Healthy Eating

Here you will find tons of information about healthy eating and incorporating the principles of healthy nutrition into your daily life. Built around Dr. Cederquist’s nutritional foundation for healthy weight loss, these articles place a wealth of information right at your fingertips.

60 Low-Carb Foods for Weight Loss

While consuming carbs can certainly cause weight gain, weight loss can follow, too. The fate of weight is mostly dependent on not only the amount of carb consumed, but based on the type.

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Carbs can be found in nutrient-dense foods loaded with fiber and nutrients. But they can also be sourced be incorporated into highly processed items in the forms of added sugars and refined flours.

But with these low-carb foods, weight loss and healthy eating can feel simple and effortless!

What Are Carbohydrates?

Carbohydrate is one of the three macronutrients, with fat and protein being the other two. Each macronutrient is responsible for supplying the body with energy, or calories sourced from foods we eat.

Carbs are considered to be the body's main source of energy. They are quickly utilized by the brain and muscles. The ones not used for immediate are stored in the liver or muscles for a later time.

There are two primary classifications of carbohydrates, including simple and complex carbs:

• Simple Carbs: Simple carbs or sugars either contain one or two sugar molecules. They are further classified into monosaccharides (fructose, glucose, and galactose) and disaccharides (sucrose, maltose, and lactose). Their short structure causes them to be generally digested and absorbed much more quickly compared to complex carbohydrates.

Not all simple carbs are stripped away from nutrients and fiber, including natural sugars sourced from nutritious veggies, fruits, and dairy products. However, most of the intake comes from sources such as corn syrup, table sugar, candy, and soft drinks. These products essentially offer nothing more than sugar and calories.

• Complex Carbs: Complex carbohydrates are also known as starches and polysaccharides, which contain three or more sugars. Their longer structure causes them to be digested and absorbed more slowly compared to simple carbs.

Complex carbs are found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. Since complex carbohydrates come in their whole, unprocessed form, they tend to be an excellent source of fiber. They also offer essential vitamins and minerals and bare a number of health benefits.

Opting for more wholesome foods can help keep carb intake in check. Including more of these low-carb foods can also help one lose weight while ensuring overall health.

60 Low-Carb Foods for Weight Loss

Low-Carb Vegetables

Although all veggies can fit into a well-balanced diet, non-starchy veggies are minimal in carb. They are also with fiber and other valuable nutrients.

According to the American Diabetes Association, a half cup cooked or cup of raw veggies is considered to be a serving. Individuals are also encouraged to aim for least three to five servings per day.

These non-starchy veggies identified below delivers approximately two grams of carb per serving:

1. Artichoke Hearts
2. Asparagus
3. Bean Sprouts
4. Broccoli
5. Cabbage
6. Cauliflower
7. Celery
8. Eggplant
9. Jicama
10. Kale
11. Kohlrabi
12. Leeks
13. Mushroom
14. Okra
15. Onion
16. Peppers
17. Radishes
18. Spaghetti Squash
19. Spinach
20. Sprouts

Low-Carb Fruits

People tend to generalize fruits as an off-limits related to their sweet nature. However, fruits can and should absolutely fit into a well-balanced diet. Consume in their whole form, rather than juices, to acquire fiber.

Based a 100-gram serving, the following fruits supply under 15 grams of carb, or one carb exchange:

21. Apples
22. Avocados
23. Blueberries
24. Cantaloupe
25. Cranberries
26. Grapefruit
27. Guavas
28. Honeydew
29. Oranges
30. Peaches
31. Plums
32. Raspberries
33. Strawberries
34. Watermelon

Low-Carb Proteins

Animal products and seafood are mostly absent of carbs, unless breaded and battered with flour. It is also important to remain mindful of added sugars in packaged products, especially jerkies and sausages.

A 3 to 4-ounce portion of these meat, poultry, and fish products are rich in protein and accompanies a balanced diet:

35. Beef
36. Chicken
37. Eggs
38. Halibut
39. Jerky
40. Lamb
41. Pork
42. Shrimp
43. Tuna
44. Turkey

Low-Carb Fats & Oils

Though fats and oils are absent of carb, keep in mind they are calorically-dense. Along with sticking to an approximate one tablespoon serving size, be mindful of added sugars in oil-based sauces and dressings.

Some of these fats and oils are best to cook with for weight loss and maximize overall health:

45. Butter
46. Canola Oil
47. Coconut Oil
48. Grape Seed Oil
49. Mayonnaise
50. Olive Oil

Low-Carb Nuts & Seeds

Nuts and seeds are rich in healthy fat and protein while being marginally low in carbohydrate. They offer a nice crunch to and depth to dishes or can stand alone as a balanced snack.

Based on a 1-ounce serving, the variety below supplies no more than 15 grams of carb:

51. Almonds
52. Cashews
53. Macadamia Nuts
54. Peanuts
55. Pumpkin Seeds
56. Walnuts

Low-Carb Beverages

Beverages can be a primary source of added calories and sugars, so take advantage of the Nutrition Facts label.

Also keep caffeine limited to no more than 400 milligrams (mg) per day. To put this into perspective, one 8-ounce cup of coffee contains approximately 100 mg of caffeine. Sticking to suggested amounts can reduce side effects such as dehydration.

As a general rule of thumb, aim for at least eight, 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Though water should be the primary hydration source, these low-carb beverages can also contribute to fluid needs:

57. Black Coffee
58. Herbal Tea
59. Milk
60. Unsweetened Dairy-Free Milks (soy milk, almond milk, etc.)

Putting It Together

Utilizing the low-carb food list is nonetheless beneficial. However, there are additional considerations when putting together a well-balanced meal plan and cohesive diet. For example, protein is important for weight loss, while believing myths about fat can keep you from weight loss success.

Start by filling the half the meal plate with low-carb veggies, including steamed broccoli, roasted cauliflower, or mixed salad greens. Fill a quarter with a lean protein source such as grilled chicken or fish. A starchy veggie or complex carb can fill the other quarter, including brown rice or small sweet potato.

Using a weight loss meal delivery service can also help keep meals balanced without the hassle or commitment of constant meal prep. Because not only does such a service recognize the hardships of balancing life's responsibilities, but accommodates to them.

Ready-prepared and well-balanced meals are delivered straight to doorsteps across the nation. This takes care of all the busy work tied to meal preparation and kitchen cleanup while offering adequate nutrients and more time in personal schedules.

All meals feature the freshest of ingredients to ensure optimal flavor and nutrients. What's more, each meal contains 1,100 to 1,400 calories daily. Forty to 50 percent of total caloric intake comes from lean, adequate protein. Another 20 to 25 percent of calories from healthy fats and 30 to 35 percent from complex carbohydrates. 

The balance of macronutrients provides the body with what it needs to jumpstart and sustain healthy weight loss!

Written By Christy Zagarella, MS, RDN. Published on May 20, 2013. Updated on April 08, 2019.

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