Low-Carb Meal Plan and Menu to Improve Your Health
Ever been to a supermarket and stood confused whether the veggies and groceries you buy are really low in carbs? You are not alone! What not to eat on a low carb diet still remains hazy to many who are on a low carb diet. We can easily say that almost every household talks about a low carb meal plan and menu to improve their health. In the weight loss race, a low carb diet meal plan and menu seems to be the most preferred choice as it is easy to follow and also offers additional benefits like improving your cognitive skills apart from helping in weight loss journey as mentioned here. So with sufficient knowledge on safe fasting methods (thanks to long hours of Google browsing!!), we all now know that for a healthy lifestyle, it is essential to go low carb. To follow this low carb diet effectively it is also essential to know what not to eat on a low carb diet.
If you are not a beginner in the low carb weight loss journey, you might now have some knowledge on what foods to avoid in general. But still, there are chances that you might be incorrectly consuming foods that are not low carb. For a beginner of low carb lifestyle, it can be even more uncertain. Apart from the common advice of asking to avoid bread, rice, pasta, potatoes etc, we offer here a list of what to avoid on a low carb diet. So don’t worry and continue your weight loss journey with confidence.
What Not to Eat on a Low Carb Diet
None of us would have escaped advice like eat vegetables, go green, eat green, veggies are the best source of energy and many more capsules of advice! While it is wholly true, vegetables are also bundled with vitamins, minerals and fibres and all that is essential to us for healthy survival. They are great companions for your weight loss journey, but unfortunately not all of them. Wait, what? Are we going to ask you to give up eating veggies in a low carb diet? Definitely not! There are absolutely no issues with vegetables low in starch content. You can enjoy them to heart’s content. It’s only the high starch veggies that we want you to keep away from. Those veggies, though delicious contain more digestible carbohydrates than fibre. That makes them unsuitable for a low carb diet. So you don’t want to make the mistake of choosing the wrong veggies and wondering why you haven’t lost weight, right? Here’s what not to eat on a low carb diet. Avoid consuming the following vegetables.
The most tempting foods to be avoided in a low carb diet are all cooked with potatoes which are high in starch content. Potato chips, potato kurma, potato fries all yummy and mouth watering delicious dishes contain 90% starch making it the most obvious food to avoid in the low carb diet meal plan. 100 grams of chips contain 53 grams of carbohydrates and 4 gram of fibre. A strict NO to be included in a low carb diet meal plan.
Heart beats for beet? Sigh! This super nutritious food though very less in calories contains 16 grams of carbs, thus making it less desirable for those on a low carb diet.
You don’t want to consume 41 gram of carbohydrates by having a cup of corn, do you? This is without any doubt the must-avoid food when you are following a low carb diet.
Not so sweet! 100 grams of sweet potato contain 24 grams of carbs. Strike that off your grocery list now!
Yet another root veggie to overlook! High in starch content, containing 27 grams of carbs in 100 grams. This makes it totally unfriendly for those on a low carb diet.Remember that when you are on a low carb diet, it is better to keep the carb as low as 9 to 10 grams. Anything more is not low carb. So keep these veggies out from your meal plate when following a low carb diet.
Fruits are always considered as the best alternative to snacks. Eating fruits instead of junk is what we hear when we follow any diet. Fruits are so friendly to your skin, your heart and some even reduce the risk of cancer. For sure they are a good supplement in the diet. Similar to the vegetables mentioned above, not all fruits can accompany you on your low carb diet weight loss journey. This is mainly because certain fruits contain very high levels of fruit sugar or fructose which is a form of carbohydrate. These carbohydrates in fruits are nothing, but a better version of sugar. It is ok to add fruits to your low carb diet meal if it does not cross the specified scale. However it is advised to completely avoid the below mentioned high carb fruits while on a low carb diet.
A cup of delicious inviting ripe mango contains 26 – 28 grams of carbohydrates and they have only 3 grams of fibre. Oh, you have no option except to just simply remove them from your low carb diet menu.
Ever felt so full after eating a banana? Yeah, that’s because you have consumed a sizable amount of carbs from them. Hold your breath; one ripe banana has 27 grams of carbs and just three grams of fibre. So it’s good to say bye to bananas in a low carb diet meal plan!
Juicy, delicious, sweet and 28 grams of carbs are what you get from pears. Wondering how much of fibre it has? Oops only 6 grams. So not the best choice in a low carb diet.
Wondering dried fruits are better versions of fresh fruits? Nope. Two large dates contain more carbs than a whole mango or banana. With just 2 grams of fibres, they contain 36 grams of carbs.
Those tiny raisins, what harm can they do? Well one ounce of raisins contains 22 to 24 grams of carbs and just one gram of fibre. Strike it off your menu right away!.
Having left behind all delicious fruits in the low carb lifestyle journey, are you speculating what is safe to consume? The answer is berries. Berries are your best buddies in a low carb diet. They have less sugar in them and contain a lot of fibre making it ideal for consumption for weight loss.
