What is a Low-Carb Diet: A Beginner’s Guide

What is a Low-Carb Diet: A Beginner’s Guide

People who have been trying to lose weight may have encountered several types of “weight-loss” diet that claimed to be useful. Among these diets is the so-called low-carb diet.

From the complete definition of a low-carb meal to its recipes such as low carb mushroom soup, here is everything you need to know.

The low-carb diet and its mechanism

While carbohydrates provide nutrients and energy for the consumer, too many carbs can lead to weight gain. Low-carb food limits the kinds and quantity of carbohydrates intake.

We can find both simple and complex carbohydrates in plenty of foods and beverages and categorize them further as refined or natural. Examples of these kinds of carbs include:

  • Simple refined: table sugar

  • Simple natural: fruit’s sugar or fructose

  • Complex refined: white flour

  • Complex natural: whole grain

Other primary sources of naturally-occurring carbs include fruits, vegetables, nuts, milk, grains, seeds, and legumes.

Carbohydrate is the primary source of energy in the body. Our bodies convert these complex carbs into simple sugars through the process of digestion. Afterward, our bodies absorb these simple sugars into the bloodstream as blood glucose.

An increase in the blood glucose level will facilitate the release of insulin in the body. The purpose of insulin is to lower the blood glucose level by promoting the absorption of glucose into the cells.

Other parts of the body, including muscles, liver, and cells, will store the remaining additional glucose. The stored glucose will be used in the body later on by converting it either into energy or fat.

The concept behind the low-carb diet is to decrease insulin levels by reducing carbohydrate consumption. Thus, people believe that by using carbohydrate restriction as a way to change their eating habits, they can effectively lose weight.

Diet restriction in a low-carb meal plan

A low-carb diet generally includes protein sources such as fish and meat, as well as certain non-starchy vegetables. In a sense, the eating habits of a person that adopts a low-carb food are low in carbs and high in protein.

The diet minimizes the consumption of high-carb foods such as grains, pasta, sweet beverages, potatoes, and sugary junk foods. Some low-carb meal plans even eliminate fruits and starchy vegetables.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans reported that carbohydrates should make up about 45% to 65% of people’s daily calorie intake. Hence, to meet the recommended 2,000 daily calories, people need to consume carbohydrates that are worth about 900 to 1,300 calories each day.

However, a low-carb diet usually restricts the daily carb intake to around 20g to 60g, which will produce about 80cal to 240cal.

Some of the meal plans gradually increase the allowed carbs intake during the diet. The carbs consumption will be significantly reduced within the primary stage and steadily increased towards the end of the course.

Some of the easy low-carb recipes include fried eggs and vegetables in coconut oil, low carb mushroom soup, grilled chicken with greens and salsa, and ground beef with sliced bell peppers.

While a low-carb diet may offer an effective method for weight loss, people who wish to follow this meal plan should consult with their doctors first. Before starting any strict diet, it is critical for those who have medical conditions such as heart disease or diabetes to get medical approval from their specialists.

Author info

Popular in similar categories: