What You Should Know About Low-Carb Diets

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low-carb diets

All about carbs

It’s time to go back to basics. In order to understand why low-carb diets are such a current hot-topic, we must first define what carbohydrates actually are. According to livescience.com, “Carbohydrates are the sugars, starches and fibers found in fruits, grain, vegetables and milk products.” Paige Smathers, registered dietitian based out of Utah, says, “Carbohydrates are macronutrients, meaning they are one of the three main ways the body obtains energy, or calories.” It seems, therefore, that carbohydrates play an essential role in giving our bodies the nutrients it needs to function properly. The American Diabetes Association credits carbs as being “the body’s main source of energy.” If carbs are so important in maintaining bodily function, why are low-carb diets all the rage?

Where are carbohydrates found?

Carbohydrates found naturally: grains, fruits, vegetables, milk, nuts, seeds, legumes (beans, peas, lentils)

Manufactured and processed carbs: white breads, pasta, cookies, candy, sugary beverages (soda)

Low-carb diets: friend or foe?

First and foremost, it is vital that you check with your health-care professional before starting any diets. You may be asking yourself, however, what the benefits are of beginning a low-carb diet journey. Mayoclinic.org says, “The idea behind the low-carb diet is that decreasing carbs lowers insulin levels, which causes the body to burn stored fat for energy and ultimately leads to weight loss.” In order to maintain this low-carb lifestyle, consuming more proteins such as meat, eggs, and fish are implemented. So, what are the health benefits of low-carb diets? Mayoclinic adds, “Low-carb diets may help prevent or improve serious health conditions, such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.”

The low-carb diet journey: where to begin

So you and your doctor or nutritionist decided that following a low-carb diet is the best health journey for you to embark on at the moment. Mayoclinic advises, “If you follow a low-carbohydrate diet that’s higher in fat and possibly higher in protein, it’s important to choose foods with healthy unsaturated fats and healthy proteins. Limit foods containing saturated and trans fats, such as meat, high-fat dairy products, and processed crackers and pastries.” Luckily, Levana Nourishments has loads of recipes that you can easily implement into your new routine. Try the Maple Roasted Salmon Recipe.  Salmon is a lean protein, and is also a healthy fat. Be sure to add in a Mushroom Medley Nourishments pouch for extra nutrients. Looking for a low-carb friendly breakfast option? Try a deliciously nutritious green smoothie with a protein-packed Levana Nourishments pouch in Vanilla Bean.

Some extra motivation for you

Levana has her own low-carb diet journey! She documented her experience, as well as tried-and-true recipes on her personal blog, Levana Cooks. Check it out! When it comes to maintaining our health, low-carb or not, we’re all in this together.

-Talya Hyman

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