Investigating Low Carb Diet Meal Plans: Are Carbs the Real Culprit?

    2022-01-0301/03/22   
Cooking  Nutrition  Weight Loss  

Diets low in carbohydrates have become very faddy over the last few years. Whether it's keto diets or low carb diets, the marketing around this way of eating has been potent.

However, does cutting the carbs really help you with sustainable weight loss? Keep reading to learn more about low-carb diet meal plans.

Carbohydrates are a macronutrient and essential for our daily energy needs.

High-Carb Diets

Let's start by examining the average American diet. Each meal is high in carbohydrates such as bread, white pasta, and white rice.

We actually need 45-65% of our calories to be made from carbohydrates. The difference is the type of carbohydrates these are. The average American diet contains way too many processed carbohydrates, and this is where the problem lies.

When you eat carbohydrates, your body turns them into glucose, which goes into your blood. Your pancreas then releases insulin, which helps move the sugar out of your bloodstream and into cells throughout your body. The cells then use the glucose for energy and store the excess in your liver, muscles, and fat tissue.

Eating too many processed carbohydrates can cause your blood sugar levels to rise too high. This confuses your insulin production and is why you often feel sluggish after eating a large carby meal.

Type 2 diabetes develops when you have insulin resistance and leaves you with too much sugar in your blood that can't be turned into energy.

Although eating too many carbohydrates or too much sugar is not directly linked to developing diabetes, you are often overweight if you overeat. Being overweight and inactive can lead to diabetes.

The number of carbohydrates you need to consume will also depend on the amount of physical activity you do. If you're a marathon runner, you'll need a higher intake of carbohydrates than someone who sits at a desk all day and does no exercise.

Healthy Diets and Low-Carb Diet Meal Plans

So now we've established that eating zero carbs isn't the best way to lose weight; how can we have a healthy diet that incorporates carbohydrates?

The best way to lose weight, if that's your goal, is to eat a balanced, varied diet. Eating a wide variety of whole foods that are from plants is the easiest way to stay healthy.

You can also add more wholegrain, healthy carbohydrates into your diet instead of eating heavily processed carbs.

Examples of healthy carbohydrates include:

  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Oats
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables

You can add these carbs to your healthy meal plans. Here are some ideas for healthy meals that don't force you to restrict yourself or go low carb:

Breakfast - porridge with fruits, nuts, and seeds

Lunch - Quinoa salad with vegetables and tofu

Dinner - Salmon, brown rice, and broccoli

Eating healthy doesn't need to be complex, and you don't need to restrict yourself. It turns out the most restrictive diets are the ones that cause people to stop the quickest.

Check here for some healthy meal ideas.

The lesson here is to eat whole foods, mostly plant-based, and skip the ready meals, the white bread, the processed pasta, and cakes. The closer food is to its original state, the better it is for you.

Is Weight Loss Just About the Diet?

So you may eat super balanced and healthy but still not be losing weight. Movement is a vital part of weight loss.

You can't lose weight if you don't exercise. You need to burn more calories than you take in during the day if you want to lose weight. It's called a calorie deficit.

Plan in some exercise every day. It can be something gentle, like walking or some yoga that you do in the comfort of your own home. Trying to get moving daily, even just a little, will do wonders for your mental health and your waistline.

Make sure you also add more vigorous exercise sessions into your weekly routine, such as cycling or a conditioning workout with weights.

Carbs Aren't the Culprit

Many diet plans demonize carbs, but the problem is these diets cause you to up your intake of red meat and dairy products. These foods in excess are not good for your health. Eating too much red meat can cause obesity, heart disease, and strokes.

You also need to think about the quality of the carbs you are consuming. As you have learned, there are many different types of carbohydrates. Lentils and a packet of chips are both carbohydrates but offer significantly different nutritional value.

Choose healthy carbs as often as you can, and you will have no problems with eating carbs as part of your diet. You won't feel deprived, and you will reduce your chance of binging on unhealthy foods.

Health is All About Balance

In conclusion, to stay healthy, you need to keep a balance. Eating carbohydrates isn't bad, they are part of life, and from time to time, we all enjoy a pizza or some fries. Adopting a healthy mindset can help you build healthy habits.

The key to staying healthy is about what you do the majority of the time.

So if most of the time you eat a whole food diet centered on plants, you will maintain a healthy weight. Low-carb diet meal plans are unnecessary to lose weight.

A healthy diet plan combined with regular exercise and enough sleep is the only way to maintain a healthy weight or lose weight. For a fully holistic approach to health, combine your healthy diet with the right supplements; learn more here.

headshot of Jay Todtenbier 2018
Author

Jay Todtenbier is an original founder of SupplementRelief.com in 2010 and has operated the business ever since. He is also a tennis instructor and gospel musician. Formerly he spent 25 years in business development, technology and marketing with startups and major corporations having gone through the tech boom in Silicon Valley in the 90s. He became passionate about, and began studying and practicing Wellness as a Lifestyle after experiencing chronic, personal health challenges including depression, auto-immune diseases, and being overweight that impacted his ability to live a healthy, vibrant life. Since then, he has been an advocate for healthier living encouraging others to live better through making small, gradual changes to lifestyle behaviors relating to whole-foods nutrition, stress management, reasonable exercise, proper sleep, and the use of targeted, high-quality supplements.

Learn more about Jay Todtenbier.

