Grilled Steak Lettuce Tacos: Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Paleo – Diet Program

Grilled sirloin steak “flaco” tacos uses lettuce instead of tortillas! The steak is seasoned with cumin and spices, then grilled and sliced thin, along with guacamole and pico de gallo – low-carb and super delicious!
Grilled sirloin steak "flaco" tacos uses lettuce instead of tortillas! The steak is seasoned with cumin and spices, then grilled and sliced thin, along with guacamole and pico de gallo – low-carb and super delicious!
This was inspired by tacos I recently oredered at a Tex-Mex restaurant in NYC. They were so good, I didn’t miss the tortilla so I set out to recreate them at home. They used iceburg lettuce which the cut on an angle and used several layers which I thought was smart, it was easier to hold and eat. You can of course use any lettuce you like. If you don’t have a grill, you can make the steak on a grill pan or even on a cast iron skillet. So simple and light, you can easily eat more that two if you don’t make a side. I made a Mexican Cauli-rice on the side which was enough to fill me up.
Grilled sirloin steak "flaco" tacos uses lettuce instead of tortillas! The steak is seasoned with cumin and spices, then grilled and sliced thin, along with guacamole and pico de gallo – low-carb and super delicious!

Grilled Steak Lettuce Tacos

Grilled sirloin steak “flaco” tacos uses lettuce instead of tortillas! The steak is seasoned with cumin and spices, then grilled and sliced thin, along with guacamole and pico de gallo – low-carb and super delicious!

Ingredients:

FOR THE GUAC:

  • 4 oz (1 small haas) avocado
  • 1/4 cup diced tomato
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • fresh black pepper, to taste

FOR THE PICO DE GALLO:

  • 1/2 cup diced tomato
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp minced jalapeno
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

FOR THE STEAK:

  • 1 lb thin sirloin steaks
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • pinch fresh ground pepper
  • 8 lettuce shells from 1 head

Directions:

  1. Combine the salt, cumin, garlic powder, oregano and black pepper. Rub over the steak. 
  2. Mash the avocado in a small bowl with the tomato, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt, pepper to taste. Set aside.
  3. Combine the pico de gallo ingredients; set aside.
  4. Heat a grill over high heat. Clean grates and spray with oil. Cook the steaks over high heat 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until the steak is cooked to your liking. Set aside on a cutting board to rest 5 minutes before slicing. Slice into thin strips.
  5. To serve, fill each lettuce cups with 1 1/2 tbsp guacamole and top with steak and pico de gallo.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 4 servings, Serving Size: 2 tacos

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Smart Points: 4
  • Points +: 7
  • Calories: 256
  • Total Fat: 14g
  • Saturated Fat: g
  • Cholesterol: 88mg
  • Sodium: 559mg
  • Carbohydrates: 7g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 0.5g
  • Protein: 25g

Print Recipe

Low-Carb Cauliflower Biscuits Are A Beautiful Thing You Should Eat Immediately

Bacon makes everthing better — it’s a fact of life. Luckily, our friends at PaleoHacks have discovered a way to enjoy it in a healthy, grain-free dish.

Chewy on the outside and creamy on the inside, these Cauliflower Bacon Biscuits have a spicy kick!
You can never go wrong by using cauliflower in a recipe. I’m convinced there’s nothing this magical vegetable cannot do.
When I made these cauliflower biscuits, I wasn’t entirely sure they’d turn out. Frankly, they happened as an experiment. Really, it was more for my own curiosity than anything to see how far I could stretch the power of cauliflower in baking.
I was making mashed cauliflower (or “mashed potatoes”) the other night when it dawned on me that if I blended in a little flour and eggs in with the cauliflower, I might be able to turn it into a batch of healthy, low-carb biscuits. And to make things fun, I added a jalapeno for spice and bacon. Because everything’s better with bacon!

