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A Wholesome Diet Is What You Need to Gain Happiness: 30 Natural Low-Carb Foods

A Wholesome Diet Is What You Need to Gain Happiness: 30 Natural Low-Carb Foods

The Importance of Low-Carb Diet

In the last few decades, health authorities have guided us towards a diet low in calories and fat. The issue is, even when many people stick to these diets, they tend not to get desired results [1]

The alternative available is a diet low in carbs. This involves restricting a high intake of carbohydrates in the form of starches and sugars replacing them with protein and fat. Diets low in carb reduce appetites which in turn makes your calorie intake lower and weight loss is effortless, provided that carbs are kept down.

Cutting Carb Intake Improve Your Health from Several Aspects

Studies clearly indicate that low carb diets are beyond weight loss. Cutting down on your carb intake has a range of significant benefits:

  • It reduces hunger levels
  • It is an “automatic” program of weight loss without the need to count calories.
  • Low-Carb diets result in a greater percentage of weight loss than low-fat diets
  • Low-Carb diets benefit metabolic health. This reduces blood sugar, blood pressure and various other health complications are alleviated.

All of this means you can eat until you are full, feel the satisfaction and still manage to lose weight.

The Perfect Amount of Carb Intake

There is no clear cut definition of exactly what constitutes a “low carb diet”. What is low for one may not be low for another. The carb intake for an individual depends on gender, age and body composition, personal preferences, lifestyle, levels of activity, food culture and the current metabolic state of health.

Physically active people with more muscle mass tolerate a higher level of carbs than ‘desk-bound’ people. Metabolic health is an important factor. People can get obese and even diabetes with a metabolic syndrome. Those that fall into this category cannot tolerate the same carb intake as those that are healthy.

By simply removing unhealthy carb sources from your daily diet in the form of refined wheat and sugar additives, you are well on the path to better health. To enjoy metabolic benefits fully you have to restrict other sources of carb,

Let us get down to what you may eat:

  • Every single vegetable
  • Fruit combination varieties
  • A portion of healthy starches like sweet potatoes, potatoes and healthy grains like oats and rice

******Base meal plans around foods with a low carb content to lose weight and improve overall health.

Most low carb foods are healthy, delicious and nutritious.

The 30 Most Low-Carb Foods:

1. Eggs (Carbs: Almost 0)

    Eggs are a healthy and nutritious source of food, loaded with multiple nutrients, including nutrients for the brain as well as compounds that can improve eyes.

    Meats

    All meats types are close to a zero level of carb except liver that contains approximately 5% of carbs

    2. Beef (Carbs: 0)

      Beef is a satisfying food form loaded with nutrients like B12 and iron. There are various beef types like ground beef, steak and hamburgers.

      3. Lamb (Carbs: 0)

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        Lamb contains numerous nutrients including B1. Lamb is grass-fed, and is high in fatty beneficial acids.

        4. Chicken (Carbs 0)

          Chicken is the most popular meat in the world. It has beneficial nutrients, and is a good protein source. On a low carb diet, it is better to choose wings and thighs, the ‘fattier’ portions.

          5. Pork inclusive of Bacon (Carbs 0, in most cases)

            Pork is delicious meat type and bacon one of the favorites for low-carb dieters. Bacon is a meat that processed meat, so it is not a “health food”. It is however, acceptable to moderate amounts when on a low-carb diet. Buy bacon locally, without the artificial ingredients. Read labels to check sugar content to ensure carbs are kept at the zero level.

            Other low carb meats include Turkey, Bison, Veal and Venison.

            Seafoods

            Seafoods are healthy and nutritious, high in Omega 3 fatty acids, iodine and vitamin B12, with no carbohydrates.

            6. Salmon (Carbs: 0)

              Salmon is the most popular fish type for the health conscious since it contains Omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon is also loaded with B12, iodine, and contains vitamin D3.

              7. Trout (Carbs: 0)

                Trout, like salmon is a fish type which is loaded with important nutrients including Omega-3 fatty acids.

                8. Sardines (Carbs: 0)

                  Sardines are eaten whole,with bones. Sardines are nutrient-dense consisting of every kind of nutrient needed by the human body .

                  9. Shellfish (Carbs: 4-5%)

                    Shellfish are nutritious and should be part of meals. They consist of a high protein percentage and are low in fat.

                    Other Low-Car Seafood include: Shrimp, Lobster, Haddock, Tuna, Herring, Cod, Catfish and Halibut.

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                    Vegetables

                    Most vegetables have a low percentage of carbs. Cruciferous vegetables and leafy greens are the lowest, and majority of the carbs in them contain fiber. Root vegetables like sweet potatoes and potatoes are high in carb content.

