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Low-carb Diet for Beginners: Part 2

Low-carb has become popular because sugar, refined grains and processed foods have been shown to be harmful to our health, and good fat is where it’s at! Generally speaking, when you avoid or significantly limit sugar and starches (major sources of carbohydrates), your blood sugar tends to stabilize and your insulin (the fat-storing hormone) levels drop. This increases fat burning. It also tends to make people feel fuller, which can lead to reduced food intake and the stimulation of weight loss.



How many grams of carbs are in a low-carb diet?


Generally speaking, a low-carb diet typically falls into three categories:

Ketogenic (keto) diet: 0-20 grams of carbohydrates per day

Moderate low-carb diet: 20 grams – 50 grams of carbohydrates per day

Liberal low-carb diet: 50 grams – 100 grams of carbohydrates per day

The most strict low-carb diet is usually referred to as a keto or ketogenic diet. It’s not a no-carb diet, but it is pretty close and contains less than 21 grams of carbohydrates per day. Individuals who choose to follow a keto diet should be monitored by a doctor regularly.


What do people eat on a low-carb diet?

People eat these low-carb foods on a low-carb diet: Animal meat, eggs, fish, healthy fats (like avocado and nuts), high-fat dairy, berries and vegetables that grow above ground. Vegetables that grow below ground, like white potatoes, tend to be higher in carbohydrates.

People avoid these high-carb foods on a low-carb diet: Sugary and starchy foods, particularly those made with grains (like bread, pasta, rice and potatoes), fruit (with the exception of berries as they are high in fibre), beer, sugary soda, juice, candy made of sugar

On a low-carb diet, people eat when they’re hungry, until they’re satisfied. They typically don’t count calories or weigh their food. They also avoid industrially produced low-fat products.


What do people drink on a low-carb diet?

Low-carb drinks include: water, seltzer, coffee, tea and dry wine (ocassionally). Artificial sweeteners are usually avoided.


Should you go low-carb?

I am not suggesting that everyone should go on a low-carb diet because it isn’t for everyone and it can come with uncomfortable side effects. As previously mentioned, a low-carb diet has been shown to offer health benefits, particularly for those with weight concerns, diabetes or blood sugar issues. It is certainly not suitable for everyone, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, take insulin for diabetes or take blood pressure medication, or have kidney problems (including kidney stones). If you choose to follow a low-carb diet, consult with your doctor first and make sure you are well informed and are getting all the nutrients your body requires.


Sources
:
Canadian Clinicians for Therapeutic Nutrition
Harvard Health Publishing
Low Carb Index Studies
Nutrients Journal
Psychology Today


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