8 Healthy Low-Carb Foods That Must Be A Part Of Your Kitchen
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Have you ever noticed there is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate? We have essential amino acids and essential fats, but no such thing as essential carbs. We need carbohydrates for the vitamins and minerals they contain. For instance, vegetables contain most of the nutrients that our body needs, so we gorge on them. But there are no essential carbohydrates. Also, carbs end up as glucose in our bodies, and we certainly do not need too much of that. As keto diets have demonstrated, we can do just fine by fueling our bodies with fat.

The other mistake we come across is that a low-carb diet is mistaken for a low-calorie diet, but they’re not the same thing. To put this in layman's terms, your body needs the nutrients from vegetables but does not require the nutrients from grains because of the load digesting grains puts on the body and also because of the effects of gluten (which turns into sugar very quickly). Another myth that gets perpetrated is that a low-carb diet is hard to keep up with and will lead to cravings. But that’s not true. In fact, replacing high-carb foods with low-carb foods reduces cravings. Further, low-carb does not automatically mean high protein. You can have fewer carbs and moderate amounts of protein and still feel satiated. Including low-carb foods in your diet reduces insulin resistance, which improves health dramatically in terms of heart health, weight, skin, liver, and even your energy levels and moods.

Here is a list of low-carb foods that will help you improve your health:

1)    Avocadoes 

A medium-sized avocado contains 13 grams of carbohydrates (mostly fiber), three grams of protein, a little over 20 grams of fat (over 60% of which are monounsaturated fats), and around 10 grams of fiber. This fruit is great for your metabolism and cardiovascular health as well. Some studies showed that adding avocados to a diet lowered LDL cholesterol levels and improved HDL levels. At 19% carbohydrates, this fruit is a gift to your health.

2)    Broccoli 

Raw broccoli is 90 percent water, 7 percent carbohydrates, 3 percent protein, and almost no fat. Each cup of cruciferous vegetables consumed adds only about 30 calories to your daily total. The carbs in broccoli are mostly fiber and some sugars (fructose, glucose, sucrose, and maltose). For every 100 grams of broccoli you eat, you add only 5 grams of carbohydrates or less.

3)    Brinjal/Eggplant 

Brinjal, or baingan, is another low-carb vegetable that is much loved. 100 grams of this cooked vegetable contain just 8 grams of carbohydrates, and two of those eight grams are fiber. Talk about a healthy low-carb food! It doesn’t really have too many nutrients, but it may help control cholesterol, and it is definitely tasty as hell when cooked! Its rich purple color indicates the presence of a phytonutrient called nasunin, which has antioxidant properties and protects against free radicals.

4)    Eggs 

Eggs are the most convenient way to add protein to your diet. One medium egg contains a mere 0.6 grams of carbs and 3.5–5 grams of protein. The yolk is packed with choline, an important nutrient for brain and liver health. It is just common sense to keep eggs handy at home. Eggs are also linked to improved eye health and memory in later life.

5)    Greek Yogurt 

100 grams of Greek yogurt contain around 18 grams of carbohydrates and 10 grams of protein. Try to get low-fat, unsweetened Greek yogurt: 100 grams contain only 4 grams of carbs but 10 grams of protein and a slew of micronutrients.

6)    Sunflower seeds

These seeds are rich in healthy fats, vitamins, micronutrients like selenium, and plant compounds. They’re also low in carbohydrates, which makes them a great addition to your kitchen and your snacking list. A 30-gram handful of sunflower seeds contains 6 grams of carbs, 5 grams of protein, and 160 calories. The nutrients and antioxidants in these seeds protect the body against free radical damage.

7)    Cauliflower 

This is a great low-carbohydrate food and, when grated and cooked, can be used as a substitute for regular white rice. A cup of cauliflower has just 5 grams of carbs, while a cup of rice has up to 40 grams of carbs! In fact, cauliflower has fewer carbs than even legumes.

8)    Paneer (or tofu)

Good, old paneer is a great low-carb food. 100 grams of paneer contain less than 5 grams of carbs but pack in over 20 grams of protein and fat. It also contains one-third of the daily requirement for calcium. At 300 calories per 100 grams, it does pack a punch, but the health benefits of paneer outweigh the negatives. You can also opt for tofu, which has just 3 grams of carbs and 8 grams of fat. One major difference is that tofu comes from plants, while paneer is a milk product.