                    10. Broccoli (Carbs: 7%)

                      Broccoli can be eaten raw or cooked. It contains high levels of vitamin C, K and fiber with cancer-fighting compounds.

                      11. Tomatoes (Carbs: 4%)

                        Tomatoes, high in potassium and vitamin C are essentially berries or fruits, but used as vegetables.

                        12. Onions ( Carbs: 9%)

                          Onions are tasty plants adding powerful flavor to meals. They are high in antioxidants and fiber, and consist compounds that are anti-inflammatory.

                          13. Brussels Sprouts (Carbs: 7%)

                            Brussels sprouts are nutritious vegetables, related to kale and broccoli. High in vitamins C and K, they contain beneficial compounds.

                            14. Cauliflower (Carbs: 5%)

                              Versatile and tasty cauliflower, is a vegetable high in folate and vitamins C and K.

                              15. Kale (Carbs: 10%)

                                Kale, a popular vegetable among the health-conscious, is loaded with vitamin C, fiber, vitamin K, as well as carotene antioxidants.

                                16. Eggplant (Carbs: 6%)

                                  Eggplant is high in fiber, a fruit consumed like a vegetable.

                                  17. Cucumber (Carbs: 4%)

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                                    Cucumber has a mild flavor, consisting mainly of water, with a small vitamin K percentage

                                    18. Bell Peppers (Carbs: 6%)

                                      Bell peppers have a satisfying and distinct flavor and are high in fiber, vitamin C as well as carotene antioxidants.

                                      19. Asparagus (Carbs: 2%)

                                        Asparagus, a delicious spring vegetable, is high in fiber, folate and vitamin C, together with carotene antioxidants. It has a high protein content.

                                        20. Green Beans (Carbs: 7%)

                                          Green beans are legumes, consumed as vegetables. They are high in nutrients that include vitamin C, protein, fiber, vitamin K, potassium and manganese.

                                          21. Mushrooms ( Carbs: 3%)

                                            Mushrooms are not plants, but treated as vegetables. They contain potassium, and have a high content of B-vitamins.

                                            Other Vegetables low in carbs include: Celery, Zucchini, Spinach, Swiss chard and Cabbage

                                            Except for the root vegetables that are starchy all vegetables have a low percentage of carbs . You can consume vegetables in large proportions and stay within carb limits.

                                            Berries and Fruits

                                            Fruits are higher in carbs than vegetables and may be controversial but olives and avocados are high in healthy fats and berries low in sugar are excellent.

                                            22. Avocado (Carbs: 8.5%)

                                              The avocado is unique in its healthy fats content. High in potassium and fiber it contains a variety of nutrients. About 78% of carbs present in avocado are fiber.

                                              23. Olives (6%)

                                                The olive is delicious and high in copper, iron, fat, and vitamin E.

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                                                24. Strawberries (8%)

                                                  Strawberries are low carb and nutrient-dense. They are high in manganese, vitamin C and various antioxidants.

                                                  25. Grapefruit (11%)

                                                    Grapefruits, a citrus fruit, is very high in vitamin C as well as carotene antioxidants.

                                                    26. Apricots (11%)

                                                      The apricot is a delicious fruit with a low carbs and is filled with potassium and vitamin C.

                                                      Other fruits in the low carb range include: Lemons, Oranges, Kiwi, Mulberries and Raspberries

                                                      Nuts and Seeds

                                                      Seeds and nuts are low in carbs. They are high in fiber, fat, protein and a variety of micro-nutrients. Nuts are usually eaten as snacks. Seeds are used to add crunch to recipes and salads. Nut and seed flours like almond flour and coconut flour are used to create low-carb baked delights.

                                                      27. Almonds (22%)

                                                        Almonds are crunchy, tasty and loaded with vitamin E, fiber, and magnesium.

                                                        28. Walnuts (14%)

                                                          The walnut is high in ALA, an omega-3 fatty acid ALA, and contains wide range of other nutrients.

                                                          29. Peanuts (16%)

                                                            Peanuts are essentially legumes that are consumed as nuts. High in fiber, vitamin E and magnesium and other key minerals and vitamins.

                                                            30. Chia Seeds ( Carb: 44%)

                                                              Chia seeds trend as a popular health food all around the world. They are rich in nutrients and used in various low-carb recipes. They are the richest dietary fiber source. Due to the high fiber the carbs are digestible in essence.

                                                              Other seeds and nuts in the low-carb range include: Hazelnuts, Macadamia nuts, Cashews, Coconuts, Pistachios, Flax seeds, Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds.

