Low carb diets are flexible and can be followed by people with different types of diabetes.
People with type 1 diabetes have also reported much more stable blood sugar levels, making the condition easier to predict and manage.
A low carb diet specifically means a diet
- refined sugar,
- processed foods,
- high Glycemic Index foods (foods that can quickly increase blood sugar level),
and HIGH in
- healthy fats,
- complex carbs, such as whole grains, veggies, and fruits.
Two of the most popular low-carb diets are the Ketogenic diet and Atkins diet, and many fitness experts swear by them. In this article, you will find a 7-day low-carb diet plan, low-carb recipes, foods to eat and avoid, and much more. But first, let’s see why you should avoid carbs and if all carbs are bad.
Does a Low Carb Diet Work to Reverse Diabetes?
Carbohydrate is the nutrient which has the greatest effect in terms of raising blood sugar levels and requires the most insulin to be taken or be produced by the body. It will also get stored as fat if not use an energy source. Simple carbs (such as refined sugar, cakes, pastry, milk chocolate, etc.) are digested and absorbed quickly, which leads to blood sugar and insulin spikes.
Lowering sugar levels is clearly a benefit for people with diabetes. Lower need for insulin is also particularly useful as lowering insulin in the body can reduce insulin resistance which can help towards reversing type 2 diabetes.
Insulin is also the fat storage hormone in the body, so reducing insulin in the body with a low-carb diet can help with losing weight.
This entire process can be reversed by following a low carb diet. When you consume less simple carbs, your blood glucose levels are in check, and your body starts to become insulin sensitive. This helps keep the metabolism running, prevents fat storage, and protects from obesity-related diseases.
A low-carb diet doesn’t mean you should be completely off carbs. You still need to consume a lot of complex carbs that are found in fruits, veggies, and whole grains.
Complex carbs are digested and absorbed much slowly and hence do not cause sudden blood sugar or insulin spikes. Also, they aid in proper bowel movement, thereby preventing constipation and slow metabolism.
Reducing carbohydrates drastically causes the body to go into a different metabolic state called ketosis, where it burns fat for providing fuel.
Reduction in carbs results in lower insulin levels as the person is getting energy from ketones, little carbon fragments that are created by the breakdown of fat stores. This causes you to feel less hungry and shed excess weight since the body burns fat instead of burning carbohydrates.
Finally, a low-carb diet allows you to eat a lot of proteins and healthy fats that help build lean muscle mass, increase the transition time of the digested food, and help reduce inflammation.
So, below are some low-carb diet tips you need to take note:
- Consume 5 types of veggies per day.
- Have 2-3 servings of fruits per day.
- Consume healthy fats, such as nuts, olive oil, ghee, cheese, etc.
- Consume lean protein-rich foods, such as tofu, mushroom, legumes, chicken, fish, etc.
- Do not add sugar to your fruit or vegetable juice.
- Drink warm milk before going to bed to help you sleep better.
- Eat your meals at proper intervals (3-4 hours).
- Consume whole wheat or multigrain bread, brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, etc. as they are rich in dietary fiber.
- Have a cheat day every week to prevent your metabolism from plateauing.
- Use less salt to prevent water retention in your body.
Now, let me tell you what you can eat and which foods you must avoid while you are on a low-carb diet.
Low Carb Diet Foods to Eat
Vegetables – Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, red cabbage, bell pepper, okra, eggplant, peas, French beans, bottle gourd, ridge gourd, bitter gourd, squash, onion, tomato, cucumber, celery, banana flower, green chili, carrot, beetroot, baby corn, sweet potato, potato with peel, etc.
Fruits – Figs, watermelon, muskmelon, honeydew melon, apple, pear, plum, pluot, pineapple, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, papaya, grapes, orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, tangerine, etc.
Protein – Fish, chicken breast, eggs, lean cuts of pork and beef, mushroom, legumes, tofu, soy chunks, etc.
Dairy – Milk, yogurt, and cheese.
Grains – Brown rice, quinoa, barley, oats, etc.Fats And Oils – Olive oil, rice bran oil, ghee, sunflower butter, peanut butter, and almond butter.
Nuts And Seeds – Almond, walnut, pistachios, macadamia, pine nuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds.
Beverages – Freshly pressed fruit and vegetable juice, coconut water, buttermilk, milk, soy milk, and almond milk.
Herbs and Spices – Ginger, garlic, turmeric, clove, nutmeg, rosemary, cilantro, dill, fennel, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala, allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, mace, bay leaf, oregano, basil, etc.
Low Carb Diet Foods to Avoid
Vegetables – Potato without the peel.
Fruits – Jackfruit and mango (eat them in minimum amounts).
Protein – Chicken with skin, red meat, sausage, salami, and pepperoni.
Dairy – Low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt, flavored yogurt, and flavored milk-based drinks.
Grains – White rice (you may eat white rice provided you eat at least 5 veggies with it).
