How Beneficial is a Low Carb Diet in Weight Loss?
A low carb diet is defined as limiting one’s intake of carbohydrates. This can be found in grains, starchy vegetables and fruits. The diet also emphasizes the importance of eating foods that are high in protein and fat.
There are several low-carb recipes and diets that can help you with your fitspiration goals. Each diet has different restrictions on the types and amounts of carbohydrates that you can consume.
A low carb diet is usually used for weight loss. Some diets also provide health benefits beyond weight loss such as reducing the risk factors connected to diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
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There are plenty of reasons why people choose to go on a low carb diet. Some may want a diet that restricts certain carbs to help them lose weight. Some want to overhaul their eating habits while others just enjoy the types and amounts of foods found in low carb diets.
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Plenty of carbohydrates are naturally found in plant-based food like grains. Carbs are considered complex and fibrous in their natural form like those found in whole grains and legumes. Those found in milk and fruit are less complex. Grains, fruits, vegetables, milk, nuts, seeds, legumes (beans, lentils, peas) are common sources of naturally occurring carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates, on the other hand, are those found in processed foods with flour or sugar like white breads and pasta, cookies, cake, candy, and sugar-sweetened sodas and drinks. Carbohydrates are the human body’s main fuel source. Sugars and starches are broken down into simple sugars during digestion and are absorbed into the bloodstream to become blood sugar (glucose). Fiber-containing carbohydrates are the ones that resist digestion. They have less effect on blood sugar and provide bulk to serve other body functions aside from fuel.
The idea behind low carb diets is to generally decrease carbs to lower insulin levels. This then leads the body to burn stored fat for energy which leads to weight loss. A low carb diet generally focuses on proteins including meat, poultry, fish and eggs as well as some nonstarchy vegetables. It also excludes or limits most grains, legumes, fruits, breads, sweets, pastas and starchy vegetables. Aside from faster weight loss, low carb diets have been known to be link to other benefits such as reduced hunger, better insulin and blood sugar levels, enhanced cognitive performance, lower risk for heart disease factors and reduced risk for certain types of cancer.
Bread lovers who want to go on a low carb diet can still eat their favorite food without letting go of their weight loss goals. There are plenty of low carb bread recipes online. One low carb gluten free bread recipe needs almond flour, psyllium husk powder, gluten-free baking powder, sea salt, eggs, coconut oil and warm water. After preheating the oven to 350 degrees F and lining the bottom of a 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper, you just need to stir the dry ingredients together. Add the eggs, melted coconut oil, and the warm water. Transfer the batter to the lined baking pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes.
Sweet-toothed dieters can also made their own low carb homemade ice cream. There’s one recipe that eliminates the need for churning for those who do not have an ice cream machine. Plus, it just has four ingredients and takes about five minutes to prepare. Butter, heavy cream, powered erythritol, and vanilla extract are the needed ingredients. First, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat then add half of the heavy cream and powdered erythritol. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 30-45 minutes. Stir until the mixture is thick enough. Afterwards, pour it into a large bowl and let it cool to room temperature. Mix the vanilla extract while stirring. Beat the remaining 2 cups of heavy cream using a hand mixer for about 2-3 minutes until stiff peaks form. Gently and gradually fold the beaten heavy cream into the mixture in the bowl. Transfer the mixture to a freezer container. If you want another flavor, you can add mix-ins at this stage. Freeze the mixture for 5-6 hours until firm.