The concept of a low carb diet has become all the more popular. Carbohydrates, despite being an essential food category being in bread, rice, pasta and your favorite breakfast cereals, can contribute to unnecessary body fat, which is hard to get rid of. But are all carbs essentially harmful?
Good Carbs vs Bad Carbs
Everybody is different from the other, so the term ‘unique’ applies to all human beings. Thus, carbohydrates can be beneficial to some while causing harm to others. Carbohydrates are molecules made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen and are used to provide energy to the body. Among the three macronutrients, dietary carbs have three subcategories: sugars, starches and fiber.
Whole carbs or otherwise known as good carbs are usually found in vegetables, whole fruits, potatoes, legumes and whole grains. If you have been told that all carbs cause obesity, you need to think for yourself! These whole carbs provide more health benefits than the other macronutrients, i.e., protein and fat. Good carbs are low in calories, sodium, saturated fat, cholesterol and trans fat and high in nutrients and fiber.
Then, there is the popular category of refined carbs that we all love in the form of sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit juices, pastries, pasta and rice. This isn’t all; the list of refined carbohydrates is exhaustive, and we incorporate them into our daily diet twice or sometimes more than twice every day. It is these carbs that cause health issues such as diabetes and obesity. Refined carbs are high in calories, refined grains, sugars, sodium, saturated fat, cholesterol and trans fat and low in nutrients and fiber.
Now that we have distinguished good unprocessed carbs from bad carbs, let’s delve deeper into why there is a need to ditch refined carbs and opt for low carb snacks and a low carbohydrate diet.
Why Choose a Low Carb Diet?
A low carbohydrate diet has remained a popular choice among people who complain about obesity, are Type II diabetic and have metabolic syndrome. Here is why everyone else needs to consider incorporating low carb snacks into their diets. A low carb diet is ideal for the heart and blood sugar in the following ways:
To Improve Glycemic Control
A low carb diet is essential for diabetics as it helps reduce the glucose in the body. Low carbohydrate diets have been known to cure Type II diabetes among many individuals as it restricts glucose in the bloodstream. Lower glucose allows blood sugar levels to remain low and as a result, you can save money on all that insulin and glucose-lowering medication.
To Improve the Pattern of LDL Cholesterol
LDL is the bad cholesterol in the body, and a concentrated amount can cause heart diseases by penetrating through the arteries. A low carb diet can help improve the pattern of LDL cholesterol in the body by allowing the fluffy (benign) LDL molecules to stay, while the smaller dense molecules are forced to vacate the body. By doing this, you have been secured from potential heart diseases!
To Increase the Level of HDL Cholesterol
HDL cholesterol protects you from potential heart diseases, so the body needs more of it. HDL helps transport cholesterol all the way to the liver for reuse or excretion purposes. Hence, if you adopt a low carbohydrate diet, you can augment HDL levels within the body, safeguarding your heart against the risk of diseases.
To Reduce Triglycerides
Triglycerides are a major source of cardiovascular diseases. These are correlated to the amount of refined carbohydrates in one’s diet. Therefore, a low carb diet can help reduce these fat molecules and protect you against potential cardiovascular risks.
To Fight Obesity
What is that one thing obese people must do in order to lose weight? It’s their 24/7 cravings that they ought to give up, which is the main reason that has contributed to excessive fat on their body. Low carb diets have known to increase satiety owing to balanced sugar levels. As a result, obese people can protect themselves from unnecessary cravings, which helps them lose weight.
Low carbohydrate diets burn deep visceral fat, which protects the body from diabetes, heart disease and unnecessary fat accumulation.
To Reduce Calories
Following the previous point, lower carbs in the diet is in itself an effortless calorie restriction mechanism. The satiety impact keeps one from craving for food, so low carb diets create the fullness effect faster than a low fat diet.
Ready-Made Low Carb Snack Options
It’s now time to introduce a few healthy low carb snacks that may be incorporated into the daily diet for a healthy and organic living. A few options for low carb snacks that are both healthy and fulfilling have been given below:
This is a staple food item that can be found in every kitchen, so this may be easily used as a low carb snack without any issues. You can eat it in a hard-boiled form as hard-boiled eggs are free from carbs and are enriched with other macronutrients, namely protein and healthy fats. Hence, you can satiate your taste buds with a hard-boiled egg with some mayonnaise, which will make for a delicious and healthy option. It can also provide your body the much-needed vitamin D.
