Low carb diet is a healthy eating program which restricts the consumption of carbohydrates, mainly to treat obesity or to help in controlling weight. Much often, low carb food is also recommended for people suffering from diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, epilepsy and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Low carb recipes encourage ingredients which contain no or limited amounts of digestible carbohydrates and have a high percentage of fats and proteins. Sometimes, the low carb diet can become ketogenic, where the restriction of carbohydrate can cause ketosis. Thus, less restrictive variants of low carb diet have been formulated to keep the diet healthy and balanced. Poultry, fish, shellfish, cheese, nuts, eggs, meat, seeds, peanuts, fresh vegetables, berries and soy products are considered excellent low carb food options. Many low carb diets also encourage intake of foods containing digestible carbohydrates like pasta and bread.
Historical and Cultural Facts Related to the Low Carb Recipes
According to some anthropologists, before the advent of agriculture, the early human beings whose occupation was mainly food hunting or food gathering consumed protein and fat rich diet, which were low in carbohydrate content. Even today, there are some isolated societies, which strictly live on low carb diet. An obese English coffin maker and funeral undertaker named William Banting, published a weight loss program through his "Letter on Corpulence Addressed to the Public" where all carbohydrate rich foods like bread, milk, beer, sugar, butter and potatoes were recommended for losing weight. In 1967, Dr. Irwin Stillman came up with his low fat and low carb diet called The Doctor's Quick Weight Loss Diet which emphasized on high protein consumption. In the 1960s, more diets were introduced which included only low carb recipes and the popular amongst them were the Drinking Man’s Diet and Air Force Diet. Soon, in 1972, Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution overshadowed the other diets stressing on low carb food options. The Atkins low carb diet stressed on fat and protein rich foods. However, the diet was later criticized by the medical community for its health risk factors that could be triggered by excess proteins and fats. Later in that decade, two more low carb diets were introduced with moderate success and these were the Scarsdale diet and the Stone age diet. By the late 1990s and early 2000s, diets with low carb recipes became widely popular in the U.S as 18% of the population was recorded to be following some kind of low carb diet.
Dietary Laws Governing Low Carb Food
A low carb diet comes in different variations, but the basic idea is to limit the consumption of carbohydrate rich foods and eat more of low carb recipes that are rich in protein and fat. The main idea behind the low carb diet is that since insulin is the main culprit obstructing the breakdown of body fat by allowing the sugar to be used up as fuel for energy, so, increasing all sugar (carbohydrate) sources can lead to easy and quick weight loss. A diet with low carb recipes can lower the insulin levels and burn the stored fat in the body to release energy and aid in weight loss. Generally, a low carb diet mainly focuses on foods like fish, eggs, meat, poultry and non-starchy vegetables and fruits. Some strict diets with low carb recipes do not allow the consumption of grains, starchy fruits, sweets, beans and breads. The typical intake of carbohydrate consumption in a low carb diet is limited from 50 to 150 grams, depending on the diet.
Diet Routine Based on Low Carb Recipes
Here is a sample low carb diet –
- Breakfast – Yogurt fruit crunch made with a cup of low fat yogurt, sliced fresh fruits like strawberries, blueberries and banana, ¾ cup of low fat cereal and 6 oz. calcium fortified orange juice.
- Lunch – A cup of vegetable soup and a cup of fresh spinach salad prepared with shredded fresh spinach, hard-boiled egg, 3 oz grilled chicken breast, half a cup of shredded carrots and mushroom slices, a tablespoon each of cranberries, almonds and feta cheese. The meal can be accompanied by 4 to 6 whole grain crackers, which is a low carb food and sparkling lemon water.
- Dinner – This low carb diet can include roasted Pecan Salmon for dinner, a plate of mixed salad prepared with cherry tomatoes and low fat dressing, accompanied by whole grain roll and half a cup of brown rice with red pepper. It can be followed by unsweetened iced tea.
- Snack – Berry milk shake prepared with a cup of skimmed milk and ½ cup of berries.
- Dessert – Low Carb recipes like coconut macaroons, banana spice cake and almond biscotti.
Health Value of Low Carb Recipes
A low carb diet promotes weight loss by shedding off the water weight with increased feeling of stomach fullness. Regular consumption of low carb food with healthy fats may also lower cholesterol level and triglycerides.
Low Carb Food Trivia
Recent surveys have showed that at least 1 out of every 5 American, has tried a low carb diet at some point in their lives.