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Low-sugar menus to lose weight and improve your health

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A low-carb diet is one that restricts carbohydrates, such as those found in sugary foods, pasta, and bread. It is rich in proteins, fats and healthy vegetables. There are many types of low-carb diets, and studies show they can lead to weight loss and improved health. Here is a detailed meal plan for a low carb diet. It explains what to eat, what to avoid and includes a sample low carb menu for a week.

Low Carb Diet: The Basics

Your food choices depend on several factors, including your health, physical activity, and how much weight you need to lose. Consider this meal plan a general guideline, not something set in stone.

Eat: meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, high-fat dairy products, healthy fats, oils, and maybe even some tubers and gluten-free cereals .

Don’t eat: Sugar, wheat, trans fats, ‘diet’ and low fat products and highly processed foods.

Foods to avoid

You should avoid these six food and nutrient groups, in order of importance:

  • Sugar: Soft drinks (sodas), fruit juices, candies, ice cream and many other products that contain added sugar.
  • Refined grains: Wheat, rice, barley and rye, as well as bread, cereals and pasta.
  • Trans fats: Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.
  • Diet and low-fat products: Many dairy products, cereals or crackers are low in fat, but contain added sugar.
  • Ultra-processed foods: If a food looks like it was factory-made, don’t eat it.
  • Starchy vegetables: It’s best to limit starchy vegetables in your diet if you’re on a very low-carb diet.

You must read ingredient lists, even on foods labeled as diet products.

List of Low Carb Foods – Foods to Consume

You should base your diet on these real, unprocessed, low-carb foods.

  • Meat: beef, lamb, pork, chicken and others; meat from grass-fed animals is best.
  • Fish: salmon, trout, haddock and many more; wild fish is the best.
  • Eggs: Omega-3 enriched eggs or pastured eggs are best.
  • Vegetables: Spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and many more.
  • Fruits: Apples, oranges, pears, blueberries, strawberries.
  • Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
  • High-fat dairy products: Cheese, butter, heavy cream, yogurt.
  • Fats and oils: Coconut oil, butter, lard, olive oil and fish oil.

If you need to lose weight, watch out for cheese and nuts because it’s easy to eat too much. Do not eat more than one fruit per day.

Foods to include maybe

If you’re healthy, active, and don’t need to lose weight, you can afford to eat a little more carbs.

  • Tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes and a few others.
  • Unrefined grains: Brown rice, oats, quinoa and many more.
  • Legumes: Lentils, black beans, etc. (if you can tolerate them).
  • Additionally, you can eat the following foods in moderation, if desired:
  • Dark chocolate: Choose organic brands with at least 70% cocoa.
  • Wine: Choose dry wines with no added sugar

Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and may have health benefits if consumed in moderation. However, be aware that dark chocolate and alcohol will hinder your progress if you eat or drink too much of it.

Drinks

Coffee
Tea
Water
Carbonated drinks without sugar, such as sparkling water.

Sample low carb menu for a week

Here is a sample menu for a week of low carb diet.

It provides less than 50 grams of total carbs per day. However, if you are healthy and active, you can eat slightly more carbohydrates.

Monday

Breakfast: Omelet with various vegetables
Lunch: Yogurt with blueberries and a handful of almonds.
Dinner: bunless burger, served with vegetables

Tuesday

Breakfast: Bacon and eggs.
Lunch: Leftover burgers and vegetables from the night before.
Dinner: Salmon with butter and vegetables.

Wednesday

Breakfast: Eggs and vegetables
Lunch: Shrimp salad with a little olive oil.
Dinner: Grilled chicken with vegetables.

Thursday

Breakfast: Omelette with various vegetables,
Lunch: Smoothie with coconut milk, berries, almonds and protein powder.
Dinner: Steak and vegetables.

Friday

Breakfast: Bacon and eggs.
Lunch: Chicken salad with a little olive oil.
Dinner: Pork chops with vegetables.

Saturday

Breakfast: Omelet with various vegetables.
Lunch: Grass-fed yogurt with berries, coconut flakes, and a handful of nuts.
Dinner: Meatballs with vegetables.

Sunday

Breakfast: Bacon and eggs.
Lunch: Smoothie with coconut milk, a little heavy cream, chocolate protein powder and berries.
Dinner: Grilled chicken with raw spinach on the side.

Include plenty of low-carb vegetables in your diet. If your goal is to stay below 50 grams of carbs per day, you can eat plenty of vegetables and one piece of fruit per day. If you want to see more meal-to-go examples, check out this article on 7 Healthy Low-Carb Meals in Under 10 Minutes.
Again, if you are healthy, lean, and active, you can add tubers like potatoes and sweet potatoes, as well as healthy grains.

Healthy, low-carb snacks

There’s no health reason to eat more than three meals a day, but if you find yourself feeling hungry between meals, here are some healthy, easy-to-prepare, low-carb snacks that can fill you up:

A piece of fruit
A whole yoghurt
One or two hard-boiled eggs
baby carrots
A handful of nuts
A little cheese and meat

Eat out

In most restaurants, it’s fairly easy to make your meals low-carb compatible.

Order a meat or fish main course.
Drink plain water instead of sodas or sugary fruit juices.
Replace bread, potatoes or rice with vegetables.

A Simple Low Carb Shopping List

A good rule of thumb is to shop within the perimeter of the store, where whole foods are most likely to be found. By focusing on whole foods, your diet will be a thousand times better than the standard western diet. Organic foods are also popular choices and are often considered healthier, but are generally more expensive.

Try to choose the least processed option while staying within your price range.

Meat (beef, lamb, pork, chicken, bacon)
Fish (fatty fish like salmon are best)
Eggs (choose omega-3 enriched eggs or pastured eggs if you can)
Butter
coconut oil
Olive oil
Cheese
Heavy cream
Yogurt (whole, unsweetened)
Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
Nut
olives
Fresh vegetables (green vegetables, peppers, onions, etc.)
Frozen vegetables (broccoli, carrots, various mixes)
Condiments (sea salt, pepper, garlic, mustard, etc.)
If you can, clear your pantry of all unhealthy temptations, like chips, candy, ice cream, soda, juice, breads, cereals, and baking ingredients like refined flour and sugar.

Low-carb diets limit carbohydrates, such as those found in sugary and processed foods, pasta and bread. They are rich in proteins, fats and healthy vegetables. Studies show they can lead to weight loss and improved health. The meal plan above gives you the basics of a healthy, low-carb diet. If you need a comprehensive list of low carb recipes that are both simple and delicious, check out this article on 101 Healthy Low Carb Recipes That Taste Amazing. Of course, you can also search the internet for even more low carb or paleo recipes.

* Presse Santé strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the advice of a health professional.

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