Doctors can recommend their patients to try a low-carb diet for many reasons. Not only can a restricted carbohydrate intake help you lose weight, but it can also be used as a technique to manage some health problems, such as diabetes and high cholesterol. Depending on the patient's specific health goals, a person on a low-carb diet may limit their daily intake to 100 grams or as little as 20 grams of carbohydrates. When it comes to restricting carbohydrate consumption so severely, it's helpful to know which high-carb foods to avoid eating.
Eliminating bread, grains, and pasta from your diet can seem intimidating, as these foods form the basis of a typical meal for many people. Eating oatmeal for breakfast, making a sandwich for lunch, and cooking spaghetti for a quick weeknight dinner can be tough habits to quit. Fortunately, a lot of recipe and cookbook websites have been created for people who are trying to meet their carbohydrate goals. Your doctor or nutritionist can also make helpful suggestions on how to structure low-carb meals.
Vegetables are generally a good choice for those on a low-carb diet. Its high fiber content can help you lose weight and aid digestion. However, corn and root vegetables such as potatoes, yams, and beets are high in starch and are best avoided. Choose non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, pumpkin, bell peppers, and asparagus to fill up on fiber and other nutrients while moderating your carbohydrate intake.
Salad, the stereotypical health food, is generally an excellent choice on a low-carb diet. Vegetables and nutritious proteins, such as eggs, chicken, and nuts, can be used to prepare delicious, low-carb meals. Low-fat or fat-free salad dressings seem to be healthier than full-fat varieties. But it turns out that they are actually higher in carbohydrates, since they contain around 10 grams in just two tablespoons.
Dress your salad with a creamy, full-fat dressing to minimize carbohydrate intake. Alternatively, mix olive oil and vinegar for a healthy and tasty alternative. Beer isn't called “liquid bread” for nothing. An average can contains 13 grams of carbohydrates, which is comparable to a slice of white bread.
In addition, consuming carbohydrates in liquid form makes it more likely to gain weight. This is because eating solid foods causes the person to compensate for food intake by eating less at the end of the day. Fluids cause a weaker compensatory response, which means more calories are consumed overall. While beer should be avoided, people on a low-carb diet can continue to enjoy alcoholic beverages.
Dry wines are very low in carbohydrates. The liquor contains no carbohydrates, so a mixer with a low sugar content can be used to prepare a low-carb cocktail. Milk is another healthy food that is high in carbohydrates. Although it contains nutrients such as calcium and vitamin B, milk is also high in sugar.
A little milk in a cup of coffee is unlikely to be a problem, except for those on a strict diet, but you can use cream or half and half as low-carb alternatives. Those who like to drink milk by the glass or who use it to make smoothies should try dairy-free milk substitutes, such as almond milk or coconut milk, instead. Remember that it's important to talk to your doctor before making any changes to your diet. With a network of more than 700 specialist and primary care physicians, Meritage Medical Network provides excellent healthcare to our patients in Marin, Sonoma and Napa Counties.
Our doctors are passionate about helping you improve your wellbeing, whether that means modifying your diet or making other lifestyle changes to achieve a healthy weight. Diabetic patients can also benefit from our individual nutritional counseling services. The high-carb food list contains not only many of the indulgent favorites, but also quite a few common elements that previously could have been a staple of your diet. For example, according to the USDA, broccoli contains 2.9 grams of net carbohydrates per cup; zucchini has 2.6 grams of net carbs per cup; raw spinach contains 0.4 grams of net carbs per cup.
In particular, you can enjoy lots of low-carb vegetables with a low-carb diet, such as bell peppers, asparagus, and mushrooms. However, for that fizzy experience, you can drink carbonated water or flavored water, which tends to be very low in carbohydrates and often naturally flavored. In addition, diets that are very low in carbohydrates may not be suitable for everyone, including children, pregnant people, and people with certain underlying chronic conditions, unless under medical supervision (7). The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carb plan that is designed to send your body into ketosis, which is when the body converts fat to fuel instead of relying on carbohydrates for energy.
Although plain yogurt is quite low in carbohydrates, many people tend to eat fruit-flavored sweetened varieties, which often contain as much carbohydrate as dessert. As such, it's worth remembering that while a few low-carb drinks are OK, you're risking your health if you overdo it often and consume alcohol in excess. However, some types of low-carb diets, such as ketogenic and Atkins, can be too restrictive and unsustainable in the long term. To sweeten foods or beverages without adding carbohydrates, choose a low-carb sweetener, such as stevia or monk fruit.
The following list contains six types of high-carb foods to avoid, along with suggestions for lower-carb alternatives you can use instead. The Dra. Deborah Lee, from Dr. Fox (opens in a new tab) explains that some vegetables are lower in carbohydrates than others and are more suitable for the ketogenic diet.