What is low carbohydrate diet?
The term indicates the concept that underlies it: ” Low Carb ” is composed of the two words “low” (little) and “carb”, the abbreviation of “carbohydrates” (Carbohydrates). If you eat Low Carb, so you eat very little carbohydrate also called slow sugars. Depending on the individual’s goals, a low carbohydrate diet is considered when carbohydrate intake is between 20 g and 150 g carbohydrate per day .
Carbohydrates are one of three macronutrients that provide energy to the body. The other two are fat (fat) and protein. Carbohydrates provide energy to the body faster than fats and proteins. The main reason for a low carb diet is to lose weight, by reducing the carbohydrate intake, calorie intake is automatically lower. The body then draws its energy from the two macronutrients: the proteins, and finally the fats, thus allowing to lose fat mass.
Low carb is not a fixed name, so there is no unanimous and unique definition for categorizing a food as low in carbohydrates. In order to come up with a list of suitable foods, we have therefore set ourselves the following limit: maximum 10 g of carbohydrates per 100 g of food. This is a rather small amount if you look at bread (50g for 100g) or pasta (60g for 100g) for example but a limit high enough to find many foods that respect!
The best 10 foods low in carbohydrates
The best low carb foods on our lists are not only very low in carbohydrates (slow sugars) but also particularly rich in nutrients . These foods definitely have their place on your shopping lists:
- Fish (0 g)
- Meat (og)
- Vegetable oil – olive, rapeseed, sunflower, coconut (0 g)
- Eggs (0.3 g)
- Tofu (0.7 g)
- Lean white cheese (4.2 g)
- Mushrooms (<5 g)
- Green vegetables (<10 g)
- Citrus fruits (<10 g)
- Red fruits (<10 g)
Which Foods are allowed?
Find out which foods to consume for your low carb diet by using our food tables broken down by family of ingredients with nutritional values, calories, carbohydrates, protein and fat for even more information on what you eat!
Which Fruits and Vegetables are low carb
Which fruits are low in sugar?
The fruits are not necessarily all rich in sugars and carbohydrates! There are some fruits that contain less than 10 g of sugars and are just as delicious as others. Here is the list of 10 fruits low in sugar and carbohydrates (carbohydrates / 100g) *:
- Rubharbe (1 g)
- Lemon (2.9 g)
- Currants (5 g)
- Melon (6 g)
- Grapefruit (6 g)
- Ripe (6.2 g)
- Watermelon (6.3 g)
- Strawberry (7 g)
- Raspberry (7 g)
- Mandarin (9 g)
Which vegetables are low in carbohydrates and suitable for low carb?
Almost all vegetables are very low in carbohydrates, making them perfect foods for low carb diet! Your low carb diet will be very green, rich in plants and therefore in vitamins and minerals! Here are our top 10 vegetables low in sugars (carbohydrates / 100g):
- Spinach (0.8 g)
- Mushrooms (1.1 g)
- Celery (1.5 g)
- Cucumber (2 g)
- Zucchini (2 g)
- Radish (2.1 g)
- Cauliflower (2.3 g)
- Broccoli (2.8 g)
- Asparagus (3.9 g)
- Sweet pepper (4.6 g)
The benefits of the low carb diet
If the carbohydrates consumed are not burned immediately, they can be broken down as glycogen in the liver and muscle cells for a short time. The second way the body stores carbohydrates is to convert them to body fat . And that’s where the benefit of a low carbohydrate diet lies.
Those who eat a lot of carbohydrates are at risk of producing fat quickly. Why is this so? In the body, the “simple sugar” glucose (“dextrose”) serves as a vector of energy . All carbohydrates in foods must first be converted by the body into glucose. This process is all the longer as carbohydrates are complex.
As soon as the body has used the carbohydrates consumed, the blood sugar (blood sugar) , that is to say the glucose content in the blood, increases. To lower it again, the pancreas releases insulin . This hormone also regulates the conversion of glucose into fat. This means that the more carbs you eat, the more insulin you release and the more fat storage is stimulated.
Conversely, this means that those who consume little carbohydrate and especially slowly digestible carbohydrates keep their blood sugar levels and insulin secretion low and are therefore less likely to accumulate fat . In addition, the body is stimulated by low blood sugar to use the energy of fat cells, since it receives the signal that the food does not provide enough energy.
Those who want to fully utilize the metabolic benefits of the low carbohydrate diet need only reduce their daily carbohydrate intake over a longer period to at most 50 g . If the body receives some carbohydrates for more than one or two days, it goes into a specific metabolic state that increasingly attacks fat stores.
During this state called ” ketosis “, the body transforms liver fat into “ketone bodies”. These replace glucose as a source of energy. The few carbs that the body absolutely needs are produced from amino acids and glycerin from the fat itself.
The disadvantages of the low carb diet
Those who cover their energy needs mainly with fats and proteins, that is to say with foods low in carbohydrates, and who thus put their body in a state of ketosis, should expect to emit a strong oral odor and bodily, which is produced by the elimination of ketones.
In addition, switching to a low carbohydrate diet may result in side effects such as reduced performance, headaches or fatigue. In general, an extremely high protein diet can stress the liver and kidneys and cause uric acid levels to rise.
The high fat intake can in turn lead to an increase in cholesterol and thus to the obstruction of the arteries. In addition, widespread abandonment of grain products and other sources of effective fiber can lead to constipation.
Another drawback: a radically low carbohydrate diet hampers high performance sports , because carbohydrates are an essential source of energy for athletes. Another problem is that the risk of relapse and breaking the rules is high because carbohydrates are an important nutrient in most crops, which is virtually impossible to avoid in everyday life and with a varied diet.
One of the few cultures in which people traditionally feed mainly on low carbohydrate foods is Eskimo culture . As the environment in which they live suggests, they eat mainly fatty fish and meat from the Arctic region .
Foods that are not suitable for a low carbohydrate diet are those that contain a large amount of carbohydrates *:
- grain products (eg, bread, pasta, rice, oatmeal)
- legumes (eg peas, beans, lentils)
- some fruits and vegetables
- honey and sweets containing sugar
- soda drinks