Low Carb Updated Diet: What It Is and Foods Allowed

Updated: Jan 31

What is a Low Carb diet?

It is an eating style that restricts (not cuts!) carbohydrates. There are many variations of a low-carb, Low Carb diet: Paleo diet, Ketogenic diet, LCHF diet, Atkins diet, Whole 30, and others.


They are just different methodologies and they all work for the same reason, which is to reduce carbohydrates and add high protein and good fats!


Example of Foods Allowed on a Low Carb Diet
Example of Foods Allowed on a Low Carb Diet

What are the benefits of Low Carb?

Satiety, here we come! Changing the "fuel" of the body from carbohydrates to natural fats, besides giving more energy, satiates us for much longer and, because of this, helps us lose weight.


The good cholesterol. A diet rich in natural fats and low in carbohydrates increases the levels of HDL, the good cholesterol that helps reduce heart diseases.


No problem with glucose. When we eat carbohydrates they turn into sugar in the bloodstream, raising insulin and helping to activate the accumulation of body fat.


With low carb the insulin levels reduce, helping both in weight loss and in the decrease of diseases related to the increase of insulin.


How much can I eat daily on the Low Carb diet?

In a low-carb diet, Low Carb, it is best to count the amount of net carbohydrates consumed in the day:


Do you need to lose more than 10kg? Try not to exceed 20g of net carbohydrates.

Want to lose less than 10kg? Consume around 35g to 40g of liquid carbohydrates per day.


Liquid carbohydrates?

For those who don't know, liquid carbohydrates are nothing more than the total carbohydrates minus the fiber of the food you eat.


For example, an avocado has about 17g of total carbohydrates, according to FatSecret, but subtracting the fiber value gives the final net carbohydrate value around 3.65g, which is a great low carb fruit!


What are carbohydrates?

They are sugars present not only in bread, cake or pasta, but also in fruits, vegetables and greens. This does not mean that you should cut vegetables, legumes or fruits from your diet, but choose to consume what has less carbohydrates.


Don't count calories. For those who have been doing this all their lives it is hard, but let's deconstruct this, shall we? Take care of your carbohydrates, without worrying about calories.


Weigh yourself! Without fear, check your weight and set your goals. Choose the frequency of weighing (I, for example, always weigh myself every 2 or 3 days) and, of course, invest in a scale.


Don't forget to take measurements. Besides monitoring your weight progress, it is nice to write down your measurements. It can be at the same frequency that you choose for weighing.


You will see how rewarding it is to analyze it too, because eventually the loss of measurements is more accelerated than the loss of weight.


  • Set goals. Define the weight you want to reach. If you have a lot of weight to lose, you can divide your goals. A little now, a little later, calmly and without stress: you will get there!


  • Create your food diary. There are several tools on the Internet for this purpose, but the one I used for a long time and still like is FatSecret. In it you include everything you eat during the day and it will generate the total net carbohydrates, fats, proteins and other data you set to appear.


  • No "little ways". Don't spend your net carbohydrate quota on processed foods, it's not a healthy way to lead this lifestyle. Focus on real food, without labels or chemicals.


  • Go to the doctor! Do you have a health problem and want to change your diet? Be sure to consult a nutritionist or endocrinologist before changing your menu.


  • Reminder to pregnant and breastfeeding women: drastically reducing the intake of carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables is dangerous and should not be done at this time of life.

Both the fetus and the baby need the maximum amount of nutrients and vitamins you have to offer through the umbilical cord or milk, don't forget that.


Reducing processed foods and cutting out breads, cakes, and pastas full of white flour can already help you and your baby live a super healthy life.


What foods can't I eat or should I avoid?

DON'T EAT

  • Refined sugar or other types like demerara, brown, coconut, organic, honey, molasses etc.

  • Refined oils (soy, canola, corn, etc). They are zero carbo, but they go through a thousand chemical processes during preparation.

In a diet based on real food you should prepare your food with natural fats with low degree of processing, such as butter, lard and olive oil, for example. I use olive oil and butter for everything.

  • Grains, especially wheat. Breads, pasta, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, bagels, muffins, cookies, cupcakes, baguettes, pizzas, bagels, brioches. Well, you get the idea.


AVOID

  • Zero or light drinks. They are also zero carbo and you can lose weight by consuming zero soda, but within the idea of prioritizing real food (and generating less waste on the planet), avoid them whenever you can.

  • Processed foods. There are low carb processed foods, some of them are good options for those who have little time to cook, such as people who work all day and study at night.

A porridge is a good example: very processed, but low carb. If carrying bulgur muffins at first will keep you from succumbing to a drumstick on the street, take bulgur muffins! But when you can, avoid them.

  • Starchy vegetables. People who have a lot of weight to lose should avoid foods that are real food, but are also high in starch, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, and cassava (including tapioca!). A tip: avoid everything that grows underground.

When you reach your target weight or close to it, you can start inserting these foods again little by little.


What foods should I eat?

Meats of all kinds. Fish, shellfish, chicken, pork, beef... all meats in natura, that is, without ready-made seasonings, are welcome.


Oh, an important remark: sausages and nuggets are not meat and are full of starch!

Vegetables with fewer carbohydrates such as leafy greens (like lettuce, arugula, watercress, endive, kale, cabbage, spinach), zucchini, broccoli, tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, artichokes, chayote, asparagus, hearts of palm, radish, cucumber, eggplant, okra, green beans, and cauliflower.


