Given the growing awareness about healthy living and getting fit among people, many individuals today are advocating the wonders of fad diets. Whether it is to reach their fitness goal by shedding the extra pounds or to maintain their ideal weight, diet plans are gaining popularity in a huge way amongst celebrities and commoners alike. A high-protein and low-carb diet is one such popular diet plan that not only aids weight loss but also provides your body with essential energy-giving nutrients while satiating your appetite.
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Examples Of High-Protein Low-Carb Foods
The best part about this diet plan is that it is sure to consist of some of your favorite food varieties that you needn’t refrain from. Here are some of the most popular foods that are low in carbs and high in protein:
1. Meat And Fish:
All you meat lovers – rejoice! Here’s a diet plan that promotes the consumption of many protein-packed meat and fish varieties. These include turkey and chicken breast, lamb, steak, ham, veal, pork tenderloin, minced beef, prawns, shrimps, crab, tuna, salmon, etc. Though you must limit your intake of meat rich in saturated fats such as pork, lamb and beef, you can enjoy one portion of fish, white meat, as well as lean meat every day. They provide a good dose of protein while also protecting you from the dangers of saturated fats – like heart diseases.
2. Nuts And Seeds:
Looking for a healthy snack to fight those hunger pangs? You’ll be happy to know that your go-to fillers are excellent protein powerhouses! Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pumpkin, flax and sunflower seeds are rich in protein and can be eaten straight as snacks or can be used to top salads and smoothies. Just ensure that you keep the portion sizes of these nuts and seeds small as they are high in fats (the good fats).
Dairy products like cheese, yogurt and cottage cheese are also good protein sources. Yogurt is a great dietary addition that helps improve your digestive health and cheese is a good source of bone-strengthening calcium. Include at least one portion of these dairy products in your daily diet for an overall health boost.
4. Other Options:
Some other foods like tofu, quinoa, beans, peas, peanut butter, boiled eggs, etc. are rich in proteins and other essential nutrients, while having a low carbohydrate content.
With the plethora of food varieties mentioned above, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that a high-protein and low-carb diet won’t put your taste buds to test. These foods will give you the ideal blend of divine flavor, high energy and good nutrition.
How Does A High-Protein And Low-Carb Diet Benefit The Body?
Including protein-packed and low-carb foods as a part of your daily diet can do wonders to improve your overall health. Here are some of the primary reasons you should eat low-carb and high-protein foods:
1. It Helps To Achieve Greater Weight Loss:
If losing weight is on your agenda, then a high-protein and low-carb diet should be highly effective, a Journal of Pediatrics study Make sure you form your diet plan in consultation with a certified dietitian or a medical practitioner.
2. It Fights Cancer:
The number of cancer cases worldwide are on the rise owing to our poor dietary and lifestyle habits. A Cancer Research study reported that a diet low in carbohydrates and high in protein not only assists in weight loss but also restricts cancer initiation and growth.
3. It Helps In The Management Of Diabetes:
Another health benefit of a high-protein and low-carb diet is that it helps manage type-2 diabetes. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that a diet rich in protein and low in carbs improves the glycemic control in type-2 diabetes patients and helps them lose weight.
4. It Reduces The Perception Of Hunger:
According to a study by the Journal of the American Dietic Association, a low-carb and high-protein diet not only increases cognitive eating restraint but also lowers the perception of hunger. It thus helps contribute to increased weight loss.
5. It May Lower The Risk Of Cognitive Impairment In Elderly People:
Of the many dangers of a high-carbohydrate diet, increased dementia risk amongst the elderly is the most common. A Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease study reported that a dietary pattern in which carbs are the major source of calories – while proteins and fats are a secondary source of calories –increases the risk of cognitive impairment.
Everyone can benefit from the goodness that a high-protein and low-carb diet has to offer. It is, however, important that you keep your doctor in the loop about your dietary choices so as to prevent adverse consequences (such as increased HDL levels).
Is A Low-Carb Diet Better Than A No-Carb Diet?
Given the importance of a balanced diet, it is essential that you refrain from removing carbohydrates from your diet completely. You should include small servings of good carbohydrates in your diet. While you may have come across numerous diets that eliminate carbs or severely limit their amounts, you should make it a point to consume them in low, but . It is necessary for you to remember that carbohydrates also have an essential role to play in our body. They act as a source of fuel required for physical activity as well as for the function of important organs like the brain. Ensure you include healthy sources of carbs like whole grains in your diet as they provide the body with essential nutrients like Vitamin B, fiber, vitamin E, copper, selenium, zinc, etc. If you lower your carb intake way too much, it can put you at a high risk of vitamin deficiencies, which, in turn, can cause serious illnesses. Leafy greens, bananas, carrots, popcorn and brown rice are a few of the healthy carb sources you can opt for.
To ensure that you get enough carbohydrates in your diet without overconsuming them, reduce the size of the portions that you consume. A high-protein and low-carb diet is very healthy, provided your body is getting the required nutrients to stay fueled. If you are planning to lower your carb intake, make sure that you consult a dietician so that he can help you to determine your energy requirements.
Popular Low-Carb, High-Protein Diet Plans
1. Atkins Diet:
The Atkins diet is one of the most famous weight-loss diet plans of the recent times. It promotes low-carbs while emphasizing on an increased intake of proteins and fats. The diet has four phases that encourage the lifetime adoption of its suggested dietary habits. Instead of portion control or calorie counting, the Atkins diet recommends the tracking of your carb intake. The diet has a share of both proponents and critics.
2. CSIRO Diet:
The CSIRO diet is a 12-week weight-loss program developed by Australian researchers. This diet too recommends high-protein intake along with moderate carbs and low-fat. It promotes a mix of both dietary changes and exercise to achieve weight loss.
Though you can adopt any of the diet plans mentioned above, asking your dietitian to create a custom high-protein, low-carb diet plan for you – taking your requirements and medical history into account – is a more effective option.
Additional Points To Remember
When you are on a high-protein low-carb diet, there are certain points that you should keep in mind, including the following:
- Always make sure that you obtain your protein from healthy sources, not those high in saturated fats. Poultry and fish are good sources of animal proteins whereas nuts, tofu and beans are good sources of plant protein.
- Do not keep carbs away from your diet completely.
- Always ensure that you include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet so that your high-protein and low-carb diet is well-balanced.
- Enjoy carb-rich veggies like potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, beets and corn in moderation.
- Take your doctor and dietitian’s consent before preparing a diet chart for yourself.
- Make sure you also include physical exercise as a part of your daily regimen, along with these dietary changes, for best results.
- Keep an eye on packaged foods labeled “low-carbs”. You must especially avoid these foods as the sugar alcohols used in their preparation cannot be easily digested by the body. They can, thus, result in indigestion, bloating and diarrhea.
- The best way to monitor your carb intake is to include only complex carbs in your diet – while avoiding refined carbohydrates. Complex carbs have a high glycemic index. They can help avoid blood sugar spikes as they get absorbed into the bloodstream slowly.
Instead of relying on different diet fads that come and go, opting for a wholesome, high-protein and low-carb diet will surely help you reap greater benefits while protecting you from dietary deficiencies and health hazards. This diet allows you to lose weight healthily while still providing your body with the essential nutrients that it needs to function properly.
So, are you looking forward to trying out this diet plan? Do let us know in the comments section below.
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