So I took the leap and transformed my mashed cauliflower into creamy, melt-in-your-mouth biscuits that burst with spicy, garlicky, bacon flavors in every bite. They don’t taste much like cauliflower, which will have everyone wondering “what are these?” Either that or they’ll be so impressed by you putting bacon in biscuits that they won’t care they’re made from cauliflower.
Like I said, cauliflower is magic!

INGREDIENTS

2 large eggs
1 medium cauliflower, riced
2 slices of bacon, cooked
1 small jalapeno pepper, diced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup almond flour
2 tablespoon coconut oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a slip pad.
  2. Rice the cauliflower by placing sliced chunks in a blender or food processor and pulsing until it turns into rice.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add coconut oil, riced cauliflower and jalapeno. Sauté 5-8 minutes, or until cauliflower softens.
  4. Transfer the cauliflower mixture to a blender or food processor, add eggs, bacon, garlic powder, salt and almond flour. Blend on high until the rice is broken down and all ingredients are combined. It should be creamy and look like mashed potatoes.
  5. Next form biscuits on the prepared baking sheet by carefully scooping 1/4 cup of the batter at a time to form each biscuit. It will make 12 biscuits. They will be runny, but that’s ok. If it’s too runny, toss it back in the batter, mix with a spoon, and then reform the biscuits.
  6. Bake at 400°F for 35 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned.
  7. Remove from the oven and cool on the pan 5 minutes before gently removing with a spatula and transferring to a wire rack. They will be a little loose when they’re still hot, but will harden at room temperature.
  8. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container up to one week. They can also be frozen up to one month.

Banting And Carbo-Loading: Fact Or Myth?

As a child, I would sit and watch my father training and preparing to run his marathons, primarily the then aptly named Two Oceans Ultra Marathon. He did it just like every other runner, the night before was spent at the closest Italian restaurant eating as much pasta as was humanly possible, meet the runners old friend, “carbo-loading”..
It worked for them, they would run a good race and that night the restaurants would be filled with men, proudly adorned in their post-race T-shirts, albeit with a great deal of moaning, groaning and hobbling going on.
While the debate around the benefits of carbo-loading is a long and no doubt in-depth one, the real question is how a ketogenic diet like Banting fits into a high-energy exercise regime. There is no doubt that exercise plays a pivotal role in any healthy lifestyle, but is it possible to lead the Banting lifestyle and still pursue an intensive exercise program?
The reality is that recent research has proven that the practice of “carbo-loading” can often negatively affect your athletic performance rather than enhance it. Never mind the affect that all of the excess carbohydrate will have on your waistline in the long term! The primary reason runners tucked into the pasta with such gusto the day before a big race was the belief that carbohydrate was the fuel that equated to performance, especially during extended exercise sessions, the rule-of-thumb being any session longer than 90 minutes. Runners firmly believed that an insufficient carbohydrate intake would lead to their muscles being exhausted of glycogen (i.e. energy) and they would then ultimately, “hit the wall”…
Banting and Carbo-Loading: Fact or Myth?
Modern research has shown that carbohydrate intake during the race is equally if not more important than carbo-loading the day before. Certain research has even shown that an increased carbohydrate intake should be avoided as this robs our bodies of the opportunity to burn fat, something which our body can convert into energy more efficiently than it can carbohydrate. So next time you are preparing for the big race, why not consider avoiding the usual pasta parties and instead try a fresh approach:

  • Avoid increasing your carbohydrate intake before and during the race, your body will tap into its fat reserves instead, a more abundant energy source. Rather try increase your intake of animal fat rich food as well as vegetables.
  • Unlike with carbo-loading, do not alter your exercise training plan to suit your diet, you should rather focus on having a consistent and well-balanced diet.
  • Avoid the plethora of sports drinks and energy bars, while proper hydration is critical, your body wants water, it is as simple as that…

A few simple changes could increase your rate of weight-loss as well as improve your health, you never know, it may even take your next finishing time to a personal best!