Milk is often considered as a source of calcium. It also contains essential nutrients for the body. Seems like a good option to satisfy hunger in a low carb diet? Unfortunately not. Milk is a big no in a low carb diet. All the types of milk whether skimmed or fat removed or low fat milk contain up to 13 grams of carbs in just one glass of milk. Is it hard to bid adieu to milk to use in morning or evening drinks? Don’t worry, you can try going for milk substitutes like almond milk or coconut milk, that are best had unsweetened.
Excluding the above mentioned fruits and vegetables, salads are completely fantastic foods for a low carb diet meal plan, but it is only the salad dressing that we are concerned about. Those dressings that you generously coat to make the salad more interesting can spoil the reason for having a low carb diet. So when you go for salad dressing remember what to avoid in a low carb diet:
All commercial dressings, bought from stores, which mostly claim to be free of fat content, or containing low fat content have a lot of carbs in them. For example two tablespoons of store bought ranch stores 11 grams of carbs in them while the same ranch dressing when made at home can contain as low as 2 grams. When you don’t have enough time to prepare homemade salad dressings, you obviously opt to purchase from a store with a resolution of restricting the quantity consumed. But let’s accept it, most people can’t have control over the quantity, especially when that salad is your entire lunch. So it is better to use homemade salad dressings or olive oil as an alternative.
The best option for dessert when it comes to weight loss is without any doubt yogurt. They are very healthy and of course low in carbs. But that’s actually only when you eat them without any flavours. That seems to be the difficult part right? Most of the weight loss enthusiasts often choose flavoured and low fat or non fat yogurt instead of plain ones and that’s where you must be concerned about your carbohydrate consumption. The flavoured ones have as much carbohydrate as a normal dessert. For example one cup of flavoured yogurt contains almost 47 grams of carbohydrates, which is way less than a cup of ice cream.
So how to consume plain yogurt? If you do not like to eat plain yogurt add berries of your choice to it like half a cup of strawberries or blueberries of blackberries. They make a delicious recipe with carbs well below 10 grams.
Legumes and Beans
They are a very healthy and nutritious food with all the essential ingredients for a healthy lifestyle. They help in preventing risk of heart diseases and restrict inflammation. They are packed with a lot of fibre making it ideal for weight loss enthusiasts. But remember a cup of legumes can contain more than 40 grams of carb content. While they are very good for a normal diet, it is better to keep them low or restricted in a low carb diet. When you consume more carbohydrates, your body will start burning carbohydrates again instead of entering ketosis. Hence it is always better to keep the amount of carbs low in a low carb diet.
When you choose the below mentioned legumes and beans, be mindful on what not to eat while on a low carb diet:
A cup of lentils contain 16 grams of fibre, which is great news and also contains 40 grams of carbs which is bad news for certain types of diet, especially a low carb diet where carb intake is expected not to be more than 10 grams per day.
These healthy black beans are rich in fibre holding 15 grams in a cup along with 40 grams of carbs. Not a wise choice!.
Chickpeas contain more carbs than legumes and lentils though they are very healthy and extremely beneficial to health. They contain 45 grams of carbs in a cup and 12 grams of fibre which makes it wonderful for a normal diet, but not on a low carb diet.
Again, these delicious healthy kidney beans have 40 grams of carbohydrates. Yet the good news is we get 15 grams of fibre from it. Still, a big no-no for a low carb lifestyle.
An extensive 45 grams of carbs and 15 grams of fibre in a single cup is definitely good news, but not on a low carb day.
This is one of the must-avoid foods not just in low carb but even in a normal diet. They are not healthy and make you consume so many carbs in little time.
Honey or Sugar
Like artificial sweeteners, natural sweeteners also contain carb content in them that are enough to shoot up your low carb level of the day. For example, honey contains 17 grams of carbs in a single table spoon; while the advised daily carb digits are less than 10 grams in a low carb diet.
Beverages and Juices
The worst thing to have in a low carb diet is juices and beverages. Though juices have some nutrients, they increase your blood sugar level instantly. For instance, grape juice contains 60 grams of carbs, apple juice contains 48 grams of carbs and soda contains 39 grams of carbs.
Final Thoughts on What Not to Eat in a Low Carb Diet
Given the list of foods to avoid in a low carb diet you might feel that there is very less food available to eat. But the truth is there is plenty of food available for low carb and they can be made interesting in so many ways for consumption. Include veggies like cabbage, broccoli, capsicum and cauliflower in the diet regularly. Have yogurt flavoured with berries and topped with nuts. Have eggs poached, boiled or in any form as they contain less than one gram of carbs. Remember all these restrictions on lentils and legumes and fruits are only when you follow a low carb diet and the menu varies for different types of diet. The golden rule is to remember that no diet plan is universal and it varies depending on your desired outcome. So when you have decided to go low carb remember the true meaning of ‘Low carb’ and practice it with perfection. You will be surprised to see your body tune to shape in a few weeks. Having read the article, next time you can buy groceries with confidence and know for sure what not to eat on a low carb diet and avoid foods that have secretly packed carbs inside them.