A high protein and low carb diet is an ideal diet plan to follow if you are looking to lose weight or maintain a lean physique. This type of diet has been beneficial to large number of people already and therefore it definitely seems to work.
However, there are a few things to bear in mind when following this kind of diet. The first mistake most people make is the fact that this is a low carb diet and not a no carb diet, and therefore we are not trying to ban carbohydrates completely because carbohydrates are essential to our body but most of us just do not need as much as we consume.
A typical low carb, high protein diet would consist of lean meats such as fish, or chicken. Highly processed carbohydrates such as white rice, potatoes, white bread and noodles should not be consumed on this diet but further pointers are going to be given below.
First of all let us address some important facts before we give you examples of the best foods to have on a high protein low carb diet.
See Your Doctor First
Generally, this type of diet should not cause an issue for most people. However, it is advisable to consult your doctor before embarking on it in the rare chance that you suffer from a condition that would make a high protein diet harmful to you.
If you generally suffer from some health problems, then you would probably be referred to a trained nutritionist who will be able to help you come up with an optimum diet plan that suits your specific needs.
The body needs carbohydrates as its main source of energy. So if you are not consuming enough carbohydrates, you will probably feel really tired and exhausted. This will be more of an issue if you are quite active on a daily basis in which case you will need a reasonable amount of carbohydrates to keep you going without feeling fatigued. Depending on how active you are, you need to have the appropriate amount of carbohydrates in your diet plan.
Carbohydrates are the brains most important nutrient to function properly. Therefore, reducing the amount of carbohydrates you are consuming might have an effect on your intellectual capacity. A high protein, low carb diet is not recommended for people who require their optimum mental capacity on a daily basis for their job.
This is a factor to consider if you are generally a moody person. People who have been on this type of diet have noticed that it affects their moods significantly. This diet might not be suited to you if you already have mood swings.
All Proteins Are Not Equal
There are lots of foods that contain proteins. However, some are very high in protein and some have low protein content. We will go through some examples of good sources of protein later on in this article.
Let us discuss some of the specific foods to have and not to have as part of a low carb, high protein diet. In general, some of the foods to have on hand for a high protein, low-carb diet include foods high in proteins and fats, nuts and grains, fruits, vegetables and dairy products.
Foods rich in protein are key to this diet. Meats in general tend to be high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Examples are lamb, low fat cuts of pork, beef and veal. Chicken is also a great source of protein as well as all seafood and fish, tofu, eggs and beans.
In terms of dairy products, butter, cream cheese and full fat cheeses are not really advised. Alternatives would be cottage cheese, soft cheeses and hard cheeses.
Contrary to the general belief that fruits are really healthy, they also contained a high amount of naturally occurring sugars which are high in calories and can make you put on weight really fast. Therefore, fruits that are high in sugars should be avoided such as dates, raisins, figs, bananas and pineapples. Low-calorie fruits include most berries such as blackberries, raspberries and blueberries. Lemons are also low in sugar.
Most vegetables are allowed in this diet, especially leafy vegetables, peppers, cabbage, broccoli and cucumbers. Vegetables that are not recommended are starchy ones such as potatoes, beets, squash and peas. These starchy vegetables have alternatives such as celery roots and cauliflower. In terms of proportions on your plate, at least half of your plate for any meal should consist of salads or vegetables. Fibrous vegetables are also high in fiber which prevents constipation (which can lead to problems such as hemorrhoids).
Have low carb tortillas, high fiber crisp-breads and make sure you read the label to buy other breads that have low calorie content.
White breads and wholemeal breads are not recommended because they are made from wheat and wheat tends to be high in calories. Breads which are lower in calories tend to be made from sprouted grains and are very filling.
Snacks to keep in your cupboard are things like seeds and nuts. If you eat canned food, try and aim for ones with no added sugars.
This article gives you an idea of what to expect and what foods are recommended on a high protein, and low carbohydrate diet. You should now have enough information to decide whether this diet is appropriate for you or not.