Low-Carb Cauliflower Pizza With Green Bell Peppers And Olives

A picture says more than a thousand words. Who can resist this creation? A vegetarian pizza filled with cheese and wonderful flavors on a delicious crust.
cauliflower_pizza_crust_recipe5-660x440

Ingredients

  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 cup grated cauliflowers
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Toppings

  • ¼ cup tomato sauce
  • ½ cup shredded cheese
  • 2 oz. mozzarella cheese
  • 10 olives
  • ¼ sliced green bell pepper
  • thinly sliced white onion
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano or dried basil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grate the cauliflower in a food processor or with a grater. Place in a bowl, add shredded cheese and eggs and stir together well.
  2. Spread out thinly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, using a spatula, 11 inches (28 cm) in diameter. Bake for about 20 minutes or until it has turned a nice color, but no more than that.
  3. Remove from the oven. Spread the tomato sauce and add the cheese on top. Top with thinly sliced olives, bell peppers and onions. Sprinkle oregano/basil on top.
  4. Raise the temperature to 420°F (210°C) and bake the pizza for 5-10 minutes more.

Tip!

You can buy a tomato sauce or make your own. You can also use tomato paste diluted with a little water, or a finely chopped tomato. Ajvar relish or red tomato pesto is also delicious.

3 Healthy Low-Carb Meals In Under 10 Minutes – Diet Program

Low-carb recipes are important for those who are trying to lose weight or who are working out regularly. It is important to mention that low-carb doesn’t need to mean low-satisfaction.
Quite the opposite, low carb can be both mouthwatering and weight loss friendly. Check out the following 3 low- carb meals which can be prepared in less than 10 minutes.


 

3 Healthy Low-Carb Meals in Under 10 Minutes

1.       Eggs and Vegetables, Fried in Coconut Oil

This meal can be eaten for breakfast literally every single day. It is very tasty, it keeps you full for a long time, and you will never get tired of it.
Ingredients:
–          Coconut oil
–          Spinach
–          Frozen Vegetable Mix (cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, carrots)
–          Spices
Instructions:
First, add the coconut oil to a frying pan and turn up the heat. Add the vegetables (frozen vegetable mix), the eggs, and the spices. You can also add some spinach, even though it is optional. Stir fry until ready.
eggs-and-vegetables-fried-in-coconut-oil

2.       Fake Meat-Based Pizza… Meatza

You will definitely love this pizza as it tastes even better than the original and it doesn’t contain any nasty ingredients.
Is it also easy to modify and you can add whatever you want to it, such as different cheeses, mushrooms, and vegetables.
Ingredients:
–          Ground beef
–          Salsa
–          Onions
–          Spice
–          Garlic powder
–          Shredded cheese
–          Bacon
Instructions:
First, cut the onions and bacon into small slices. Mix the beef, salsa, onions, spices, and garlic powder at the bottom of a baking dish. Add the shredded cheese on top. Spread the bacon slices over the whole thing and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the bacon and cheese look crunchy.
fake-pizza-made-with-meat

3.       Ground Beef With Sliced Bell Peppers

This meal is ideal if you have some spare ground beef laying around. It is super delicious!
Ingredients:
–          Coconut oil
–          Onions
–          Ground beef
–          Spinach
–          Bell pepper
–          Spices
Instructions:
Cut the onion into little pieces and put them into a pan. Add the coconut oil and stir for a minute or two. Add the ground beef, the spices, and the spinach.  You can also use some chili powder and black pepper if you want to spice things up a bit. Stir fry until ready and serve with sliced bell pepper.
ground-beef-and-vegetables

Soft Taco Recipe With Spinach |Low Carb Taco Shells

How about some seriously healthy finger food for your Friday ?
soft taco shell low carb spinach taco shells
I know I already shared tons of healthy finger food recipes on this blog but I can’t get enough of it. Blame the Auckland summer. The sun, beach and school holidays just makes me in the party mood! SO yes this Soft Taco Recipe is surprisingly made of spinach! UGH! I know! Spinach again but you guys know my obsession with this vegetable! I can’t spend a day without eating spinach. I seriously add spinach everywhere from my morning toast, to my smoothie -OH, and did you know that in 100g of spinach there is 46% of vitamin C bringing spinach as a top 1 sugar free substitute to orange juice in breakfast smoothies. Well, I have to find me good excuses to overeat spinach I guess lol SO let,s talk about the recipe now (scroll down! I will tell you my secret!)

