Carbs are treacherous little things.
They comprise so many popular foods, but they aren’t always the best health-wise.
Like most nutritional components, carbs are essential to a healthy diet. People need them for long-term fuel throughout the day.
But in excess, carbs can add weight and lead to numerous health and heart-related issues. Without a proper workout routine, these potentially dangerous effects can multiply.
Low-carb diets are among the most popular in the world, but they’re not exactly easy. Fear not, because today we’re revealing some tricks and tips to help keep your carbs down and maintain excellent health.
Eat Your Burgers and Sandwiches Without Bread…
There’s no getting around it: bread packs a ton of carbs. Yes, even wheat bread.
But does that mean you have to abandon burgers and sandwiches altogether? Absolutely not!
You can order your favorite burger and ask for no buns. One common alternative is to replace the buns with pieces of lettuce. That way, you’re still getting those bulky bites, and you won’t feel as full and unhealthy afterwards.
Since the components of a burger or sandwich are very similar to a hearty salad, a “sandwich salad” can be a viable option as well. Take the stuff inside your sandwich and chop it up, place all of it on a bed of lettuce, and your set. Make sure to skip out on those croutons.
… And Skip the Tortilla While You’re At It
Nearly everyone loves Mexican food. But a huge staple of Mexican food is the tortilla, which is high in carbs. There are also tortilla chips, which pack a similar amount of carbs.
No worries. Mexican food is actually easy to parlay into a low-carb lifestyle.
Most restaurants offer combo plates, where you’ll receive a main dish (quesadillas, enchiladas, etc.) and rice and beans on the side. Order this instead of any offering that includes the rice and beans inside of a tortilla.
As for main dishes, many places offer bistec, or steak. This gives you a strong serving of protein without the extra carbs. You can also go with some mariscos, or Mexican seafood, such as shrimp or ceviche.
Add Nuts To Your Diet
Nuts are an awesome low-carb snack, but they also add protein and restore your energy.
You can enjoy nuts in a variety of ways. There are mixed nuts that combine the health benefits of different kinds of nuts into one batch.
Trail mix is also an excellent combination of nuts and other nutritional snacks. Find a mix that includes plenty of fruit, and you’ll have a balanced, sweet and savory treat that cuts the carbs!
Replace Your Sugars With Fruits
A lot of sweets (ice cream, candy, etc.) are unhealthy for a wide variety of reasons, mainly that they’re overloaded with sugar. But these sweet delicacies also can be high in carbs.
Fruits are the most natural substitute for these sweets. They’re not processed and include plenty of other nutritional benefits including antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Of course, moderation is the key to a healthy lifestyle. You can always modify your desserts when you splurge. Try eating your ice cream out of a bowl instead of a cone. Portion control is important, so pull your desserts away from the kitchen so that you’re not tempted to keep indulging.
Balance That Pasta Out
Pasta is scrumptious. There’s a reason why Italian food is among the most eaten foods in America.
Italy’s signature noodle does have its health benefits. For instance, athletes should chow down on pasta the night before a big game or a tournament for energy.
But pasta is loaded with carbs. The question then is: how do you reach a happy medium between enjoying pasta and staying healthy?
One way to add value to your Italian meal, whether it be pasta or garlic bread, is with veggies. Vegetables pair well with or inside your pasta, and they offer low quantities of carbs. They also add essential vitamins and minerals to your diet.
Another great pairing with pasta is seafood. You can combine noodles with seafood such as clams and shrimp. Add some meat like pork or chicken. That way, you’ll get full off of these proteins and will have less room to spare for excess pasta.
One more low-carb pasta hack is to take a zucchini and shred it into noodle form. Bam! You’ll get a pasta-like experience with added health benefits.
Don’t Be Afraid of Fat
Fat has a notorious reputation. It’s often linked to society’s struggles with obesity and cardiovascular diseases.
But the truth is that fat isn’t always bad for you. In fact, our bodies need certain percentages of fat to function well.
When someone misses out on the carbs, their body needs other sources of energy. Fat can be broken down and utilized for the body’s various processes.
Make sure to add enough fat to your diet to replace your low-carb intake. Also, remember that there are two different types of fats—unsaturated fats and saturated fats. Out of your daily fat intake, you want to eat as many unsaturated fats as you can, while avoiding as many saturated and trans fats as possible.
Remember, try not to go overboard with fats, since they can be really unhealthy in excess.
Dairy Isn’t Evil
A diet that allows you to eat most dairy products? Check.
With a low-carb diet, cheese and yogurt are great choices for snacks. Cheese can supplement your base protein well, whether you melt it over some pork or slice it up in a salad. You can also try stringed cheese for a nice low-carb snack.
Yogurt is another great option when you’re hungry for something between meals. Many yogurts include fruits and are low in calories.
Of course, don’t go over board with your dairy intake, as some of these foods are still unhealthy; however, this category can add a lot of nutrition to your diet without adding the extra carbs.
Fall In Love With Eggs
Eggs are not only a terrific source of protein, but they’re immensely versatile. You can use eggs in tons of different meals.
You can scramble eggs and mix in some veggies for a hearty breakfast. Or, cook an egg sunny-side up to add another layer of flavor to a burger or sandwich. You can even hard boil a few eggs and slice them up to put in a salad.
Eggs can be a hassle to cook, so plan your meals ahead, especially if you’ll be taking your meal on the go.
Those are some low-carb tips to get you off and rolling. As always, carbs are not the only nutritional category to watch out for. Make sure to be well-rounded in your nutritional intake!