Low Carb Foods - Carb Reduction Diets And Menus

Written by Liza Hartung
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It seems we can hardly go anywhere these days without hearing about low carb foods. Practically everything edible now comes in a low carb version. Even things that didn't have carbs in the first place are being listed in the "Carb Lite" section of restaurant menus. Large numbers of people are going out to restaurants and demanding low carb options or substituting their rice for steamed vegetables.

Is all this just crazy talk, just another slim-down-quick-only-to-gain-it-back-in-a-day routine? For those in love with white bread and cookies, I hate to tell you that low carb foods are much healthier for your body. This does not mean that you should never buy bread again. For the record, stores of carbohydrates are the first place your body goes when looking for instant energy.

Now, some of you may be saying, "Woo hoo! Carbs give me energy! Lord knows I could use a little energy! Why don't I just go out right now and grab a big plate of fettuccine alfredo?" That's not how it works. Your body only needs a certain amount of carbs, and preferably the good ones (I'll get to those in a moment). This is why you need low carb foods, not zero carb foods. When your body has excess bad carbs such as refined high sugar and white flower, your body increases its production of insulin. Insulin, in turn, instructs your body to store all the extra garbage as fat.

Eating Low Carb Foods

I don't know if this will come as bad news or good news for you, but corn and peas are carbs. They are good carbs, but some people were originally counting them in the vegetable category. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news if that's the case. Start putting them in the carb category. I've been talking a little about good carbs and bad carbs. Is anyone wondering what the difference is?

I'm sure you can guess that bad carbs consist of things like cookies, cakes, sweets, chips, and things with white flower. However, do you know why they are bad? It is because these foods cause your blood sugar to spike very quickly. This causes the insulin issue we just discussed. It also causes those not so pleasant "sugar highs" and consequently "sugar lows" that we are so familiar with.

The good carbs, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, cause the blood sugar to rise very slowly. These help you feel balanced throughout the day. They give you energy. You won't experience the highs and lows that you will with bad carbs. However, you still don't want to overdo it with the good carbs. You will need low carb foods in the mix. Fish, dairy products, and nuts are a few very healthy starters.

Buying Low Carb Foods

As you attempt to guide your one-wheel-is-always-wobbly grocery cart down the supermarket aisles, you will see a large amount of products advertising that they are low carb foods. Now, don't just go snatching them up because they offer lower carbs. Lots of people like to throw a little low carb peanut butter or low carb cheese in the mix. That's fine. However, be wary when you see products that are essentially all carbs advertising that they are low carb.

Foods such as bread, crackers and cereals offering low carb versions have had some serious alterations to get that way. They will make up for the missing carbs by using more fat or unnatural products that can harm your health. When picking up these low carb foods, you might want to consider the more natural versions. And remember, don't eat more than the recommended amount of servings at one time.

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