Choosing high protein and low carbohydrate foods is always a good idea, not only for those with diabetes, obesity, or metabolic syndrome, but most people in general. A low carb diet will keep blood sugar stable helping you to keep excess weight off, specifically dangerous belly fat! Low carb eating also burns fat faster than a high carb diet – especially if those carbs are bad quality, the likes of refined grains and free sugars.
This list of low carbohydrate foods will help you to understand high quality fat burning foods, versus low quality fat promoting foods.
LOW QUALITY, FAT PROMOTING FOODS:
- Anything containing refined sugars such as cakes, biscuits, pastries, sweets, and confectionery.
- Anything deep-fried such as fish, chips, most junk foods, and fries.
- Fatty processed meats.
- Fats and oils such as partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, margarine’s, canola oil, corn oil, soy bean oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, cottonseed oil.
- Wheat and other gluten containing products. Many people are intolerant or feel bloated on various grains or gluten products, and you will often find you start to lose weight, feel healthier, and have more energy when you cut down on them; or ideally cut them out completely. Ideal alternatives would be corn, buckwheat, amaranth, millet, quinoa, and brown rice.
- Refined flour products such as white pasta, white bread, or white rice.
These above foods will hinder your weight loss efforts and make you feel and look crappy; and who needs the stress of that on top of everything else in life? By swapping these foods for healthier versions you will not only be adding years to your life, but life to your years, as the famous saying goes.
A low carb diet is not necessarily the same as a ketogenic diet, which actually forbids ALL carbohydrates. This kind of diet may be way too strict for you, and probably won’t put you in the best of moods – not if you want the energy for exercise and living a full life. However, some people this can work for depending on their reasons for doing it and how their body reacts to it, and it IS especially good for diabetics.
Personally, a totally carb free diet doesn’t work for me and makes me feel depressed, lethargic, and generally not very happy. I get on best on a low GI plant based diet as it gives me copious amounts of nutrients, phytochemicals, antioxidants and fiber – all of which are perfect for vitality and energy. But do feel free to experiment, we are all different!
Totally Carb Free
A ketogenic diet cuts out pretty much ALL carbs, which includes lots of fruits and vegetables (because of fruit sugars), pulses, and other healthy, nutrient and fiber dense foods. The ketogenic diet advocates eating lots of high protein foods, which often means lots of animal products and dairy etc. Therefore unless you are buying the highest quality, grass fed, organic (and usually expensive) meats, fish and dairy then you’re probably going to take in way too much fat and probably lots of animal hormones – not a good situation.
These foods may not be too bad in moderation, but certainly not in the high amounts that are often needed in a true ketogenic diet.
Eating Low Carb
A low carbohydrate diet on the other hand will mean keeping to a minimum, starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, butternut squash, corn, peas, beetroot, and yams. Also, grains such as wheat, rye, millet, amaranth, spelt, and oats are all high carb – AND the worst offender that you should absolutely steer clear of on a low carb diet is of course the demon that is free SUGARS!
Free sugars, or fast sugars as they are otherwise known, are the kind found in junk foods. But surprisingly, the so called ‘healthier’ kinds like honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and brown rice syrup are ALL high carb too and so need to be eaten in moderation on the low carbohydrate diet.
I would however suggest that you should eat some starchy vegetables, and also fruits, pulses, and wholegrains in moderation. It will still keep you low carb at 1-2 portions a day (you’ll need more if you are in training or exercising a lot). Exercise will not only help you to maintain your weight loss, but the release of those good feeling hormones that it is guaranteed to give you will also keep you happy.
High Sugar Fruits are:-
- Dried fruits
Medium Sugar Fruits are:-
- Cantaloupe melon
- Oranges of all kinds
- Honeydew melon
Low Sugar Fruits are:-
LIST OF LOW CARBOHYDRATE FOODS TO BURN FAT FAST!
As this is a plant based eating website I have only added plant foods to this list as they are much more nutrient dense and full of antioxidants, which are not only VITAL for anti aging, but also lower your risks of many modern day diseases; boost energy and vitality; strengthen the immune system; detoxify your system; AND make you look and feel a million bucks in the process. However if you do eat animal products then meat and dairy products are all low carbohydrate and okay on the low carb diet.