SOFT TACO RECIPE LOADED WITH SPINACH

SO first I will reassure there is NO need to be a chef to make this recipe! It is basically a NO FAIL recipe. All you need is 5 ingredients and well drained cooked spinach. Yes, that is maybe the only tricky part of this recipe the spinach has to be super dry. It is actually very easy. Whatever you are using fresh or frozen spinach all you need to do is pressing the cooked spinach between absorbent paper until no more water left.
Join 5 days clean eating challengeThat’s all! And because I love YOU! I take time to shoot some steps by steps pictures of this simple soft taco recipe. Look how easy-peasy this is to make! I uploaded a video below for you! Honestly, the first time I tried this recipe I was not really sure it will hold together. BUT it actually did work pretty well! You can easily fill them fold them and add any sauce without a leak! It works perfectly like any soft taco recipe except this one is SUPER healthy. Plus, Emma – my 3 years old – absolutely love them SO if you are kiddo are picky eaters give it a try I am sure they will love it too. Personally, I filled my taco only with vegetables because it is summer and I am way TOO hot. So I added homemade guacamole – you can find my dairy free guacamole recipe here– shredded lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber slices and drizzle of cashew Aioli on top to add some creamy garlic taste. YEP! I also made the Aioli myself – you know  I am a crazy clean eating cook! For the Aioli I did not follow a special recipe. I simply used 1 cup of cashew nuts that I soaked in water for 3 hours. Blend the soaked cashew with salt, pepper and 1-2 gloves o garlic until creamy and smooth and add 2 tbsp. of tahini paste and 2 tbsp. coconut milk to the mixture to make the sauce a bit thicker.
step1
But NOW you probably want to ask me if you can make-ahead this recipe! Absolutely! and you know what ? you can even eat those spinach taco cold. Usually this is how I organised myself. I simply prepare the batter few hours before dinner time, wrap my bowl with plastic wrap and store in the fridge. Then few hours before dinner, preheat oven to 200C (400F), arrange the taco batter on a baking tray covered with parchment paper and bake 15 minutes.spinach tacosYou will get  4 soft spinach taco shells HOT. But if you bake them a little bit earlier simply rewarm then 15 seconds in the microwave before filling them or eat them cold it is good too! I hope you enjoy this spinach taco recipe because it is probably my favorite recipe on the blog and maybe the most creative! And LOOK! I even made a quick video of me making those spinach soft taco recipe just to show you how EASY + TASTY+ HEALTHY this recipe is !!!

FREE Copy Of William Banting’s Low-Carb Diet Classic ‘Letter On Corpulence’