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    Carbohydrates are a macronutrient and essential for our daily energy needs.

    High-Carb Diets

    Let's start by examining the average American diet. Each meal is high in carbohydrates such as bread, white pasta, and white rice.

    We actually need 45-65% of our calories to be made from carbohydrates. The difference is the type of carbohydrates these are. The average American diet contains way too many processed carbohydrates, and this is where the problem lies.

    When you eat carbohydrates, your body turns them into glucose, which goes into your blood. Your pancreas then releases insulin, which helps move the sugar out of your bloodstream and into cells throughout your body. The cells then use the glucose for energy and store the excess in your liver, muscles, and fat tissue.

    Eating too many processed carbohydrates can cause your blood sugar levels to rise too high. This confuses your insulin production and is why you often feel sluggish after eating a large carby meal.

    Type 2 diabetes develops when you have insulin resistance and leaves you with too much sugar in your blood that can't be turned into energy.

    Although eating too many carbohydrates or too much sugar is not directly linked to developing diabetes, you are often overweight if you overeat. Being overweight and inactive can lead to diabetes.

    The number of carbohydrates you need to consume will also depend on the amount of physical activity you do. If you're a marathon runner, you'll need a higher intake of carbohydrates than someone who sits at a desk all day and does no exercise.

    Healthy Diets and Low-Carb Diet Meal Plans

    So now we've established that eating zero carbs isn't the best way to lose weight; how can we have a healthy diet that incorporates carbohydrates?

    The best way to lose weight, if that's your goal, is to eat a balanced, varied diet. Eating a wide variety of whole foods that are from plants is the easiest way to stay healthy.

    You can also add more wholegrain, healthy carbohydrates into your diet instead of eating heavily processed carbs.

    Examples of healthy carbohydrates include:

    • Beans
    • Lentils
    • Brown rice
    • Quinoa
    • Oats
    • Fruits
    • Vegetables

    You can add these carbs to your healthy meal plans. Here are some ideas for healthy meals that don't force you to restrict yourself or go low carb:

    Breakfast - porridge with fruits, nuts, and seeds

    Lunch - Quinoa salad with vegetables and tofu

    Dinner - Salmon, brown rice, and broccoli

    Eating healthy doesn't need to be complex, and you don't need to restrict yourself. It turns out the most restrictive diets are the ones that cause people to stop the quickest.

    Check here for some healthy meal ideas.

    The lesson here is to eat whole foods, mostly plant-based, and skip the ready meals, the white bread, the processed pasta, and cakes. The closer food is to its original state, the better it is for you.

    Is Weight Loss Just About the Diet?

    So you may eat super balanced and healthy but still not be losing weight. Movement is a vital part of weight loss.

    You can't lose weight if you don't exercise. You need to burn more calories than you take in during the day if you want to lose weight. It's called a calorie deficit.

    Plan in some exercise every day. It can be something gentle, like walking or some yoga that you do in the comfort of your own home. Trying to get moving daily, even just a little, will do wonders for your mental health and your waistline.

    Make sure you also add more vigorous exercise sessions into your weekly routine, such as cycling or a conditioning workout with weights.

    Carbs Aren't the Culprit

    Many diet plans demonize carbs, but the problem is these diets cause you to up your intake of red meat and dairy products. These foods in excess are not good for your health. Eating too much red meat can cause obesity, heart disease, and strokes.

    You also need to think about the quality of the carbs you are consuming. As you have learned, there are many different types of carbohydrates. Lentils and a packet of chips are both carbohydrates but offer significantly different nutritional value.

    Choose healthy carbs as often as you can, and you will have no problems with eating carbs as part of your diet. You won't feel deprived, and you will reduce your chance of binging on unhealthy foods.

    Health is All About Balance

    In conclusion, to stay healthy, you need to keep a balance. Eating carbohydrates isn't bad, they are part of life, and from time to time, we all enjoy a pizza or some fries. Adopting a healthy mindset can help you build healthy habits.

    The key to staying healthy is about what you do the majority of the time.

    So if most of the time you eat a whole food diet centered on plants, you will maintain a healthy weight. Low-carb diet meal plans are unnecessary to lose weight.

    A healthy diet plan combined with regular exercise and enough sleep is the only way to maintain a healthy weight or lose weight. For a fully holistic approach to health, combine your healthy diet with the right supplements; learn more here.

    headshot of Jay Todtenbier 2018
    Author

    Jay Todtenbier is an original founder of SupplementRelief.com in 2010 and has operated the business ever since. He is also a tennis instructor and gospel musician. Formerly he spent 25 years in business development, technology and marketing with startups and major corporations having gone through the tech boom in Silicon Valley in the 90s. He became passionate about, and began studying and practicing Wellness as a Lifestyle after experiencing chronic, personal health challenges including depression, auto-immune diseases, and being overweight that impacted his ability to live a healthy, vibrant life. Since then, he has been an advocate for healthier living encouraging others to live better through making small, gradual changes to lifestyle behaviors relating to whole-foods nutrition, stress management, reasonable exercise, proper sleep, and the use of targeted, high-quality supplements.

    Learn more about Jay Todtenbier.

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The information, knowledge, and experience shared on this website is the opinion of SupplementRelief.com. This site and its content is intended to enhance your knowledge base as YOU MAKE YOUR OWN HEALTHCARE DECISIONS in partnership with your qualified health professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products referred to are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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