Diet

What are the 25 healthiest low-carb foods? What are the benefits and harms of a low-carb diet?

Dairy products, olive oil, meat, fish and vegetables are among the foods low in carbohydrates.

Low-carb diets are popular nutrition programs of recent times. Eating low-carbohydrate foods suppresses appetite, helps weight loss, keeps the heart healthy, accelerates metabolism, and reduces insulin resistance. The Atkins diet, ketogenic diet, and South beach diet are low-carb diet plans. If you’re going on a low-carb diet, here’s the list you need to follow:

WHAT ARE LOW CARBOHYDRATE FOODS?

  • Non-starchy vegetables (such as zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach, and lettuce)
  • Meat (including beef, chicken, poultry and lamb)
  • The fish
  • Egg
  • Dairy products (including cheese, butter, cream and yogurt)
  • Low-carb fruits (strawberries, cherries, plums, kiwis, and melons)
  • Nuts and seeds (including nut butter)
  • Unsweetened beverages (e.g. water, tea, coffee)
  • Vegetable oils such as olive oil, canola, and soybean oils
  • Vegetables (eggplant, peas, peppers, tomatoes, onions, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers)

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WHAT TO AVOID ON A LOW CARBOHYDRATE DIET?

Foods to avoid on a low-carb diet include bread, pasta, potatoes and other starchy vegetables, cereals such as rice and corn, oatmeal, beans, lentils, milk, candy, cookies, sweets such as candy and ice cream, beer. Dates are high-carb fruits such as bananas, grapes and apples.

WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF A LOW CARBOHYDRATE DIET?

  • Low-carb diets help you lose weight fast without starving or calorie counting.
  • A 2012 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that low-carb diets lower the risk of developing heart disease.
  • Low-carb foods help fight cancer. Studies show that a diet rich in refined carbohydrates and sugar is likely to help cancer cells multiply faster by feeding them. Low-carb diets reduce the intake of sugar, grains and processed foods, reduce oxidative stress, strengthen immunity, fight cancer.
  • Studies have shown that low-carb diets reduce fasting glucose and glycated hemoglobin levels. Thus, this nutrition program keeps the blood sugar level in balance.
  • High blood pressure is one of the strongest known risk factors for stroke and heart disease. Therefore, lowering blood pressure is considered a crucial step to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Studies show that a low-carb diet lowers blood pressure.
  • High triglyceride levels are associated with abnormal lipoprotein metabolism as well as other risk factors such as obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus, and low HDL cholesterol levels. In a number of studies, it has been determined that restriction of carbohydrate intake significantly reduces triglyceride levels.
  • A low-carb diet significantly reduces insulin levels.

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WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF FOLLOWING A LOW CARBOHYDRATE DIET?

Consistently eating foods low in carbohydrates can cause the following side effects:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Gas
  • Headache
  • muscle cramps
  • Bad breath
  • Decreased athletic performance
  • Painful burning sensation in the chest
  • Nausea

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