What is low carb?
A low-carb diet restricts carbohydrates, which are primarily found in sugary foods, pasta and bread. A low-carb diet means that you eat fewer carbohydrates and a higher proportion of fat. This can also be called a low-carb, high-fat diet (LCHF) or a keto diet.
For decades we’ve been told that fat is detrimental to our health. Meanwhile low-fat “diet” products, often full of sugar, have flooded supermarket shelves. This has been a major mistake, that coincided with the start of the obesity epidemic. Studies now show that there’s no reason to fear natural fats. Fat is your friend. On a low- carb diet, you instead minimize your intake of sugar and starches. You can eat other delicious foods – and still lose weight.
How does it work?
When you avoid sugar and starches, your blood sugar stabilizes and the levels of the fat-storing hormo- ne insulin drop. This increases fat burning and makes you feel more satiated, re- ducing food intake and causing weight loss.
Meat: Beef, pork, lamb, game and poultry. The fat is useful as well as the skin on the chicken. Choose organic and grass-fed if you can.
Fish and seafood: All kinds. Preferably fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel or herring.
Eggs: All kinds. Preferably organic.
Using butter and cream for cooking can make your food taste better and make you feel more satisfied. Try a Béarnaise or Hollandaise sauce, check the ingredients or make it yourself. Co- conut fat, avocado oil or olive oil are also good options.
All kinds of cabbage. Asparagus, zucchini, eggplant, olives, spinach, mushrooms, cucum- ber, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes etc.
Always select full-fat options like real butter, cream (40% fat), sour cream and cheeses. Be careful with regular milk, reduced fat and skim milk as they contain a lot of milk sugar. Avoid flavored, sugary and low-fat products.
Nuts and berries
Enjoy low-carb nuts like brazil nuts, macada- mia and almonds. Berries like raspberries, strawberries and blueberries are OK in mode- ration for most people. Great with whipped cream. Reduce or exclude for weight loss.
Water: Still or sparkling. Add a slice of lemon or lime.
Coffee and tea: Preferably with cream. Hungry between meals? Try mixing the coffee or tea with a dollop of unsalted butter and coconut fat.
What to Avoid
Soft drinks, candy, juice, sports drinks, cho- colate, cakes, buns, pastries, ice cream and breakfast cereals. Also avoid artificial sweete- ners: they often maintain sugar cravings.
Bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, French fries, potato chips, porridge, muesli etc. Moderate amounts of root vegetables are okay if you are not too strict with carbohydrate restriction.
Industrial butter imitation with unnaturally high content of omega-6 fat and additives. It has no health benefits and tastes bad.
Liquid bread. Full of rapidly absorbed carbs.
Contains a lot of sugar, eat it as a natural form of candy. Dried fruit contains even more carbohydrates. Coconut, citrus and melon contain fewer carbohydrates than, for example, bananas and grapes.
Do you have diabetes?
Once you start eating low carb you may instantly have to lower any insulin doses, a lot. You need to test your blood sugar frequently when starting this diet and adapt (lower) your medication. This should ideally be done with the as- sistance of a knowledgeable physician.
On special occasions
You decide when the time is right. Keep in mind that your weight loss could slow down a bit.
Alcohol: Dry wine (regular red or dry white wine), champagne, whisky, brandy, vodka and cocktails without sugar.
Dark chocolate: Above 70% cocoa, preferably just a bit.