Click on the image to access your FREE copy of this classic book
Whenever low-carb diets are discussed in the United States and around the world these days, generally one name has been made synonymous with them–Atkins. However, most low-carbers will tell you that the idea of livin’ la vida low-carb as a genuine dietary movement has been around for much longer than that as the always entertaining and informative Dr. Mike Eades shared in his outstanding blog this week.
Dr. Eades discusses the significant role of a man named William Banting (someone who should be as well-known as Dr. Robert C. Atkins) whose life was forever changed when he began implementing the strategy of consuming less sugar and starch which was diametrically opposite to the low-calorie dietary recommendations of his day.
Sound familiar anyone?
Yep, here’s a man who was espousing the very same low-carb dietary ideas that we do today regarding taking personal responsibility about your own health and rejecting the advice of the so-called “experts” who have chosen either willfully or through utter ignorance to reject the very principles of sound nutritional science. What’s most amazing is he did it nearly 150 YEARS AGO!!!
You may not have ever heard of William Banting and his famous low-carb diet classic “Letter On Corpulence” before, but all that’s about to change thanks to the generosity of Dr. Eades who said in my interview with him last year that low-carb has endured because of Banting’s discovery. Because of the importance of this low-carb masterpiece, Dr. Eades has undertaken the meticulous task of scanning this very short 45-page letter which was made into a small book and he put it online for us at NO CHARGE! WOW!
Get your FREE COPY OF THIS BOOK and keep it handy when you hear people refer to the low-carb lifestyle as a “dangerous fad” diet that will ruin your health. Tell these people about Banting and the miraculous turnaround that livin’ la vida low-carb produced in his life back in the 1800’s. In the early 1970’s, Dr. Atkins certainly took up where Banting left off, but Banting was the one who put low-carb on the map so to speak.
You can read this letter in about 15-20 minutes and it is chock full of some amazing nuggets of truth and wisdom which Dr. Eades highlighted in this outstanding blog post. Plus, there will be a renewed interest in Banting himself when people start reading the new book from Gary Taubes coming out next month called Good Calories, Bad Calories (UNBELIEVABLE, by the way, and I’ve learned so much from it that even I wasn’t aware of!) because the prologue highlights how Banting started it all! Go ahead and tell people about Banting’s letter now and let’s get the conversation started.
Opportunities to receive quality low-carb resources like this one at no cost to you are extremely rare, so please take advantage of this by printing it out and putting it in a notebook for your low-carb library. Be sure to give a hearty THANKS to Dr. Mike Eades for scanning each page and then making it available to us as yet another tool in helping to educate others about the amazingly healthy low-carb lifestyle!

Low-Carb Naan Bread With Melted Garlic Butter – Diet Program

Don’t skip the bread—make your own keto version of Naan with this easy-to follow recipe. Then, achieve ultimate crave-worthiness with the garlic butter. Mmmmm…

orig_low_carb_naan_bread_with_melted_garlic_b_20161114185442552693wk3mzf

Ingredients

Garlic butter

  • 3½ oz. butter
  • 1 – 2 garlic cloves, minced

Instructions

  1. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Add oil and then boiling water and stir thoroughly.
  2. Allow to rise for five minutes. The dough will turn firm fairly quickly, but stay flexible. It should resemble the consistency of Play-Doh. If you find it’s too runny then add more psyllium husk until it feels right. The amount needed may vary depending on what brand of husk or coconut flour you use.
  3. Divide into 6 or 8 pieces and form into balls that you flatten with your hands directly on parchment paper or on the kitchen counter.
  4. Fry rounds in coconut oil over medium heat until the Naan turn a nice golden color.
  5. Heat the oven to 140°F (70°C) and keep the bread warm while you make more.
  6. Melt the butter and stir in the freshly squeezed garlic. Apply the melted butter on the bread pieces using a brush and sprinkle flaked salt on top.
  7. Pour the rest of the garlic butter in a bowl and dip pieces of bread in it.

The Secret To Ageing Slowly? Ditch The Carbs And Cut Back On Calories, Scientists Say

By JENNY HOPE MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT

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Low calorie diets may slow the process of ageing by affecting the behaviour of hundreds of genes, say researchers.

They found calorie-reduced diets stop the normal rise and fall in activity levels of close to 900 different genes linked to ageing and memory formation in the brain.

An experimental study suggests for the first time that food restriction – particularly carbohydrates – may work by manipulating the function of a much larger group of genes than previously suspected.

Low carb, calorie-reduced diets affect 900 different genes linked to ageing and memory formation in the brain

Dietary restriction has been known for decades to extend life in a range of animals, but it has proved difficult to achieve in practice and the mechanisms involved have eluded scientists.

Dr Stephen Ginsberg, a neuroscientist at New York University’s Langone Medical Centre who led the study, said: ‘Our study shows how calorie restriction practically arrests gene expression levels involved in the ageing phenotype – how some genes determine the behaviour of mice, people, and other mammals as they get old.’

