Low carb diets have become so popular in recent years, that a lot of people started to watch the amount of carbohydrates they eat. Yet it is not just the amount consumed, but also what type of carbohydrates you eat. There are “good” carbs and “bad” carbs, and the second ones should be avoided in a wide loop. But what are the “bad” carbs? The simplest answer is – any carbs that have been processed, i.e. refined such as white flour, refined sugar, white rice and many more. One question remains regarding these “bad” carbs – why are they bad for our health? “Bad” carbohydrates cause blood sugar levels to spike, so knowing which foods to eat and which to avoid can play a role in maintaining your overall health.
Following are some tips on how to avoid these troublesome carbs and still get enough energy for normal functioning:
- During your meals, at home or in a restaurant, swap the white rice with the brown rice, as well as the vegetable side dishes, but also limit the brown rice consumption to one cup only.
- While in a restaurant, people usually start the meal with rolls, bread or crackers made of white flour. Do not order it!!! If you just have to nibble something, ask for whole wheat varieties. This is much healthier option, and of course, much lower in carbs.
- Avoid any variants of bread, and try using zucchini / eggplant slices or lettuce leaves instead to make your sandwiches and wraps. There are a lot of healthy recipes online and it’s just depends on what ingredients are you planning to use to top your sandwich. Here are some suggestions: put mozzarella, tomato, olive oil and basil on one slice of broiled zucchini or eggplant and top it with another slice… or you can use chicken, cheddar cheese and salsa to make a wrap with a lettuce leaves. Healthy, and very tasty at the same time! Enjoy!
- Most of us are addicted to snacks and we sure can’t imagine our day without them. But they are all made of refined flour, sugar, oil, etc. and are full with “bad” carbs. If you can’t live without them, then just limit your daily consumption by buying the smallest packaging.
- At the movies, skip the popcorn… it’s better to buy some small bags of nuts or seeds and fresh or dried fruit and sneak them into your bag, purse or even pocket.
- Never let yourself to get hungry… Plan your meals carefully according to your daily routine and activities, and try to eat every three to five waking hours. Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed. Try not to overeat!
- Count the calories and the amount of carbohydrates you consume with every meal! Read the food labels carefully and try to stay below the recommended carb values by your diet.
- Spaghetti / pasta!!! We all love spaghetti, topped with a rich tomato sauce and cheese. While on a low carb diet, the tomato sauce is just fine, but not the spaghetti. It’s pure bad carbs. There are few alternatives that could be used instead of spaghetti and are much healthier:
- Whole wheat pasta;
- Grilled vegetables such as eggplant, bell peppers, onions, zucchini with spaghetti sauce and parmesan.
- Healthy whole grains as replacement for pasta (brown rice, chickpeas, barley, etc.).
- Spaghetti squash.
- If you have a sweet tooth, make yourself a sweet low-carb desert. Combine nonfat cream, unsweetened cocoa, sugar substitute, and ice in a blender. Or mix mascarpone and sugar substitute with whipped cream and a hint of lemon zest.
- From time to time surprise yourself with a delicious, quick low-carb pizza. Toast a whole grain tortilla and top it with chopped tomatoes and mozzarella with a little salt and pepper. You can add some onions as well. Return it to the toaster until the cheese is melted. Enjoy your meal!!!