Fat Burning Foods:-
These type of foods are also low GI, which means their sugars are released into the bloodstream slowly giving you sustained energy (so less snacking and sugar cravings… hurrah), BUT they will also help you to burn fat much more efficiently.
These specific fat burning foods should be incorporated into your diet wherever possible for the best results (but don’t forget, as with ALL foods you need to eat everything in moderation plus add them into your total days calories).
The list below goes in order from the lowest carbohydrate food to the highest, and gives amounts per 100 grams: Note that not all nuts and seeds are on the list for the simple reason that some of them are actually high in carbs and should be eaten sparingly such as cashews, chestnuts, pistachio’s, and sunflower seeds.
You can use numbers 15-20 on this list as part of your 1-2 carb portions per day on your low carb diet. You will need more if you’re doing a lot of exercise or training. You can also use pulses and lentils instead of pasta’s, rice and grains; but be aware they are higher carbohydrate value than anything on this list, but still lower carb than your ordinary low GI carbs.
- Oils of all kinds 0g
- Soy/Tempeh/Tofu 1.9g
- Brazil Nuts 4g
- Pecans 4g
- Pumpkin seeds 5g
- Macadamia Nuts 5g
- Olives 6g
- Walnuts 7g
- Peanuts 7g
- Hazelnuts 7g
- Pine Nuts 7g
- Chia seeds 7g
- Avocados 9g
- Almonds 10g
- Butternut Squash 12g
- Dark Chocolate (at least 70% cacao) 13g
- Green Peas 14g
- White Potatoes 17g
- Sweet Potatoes 20g
- Cooked Quinoa 21g
I have put these after the list as they often come in at different carbohydrate values depending on the type and brand; however, they usually come in at either zero, or very low carb, and can be used as meal replacements on a low carb diet. Especially good in you want to boost metabolism to burn fat, or are in training and want to cut fat and build muscle.
There are many different kinds of protein powders on the market and you should take the time to look into them more to find which is right for you. To find a good quality protein powder that suits your needs and lifestyle then please check out the best protein powder’s of 2018 where I have gone through hundreds of review’s to find the best quality, great tasting, and and affordable products that are available.
Sometimes high carbs can be found in unlikely foods:-
You may find this list has some very interesting facts that many have not been realised when it comes to carbohydrates in foods. For instance white potatoes come in at 17g carbs, and cashew nuts are actually a whopping 30g carbs!
The difference between them (and this is where it can get a bit complicated) is that cashews are actually low GI due to their high fat and protein content, and so they are considered healthier in that respect than white potatoes that have very little fat and protein. To understand more about why this is then please learn about low glycemic foods as it will open your eyes to how a low GI diet combined with the low carbohydrate diet is great for weight loss.
WHAT IS A LOW GI DIET?
A low GI diet is different to a low carb diet in the respect that it focuses more on how quickly carbohydrates in a food hit the bloodstream. Too fast and you will have a much bigger insulin response to clear those sugars out of the blood, which is not good in terms of weight loss as those sugars are usually then stored as fat ( the dangerous belly fat kind). This is why low GI foods are much healthier for long term health.
Pretty much everything on the above list is considered low GI because they all contain the other elements of fat and protein, apart from the latter part (numbers 15-20) – the white potatoes especially. But this is where correct food combining comes into play. If for example you ate mashed white potatoes alone then they would be extremely high GI and would therefore encourage fat storage, but if you eat them combined with other foods that contain fats and protein this would then lower the GI of the potatoes, and in fact the whole meal.
Correct food combining is a must for long term weight maintenance!
So the moral of the story, without complicating things too much, is to combine your food groups of fats, carbs and proteins in ALL of your meals and snacks. Obviously go very easy on the fats and make sure they are healthy and good quality. It’s easy to do when you understand the 3 macro nutrient food groups of fat, carbohydrates and protein. Here’s a list to give you a hand. Don’t forget a lot of them overlap each other and contain 2 or 3 elements in the one food’ so therefore have been added to more than one food group.
- All kinds of oils
- FruitsDried Fruits
- Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, squash, parsnips, carrots
If you have any questions about low carb eating or need extra advice then I would be happy to help. Please post any comments below this thread as I would love to hear from you.