However, he warned it does not mean calorie restriction is the ‘fountain of youth,’ although it will ‘add evidence for the role of diet in delaying the effects of ageing and age-related disease.’

Dr Ginsberg said the benefits of such diets have been touted to include reduced risk of human heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke, but the widespread genetic impact on the memory and learning regions of ageing brains has not before been shown.

He said previous studies have only assessed the dietary impact on one or two genes at a time, but his analysis encompassed more than 10,000 genes.

Dr Ginsberg, an associate professor at NYU Langone said the research ‘widens the door to further study into calorie restriction and anti-ageing genetics.’

For the study, female mice, which like people are more prone to dementia than males, were fed food pellets that had 30 per cent fewer calories than those fed to other mice.

Tissue analyses of the hippocampal region, an area of the brain affected earliest in Alzheimer’s disease, were performed on mice in middle and late adulthood to assess any difference in gene expression over time.

Diets such as these have been linked with a delayed onset of ageing and diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke

Diets such as these have been linked with a delayed onset of ageing and diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure

The findings were presented today at the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting in Washington DC.

Dr Eric Karran, Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: ‘This study suggests that a calorie-restricted diet could influence a large group of genes in the female mouse brain which are associated with ageing, but it’s not clear whether these changes would translate into benefits for learning and memory in these mice.

‘Interventional studies would be needed in people to determine what impact calorie restriction might have on long-term health and age-related memory impairment.

‘As we know, many people would find it challenging to sustain such a calorie-restricted diet, even if it was shown to be beneficial to brain health.

‘It’s important to maintain a balanced and healthy diet, particularly into older age, and if people are considering making large changes to their diet they should consult their doctor.

‘Current evidence suggests that the best way to maintain a healthy brain into older age is to not smoke, keep a healthy weight, eat a balanced diet, drink only in moderation and keep high blood pressure and cholesterol in check.’

The Advantages Of A Low Carb Diet And Health Benefits.

A reminder of all the benefits of low carb and how to start. Perfect for this time of year.
To ditch the carbs for good, you need to understand the advantages of a low-carb diet, how to start, what to eat and how to avoid the common mistakes.

The advantages of a low carb diet. Read what is a low carb diet, what you can eat and how to start low carb living. Read all the amazing health benefits from eating low carb. | ditchthecarbs.com

This is a guest post by Michael Joseph who is a passionate nutrition educator with a master’s degree in Nutrition Education. He is the founder of Nutrition Advance where he frequently writes nutrition and health-related articles. He believes that nutrition advice has become overly complicated and that we need to get back to the basics and value our traditional food. Photo credits go to Nutrition Advance.

THE ADVANTAGES OF A LOW-CARB DIET : WHY YOU NEED TO DITCH THE CARBS

The advantages of a low-carb diet. Read what is a low carb diet, what you can eat and how to start low carb living. Read all the amazing health benefits from eating low carb. | ditchthecarbs.com

Low-carb diets have been attracting more media attention as of late. As for the reason, it’s simple: they just work. Added to that, many people still believe that fat clogs arteries, so the diet creates controversy. In truth, fat is essential for your health, carbohydrates are not.
This article will also explain the how to start a low-carb diet, what to eat and there is a sample meal plan at the end. But let’s begin by taking a look at a few of the main advantages of a low carb diet.

1. ADVANTAGES OF A LOW-CARB DIET ON BLOOD SUGAR AND INSULIN LEVELS

Eating carbohydrates has the biggest impact on our blood sugar and insulin levels. Restricting carbohydrates in our diet has a direct result in lowering our sugar levels and insulin needs. High sugar levels play a part in almost all chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, dementia, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

By lowering carbohydrate intake, blood sugars are controlled and insulin levels are minimised. This is incredibly beneficial for those with diabetes (type one or two) and those with insulin resistance.