                                                              Featured photo credit: www.tfuni.com via tfuni.com

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                                                              Nena Tenacity

                                                              Nena is passionate about writing. She shares her everyday health and lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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                                                              Last Updated on October 5, 2020

                                                              Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss (The Ultimate Weight Loss Hack)

                                                              Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss (The Ultimate Weight Loss Hack)

                                                              Intermittent fasting weight loss is a type of diet that’s rapidly growing in popularity and becoming the way to lose weight. Scientists and nutrition experts like it, too. New books and articles on the topic are being published daily. Intermittent fasting is also popular with followers of the Paleo diet since our ancestors appear to have eaten this way for thousands of years.

                                                              I’ve been following this type of diet myself for 2 years. Doing so helped me lose and keep off 70 pounds without ever having to count calories, limit carbohydrates, or eat 6 to 7 meals a day.

                                                              This article teaches you all about intermittent fasting weight loss and details why it is one of the best weight loss diet hacks around. Once you finish, you will be able to implement into your diet and experience the benefits it offers almost immediately.

                                                              What Is Intermittent Fasting?

                                                              As you may have figured from its name, intermittent fasting weight loss is a diet plan where you set fasting periods during the day. This is usually between 16-20 consecutive hours, but it can be as little as 12 hours or as much as 24 hours (or even 36 hours).

                                                              While fasting you can eat and drink low calorie or calorie-free foods. Think coffee, tea, water, and vegetables.

                                                              The more time you spend fasting every day, the better your results. You can do these fasts as often as you like. Again, the more often you do so, the better[1].

                                                              Getting Started With Intermittent Fasting

                                                              Following this diet plan is super simple. All you have to do is choose a period of time during the day that you will fast. This should be between 16-20 hours.

                                                              The longer you fast each day, the better. Don’t worry about calorie restriction or measuring carbohydrates. Just focus on going about your day until it’s time to eat.

                                                              It’s best to choose a set period of time to conduct your fast. I like to fast from 8 PM to 4 PM the following afternoon. I’ll then have my first meal of the day and a snack or two a few hours later. Once 8 o’clock rolls around, it’s back to fasting.

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                                                              My experience with intermittent fasting is that it’s best to start with a 16 hour fast (i.e. 8PM one evening to 12PM the next day) for the first 1-2 weeks. Once you are comfortable with this schedule, you can increase the amount of time you spend fasting. Do this by adding 30 minutes to each fast until you get to where you are fasting for 20 hours at a time.

                                                              You don’t have to fast every day in the beginning either. You may be more comfortable breaking in slowly with 2 or 3 days per week, or trying alternate day fasting. Add additional days of intermittent fasting as you become more comfortable with this style of eating.

                                                              Tips To Make Intermittent Fasting Easier

                                                              1. Drink Plenty of Water

                                                              Squeeze a little lemon or lime juice into your water to help get rid of any cravings you experience. You can also drink coffee, tea, or other calorie-free beverages. After a few weeks, you will find that intermittent fasting keeps you from craving sugar entirely.

                                                              2. Take in Caffeine in the Morning and Early Afternoon

                                                              The caffeine in coffee and tea may actually make intermittent fasting weight loss a little easier since it’s good for curbing your appetite. Be careful not to overindulge as this may lead to you feeling a little too wired. I also recommend these natural energy boosting tips to keep you going during the day.

                                                              3. Avoid Artificially Flavored Drinks

                                                              One type of calorie-free drink that should be avoided are diet sodas and other beverages that use artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Sweet & Low. Studies show that the can actually stimulate your appetite[2] like a drink that contains sugar and cause you to overeat.

                                                              4. Don’t Gorge at Your First Meal

                                                              The first meal after your fast should be the amount of food you typically eat. Binging will only make you feel awful and diminish the benefits you get from the fast.

                                                              To avoid this, try creating meal plans, at least for the first few weeks. This will help you get into the rhythm of eating regularly portioned meals during your eating window.

                                                              5. Minimize Processed Carbohydrates and Sugars

                                                              While intermittent fasting does make it possible to eat a little looser than normal, you should still eat as little bread, pasta, rice, etc. as possible.

                                                              Focus instead on eating protein from beef, fish, or pork, carbohydrates from vegetables, fruit, and sweet potatoes, and healthy fats from foods like almonds, avocados, fish, and olive oil.

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                                                              You can find some carb sources that will aid your weight loss journey here.

                                                              How Intermittent Fasting Helps You Lose Weight

                                                              Eating this way has many benefits with regard to weight loss. The first is that when you’re fasting, your body will be forced to use its stored body fat for energy. Burning calories this way, instead of from the food you’re eating throughout the day, will help you experience significant weight loss, but specifically lose weight from any excess body fat you’re carrying.

