We have a love and hate relationship with carbs. We love to eat them but we hate the effects they have on our body, when we consume them in an unhealthy way. Low carb foods help you to lose weight. But this change in diet can have several health benefits beyond that, including reducing metabolic syndrome, lowering cholesterol and preventing diabetes.
Low carb foods diets restricts the quantity and type of carbohydrates you eat during a day. Although some carbs are unhealthy, there are some that naturally occur in foods. These include grains, fruits, vegetables, milk, beans, lentils, peas and seeds.
Carbs are broken up into different categories, depending on how the food would affect a person’s blood sugar, or glucose, level. This number usually ranges between 50 and 100. On the scale, 100 represents pure glucose and is therefore put into the group ‘High Glycemic Index’. Other carbs, depending on their sugar levels, are put into the medium and low glycemic index groups. When choosing your low carb foods, try to choose the lower glycemic index ones.
Our body uses carbs as fuel for energy. The sugar from the carbs are then broken down and absorbed into your blood. They are then turned into glucose, or blood sugar. This type of sugar in excess can be bad for your body and can make you suffer from energy highs and lows. Complex carbs, which are ones in the lower glycemic index, have less of an effect on your blood sugar levels. The idea behind doing a low carb diet is that the body will burn the stored fat you have for energy and will help with weight loss.
However, you must not drastically reduce your carbs overnight. Take time to ease your body into a big change and speak to the Thanyapura Health Clinic, or our onsite Nutritionist Marcela Soto for more information.
Here are some low carb foods, in comparison to high carb foods:
|High Glycemic Index||Medium Glycemic Index||Low Glycemic Index|
|White rice||Brown rice||Fruits that are high in fiber|
|White bread||Wheat oats||Vegetables|
|Pasta||Wheat bread||High in fiber cereals|
|Breakfast cereals that are high in sugar||Wheat pasta||Beans, peas and lentils|
|Biscuits and cookies||Raisins||Popcorn (natural)|
|Cakes||Sweet Potato||Low fat milk|
|Candy and sweets||Corn||Low fat/sugar yogurt|
|Fruit juices and high in sugar drinks||Corn tortillas|
Some low carb foods: options
Steamed vegetables with protein (chicken, beef, egg or seafood but this must not be fried)
This is a very easy dish for anyone who is in a rush. Just cut up some broccoli or carrots in a steamer and leave for 20 minutes. To cook the protein, you can put this in foil in the oven; or steam it.
Soup is again a really easy and healthy dish that will leave you full. Just find a recipe with the ingredients you like. It will not take all night and can be made in a big batch, to freeze for later.
Salads are great because you can be as creative as you want and put any vegetables or fruit in that you feel like. There are some delicious and healthy salad recipes out there but remember to always have the sauce on the side.
This traditional Thai dish is fresh and tasty. The popular salad has all the flavours in one. It is sweet, spicy, sour and salty. Truly delicious, and great if you are stuck on what to order if you go out to dinner.