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Get The Low Down On Low Carb Diet Foods

Aug 17, 2007
Carbohydrates come from a wide array of foods - bread, pasta, fruits, doughnuts, ice creams and pie. Carbohydrates refer to a group of molecules that is made up of small sugar units composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. They are needed by the body and therefore included in our diet as a major source of energy. Some carbohydrates are simple and are made up of small units of sugars while others are made up of several units of sugar arranged in chains or branches. A healthy diet cannot go without these molecules.

Carbohydrates give body cells the source of energy to support all their activities. This is the reason why when the body's sugar level is so low, the person experiences a feeling of weakness and lack of energy. This can be observed with diabetics when their blood sugar level go below the normal level. They also provide us with fiber, one of nature's brooms to purge the body of toxins and waste materials. However, one major concern in carbohydrates is that when they are taken in excess, some of them get converted to stored forms such as fat and stored in certain tissues of the body, usually under the skin. This accounts for pot bellies and love handles and other unsightly bulges on certain areas of the body.

If you are very serious about trimming your waist and dropping pounds, one diet program that you might want to try is one that is low on carbohydrates. Low carbohydrate diet programs are quite popular these days in the form of the South Beach Diet, Atkins diet and Zone Diet. Basically these diet programs promote one thing: restriction of consumption of carbohydrates.

This is on the basis of researches that show the connection between high carbohydrate consumption affecting blood insulin levels to cause metabolic syndromes and obesity. Low carbohydrate diet programs therefore limit or replace foods rich in carbohydrates with those that contain more proteins, fats and fiber. In a low carb diet, there is less bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, and cereals. They usually eat more vegetables, meat, fish, cheese, eggs, and nuts. When one opts to go on a low carbohydrate diet, one has to replace carbohydrates with fats and proteins. Carbos in fact make up less than 10 percent, and in some cases, less than 5 percent of the daily calorie intake.

Low carbohydrate diet for one, go for foods that are low in sugar. Processed sugar should be greatly reduced, if not totally eliminated from the diet. Low carbohydrate diet food is made up mostly of vegetables, more specifically non- starchy ones. A serving of at least 3- 5 cups per day is highly recommended for this type of diet.

Protein is also an essential parts of a low carbohydrate diet so foods rich in it are highly recommended. One low carbohydrate but protein rich food is soy - based food like tofu and certain meat substitutes.

Fruits that are low in sugar are also tops in the list of low carbohydrate diet foods. A serving of 1-3 per day is enough. As much as possible, it is recommended to eat the fruit itself and to not simply drink the juice to also meet the body's need for fiber and vitamins. Fruit juices also tend to increase the body's blood sugar so it is best to eat the fruit instead.

Nuts and seeds as well as legumes are also some low carbohydrate foods that can be included in the diet. Nuts and seeds are even used by some to replace starchier foods. They are also excellent source of healthy oils and fiber. Legumes like beans and peas may contain carbohydrates but they are those that can easily be broken down and digested so there is no need to get rid of them entirely. The same thing is also true for whole grains like brown rice and whole grain pasta.

As for oils and fats, a low carbohydrate diet opts for oils coming from olives as well as from fish. Fish oil is rich in omega-3 which is good for the heart. So eating more fish to get the full benefits of omega 3 and protein is highly recommended too.

Going on a low carb diet does not necessarily mean sacrificing a lot of food and getting deprived. It simply means shifting to foods that are less in carbohydrates and more on proteins and even fats. The foods included in the low carb diet are even more flavorful since they contain proteins and fats.
About the Author
Lee Dobbins writes for http://www.lowcarb-resource.com where you can learn more about low carb and low GI eating along with useful diet and exercise tips.
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