Low-carb diets encourage the consumption of unprocessed foods high in protein and/or fat, along with a moderate intake of non-starchy carbohydrates to get antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber:
- Meat: Beef, pork, veal, lamb, venison, bison, etc.
- Fish and Seafood: Salmon, trout, cod, sardines, tuna, mackerel, lobster, crab, scallops, shrimp, mussels, clams, squid, etc.
- Poultry: Chicken, turkey, duck, quail, etc.
- Eggs: Chicken eggs, turkey eggs, duck eggs, quail eggs, etc.
- High-Fat Dairy: Whole milk, cheese, cream, butter, cottage cheese, etc.
- Non-starchy vegetables: Spinach, kale, Swiss chard, broccoli, zucchini, cucumbers, onions, cauliflower, asparagus, radishes, etc.
- Low-Sugar Fruits: Pears, melons, oranges, apricots, berries, lemons, kiwi, coconut, tomatoes, etc
- Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, pecans, chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, etc.
- Healthy Fats and Oils: Olive oil, avocados, flaxseed oil, coconut oil
- Herbs and Spices: Basil, thyme, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, rosemary, cumin, chili powder, etc.
- Unsweetened Beverages: Water, tea (herbal tea, green tea, black tea, etc.), red wine, coffee, milk
fried eggs.© Provided by The Manual
The following can be eaten in moderation depending on your particular dietary and energy needs:
- Root Vegetables: Carrots, parsnips, beets, etc.
- Fruits: Bananas, pineapple, papaya, apples, pomegranate, plums, etc.
- Legumes: Beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, soy, etc.
- Sprouted grains and Seeds: Quinoa, barley, oats, brown rice, etc.
What foods are not permitted on a low-carb diet?
The guiding principle of the low-carb diet is to limit anything sugary, starchy, or high in carbohydrates. As such, most foods rich in carbohydrates are excluded or should be eaten only rarely and in small amounts. Again, the goal is to consume no more than 25% of your daily caloric intake from carbs, and of those, the majority should be high-fiber, complex carbohydrates rather than sugars. Low-carb diets avoid the following:
- Most Grains: Pasta, bread, crackers, rice cakes, cereal, oatmeal, bagels, rice, couscous.
- Starchy Vegetables: Potatoes, sweet potatoes
- Dried Fruit: Dried apricots, raisins, dried dates, prunes, etc.
- Sweeteners: Sugar, honey, agave, corn syrup, jellies, jams, pudding, fruit juices, soda, sweet tea, applesauce, etc.
- Desserts and Sweets: Ice cream, pastries, cookies, doughnuts, pies, pudding, sweetened yogurt, etc.
Sample low-carb diet meal plan
Curious about what a day of eating might look like on a low-carb diet? Below, we share a sample low-carb meal plan:
- Breakfast: Omelet with cheddar cheese, green pepper, and onion, coffee
- Lunch: Chicken salad lettuce cups, tomato, and feta salad
- Snack: Berries and walnuts
- Dinner: Grilled salmon, zucchini noodles, asparagus
- Snack: Coconut milk smoothie with chocolate protein powder and almonds
A low-carb diet is a great way to reduce systemic inflammation and improve overall health. Regardless if you decide to opt-in to this diet for a short time, or the long haul, it surely is one of the tastiest choices around.
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