Low carb diets, whether you’re considering one for your New Years Resolution weight loss plan, or simply want to learn more about the different types of carbs, this article is for you.
Not all carbohydrates are created equal.
Some are actually created more equal than others. Many are extremely nutritious, without the high carb density of starchy or sugary fruits, veggies, and grains.
For super simplicity there are three basic types of carbs to consider:
Vegetables, Starches and Sugars. Vegetables are the best choice for not just a low carb diet, but for all your nutritional needs. There are some considerations though.
Choosing the right vegetables becomes really important if you’re following a low carb lifestyle, or trying to adapt to a ketogenic lifestyle.
A ketogenic diet is one that is very low in carbs, with moderate protein choices and healthy fat intake. It’s a diet that triggers a metabolic process known as ketosis, where the body burns stored fat for fuel instead of dietary carbs.
But why the fuss? Aren’t all veggies good for you?
Yes they sure are. But not all of them will help you achieve your goals, especially when low carb is important to you.
Which Veggies Are Best For Low Carb Diets That I Should Be Looking For?
The following are your low carb vegetables.
- Alfalfa Sprouts – .4 grams per cup
- Daikon – 1 gram per ½ cup
- Endive – >1 gram per ounce
- Escarole – >1 gram per ounce
- Arugula – .2 grams per ½ cup
- Bok Choy – .8 grams per 1 cup/raw
- Celery – .8 grams per 1 stalk
- Chicory Greens – .6 grams per ½ cup
- Green Onions – .1 per 1 tablespoon
- Cucumber – 1 gram per ½ cup sliced
- Fennel – 3.6 grams per 1 cup
- Iceberg Lettuce – .1 grams per 1/2 cup
- Jicama – 2.5 grams per ½ cup
- Parsley – >1 gram per ounce
- Bell Peppers – 2.3 grams per ½ cup
- Radicchio – .7 grams per ½ cup
- Radishes – .9 grams per 10 pieces
- Romaine Lettuce – .2 grams per ½ cup
- Artichoke (1/4 Steamed) – 4 grams
- Artichoke Hearts In Water – 2 grams per 1 heart
- Asparagus – 2.4 grams per 6 spears
- Bamboo Shoots – 1.1 grams per 1 cup
- Broccoli – 1 gram per 1/2 cup
- Brussels sprouts – 2.4 grams per ¼ cup
- Cabbage – 2 grams per ½ cup
- Cauliflower – 2 grams per 1 cup
- Chard – 1.8 grams per ½ cup
- Collard Greens – 4.2 grams per 1/2 cup
- Eggplant – 1.8 grams per ½ cup
- Hearts of Palm – .7 grams per 1 heart
- Kale – 2.4 grams per ½ cup
- Leeks – 1.7 grams per ¼ cup
- Mushrooms – 1 gram per ½ cup
- Okra – 2.4 grams per ½ cup
- Onions – 2.8 grams per ¼ cup
- Sauerkraut (canned and drained) – 1.2 grams per ½ cup
- Spinach – .2 grams per ½ cup
- Tomato (1 medium) – 4 grams
- Cherry Tomatoes – 4 grams per cup
- Turnips – 2.2 grams per ½ cup
Are Vegetable Carbs Superior To Starch Based Or Sugar Carbohydrates?
Yes they are.
The major determinant of a foods ability to affect your blood sugar is known as the GI or glycemic index score.
The veggies listed above all have GI of less than 20. This means that their effect on blood glucose levels is extremely low. The lower the GI, the less significant the effect on blood sugar or insulin trigger ability.
In low carb diets, the goal is to induce ‘ketosis’ or the metabolic state of burning fat for energy instead of dietary carbs. Insulin is restrictive on ketosis from happening if it is elevated too often.
This is the reason why foods that have a high GI score insulin are limited on a low carb plans. No matter what you are doing to try to lose weight, high GI scoring foods will ruin your potential results.
Insulin, known as the “storage” hormone, does not like to have the body’s energy stores depleted. It will attempt to hoard as much nutrients as it can. It pretty much stops your body from burning fat efficiently. Weight loss is halted.
Are Starch Carbs And Sugar Carbohydrates Off Limits For Low Carb Diets?
Every person on the planet should strive to remove starchy and sugary foods from their diets.
It’s because they induce a constant state of hyper-insulinemia, and chronically high blood sugar levels.
You’ve likely known someone that has experienced the dangers of high blood sugar. Diabetics, to the people with disorders of the heart, damage to blood vessel walls, nerve damage and much, much more all all increased due to high blood sugar levels.
In the average person, refined sugar, and sugary foods really do nothing but raise blood sugar levels, and turn it to fat.
The “whole wheat” or high fiber cereals are often touted as the best choices. Nothing could be further from the truth, for those who are obese or overweight.
In fact, many experts agree that while they may have more nutrients, like fiber than their white processed counterparts, they can still be significant insulin triggers, and so not supportive of ketosis or long term weight loss.
Oats, whole wheat bread, brown rice and the lot of tem’ will prevent you from getting into a real efficient fat burn.
The right vegetables are your go to choices if you’re serious about following a low carb lifestyle.
Starches, so-called “health foods” that are rich in wheat based carbs and junk sugars are never recommended for low carb diets like Ketogenic diets or Atkins.
I would love to know your thoughts?
Let me know what you think. Are you considering a weight loss plan for New Years?
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