This is another low carb snack that is readily available in every grocery store close to your place. Get yourself a packet of mixed nuts, especially walnuts, and treat your taste buds. Mix low carb nuts such as macadamias, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and walnuts. Cashews may be skipped as they are high in carbohydrates. Walnuts will provide the body with sufficient protein, fiber and healthy fats, which is the perfect combination for weight loss. Get your Shelled Raw California Walnuts from Sunbest now!
Smoked salmon and tuna are carb-free snacks to incorporate in your daily diet. Tuna provides a complete dosage of protein for the body, which helps stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels, resulting in a healthier you. You can also carry tuna packets such as the Reduced Sodium Chunk Light Tuna from StarKist to the office or school and munch on them while working. If plain tuna is not for your taste buds, spice it up with mayonnaise or cream cheese.
Not all types of cheese serve as low carb snacks, but string cheese does. A single serving of string cheese has only one gram of carbohydrates. Thus, this is a great snack to carry with you while traveling and is ideal for late night cravings. Keep a few pieces with you to keep yourself full and satisfied. The Light String Cheese from Sargento has you covered!
Cold meat is another low carb snack that you can munch on during the day. Keep a few ham, salami and pepperoni pieces aside from last night’s dinner for a quick and fulfilling snack the following day. Homemade pork rinds and beef jerky are also potential options. You can also purchase the Premium 110 Calorie Beef Jerky Variety Pack from JackLink from Amazon in place of dinner leftovers and munch on them whenever you get a craving for a snack.
A few low carb options comprise of celery, cucumber, bell peppers and olives. Slice up these vegetables and enjoy with a low carb dip sauce or cream cheese. If you don’t like eating single sticks, make a salad out of them and add your favorite cold meat, chicken or salami pieces maybe, and enjoy!
Dark chocolate has a high cocoa content and is, thus, the preferred choice out of all chocolates. Since dark chocolate is bitter, you can treat yourself with just one or two bars and get the nutrients you need. Other chocolates contain added sugar and not as much cocoa content, rendering them unsuitable for a keto diet. Choose from Amazon’s Simply Lite Low Carb Dark Chocolate with Almonds with 45% cacao for the best effect.
These low carb sweets can be paired with whipping cream for a satisfying experience. A few popular berries include raspberry, strawberry and blackberry. Blueberry has a relatively higher content of carbs and is, thus, a less-preferred choice for a ketogenic diet.
In addition to being low carb, these snacks are also a nutrient powerhouse in terms of vitamin B, which helps convert carbs, proteins and fat into energy that your body requires. These may be consumed with virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, baked at 350 degrees for no more than 15 minutes. You can try the Kool Ranch, Kale Chips from Rhythm Superfoods available on Amazon.
Another option for a low carb snack is this one right here. Not only are avocados a vital source of fat, vitamins and nutrient, but they are also low on carbohydrates, making them the perfect lunchtime snack at home or in the office. Check out the fresh California Avocados with superior taste and high oil content. If not whole avocados, go for avocado juice with no added sugar. It makes for a great evening smoothie without any unhealthy components.
These are just some low carb snacks that are easily and readily available either at home or in grocery marts near you. If you are into healthy cooking, you can check out the following low carb snacks and their recipes from RecipesCollected.
Easy & Quick Ketogenic Diet Recipes
A keto diet is best known for being a low carb diet. Also known as low carb, high fat diet, ketogenic diet enables the body to produce enough ketones that are then used as energy by the body. When the body is devoid of sufficient carbohydrates, it produces ketones by breaking down fats in the liver in order to produce energy. An optimal level of ketone production within the body can bring about health benefits such as these:
- Weight loss
- Controlled blood sugar
- Enhanced mental focus
- Increased energy and normalized hunger
- Improved cholesterol and blood pressure
- Treatment of acne
- Treatment of epilepsy