I have been on the low carb lifestyle for a couple of months already. It is a lifestyle commitment that requires a mindset shift.
Fortunately, Facebook has ample groups and communities that provide support for the low carb-high fat lifestyle.
One of the keys to success is to focus on the foods that you CAN have and less on what you cannot have.
It is for the same reason that I will focus this post on the best foods to eat on a low carb diet.
In this post...
A summary of the best foods for a low carb diet
No matter which low carb diet you pursue, there seems to be an agreement about the foods that should make up most of the diet. A low carb diet for weight loss and improved health should consist of whole foods and eliminate processed foods……
Protein for low carb diet lifestyles – what to eat on a low carb diet
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I got confused in the beginning about the types and amount of protein for low carb diet regimens until I started with the Real Meal Revolution eating plan. A low carb diet, in this instance, does not mean a high protein diet.
Always stick to the standard palm size protein portion, even on a low carb diet. Excessive protein can have adverse effects on your health.
These are the best protein options when on the low carb lifestyle:
- All beef, lamb, chicken, pork etc. Grass fed animal protein and free range poultry is always the best option. It is not necessary for these to be lean. I have learned to let go of my fat-phobias since embarking on the low carb-high fat journey.
- Salmon, tuna, haddock, swordfish
- Whole eggs are a staple for low carbers. They are rich in nutrients like Omega-3, selenium, iodine etc. Egg whites do not come close to whole eggs and are stripped of most of the goodness of eggs.
- A good protein powder can be used (although not a whole food). I have days where I cannot sit and have breakfast, and a protein shake always comes in handy. I always go for one that has 3g (or less) carbs per serving.
Best vegetables for a low carb diet
The best vegetables for a low carb diet are those that have a low carb count. Leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, cabbage etc. are a good choice. Other good choices are:
- Sweet potato (have less frequently if you intend to lose weight)
- Zucchini (baby marrow)
When it comes to the best foods for a low carb diet, whole and unprocessed is best. The same goes for dairy products. Unlike most diets, my low carb diet discourages (if not forbids) the use of low-fat or fat-free products.
Artificial means are used to achieve this by compensating with sugar and high carb ingredients (not the best foods for a low carb diet). If you have a dairy intolerance, you can actually succeed without it. I only use dairy for special occasions and foods like desserts and baking. Other than that, I can go for weeks without ingesting it.
The most popular dairy foods for low carbers are:
- Full cream milk (occasionally)
- Cheese (cream, parmesan, feta, and cottage)
- Double cream plain yogurt
Healthy Fats For a low carb diet
The low carb lifestyle is no excuse to go on a fat binge spree, however, it does not demonize fats either. The key is to stick to healthy fats for a low carb diet and eliminate the bad fats. The less processed and hydrogenated the fats, the better.
The low carb lifestyle that I follow tends to be generous with the fat, and this keeps me full for longer. I was pleasantly surprised that my cholesterol actually went down by a considerable amount, despite that I eat more fat than ever. These are the fats that are highly recommended:
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil (do not heat)
- Natural peanut butter
- Flaxseed oil
- Animal fat
- Avocado oil
- Homemade mayonnaise
- Macadamia oil
Sugar has gotten away with murder for too long, at the expense of fat. It has no place in a low carb lifestyle and should be eliminated completely. This is not an easy thing to do, thankfully we have sugar replacements that low carbers can use for treats and desserts:
Low carb flours
If baking was out of the question, I would have never attempted the low carb lifestyle. Thankfully there are flours that allow us to literally, “have out cakes in still eat them”. Coconut flour is my favorite as it is extra low in carbs and has no intricate ingredients in it. Almond and Hazelnut are also acceptable when baking low carb bread and cakes.
Chia seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds are the best seeds to consume while on a low carb-high fat lifestyle. These can be taken as snacks, or as part of a recipe or meal. Flaxseeds are used quite frequently when doing low carb baking.
- Tea (no milk)
- Coffee (use cream or butter)
- Unflavoured sparkling water
These are just the basics of the best foods for a low carb diet. They do not include the convenience foods and substitutes that tend to come in handy on this lifestyle. Food groups like alcohol haven’t been included as they are not necessary.
I do hope that the guideline on foods to eat on a low carb diet will be helpful for your journey.