2. ADVANTAGES OF A LOW-CARB DIET FOR HUNGER

Low-carb diets increase satiety due to the balanced blood sugar levels they promote.
Unlike diets high in carbohydrate, blood sugar and insulin spikes throughout the day are kept to a minimum.
In a comprehensive study analyzing food cravings and appetite, participants on a low-carb diet were directly compared to participants on a  typical low-fat diet. The results showed that the low-carb group suffered much lower cravings and were a lot less bothered by hunger.
Due to the satiety-promoting effects of dietary fat, anyone who has adopted a low-carb diet will know this for themselves. A diet high in healthy fats definitely keeps cravings away.

3. ADVANTAGES OF A LOW-CARB DIET  FOR THE HEART

Low-carb diets have a beneficial impact on a whole host of heart disease risk factors. Specifically, they reduce triglycerides (a major risk factor fro cardiovascular disease) and increase the concentrations of HDL (known as the “good” cholesterol).
Additionally, they lead to reduced blood sugar, insulin, and inflammation in the body; all of these things can be damaging to the heart. As well as this, another big advantage is weight loss, since heavier weights and obesity increase cardiovascular risk.

The advantages of a low-carb diet on cardiovascular risk factors. | ditchthecarbs.com

Here is a study documenting all these positive effects of an LCHF diet.

  • Lower triglycerides
  • Increased HDL levels
  • Lowered glucose and insulin levels
  • Increased weight loss
  • Reduced systemic inflammation

4. ADVANTAGES OF A LOW-CARB DIET FOR WEIGHT LOSS

To investigate the impact of a low-carb diet on weight, Harvard School of Public Health analyzed more than 53 different studies featuring more than 68,000 participants.
The results were not surprising: out of all the weight-loss dietary interventions, the individuals using low-carb interventions lost greater weight than participants on low-fat interventions.
Considering how the personal anecdotes and new studies are piling up by the day, it’s clear to see that the advantages a low-carb diet brings are worth pursuing.
Not only do you get to eat amazingly fresh, delicious foods every day, but you also vastly improve your health and decrease the risk of illness striking in the future.
For me, it’s a no-brainer, and I promise that if you get the hang of a low-carb diet, you won’t even want to go back to your prior way of eating.
Once you have a taste for real food, all the ultra-processed foods taste terrible.

HOW DO I FOLLOW A LOW-CARB DIET?

The advantages of a low-carb diet. Read what is a low carb diet, what you can eat and how to start low carb living. Read all the amazing health benefits from eating low carb. | ditchthecarbs.com

At its most basic, the low carb diet (or LCHF: low-carb high-fat) means eating plenty of healthy animal foods as well as nutrient-dense plant foods. We should encourage and emphasise the most nutritious types of these plant foods.
Look at spinach or an avocado; they are full of nutrients yet extremely low in digestible carbohydrates (which turn to sugar in the body). By the same token, if we examine bread or rice then sure, they do have a few nutrients, but not so many. Added to that, they also contain a significant amount of digestible carbohydrate which raises your blood sugars incredibly.
Looking at the picture above, we can see that the three most nutrient-dense food groups are encouraged.

HOW MANY CARBS SHOULD I EAT ON A LOW-CARB DIET?

If you are just starting a low-carb diet, this can be confusing. In brief, one man’s low-carb diet is another man’s high-carb diet. By that, I just mean that there is no one-size-fits-all amount of carbohydrate you need to eat.
However, to get the best advantages of a low-carb diet, it’s better to aim at the lower end of the scale.

EXTREMELY LOW-CARB DIET PLANS

Typically, diets extremely low in carbohydrate contain 25g per day or less of carbs. This way of eating is otherwise known as a ketogenic diet. For most people, following an extremely low-carb diet is optional rather than necessary.
Some people enjoy the low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) lifestyle just for overall healthier eating and the benefits on body composition. For others, though, keeping the carbohydrate low is a more critical pursuit.

