By Sherry L. Granader, CNC
There are many types of low-carbohydrate diets and studies continue to show they can improve your health and lead to successful weight loss. A low-carb diet consists of high-quality protein (no deli meats), good fats and lots of vegetables. This is a meal plan that is designed for life with sample menu ideas and snacks and what foods to avoid.
Here are the basics:
Focus on chicken, fish, meat, tuna, eggs, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, high-fat dairy, good fats such as avocado and healthy oils including olive and coconut oil.
Avoid processed foods that include high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), sugar, wheat, low-fat food products, and hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils known as trans fats. Stay away from fruit juices, soft drinks, ice cream and candy. Eliminate breads, crackers, cereals and pastas. Clean OUT your pantry of all of the above.
You also need to avoid “diet” products, and artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, and acesulfame potassium. If a food has more than five ingredients, looks like it is made in a factory, and has an expiration date, you do not want to eat it.
When foods are full of preservatives – they do a wonderful job of preserving the shelf life of the product, but they do nothing for your shelf life.
Foods To Eat On A Low-Carb Diet Grocery List
Protein – Pastured is best
Fish – wild-caught is best
Eggs – enriched with Omega 3’s
Vegetables – The Sky Is The Limit
Nuts & Seeds
Almond milk (unsweetened)
Fats & Oils
If you are not overweight and do not need to lose weight, you can have the following carbohydrates:
Dark chocolate – 1 ounce
Water, water water
7-Day Sample Menu For A Low-Carb Diet
Take a look at the following meal plan. You will see that each meal consists of whole foods that make it easy to throw together a quick meal that is low in carbohydrate. Pick and choose your favorite meals that will help you get started on your eating plan for life. Make sure you spend some time in the produce section of your local market and include a variety of vegetables in your meals. If you are healthy, lean and active, you can include a sweet potato and healthy grains like oats and brown rice.
Breakfast: Vegetable Omelet (Cook your favorite vegetables in coconut or olive oil)
Lunch: Grilled Chicken Salad with Peanut Butter Vinaigrette (see recipe)
Snack: Apple with 1½ tablespoons of almond butter
Dinner: Buffalo or hamburger patty, asparagus and toasted slivered almonds
Breakfast: One fried egg with turkey bacon and one sliced tomato
Lunch: Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad – NO croutons
Snack: Pear and handful of almonds
Dinner: Grilled Salmon with Diced Pineapple And Mango
Steamed broccoli with fresh lemon
Baked sweet potato with cinnamon
Breakfast: Turkey Bacon and Eggs with Sliced Avocado
Lunch: Shrimp Salad tossed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Snack: ½ cup of Greek Yogurt with Blueberries
Dinner: Roasted Chicken with Vegetables
Breakfast: Smoothie made with almond or coconut milk, berries, almonds and plant-based protein
Lunch: Grilled Chicken Salad Tossed With Walnuts, Olive Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar
Snack: Red pepper slices and hummus
Dinner: Steak With Your Favorite Vegetables
Breakfast: Oatmeal with Cinnamon And Toasted Walnuts
Lunch: Chicken or Beef Fajitas with beans, peppers and onions
Snack: Mozzarella cheese stick and handful of almonds
Dinner: Pork Chop With Roasted Sweet Potato and Cauliflower
Breakfast: Vegetable Egg Frittata (use leftover roasted vegetables)
Lunch: Cobb Salad with a vinaigrette salad dressing
Snack: ½ cup of Greek yogurt with 4 strawberries, coconut flakes and walnuts
Dinner: Baked Chicken Wings With Spinach Salad Tossed With Walnuts
Breakfast: Chocolate-Berry Smoothie made with a bit of heavy cream, coconut or almond milk, chocolate protein powder and berries
Lunch: Tossed salad with red pepper slices, cashew nuts and hummus for dipping
Snack: Two hard-boiled eggs with baby carrots
Dinner: Turkey Meatballs Tossed With Tomatoes and Your Favorite Vegetable
Healthy Low-Carb Snacks To Keep On Hand
You can stick with your low-carbohydrate meal plan even when eating out at restaurants by following these simple rules:
Carb Manager is the easiest and most powerful way to count carbs and live the low carb life. In this blog, we've invited experts on LCHF to contribute their views on everything low carb.