasta options for a low carb option that looks, tastes, and feels just like regular pasta. Sure you could use spiraled vegetables or spaghetti squash in place of your pasta, but you wouldn’t be getting the 30 grams protein kick that comes from every 50 gram single serving of ISOPASTA.
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