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Low Carb Lunch

Low Carb Lunch is a specially planned lunch meal that includes only those food items that have lower carbohydrate content when compared to other foods. Such a carbohydrate restricted diet may be followed by individuals with special conditions-

• For Diabetics, carbohydrate intake needs to be well regulated as intake of any form of sugars and even high amounts of starches would bring about inappropriate sugar hikes.

• For obese persons, when weight control is critical as excess carbohydrate consumption results in weight gain.

• Certain specific conditions such as Epilepsy, PCOD – Polycystic Ovarian syndrome, Hypothyroid conditions in which persons are susceptible to weight gain require the application of a low carbohydrate diet. Even certain types of Cancer may require a low carbohydrate diet as cancer cells are believed to feed on sugars and starches.

A low carb diet lunch involves the replacement of easily digested simple carbohydrate sources such as sugars and starches {found in rice/white bread and pasta} with foods containing higher protein and complex carbohydrates (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, peanuts, seeds, legumes, beans, vegetables, greens).

The carbohydrate restriction to be followed by a person on a low-carb diet determines the carbohydrate content of the lunch meal. Highly restricted carbohydrate intake resembling the Induction phase of Atkins Diet become ketogenic with fat breakdown into ketogenic compounds used for energy release. As per the laws outlined by The American Academy of Family Physicians the low carbohydrate duet restricts intake of carbohydrates to 20-60 g per day.

Low Carbohydrate Lunch Options

1. Greek salad with greens, boiled eggs, boiled chicken pieces or seafood dressed with olive oil, dill and fennel or Cabbage-apple-walnut salad. The non-vegetarian salad has high protein (from chicken, eggs), high fibre (from greens) while the vegetarian salad provides plenty of fibre, vitamins and minerals.

2. Grilled chicken (after an initial herb, salt, pepper marination) placed on a bed of tossed greens like spinach and other greens of choice in sesame oil with garlic and cumin. Vitamin A, K, folates and anti-inflammatory properties of garlic with healthy fats from sesame oil makes this a great low-carb option.

3. Since chicken is basically low in carbohydrate and high in proteins, a mixed stir-fried chicken with vegetables like snow peas, beans, broccoli, bok choy carrots could be used for the main dish. Vegetarians may replace the chicken with mushrooms that are low in carbs as well.

4. Low carbohydrate tortillas made using different flour combinations in varying proportions such as peanut flour and desiccated coconut flour or using almond flour, vital wheat gluten only and some soy flour could be used.

5. Fish also being high protein and omega-3 fat source maybe steamed, baked or grilled to make a wholesome meal served with a fresh greens salad.

6. Low carb–rice made using grated cauliflower cooked in coconut milk after sautéing with onion, garlic, carrot, broccoli, bok choy etc makes for a nourishing low carbohydrate lunch even by itself.

7. A frittata made by beating eggs with salt, pepper, seasonings and grilled asparagus with cheese gratings would make for a high protein low carbohydrate lunch addition.

8. Tuna with tomato, greens and avocado salad is an ideal combination low on carb meal, packed with unsaturated fat content, omega-3 fats, lycopene, folates and heart protective nutrients.

Benefits of Low Carbohydrate Lunch

• Promotes weight loss

• Lower triglyceride levels

• Promotes more stable blood glucose levels.