LOW-CARB DIETS AND TYPE 2 DIABETES

Due to what many see as the failure of dietary guidelines to manage the rising tide of type 2 diabetes, many diabetics have been turning to the low-carb diet. This decision makes complete sense. In a healthy person, insulin is released by the body to shuttle excess sugar out of the blood and into our cells. The diagram below illustrates this:

The advantages of a low-carb diet. Read what is a low carb diet, what you can eat and how to start low carb living. Read all the amazing health benefits from eating low carb. | ditchthecarbs.com

To make a complicated story simple; in Type two diabetics, the pancreas is now producing an inadequate amount of insulin which the body’s cells have become resistant to. The result is unchecked, rapidly rising blood sugar levels when eating foods that convert to glucose. Therefore, you could say that these people are intolerant to carbohydrate.
That brings us to the question: why would we feed a plate full of carbohydrate to someone with an intolerance to it? As well as this, protein and fat do not have a significant impact on blood sugar levels. As a result, ditching the carbs takes away the one dietary macronutrient that causes blood sugar spikes in diabetics.
While it’s generally accepted that there’s no cure for type 2 diabetes, a low-carb diet may permanently reverse the disease. And it has for many.

A RELAXED LOW-CARB DIET

A carbohydrate intake of anywhere between 25g and 150g digestible carbs qualifies as a more relaxed low-carb diet. While 150g of carbohydrate is far from a small amount, it’s still a vast improvement to the standard carb-heavy diet most westernized nations follow.
Opting for a carb intake on the higher side of the scale may also be a choice for athletes who feel it helps their performance. However, elite sports performance is still definitely possible on lower amounts of carbs.
All things considered, the true advantages of a low-carb diet quickly become apparent on the lower side of the scale.
As a result of going very low carb, many people experience effortless weight loss, more energy (after the initial adaptation period), and an altogether healthier relationship with food.
Personally, I usually stick to somewhere between 50g and 80g per day. However, more than half of the total tends to come from fibrous plant foods such as avocado, nuts, dark chocolate and leafy greens.

COMMON MISTAKES

The advantages of a low carb diet. Read what is a low carb diet, what you can eat and how to start low carb living. Read all the amazing health benefits from eating low carb. | ditchthecarbs.com

It’s also worth remembering a typical mistake many people make when they ditch the carbs. By this, I’m referring to the error of not replacing the reduced carbs with enough healthy sources of fat. As a result, people quite understandably feel terrible and struggle through the day with a lack of energy combined with food cravings. The result is getting stressed and ultimately giving up on their new diet before giving it a chance.
Hence low carb diets should emphasize larger amounts of fat, but the source of this dietary fat is critical as there are plenty of bad fats out there. A good rule of thumb is to stick to naturally-occurring fats from nature, rather than chemically processed ones created in a factory. As an example, organic grass-fed butter and margarine are poles apart regarding their respective health merits. And hopefully, you know that butter is the healthy one!
Another thing to (not) consider is the GI index of carbohydrate. Regarding this, you should be aware that the glycemic index of foods has no relation to low-carb eating. Although many people associate ‘high GI’ with bad and ‘low GI’ with good, all this means is that the body digests some carbs slower than others. No matter the speed, they are still all digested and contribute to the carbohydrate total.
Select the right amount of carbs for you and don’t be afraid of adding more healthy fat.

WHICH LOW-CARB FOODS ARE HEALTHY?

Generally speaking, low-carb diets should include lots of fresh, single-ingredient foods. However, this isn’t always the case, and it is possible to ‘do’ a low-carb diet wrong.
In short; to experience the advantages of a low carb diet you have to formulate your diet correctly. To sum up, the food choices you make will determine whether your low-carb diet is healthy or unhealthy.
Hence here is an infographic that I created to show an overview of the best foods to include:

The advantages of a low-carb diet. Read what is a low carb diet, what you can eat and how to start low carb living. Read all the amazing health benefits from eating low carb. | ditchthecarbs.com

This graphic provides a good overview of how a low-carb diet should look. Also, let’s take a look at the individual food groups in a bit more detail. Take a look at the next page to see what to eat, what to avoid and a meal plan.