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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

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                                                              Last Updated on May 21, 2019

                                                              13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

                                                              13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

                                                              Creating your productivity ritual — a routine that helps you to maintain a peak level of energy can get you the best out of your days.

                                                              Part of creating your productivity routine involves removing activities that drain you (what I call “kryptonites”), and that includes your bad habits.

                                                              Like it or not, bad habits are bad for you — mentally, physically, emotionally and even socially in some cases. While some bad habits are harder to quit than others, it doesn’t change the fact that you need to get rid of them. Here are 13 bad habits to quit right away:

                                                              1. Stress Eating

                                                              I used to be a serious stress eater. I would eat whenever I felt unhappy, stressed, disappointed, anxious, or even… happy! My eating had nothing to do with being hungry, and everything to do with using food to fill my emotional voids.

                                                              While eating would comfort me, this feeling was momentary and would disappear right after I was done eating. Instead, what I had left would be the same emotional void that triggered me to eat in the first place (be it unhappiness or stress), a 2,000 excess calorie intake over what I should have eaten for the day, and anger at myself for having stress ate.

                                                              I’ve since overcome stress eating. I have healthy eating habits and a healthy relationship with food today where I no longer use food as a tool to fill my emotions.

                                                              If you are a stress eater, don’t fret — here’s how to manage your stress better:

                                                              How to Manage Stress (A Step-by-Step Guide to Turn Stress Into Success)

                                                              2. Nail Biting

                                                              Not only is nail biting unhygienic, it is also socially repelling, leads to dental problems like malocclusion of the anterior teeth,[1] potentially cause stomach problems,[2] and lead to severely deformed fingernails in the long run.

                                                              People who bite their nails tend to have shorter nails than the average person; their nail plates also experience scarring and may eventually become absent.[3]

                                                              Understand what triggers your nail biting behavior and replace it with another neutral to positive habit. Make habits to break habits.

                                                              For example, if you bite your nails when you are stressed, go for a walk or listen to music instead the next time you feel stressed.

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                                                              3. Hanging out with Naysayers

                                                              We all know these people — people who play devil’s advocate to every idea you have and every goal you want to pursue. We are already our greatest self-critics, so it doesn’t help when there’s someone beside us, ever ready to pounce on what we say and tear it down.

                                                              Hang out less with these naysayers and spend more time with supportive people who share constructive feedback instead. You will be much happier this way.

                                                              Learn how to get rid of naysayers with these 10 Ways to Ignore the Naysayers and Achieve Your Dreams.

                                                              4. Being with People Who Don’t Appreciate You

                                                              Haven’t all of us been in this situation before? Trying to please people who don’t appreciate us? Bending over backwards to be there for people when they are never there for us?

                                                              While we give without expectations of return, we need to draw a line with people who don’t value us because these people damage our souls.

                                                              Stop spending time with people who don’t appreciate you, and spend more time with people who do instead.

                                                              Unsure who you should get rid of? Learn about it here: 5 Kinds of Toxic People That You Need to Get Rid of Now

                                                              5. Smoking

                                                              Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death globally.[4]

                                                              In just the United States alone, about 500,000 deaths are attributed to smoking-related diseases annually. A recent study estimated that as much as one-third of China’s male population will have significantly shortened life-spans due to smoking! Gender-wise, male and female smokers lose an average of 13.2 and 14.5 years of life respectively — that’s over a decade of life right there.[5]

                                                              Not only that, smoking causes pre-mature skin aging (i.e. wrinkles), yellowing of teeth, bad breath, and worse of all — jeopardy of the health of people around you, including your loved ones. Studies have shown that non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke are at risk to many of the health problems associated with direct smoking.[6]

                                                              Smoking risks

                                                                6. Excessive Drinking

                                                                All of us know that drinking too much alcohol is bad for us, but do you know how bad it really is?

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                                                                According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking too much — be it on a single occasion or over time — can seriously damage your health:[7]

                                                                • Brain problems: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, making it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
                                                                • Heart diseases: Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle, Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat, stroke, high blood pressure
                                                                • Liver diseases: Steatosis or fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis
                                                                • Pancreas problems: Pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
                                                                • Different types of cancer: Mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, breast

                                                                If you drink a lot, perhaps cutting it out right away will be tough. Cut down the number of glasses you drink each time, followed by the number of times you drink a week.

                                                                If need be, seek help from an AA group — you aren’t alone in this. Change starts from today.

                                                                7. Eating Junk Food (Including Diet Soda)

                                                                Junk food — they are everywhere in our society today. From McDonald’s, to KFC, to Burger King, to 24-hour takeouts, junk food such as fries, highly processed burgers and sodas has become a staple in our society today.

                                                                If you think, “Hey, but junk food is tasty!”, think again:

                                                                A study by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny suggests that junk food consumption alters brain activity in a way similar to addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin.[8]

                                                                “After many weeks with unlimited access to junk food, the pleasure centers of rat brains became desensitized, requiring more food for pleasure.”

