What Is a Low Carb Diet
Low Carb Eating
A Low carb diet is one that limits the amount of carbohydrates you eat relative to the average diet. This is done by replacing foods that are high in carbohydrates with ones that have higher fat or protein content. This way, your body does not get overloaded with sugar. This type of diet is also a good choice for dieters who are overweight or obese.
There are a variety of low carbohydrate foods you can choose from to make a healthy meal. Substitute tubers like potatoes or whole grains such as oats with extra veg, like spinach, cabbage, broccoli, etc.. If you're eating out, try ordering a main dish with meat or fish. Also, drink plain water instead of sugary sodas. You may also want to substitute rice or bread with extra vegetables. A Low carb diet can also help you sleep better and feel more satisfied.
A low carb diet can cause constipation if you cut back on fiber. Because most of us get our fiber from foods that are high in carbohydrates, cutting down on these foods will reduce your fiber intake and cause constipation. If you're not sure what foods are considered low carb, yet provide sufficient fiber, consult a medical professional. You could try Ispaghula or flax seeds with your meals, to add extra fiber.
Ispaghula or psyllium husk
Ispaghula is also known as psyllium husk. It is a light feathery type of husk from a grain. It contains no calories, so is useful both for low carb and low calorie diets. You can also get this in commercial preparations, such as capsules. You can chug psyllium husk by putting warm or cold water (plus some optional lemon juice for the taste) in a glass, then adding 2 teaspoons of ispaghula and stirring. Drink it straight down, followed by another glass or warm or cold water (with lemon juice if preferred). It is CRUCIAL to drink plenty of water with psyllium husk or you could end up with worse constipation. Ispaghula works by absorbing water to make a thick gel that helps move food through your intestines (gut). If you do not provide enough water, it will take it from the food you have eaten, making it drier and harder to move on through.
Flax seed or Linseed
Again, you MUST drink plenty of water with flax seed, which is also known as linseed. This article refers to the seeds, NOT the oil. These little seeds can be mixed with soup, cream cheese, scrambled egg, etc and have a mild nutty flavor. Make sure you drink plenty of liquid along with the seeds or shortly after, to let them swell, so they can move food on through your gut.
Diabetes and Low Carb Diets
You may want to consider switching to a low carb meal plan if you're already on insulin and/or a diabetes medication. It's best to consult with your physician or dietitian before making a major change in your diet, especially if you are diabetic. Many diabetics already use a version of low carb diets, as this makes it easier to manage their diabetes. If you have only recently been diagnosed as diabetic, you may wish to investigate the 800 calorie 8 week blood sugar diet , which is being promoted by the National Health Service in England as an excellent means of reversing early diabetes.
Low Carb Diets and Weightloss
Once you start on a low carb diet, your body will use stored fat for energy, thus promoting fat loss. A 2003 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that people who followed a low-carb diet lost more weight than those on a low-fat diet.
A low-carb diet can help you lose weight more quickly and maintain it in the long run. It may also improve your health and prevent metabolic syndrome. Additionally, it can prevent diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. It is more sustainable than counting calories, according to some experts. You must be careful not to overeat foods that are high in carbohydrates and saturated fat. It is also important to consult a physician before making major changes to your diet.
Low carb diets have been around for decades. They are beneficial for your health by reducing processed grains and sugar. If you follow a low carb diet with a variety of healthy fat and protein sources, you'll be able to lose weight and improve your health in the process. It is also helpful for people with diabetes, because fewer carbs in their diets lower blood sugar levels.
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VinceSummers wrote on October 28, 2022, 2:25 PM
Very interesting. I did learn a point that surprised me -- that a low carbohydrate diet can lead to constipation. I would have assumed the opposite.
Due to taking a medication that leads to constipation, I take a PEG (polyethylene glycol) laxative, acting by means of osmosis. Moisture is drawn from the tissues to soften body wastes. For that reason, fluids are essential to avoid dehydration.
MegL wrote on October 29, 2022, 6:34 AM
Fluids are vital!
AliCanary wrote on November 12, 2022, 2:49 PM
This is a great reference! I've tried the WRONG kind of low-carb dieting (Atkins) and went crazy with meat and cheese and eggs, but I got terribly constipated because I was ignoring veggies and fruit (in Atkins' defense, he does allow veggies, but he hates fruit, and he's wrong). I've had very good success eating low-carb otherwise--and when my husband found out he had a tendency for high blood sugar, he cut out starches and sweets and lost quite a bit of weight!1
AliCanary wrote on November 12, 2022, 2:55 PM
Yes, it's the fiber in fruits and vegetables that bulks up the stool and allows it to pass more easily through the colon - fiber is only found in vegetable matter. Meat, fish, eggs, and dairy are great for protein, but you really need fiber. And as you and Meg have noted, water is absolutely vital to this process.1
Also, you have to move around, as well, to help the stool proceed through your system. Being sedentary is a very big contributor to constipation. So: fiber + water + walking = excellent digestive health (and almost always LOTS of weight loss!)
VinceSummers wrote on November 12, 2022, 9:52 PM
Of course, I'd about forgotten that! Thanks. Movement. I am now quite sedentary.
VinceSummers wrote on November 12, 2022, 9:53 PM
My wife and I used the South Beach Diet, which worked quite well, but which my wife gave up on. And since she is the 'chef' of the family, I couldn't ask her to cook 6 meals per day.
MegL wrote on November 13, 2022, 10:14 AM
I try to avoid fruit because of the sugar content. But I eat lots of green veggies but it's never enough fibre (fiber), that's why I find the linseed so good. I buy it in 3Kg packs. Good stuff.
MegL wrote on November 13, 2022, 10:15 AM
Never tried South Beach. Currently I am trying the Carbohydrate addicts diet. I am a carb addict, they are not good for me. So I try to stick to snacking on extra mature cheddar cheese and eggs but I also eat a lot of fat, to avoid too much protein.
MegL wrote on November 13, 2022, 10:18 AM
Absolutely! I was talking to someone the other day who was suffering terribly from constipation. She was actually below weight but needed to move her gut contents along. I think she was eating so little that wasn't enough in her gut to allow peristalsis to occur.