Pizza, fries and anything with bread are just a few delicious types of carbs Americans love to eat on a daily basis. Carbohydrates are one of the main types of nutrients the body needs (a macronutrient), especially when it comes to energy.
It is important to understand the difference between good carbs and bad carbs. Good carbs tend to include leafy greens, mixed berries and cruciferous vegetables, whereas bad carbs come from sugary drinks, sweets and bread.
People choose to follow a low-carb diet because it has shown significant results for weight-loss and health benefits. It has also been shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and negative cardiovascular factors that may lead to heart disease.
Not only will you see a drastic change in your body (weight gain) from overeating carbohydrates, but you will also see your cholesterol increase. High carbohydrate diets increase VLDL secretion and raise blood triglyceride levels. The risk of heart disease is much higher in those with high triglyceride levels than those who have lower ones.
Finding delicious, low-carb foods may be difficult since many of our favorite snacks include this nutrient. Try replacing your “bad carbs” like chips, candy and bread with a few of these healthier alternatives:
Mixed nuts: These are a great option for snacking on when you start craving the usual movie snacks like popcorn, candy or chips. If you really want to avoid carbs, try sticking to peanuts, walnuts and almonds since they contain less carbs than pistachios or cashews.
Meat: Whether it be beef, pork, lamb, or poultry, you can count on meat to satisfy that “full” feeling that bread gives you. If you crave breaded chicken strips or nuggets, try adding panko crumbs to your chicken instead.
Natural fats and high-fat sauces: Carbs and fats are the two main energy sources the body needs. Cream cheese, butter, mayonnaise, olive oil, aioli and guacamole are great fats to incorporate into your low-carb diet to provide you with a sufficient amount of energy.
Vegetables: Vegetables that grow above the ground are typically considered low-carb. This means spinach, lettuce, asparagus, avocado, olives, eggplant, cabbage and cucumbers are vegetables that can be eaten freely on a low-carb diet. Want to change up the flavor of boring vegetables like cauliflower? Try buffalo cauliflower bites! They make for the perfect appetizer.
Berries: Fruits can be tricky when following a low-carb diet since they can contain natural sugar. No wonder they call it the “candy from nature”! It is best to snack on berries (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries) compared to fruits that contain higher amounts of fructose such as bananas, grapes, mangos and pineapples.
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