                                                                And you wonder why you seem to crave fast food when you just had some the day before?

                                                                While it may not be possible to remove junk food completely from our diet right away, we can reduce our junk food consumption starting today. Instead of soda, opt for a fruit juice (fresh juice, not the carbonated kind) or mineral water. Instead of fries, switch to mashed potato, a salad, or rice (many food outlets allow for this today). Instead of a fried meat patty, go for a grilled one.

                                                                Where possible, opt for healthy food joints like salad bars and delis as opposed to fast food outlets. Every little step goes a long way.

                                                                Here’re some healthy snacks ideas for you: 15 Healthy Snacks You Should Always Have At Home

                                                                8. Eating Too Much Red Meat

                                                                There has been conclusive evidence that consumption of red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer; and suggestive evidence that it increases the risk of oesophageal cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and endometrial cancer.

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                                                                In addition, some studies have linked consumption of large quantities of red meat with breast cancer, stomach cancer, lymphoma, bladder cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer![9]

                                                                Personally, I’m a vegetarian so I don’t consume red meat, but for those of you who consume red meat, do watch out and limit your intake — better still, cut it out of your diet. World Cancer Research Fund recommends limiting intake of red meat to less than 300g (11 oz) cooked weight per week, “very little, if any of which to be processed.”

                                                                Of if you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian, check out this guide: 5 Practical Tips For Starting a Vegetarian Lifestyle

                                                                9. Watching Too Much TV

                                                                I stopped watching TV since eight years ago and I have never regretted it. Every once in a while I will switch on the telly to see what is on, and then I will switch it off because it’s just the same boring shtick over and over again.

                                                                Watching TV, particularly well-written dramas, can be a good way to unwind. However, remember that TV isn’t your life.

                                                                Spending three hours every night watching TV will not change your life for the better. Rather, using that time to reflect on your life, take stock, and take action on your goals will.

                                                                It’s not easy to remove TV from your daily routine right away, but follow these 6 Steps To Remove TV From Your Life.

                                                                10. Being Late

                                                                Not only is being late being rude to others, it also means that you’re always rushing from one place to another, playing catch up in your agenda, and having to apologize to every person you meet.

                                                                Stop being late and not being punctual, but practice being early instead. Target to arrive 15 minutes earlier before any appointment and bring along something to do in those 15 minutes (or longer if the other person turns out to be late). Then you can stop playing catch up and stay ahead in life.

                                                                Learn more tips about how to be more punctual here: How to Be On Time Every Time

                                                                11. Being in Bad Relationships

                                                                Are you always dating the wrong guys/girls? Do you end up with jerks all the time? Well, you may not be able to stop yourself from meeting bad partners but you can certainly stop yourself from furthering contact with them, spending time with them, or even… entering into a relationship with them.

                                                                I used to invest myself in this guy who was nothing but toxic for me. After a good five months of experiencing nothing but getting burned over and over again, I realized that he was a total waste of my time and I deserved better. I decided to cut him off, and it was soon after that I met my soulmate.

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                                                                Learn about why you shouldn’t stay in a bad relationship and how to deal with it if you’re in one: Why Trying Hard to Stay in an Unhappy Relationship Is Not Love, but Fear

                                                                12. Leaving Things to the Last Minute

                                                                Burning the midnight oil isn’t fun — it’s exhausting.

                                                                Those of you who got through college by burning the midnight oil would have learned this the hard way. Not only is it damaging for your body, it is also mentally draining as you’re constantly in a hyper-tense mode, feeling anxious about whether you can finish your work on time.

                                                                Start today on a new note. Rather than react to your deadlines, be proactive about them by planning ahead, identifying what needs to be done for the week, and getting things done in advance.

                                                                By staying ahead of your tasks, you can also use your extra time to plan ahead in your life and get more things done.

                                                                Take a look at this guide and learn how to stop procrastinating: Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

                                                                13. Focusing on the Negatives

                                                                In every situation, there are two ways you can react: zoom down to the problem areas and crib about how things aren’t the way you want, or celebrate the areas that are going well and work on making everything better.

                                                                Many of us see the importance of doing the latter but in practice, we do the former. Why though? Criticizing and focusing on the negatives is easy but it doesn’t empower nor inspire us to be better.

                                                                Make a change — for every negative encounter you run into, I challenge you to identify three things that are good about it. Practice doing this for one week, and by the end of the week you’ll find that your first instinct is to think positive, not negative.

                                                                And here’re even more ways to help you stay positive: 11 Tips for Maintaining your Positive Attitude

                                                                The Bottom Line

                                                                So here you find the 13 most common bad habits and their consequences on your mind and body. The good news’ you can quit them all.

                                                                Just spot out your own bad habits and take my suggestions to quit them. Then you’ll find your life a lot healthier and happier!

                                                                Need more tips to break your bad habits? Check out these articles:

                                                                Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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