Low carb diets consist of eating low carb meals and healthy low carb snacks. The right use of these diets can result in improved health and weight loss. Low carb diets limit the amount of carbohydrates you consume in your diet and emphasize greater intake of proteins and healthy fats. If you follow a balanced low carb diet, you’re more likely to see positive weight loss results with as little side effects as possible.
Carbohydrates are nutrients that are found in all kinds of foods and drinks. Natural carbs are complex and full of fiber. Refined carbs added by food manufacturers into processed foods are simple.
In their natural form, carbs can be found in such foods as:
- Whole grains
- Fruits and vegetables
- Seeds and
Foods containing simple carbs include:
- white bread
- candy and
- sugary drinks
Carbohydrates, comprised of natural sugars, starches and fiber, provide the body with fuel. During the digestive process, the body breaks down complex sugars and starches into simple sugars which are absorbed into the bloodstream as blood sugar or glucose. Carbs containing fiber are resistant to digestion and serve other functions in the body.
The more carbohydrates you consume, the higher your blood sugar levels rise. High blood sugar levels cause the body to release insulin to help absorb glucose into cells throughout your body. Some glucose will be converted into energy. Some will be stored away in your muscles, liver or other cells for future use. Some will be converted into fat. By decreasing the amount of carbohydrates that you eat, low carb diets reduce insulin levels in the body. This forces the body to burn body fat as energy, triggering weight loss.
What Foods are Best for Low Carb Meals and Snacks?
People who follow a low carb diet generally focus on eating foods that contain a large amount of protein and/or healthy fats, such as meat, fish, poultry and eggs. Low carb diets tend to discourage consumption of high carb foods such as whole grains, breads, pastas, legumes, starchy vegetables, fruits and sweets, depending on the diet plan you follow. Some plans allow certain fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains in small amounts. The average low carb diet limits users to 60-130 grams of carbs daily. As plans differ, you may see variations in their implementation.
Health Benefits of Eating Low Carb Foods
Low carb diets promote eating foods rich in proteins and healthy fats, which tend to fill you up quicker. As a result, you have less of an appetite. Loss of appetite makes you eat less so you can control your weight.
Low carb diets have been proven effective in helping people lose weight, especially in hard to lose areas, such as abdominal fat. This diet works to rid the body of excess water and reduces the accumulation of fat molecules in your blood, both of which result in weight loss.
When done right, a low carb diet can promote better health and fitness. Fewer carbs in the body helps to keep blood sugar and insulin levels down, which reduces the risk of stroke, kidney failure, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
On the Go Low Carb Snacks
Healthy low carb snacks are an important part of a low carb diet. For many people, snacks make up a good portion of their dietary needs. Finding delicious and nutritious low carb on-the-go snacks can be a challenge. Portable healthy snacks will make it easier to reach your weight loss goals.The following grab and go treats are low in carbs, contain no high fructose corn syrup or harmful hydrogenated oils and, best of all, can be carried wherever you go to satisfy hunger pangs.
- Organic mozzarella cheese sticks
- Mixed nuts snack packs
- Mini coconut macaroons
- Low carb protein peanut butter cups
- Dry-roasted edamame snack packs
If you’re in the market for healthy work snacks, healthy snacks for school or healthy travel snacks to take with you on the road, these and similar low carb snack packs can aptly fit the bill. They give you instant tasty and nutritious treats to munch on whenever you’re hit with a food craving.
Given a little time and preparation, you can also whip up fresh healthy snacks from scratch. Homemade snacks are perfect for family get-togethers, game nights or special occasions. Combining homemade snacks with prepackaged products gives you greater variety in your low carb diet. It also helps you fill your arsenal with tasty healthy snacks to lose weight. Here are a few “homegrown” healthy snacking ideas you might want to try the next time you get together with family and friends.
- Low carb skillet pizza
- Bagel hot dogs
- Cauliflower-cheese breadsticks
- Paleo One Minute Chocolate Muffins
- Peanut butter-pecan bars
When it comes to healthy snacking, variety is the spice of life. By integrating both sweet and salty snacks in your diet and experimenting with different recipes, you’ll never get tired of your low carb diet. Losing weight can be difficult enough without having to suffer through tasteless, unappetizing food. After all, what are healthy snacks really worth if they can’t provide you with fun and flavor along with weight loss benefits?
Finding flavorful and healthy snack ideas for work, fitness and pleasure is key to making a low carb diet a part of your lifestyle. Whether you’re looking for a healthy late night snack to indulge in alone or healthy game day snacks to share with your favorite crowd, delicious low carb treats can fit the bill.
Low Carb, Healthy Diabetic Snacks
People with diabetes often need a nutritious snack in between meals to help maintain blood sugar levels. Healthy fruit snacks such as the ones below make great “pick me up” choices. If you have diabetes, it’s best to choose fruits that are low in sugar such as apples, guavas and berries, yet still contain valuable vitamins, minerals and fiber.
- Graham cracker squares topped with cream cheese and fresh grape halves
- Dried fruit and nuts mixed in plain yogurt
- Fresh pear halves combined with cheese sticks
- Open face tomato-avocado sandwich
- Banana rounds dipped in melted, dark chocolate
Healthy eating combined with regular exercise, proper rest and times of relaxation can greatly improve your health and fitness.