For those who want to lose weight, the way to go is not to invest in vegetables that grow underground (they are full of carbs): avoid potatoes, carrots, beets, and manioc.

Eggs of various kinds.


Big, small, yellow yolk or white, the choice is yours! The best thing is that they are good in several ways: scrambled, fried, boiled; which makes everything more practical in the kitchen.


Low-carb fruits, such as coconut, avocado, and strawberry. There is a list of fruits with more or less carbohydrates here.


Cheeses and cream are joker foods for any recipe. In addition to making any food tastier, they are very filling.


The cream is sold at the supermarket refrigerated counter, but it is not sold in all of Brazil.


If you can't find it in your town, no problem: you can use canned or boxed cream.

Nuts and seeds are welcome. Give preference to Brazil nuts, almonds, pistachios, macadamias, flaxseed, and chia. For those who need to lose more than 10kg, it is recommended to consume two handfuls of 30g a day.


Friendly tip: To avoid overeating these delicacies (which is not difficult), try to make a mix of what you like and divide it into small portions, always using the same measure.


Natural fats are the basis of a low-carbohydrate diet. When you decrease the consumption of a macronutrient like carbohydrate, you need


Butter, olive oil, lard, or coconut oil are great options for keeping your fat intake high. Use in salads, saute vegetables, and fry meats.


What to eat for breakfast?

It's not the end of the world to ditch that bagel for foods rich in healthy fats and protein that will satiate you for much longer. Here below I list my favorite tips for this time of day:


Unsweetened coffee is always welcome on the Low Carb Diet
Unsweetened coffee is always welcome on the Low Carb Diet

  • Fried, scrambled or boiled eggs;

  • Breadless Bauru, which is nothing more than a thick slice of mozzarella fried in a non-stick pan, a slice of turkey breast or ham, sliced tomato and oregano. This option is great for those who take their coffee out of the house, ask them to take the bread out of the sandwich made at your local coffee shop and voilà: you will have a delicious bauru without bread!

  • Avocado cream (half an avocado whipped with a spoonful of cream, coconut oil or coconut milk, sweetener to taste, and a spoonful or two of lemon, if you like).

  • Coffee with cream.

  • Provochips with cream cheese or homemade pâté. To make the provochips, cut 2-millimeter slices of provolone and microwave them for about 3 minutes, depending on the power of your microwave. Let it cool and it's ready to eat!

  • Low carb hot mix: whip two tablespoons of cream cheese with one egg and one teaspoon of baking powder and place this mixture in a greased frying pan with olive oil or in a glass container also greased with olive oil in the microwave.

  • In the frying pan, turn both sides and put the filling you want and in the microwave let it for 3 minutes, according to the power of your device, and just cut it in half and fill it too!

  • Low carb cake, made with 3 tablespoons of unsweetened shredded coconut, 2 tablespoons of coconut milk, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons of cream or heavy cream, 1 teaspoon of coconut oil, 25 drops of sucralose and 1 teaspoon of yeast. Microwave the pot for 2 minutes and 45 seconds.

  • Mix the liquid ingredients, then add the shredded coconut and baking powder. Take the used container to the microwave for 2 minutes and 45 seconds. Unmold, sprinkle with cinnamon powder, and you're done!

  • Ham and cheese roll, for those times when you don't have time to eat at home and it is hard to find a bauru without bread at the bakery, it is worth ordering some slices of cheese and other slices of ham or turkey breast, roll them up, and go for it.

  • Vegetable milks, mixed with red fruits, make a delicious smoothie for breakfast.

  • Low carb bread, either on the griddle with cheese or ham or a little butter is a beauty.

  • Salty pie, a great option for when you have coffee out of home and want to take something to eat. Want to know the recipe?


Low Carb Snack Tips

If you are not yet fully adapted to using fat as fuel, you may still feel the urge for a snack at some point during the day. That's why I've separated the best low carb snack tips for you:


Low Carb Snack Tips
Low Carb Snack Tips

  • Nuts like walnuts, chestnuts, macadamias, or almonds;

  • Polenguinho is processed yes, but as I said before it is a handful if you don't have anything else to eat at the moment;

  • Olives, pickled cucumbers, salami, or quail eggs are great snacks. I always use them as snacks when I am preparing my meals.

  • Coconut shreds are a good low carb snack tip for when you feel like having some fruit;

  • Provochips, one of mankind's wonderful inventions, are delicious with kefir cream cheese or cottage cheese. You can buy it ready-made or make it at home by cutting the provolone into small slices and microwave it for 2 or 3 minutes.

  • Indico esses lanches também para quem treina, seja como pré ou pós treino. São ótimas opções se não tiver tempo para uma boa refeição com bastante gorduras naturais, proteínas e poucos carboidratos.

Low Carb Beverages

PERMITTED

  • Water

  • Carbonated water

  • Coffee (black, with sweetener or cream)

  • Herbal teas (beware of hibiscus and other plants and flowers full of carbs)

  • Low carb fruit juices (I'm more in favor of eating the fruit and taking advantage of all the vitamins and fiber it can offer)

  • Vegetable milks (I teach how to make two of them here)

  • Zero/light soft drinks and flavored waters (in moderation)

  • Low carb alcoholic beverages


NOT ADVISABLE

  • Powdered soft drinks

  • Coconut water

  • Fruit juices that are not low carb

  • Milk, whether powdered, whole or skimmed, and the like

Which sweeteners are low carb?

Aspartame

Sucralose

Saccharin

Cyclamate

Stevia

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