Low-Carb Diet List: The Best Low-Carb Foods to Eat

by | Nutrition

May 22, 2022

Low-carb diets contain a relatively lower percentage of their total calories, coming from processed carbohydrates. This means that about 25% of the total calories in these foods come from natural sources of carbohydrates, while the rest come from proteins, vitamins, etc. [1.] 

Low-carb diets are useful to help keep one’s weight in check and prevent diseases associated with excessive weight gain, such as diabetes, hypertension, etc.  

Below is a list of low-carb diets which are good for your health:

1. Atlantic Cod

Atlantic cod is a species of fish of the Gadidae family. On average, a 6 oz serving of an Atlantic cod should contain an average of 120 calories and have a net carb value of almost zero. 

For this reason, Atlantic cod is one of the go-to picks when selecting tasty low-carb meals for non-vegetarians. 

Cod’s low-carb content isn’t its only outstanding feature. It contains a high concentration of Omega-3 fatty acids. 

Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of healthy fatty acids which are known to have anti-inflammatory properties and a good impact on cardiovascular function, neurological function, and optic function. 

Cod also contains a remarkable concentration of macronutrients such as selenium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, etc. 

2. Eggs

Eggs are amongst the most nutritious foods on the planet. Being an animal source of protein, they contain close to zero carbohydrate content. 

Of the 77 calories present in eggs, almost all come from either protein, healthy fatty acids, essential proteins, or macronutrients. 

A full-sized egg contains about 6 grams of protein and a corresponding 5 grams of fatty acid. 

Eggs contain vitamin A, which is essential for eyesight. Folate, many classes of Vitamin B. Phosphorus, selenium, choline (a great constituent of the nervous system), and a couple of antioxidants, including zeaxanthin and lutein. 

An egg meal can increase your body’s concentration of HDL. 

HDL, termed ‘good cholesterol,’ is an abbreviation for High-Density Lipoprotein. 

HDLs function to mop cholesterol from your peripheral tissues, delivering them to your liver, where they can be processed properly. [2.]

3. Cabbage

Vegetarians will smile at this one.

Cabbage is a vegetable from the brassica family of plants and is a great low-carb/low-calorie diet. 

A small cabbage of about 90 grams is stuffed with valuable micro and macronutrients.

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Its protein content makes it a great source of protein for the body’s normal function. 

Cabbage contains vitamin C, which is important in the repair of almost every kind of body tissue, from tendons to ligaments to worn-out blood vessels. 

The vegetable also contains folate, which is essential in the formation of red blood cells. It contains manganese, calcium, iron, and riboflavin. 

Cabbage also contains antioxidants like polyphenols and is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties. [3.]

4. Beans

No, beans are not ‘just’ beans. Beans are a powerhouse of nutrients. A cup of beans, while containing far less carbohydrate, has more protein than rice! Some say they even taste real good. 

The proteins present in beans are considered essential proteins and have to be delivered to your body from an external source, as your body can’t synthesize them on its own. 

These proteins direct all body functions, from DNA synthesis and coordination to neurological signaling virtually. 

Beans also contain iron, which is necessary for the production of oxygen-carrying hemoglobin. 

They also contain magnesium, which is important for bone formation and stabilizing blood sugar. 

Beans also contain potassium and zinc, both of which help organ and tissue development. 

There are suggestions that a bean meal has the ability to lower one’s LDL. LDL is termed ‘bad cholesterol’ and poses a risk of heart disease. 

5. Carrots

Carrots are edible root vegetables. They are usually orange in color, although they can be yellow or red and can come in different sizes. 

Though carrots contain some amount of sugar and carbohydrates, they are considered relatively low-carb. They make this list because of how stuffed they are with essential nutrients. 

First, carbohydrates are a rich source of vitamin A, which is important for maintaining eye function. 

Deficiency in Vitamin A poses a risk of night blindness. Against this, carrots have you covered. 

Second, carrots contain the antioxidant carotenoids. Like most antioxidants, this antioxidant is believed to reduce the risk of cancer by mediating cell function. It also helps the heart function better.

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The potassium in carrots also helps the heart function. 

Carrots also contain Vitamin C, which, as mentioned earlier, is important in mediating cell function. 

6. Shrimp

Shrimp are amongst the most commonly consumed shellfishes. Basically, they are not only low-carb meals; they are no-carb meals. 

Shrimp does not contain carbohydrates! Still, shrimps are a rich rich source of nutrients.  

Like most seafood, shrimp contain antioxidants. The most prevalent one contained in shrimp is called astaxanthin, which is also one of the most potent antioxidants in the body. 

