Have you been thinking of switching over to food with no carbs? Fortunately for people who want a new paradigm for their eating, there are no carb vegetables and no carb snacks, too. Find out what you need to know about low carb and “zero-carb diets” that tens of thousands of people have sworn upon as being effective in solving health issues and curbing weight gain.
Understanding Low Carb and Zero Carb Diets
Low carbohydrate or “low carb diets” are not new. In fact, even conventional medicine has acknowledged that in some situations, shifting to a low carb diet may be good for you. The POUNDS LOST Study revealed that all novel diets eventually produced the desired weight loss, but with no clear advantage when it came to which diet was used in the first place.
The POUNDS LOST Study is a head-to-head study that compared the results of various novel diets, including diets that used the principle of “low card” or “zero-carb.” Currently, there is no “speed advantage,” and a diet is only as effective as the person using it to cut calories and improve one’s metabolism.
Another study called the DIRECT Study showed that after two years, low-carb diets were more effective in the maintenance of weight compared to low-fat diets. The reason for this, perhaps, is that people can avoid high-fat foods but consume high-carb foods to compensate. Carbohydrates are transformed into fat eventually by the liver if they are not burned off by the body.
Is it good to eat food that has no carbs?
Many studies have shown that continuing a low-carb diet is fine, as long as you have a sensible selection of healthy fats and proteins. The impact of a low carbohydrate diet will differ depending on what else you do while you are cutting down on carbohydrates.
For instance, women on a low-carb diet who opted to consume fat from vegetable sources were able to lower their risk of heart diseases by 30%. The same respondents were also able to cut their risk for type 2 diabetes by 20%. Curiously enough, those who reduced their carb intake but continued to eat large quantities of animal-derived fat did not enjoy cardiovascular and endocrinal benefits.
How will the body respond to food with no carbs?
The OmniHeart study revealed that replacing some carbohydrates with good sources of protein and fat cut the risk for hypertension, lowered blood pressure, and also decreased HDL or high-density lipoproteins in the body. HDL is “bad cholesterol” that can aggregate on blood vessel walls and eventually cause deadly clots, stroke, and heart attack. LDL is the “good cholesterol” that we can get from eating seafood and lean cuts of pork and beef.
To encourage the body to recover from long years of abuse, diet-wise, you can consider eating more of the “good stuff-“ or protein sources that have sensible amounts of fat, and will not cause your HDL levels to go up. Among the best sources of animal protein are white chicken, lamb, ground beef (85% lean), salmon, dark chicken meat, green soybeans, cottage cheese, and black beans. The quality of the food you eat in any diet will determine how your body will benefit from your current diet.
The possible benefits of sustaining a low-carb diet include:
- Better heart health. There is some evidence that reducing the intake of sugary food can also help improve your heart health. A reduction in sugars has been known to trigger the reduction of triglycerides in the body, which helps reduce the incidence of blockages.
- Reducing sugar intake may help people who are suffering from either metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes. Metabolic syndrome is the precursor of many chronic, degenerative conditions, including heart disease and diabetes. You can reduce your intake of carbs to also reduce potentially deadly spikes in blood sugar levels.
- Decreasing your consumption of sugary drinks like soda can help decrease the size of your belly. Belly fat has been associated with the intake of too much-refined sugar. The phenomenon has also been observed in regular beer drinkers (thus, they call a beer drinker’s rounded belly as a “beer belly”).
Foods with No Carbs
“No carbs” is a bit of a misnomer because all types of food have some quantity of carbohydrates in them. Even pork has a small number of carbohydrates. So what we’d like to do when we’re shifting to a low-carb diet is to eat foods that have rock bottom levels of carbs. Some examples of these food items are:
- Unsweetened dairy products like yogurt, Greek yogurt, skim milk
- Lean cuts of meat from chicken, lamb, pork, and beef
- Vegetable oils like EVOO, olive oil, coconut oil, rapeseed oil, canola oil, soya oil, sunflower oil, sesame oil, avocado oil, peanut oil, corn oil.
- Nut butter
- Green, leafy vegetables
- Eggs from different types of fowl: chicken eggs, duck eggs, goose eggs, etc.
- Different kinds of seafood: fish, shellfish (clams, oysters, etc.)
- Organ meats
- Pork rinds
- Butters, margarine, and cheeses
- Tea, coffee, diet soda, herbal tea, sugar-free drink mixes
High Carb Foods to Avoid
It’s easy to avoid carbohydrates once you understand where they usually come from. For the most part, we get our carbohydrates from grains, flours, processed sugar, fructose, and glucose sources. This means the following items are a big no-no when you are trying out a low carbohydrate diet:
- High-carbohydrate grains, especially white rice (brown rice is fine for low carbohydrate diets that are not very strict on the intake of grains)
- Conventionally-prepared bread and pastries
- Conventionally-manufactured pasta types (unless the pasta is made to be low-carb and high-protein)
- Vegetables that are naturally high in starch, like potatoes
- Salad dressings that are advertised as “fat-free”
- Beverages like regular soda and beers
- Sweetened dairy products like chocolate milk drinks and full cream milk with added sugar
- Commercially-prepared beverages like Starbucks coffee
- Full-sugar sodas regardless of the brand