When nutritionists talk about foods with no carbs, they are not exactly talking about zero carbohydrates in foods, but minimum amounts of the same in diets. Emphasis is more on protein-rich foods and fats, as opposed to foods such as grains, starch, and fruits that are rich in carbohydrates. The essence of a low-carb diet is to provide a strict variation in the intake of carbohydrates in different types of foods.
Besides weight loss, foods with no carbs are associated with a myriad of health benefits to the human body. They have been known to reduce the risks of metabolic syndrome and diabetes. You might opt for a low-carb diet because of the following reasons:
- You are after a diet that keeps your carbohydrates intake in check because you want to lose weight.
- You want to effect changes in your eating habits.
- You wish to have a feel of the various foods that make up foods with no carbs.
Before embarking on your weight loss program, it is advisable to consult your doctor for any health conditions that you might not know about, especially heart-related complications and diabetes.
Carbohydrates are macronutrients that provide calories and are found in most foods and drinks. They are naturally resident in plant-based foods, and in their natural form can be classified as either complex or non-complex. Whole grains and leguminous foods are examples of complex fibrous carbs while fruits and milk are good examples of the less complex ones. Naturally occurring carbohydrates can be found in grains, seeds, nuts, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and milk.
Commercial food manufacturers add sugar and flour to processed foods, adding carbohydrates to these foods, Sweetened drinks, candy, bread, pasta, cake, and cookies are some of the best examples of foods with refined or simple carbs that must be avoided or taken in regulated amounts.
Uses of carbohydrates in the body
Carbohydrates act as the body?s primary source of fuel. During the digestion process, sugar and starch are broken down into simpler forms before being taken into the bloodstream as glucose or saccharides. Carbohydrates containing high amounts of fiber are not easily digested, and they end up doing a lot more to the body beyond just fuel. They have, however, very little effect on blood sugar.
How low-carb intake helps in weight loss
When blood sugar levels are high, they facilitate the release of insulin, which in turn helps glucose to enter into the body cells. Some of the glucose are utilized by the body as a source of energy, and it fuels all the body activities, from working out to just breathing. The glucose that has been deemed surplus to the body is then stored in the muscles or the liver to be used later, or is converted into fat.
The purpose of taking foods with no carbs is to ensure that insulin levels are brought down, and the stored fat is put to use by the body during its metabolic processes. Gradually, the body is relieved of any unwanted fats and the journey to losing weight begins.
Ideal foods for a low-carb diet
Ideally, proteins, including non-starchy vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, and eggs make up a typical low-carb diet. Grains, legumes, fruits, seeds, nuts, and many processed foods and beverages are excluded, with only a few exceptions of certain vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
In most cases, the initial phase of a low-carb diet restricts the intake of carbohydrates in their entirety before gradually introducing them into diets. In severe overweight conditions, however, foods with no carbs at all are encouraged. The amounts to be taken are determined by one?s state, and only a qualified nutritionist can make the right call.
Should you decide to go the no carb way, it is important to realize that this should not be a long-term project. Your body at times needs carbohydrates, and there could be health problems caused by prolonged lack of carbs.
List of No Carb Foods
If you have been looking for foods that contain zero carbs, you?re in luck. Some of these foods are readily available, and can be gotten from the store near you, or better still, you can be having them right in your yard.
1. Meat ? Chicken, turkey, pork, beef, duck, veal, and goose are perfect examples of meats that do not contain carbohydrates, and are rich in proteins and vitamins.
2. Fish ? Sardines, halibut, salmon, and trout contain no carbs and fats, but are rich sources of proteins.
3. Vegetables ? This is where you should be careful with the selection for your diet. Most of them are high in carbohydrates, but most leafy green vegetables contain no carbs. Examples are spinach, kales, lettuce, turnip greens, and celery. Mushrooms, asparagus, carrots, olives, green beans, artichokes, squash, peppers, and onions are other veggies you may add to your list of your no-carb diet. However, try to avoid the starchy ones like potatoes, peas, and corn.
4. Fruits ? Just like vegetables, most fruits are rich sources of carbohydrates. Raspberries and cranberries are some of the few examples you can consider, as well as avocados and tomatoes, which most people classify as vegetables.
5. Eggs ? Poached or boiled eggs do not contain any carbs, and are high on proteins and other elements required in the body. They make a great part of a no carb diet and are readily available.
6. Dairy products ? Milk happens to be one dairy product that everyone thinks of when dairy products are mentioned. For a no-carb diet, keep milk away and consider other stuff like cheese, margarine, and butter, Bear in mind that these are products that are rich in fat, and must be taken in regulated amounts if you want to lose weight. Also, when buying cheese, read the label carefully to ascertain that it contains no carbs.
7. Beverages ? Fluids help a lot in digestion, and should be included in your no-carb diet. Make sure that the choice of drinks you opt for contain no elements of carbohydrates. Coffee without sugar nor milk, tea, diet soda, coconut water, and plenty of water should make up a great part of your diet. To avoid dehydration during this entire weight loss process, take at least two liters of water daily.
It is imperative to note that before opting for a new diet plan it is safe to consult with your nutritionist or dietitian so as to come up with the best Foods with no carbs that will help attain a healthy weight.