Choosing high protein and low carbohydrate foods are good, not only for those with diabetes, obesity, or metabolic syndrome, but most people in general, as they will keep blood sugar stable and help you to keep excess weight off. Low carb eating also burns fat faster than a high carbohydrate 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, confectionery.
- Anything deep-fried, such as fish, chips, 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. Ideal alternatives would be corn, buckwheat, amaranth, millet, quinoa, 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 that on top of everything else in life? By swapping these foods for healthier versions you will not only be add 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 to 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 in general. However, some people this can work for, depending on their reasons for using 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 good health, vitality and energy.
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, fiber dense foods. The ketogenic diet advocates eating lots of high protein foods, which often means lots of animal products/dairy etc. Therefore, unless you are buying the highest quality, grass fed, organic (and usually expensive) meats, fish and dairy, then you are probably going to take in way too much fat and probably lots of animal hormones – not to mention what may be lurking in animal feed!
These foods may not be too bad in moderation but not 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 sugar, or fast sugars as they are otherwise known, are the kind found in junk foods. But suprisingly the so called ‘healthier‘ kinds like honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and brown rice syrup are ALL high carb, and so not good on the low carbohydrate diet.
I would however suggest that you should eat some starchy vegetables, and also the higher sugar 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), plus you will also be maintaining your weight loss, AND you will be happier.
High Sugar Fruits are:
- Dried fruits
Medium Sugar Fruits:
- 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, are full of antioxidants, which are not only vital for anti aging in general, but also lower the risk of many diseases, boost energy and vitality, strengthen the immune system, detoxify your system AND make you look and feel a million bucks in the process. But, if you do eat animal products then meat and dairy products are all low carbohydrate if they don’t contain added sugars and are in their pure form.
Fat Burning Foods:
These foods are also low GI, meaning their sugars are released into the bloodstream slowly, giving you sustained energy (so less snacking and sugar cravings), and they will also help you to burn fat much more efficiently.
For more fat burning foods I recommend you read ‘Foods That Burn Fat Fast’ and incorporate as many of them as possible into your diet (but don’t forget as with ALL foods you need to eat everything in moderation and add them into your total calories/fats/carb count for the day).
The list below goes 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 because 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 the list as part of your 1-2 carb portions a day on your low carb diet. You will need MORE if you are doing a lot of exercise or in training. You can also use pulses and lentils instead of pastas, rice and grains, but be aware they are higher carb than anything on the list, but still HEALTHIER than your ordinary everyday 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
- PROTEIN POWDERS– These have been added to the list because 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 for those in training who 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 and 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 Powders’.
Sometimes high carbs can be found in unlikely foods:
You may find this list has some very interesting facts that many have not have 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 is (and this is where it can get complicated) that cashews are actually low GI due to their high fat and protein content, and so they are considered healthier in that respect, because their fat and protein content makes them a low GI food. To understand more about why this is then please read all about ‘Low Glycemic Foods’. It will open your eyes to how a low GI diet is a perfect weight loss tool.
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 food hit the bloodstream. Too fast and you will have a much bigger insulin response to clear those sugars out of the blood. This is not good in terms of weight loss as those sugars are usually then stored as fat ( the dangerous belly fat kind). The lower 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 – 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 could encourage fat storage, but if you eat them combined with other foods that contain fats and protein then this would 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 your meals and snacks. Obviously go very easy on the fats and make sure they are healthy good quality fats. 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 your comments below this thread and I will get back to you within 24 hours.