                                                              This means that you won’t just be thinner, but you will also look better and be much healthier than if you lose weight the old-fashioned way[3].

                                                              Intermittent fasting can help optimize the release of the key fat-burning hormones in your body. This is especially true for the two most important hormones: human growth hormone (HGH) and insulin.

                                                              Human growth hormone plays a key role in turning on your body’s fat-burning furnace so that it gets the calories you need to work and play from stored body fat. Studies show that fasting can significantly increase the production of HGH[4].

                                                              The influence intermittent fasting weight loss has on insulin is just as impressive and possibly more important. Keeping your insulin levels low and steady is key to losing excess fat and keeping it off.

                                                              Diets that are rich in processed carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice) and simple sugars (candy, cookies, and soda) have the opposite effect. They cause your insulin levels to rapidly spike and then crash every time you eat one of these foods. The net result of this phenomenon is that your body will store more of what you eat as excess body fat instead of burning it off as energy.

                                                              Chronically elevating your insulin levels like this can also lead to the development of type II diabetes, obesity, and other chronic health problems. Intermittent fasting easily solves this problem.

                                                              One study found that men who participated in intermittent fasting had “dramatically lower insulin levels and significantly improved insulin sensitivity”[5].

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                                                              This happens because you’re not giving your body food, so it will not produce insulin, allowing insulin levels to balance out until you eat again. This helps your body stay in a calorie and fa-burning state. You’ll also find that it gives you more energy throughout the day.

                                                              Another great weight loss benefit of intermittent fasting is that hunger pangs and cravings that may normally plague you throughout the day will be reduced, if not altogether eliminated. This is probably due to its ability to balance your insulin and blood sugar levels and, in turn, help correct other hormonal imbalances.

                                                              Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss FAQs

                                                              Now that you know what intermittent fasting is and how to get started, it’s time to answer your other questions.

                                                              Below are answers to the questions frequently asked about intermittent fasting. These answers should help you and make getting started a lot easier.

                                                              How Much Weight Will I Lose?

                                                              The amount of weight you lose with fasting is determined by how often and long your fasts are, what you eat afterward, and other factors. Fasting for 16-20 hours a day can help you safely lose 2-3 pounds of fat every week.

                                                              While losing this much weight every week is great, it’s how it makes it happen that’s really cool. Losing weight with intermittent fasting means that you will never have to count calories or plan and prepare several meals a day.

                                                              Can I Work out While Fasting?

                                                              Yes, you can. In fact, doing the right type of workout while fasting will help you lose weight faster and even build muscle.

                                                              The best workouts to do while fasting for weight loss are 3-4 intense strength training workouts weekly. This means anything from standard strength training to kettlebell or body weight workouts.

                                                              Focus on doing 3-4 total body exercises per workout with as little rest as possible between sets. Doing this will help you burn more calories during and after your workout. You’ll also build muscle, which will help you look and feel better as the weight comes off.

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                                                              Won’t I Lose Muscle When I Fast?

                                                              First of all, you aren’t fasting long enough for your body to start breaking down muscle for energy. You have, perhaps, hundreds of thousands of calories from your stored body fat to use before that will begin to happen. Studies actually show that even after fasting for 3 days, no muscle is lost.

                                                              Is Fasting Safe?

                                                              As long as you are healthy, not pregnant, and aren’t taking medications, fasting is safe. Like all diets, you should discuss it with your doctor before beginning an intermittent fasting style of dieting.

                                                              I also feel that it may not be smart to follow this type of diet when you’re especially stressed. Since this diet can be a little stress-inducing at first, doing so when your ability to be relatively stress-free and rested probably isn’t a good idea.

                                                              Are There Any Supplements I Can Take to Make Fasting Easier?

                                                              As with any other weight loss plan, it’s a good idea to take a few nutritional supplements to ensure that your daily requirements are met. This includes a once or twice daily multi-vitamin, fish oil, and vitamin D.

                                                              I’ve also found taking 10 grams of branch chain amino acids before and after my workouts really helps, too. They’re great for giving you more energy during your workout and decreasing post-workout muscle soreness.

                                                              For supplements to specifically help with digestion, check out this article.

                                                              Conclusion

                                                              Now you know what intermittent fasting is and how it can help you lose weight quickly, safely, and pretty much effortlessly.

                                                              If you want to give it a try, find a fasting schedule that fits with you lifestyle and give it a go.

                                                              More About Intermittent Fasting

                                                              Featured photo credit: Toa Heftiba via unsplash.com

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