Astaxanthin has anti-inflammatory properties, which means it can prevent swellings. It does this by hampering the function of many harmful free radicals capable of destroying the integrity of cells. 

Astaxanthin also helps improve the cardiovascular system and can sustain healthy brain function. 

Shrimp also contains essential proteins.

They also contain Omega-3 fatty acids, which also have anti-inflammatory properties. 

Shrimp can be consumed as lunch or dinner.  

Please Note: People who show allergic reactions to sea foods ought to be especially careful with eating shrimps. Because, as is the case with most seafood, shrimps can trigger allergic reactions in people who have autoimmune/allergic reactions. 

7. Cucumbers

Vegetables are known to be low in carbs. Cucumbers are no exception. They taste really good and are refreshing while still housing a number of important nutrients. 

Cucumbers contain a lot of water to help you stay hydrated and a good amount of fiber. Fiber helps lower bowel function and can prevent constipation and other similar bowel disturbances. 

Cucumbers also contain a compound called Cucurbitacin C, which is believed to be beneficial to health. 

One can eat cucumbers for dinner. You can eat them as whole meals or eat them with other meals.

8. Beef

Beef contains no carbohydrates, yet it is a powerhouse for other nutrients. 

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A typical beef meal contains a number of proteins, which help build up muscle and repair worn-out tissues. 

Beef also contains iron, which helps in the formation and maturation of red cells and is the pigment that transports oxygen within the blood. 

Beef is also a rich source of riboflavin and other minerals, including calcium, manganese, selenium, etc. 

It also contains vitamins, such as vitamin A and Vitamin C. 

Benefits and Risks of Eating Low-Carb

Now that you know the recommended kinds of low-carb meals, it is important to understand what low-carb meals really do. Are there any benefits or risks of eating them? If there are, what are these benefits and what are these risks?

—Benefits of eating low carb meals:

1. Reduce Hunger and Appetite

Eating low-carb food has an impact on appetite and hunger. Studies suggest that eating a low-carb diet can reduce your appetite. [4.] For this reason, you will be less hungry and will feel the need to eat less. 

2. Weight Loss

One of the first manifestations of reduced hunger and appetite is weight loss. When you eat less, you have fewer unused calories to store up. 

Stored up calories are the reason people gain a lot of weight, which means that fewer stored up calories mean weight loss. 

3. Reduction in Blood Sugar Level

Carbohydrates increase blood sugar. That is why a person’s blood sugar will be higher if they have just eaten a rich carbohydrate meal. Low-carb diets put high blood sugar in check. 

4. Lower Blood Pressure

Cholesterol is one of the agents that can affect blood vessels and increase blood pressure. Most low-carb foods have a low concentration of cholesterol. 

Since low-carb foods contain them in low quantities, they are considered safe. 

5. Risks of Eating Low Carb Meals

While eating low-carb meals can be pretty beneficial, doing so also poses some risks. Some of which include:

6. Depleted Energy Reserves

Since carbs are the body’s primary source of energy, going low on carbs too suddenly at that can deplete your body’s reserves and make you weak and unfocused. 

Low sugar levels can show up as shaky hands, mild headaches, inability to focus, etc. 

7. Weight Loss

Even though weight loss can be a good thing, it can also be bad. Your bodies need carbohydrates. 

Depriving it of these carbohydrates can see to it that you lose a lot of weight.

8. Weakened Immune System

In severe cases, carbohydrate deprivation can have the same effects as starvation, weakening your immune system and exposing you to infections. 

Photo by Food Photographer | Jennifer Pallian on Unsplash

 

Reference

  1. Clinical Lipidology: Review of current evidence and clinical recommendations on the effects of low-carbohydrate and very-low-carbohydrate (including ketogenic) diets for the management of body weight and other cardiometabolic risk factors
  2. NCBI: Dietary cholesterol from eggs increases plasma HDL cholesterol in overweight men consuming a carbohydrate-restricted diet
  3. NCBI: Dietary cholesterol from eggs increases plasma HDL cholesterol in overweight men consuming a carbohydrate-restricted diet
  4. NCBI: The effects of a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet and a low-fat diet on mood, hunger, and other self-reported symptoms

1 Comment

  1. gralion torile

    Appreciate it for helping out, great info .

    Reply

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By Ubong Johnson

Ubong Johnson (Ubee) is a relationship expert, medical student, and writer. He writes articles which cover everything from relationships and nutrition to lifestyle. His works of short fiction have appeared in several literary magazines including The Shallow Tales Review, Ngiga Review, and the Kalahari Review. He is the founder and editor of Fiction Niche.

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