Fats & Oils – Animal fat, vegetable oil, butter, and margarine.
Beverages – Alcohol, packaged fruit and vegetable juices, soda, and energy drinks.
Others – Candy, sweets, milk chocolate, junk food, salty food, wafers, etc.
So, it’s clear that you should steer clear of foods rich in sugar, salt, and starch. But, merely following a good diet will not help you lose weight.
You also need to be active and keep your mind and body fit to reap the best benefits of a low-calorie diet. Here’s a workout plan for you.
- Head tilt – 1 set of 10 reps
- Neck rotations – 1 set of 10 reps
- Shoulder rotations – 1 set of 10 reps
- Arm circles – 1 set of 10 reps
- Wrist rotations – 1 set of 10 reps
- Waist rotations – 1 set of 10 reps
- Ankle rotation – 1 set of 10 reps
- Spot jogging – 5-7 minutes
- Jumping jacks – 1 set of 20 reps
- Sit-ups – 1 set of 10 reps
- Crunches – 1 set of 10 reps
- Floater kicks – 2 sets of 10 reps
- Scissor kicks – 1 set of 10 reps
- Leg raise – 2 sets of 10 reps
- Side crunches – 2 sets of 10 reps
- Russian twist – 2 sets of 20 reps
- Lunges – 1 set of 10 reps
- Squat – 1 set of 10 reps
- Jumping squat – 1 set of 10 reps
- Burpees – 2 sets of 10 reps
Remember, you must workout at least three hours per week. You can start by working out every alternate day and then three consecutive days, with two rest days in between. When you are comfortable enough, you must work-out five to six days a week, with one or two rest days.
Working out will keep your metabolism active, create a negative energy balance in your body, improve brain function, and build muscle power and strength.
Like working out, eating healthy yet tasty food is also important so that you don’t drift away from this diet plan. Here are a few low-carb diet recipes for you.
3 Low Carb Diet Recipes
1. Spinach and Mushroom Omelet with Cheese
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 7 min
Total Time: 17 min
- 4 eggs
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- 1 cup baby spinach
- ½ cup sliced button mushroom
- ¼ cup chopped tomato
- ¼ cup grated cheese
- 1 teaspoon chopped green chili
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt to taste How To Prepare
- Whisk together eggs, onion, tomato, spinach, mushroom, green chili, and salt.
- Heat olive oil in a pan and pour the whisked egg. Spread it evenly and let it cook for about 3-4 minutes.
- Flip the egg over and cook for 2 minutes.
- Flip it over again and add the grated cheese and fold the egg. Cook for a minute, and it’s ready!
2. Soy Milk, Chia, And Strawberry Smoothie
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 2 min
Total Time: 7 min
- 2 cups soy milk
- 6 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 cup washed and halved strawberries
- ½ teaspoon organic honey
- 3-4 chopped dates How To Prepare
- Toss the strawberries, dates, and soy milk into a blender and whizz it.
- Pour it into a glass and add honey and chia seeds.
- Stir well before drinking.
3. Mushroom Clear Soup
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 15 min
Total Time: 30 min
- 1 cup sliced button mushrooms
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon grated ginger
- ½ cup chopped carrot
- ¼ cup sweet corn
- 1 cup blanched spinach
- ½ cup chopped celery
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Salt to taste How To Prepare
- Heat oil in a soup pot and add the minced garlic. Cook until it turns brown.
- Add the onions and cook for a minute.
- Add the ginger and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Add all the veggies, mushroom, salt, and pepper. Stir and cook for about a minute.
- Add two cups of water and cover the lid. Cook for about 10-12 minutes.
- Serve hot.
Let me tell you what benefits you can reap if you follow a diet that is low in carbs.
Low Carb Diet Benefits
- A low-carb diet aids weight loss.
- It helps fight cancer.
- It reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome like diabetes.
- It helps regulate the blood sugar levels.
- It improves cognitive functions.
- It helps boost metabolism.
- It improves insulin sensitivity.
- A low-carb diet reduces the risk of hypertension.
A low-carb diet can do a lot good, but it has temporary side effects. Let’s find out what they are.
What side effects exist on a low carb diet?
Side effects that can be commonly experienced on a low carb diet include:
- Brain fog
- Mood swings
- Temporary insomnia
- Possible nutrient deficiencies
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) may occur if you take insulin or tablets that can cause low blood sugar. If you take medications that can cause hypos, it’s particularly important to discuss precautions to prevent hypos before starting a low carb diet.
To conclude, a low-carb diet is good for you – provided you consume good carbs along with lean protein and healthy fats. The key is to strike the right balance of different food groups that are apt for your body.
So, consult your doctor or dietician today and start following a customized low-carb diet plan. You will see results in just a few days’ time. Good luck!
Watch this Video – Are Low-Carb Diets Best for Diabetics?
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