Since 2000, more and more low-carb products have been Introduced on the market but what “low carb” really means? Do we have a low-carb or a high-carb diet? Should we cut back on carbs? The answer is ‘yes’, we should cut back on carbs especially if we want to lose weight. In one recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, after 12 weeks on a low-carb plan, study participants lost an average of 10.8 pounds compared to 5.5 pounds for those on a low-fat diet. However, cutting back on carbs can be difficult so many prefer to buy low-carb foods from the supermarket, without knowing that many packaged low-carb foods are actually higher in calories and fats than their regular counterparts. So forget about that kind of foods and try these simple ways of cutting back on carbs.
1. Say hello to “good” carbs
The carbs including white flour, refined sugar and white rice are called “bad” because they have a high glycemic index, causing blood sugar surges, leading to weight gain and other health troubles. Whole grains digest more slowing, maintaining a steadier level for blood sugar, which can lower your overall risk for diabetes and heart disease. Start by switching to whole-wheat pasta. It is denser than traditional pasta, with a firm, al dente texture similar to what you’d get in Italy. Then substitute other “bad” carbs with healthy whole grains such as brown rice (it hasn’t been processed and still has its high-fiber nutrients) and barley. And if you really want to cut back, mix your pasta or rice with low-fat protein or better yet, some steamed veggies.
2. Make your snacks smaller
Potato chips, tortilla chips and cookies are made primarily from refined flour, sugar, salt and/or oil, which includes them in the “bad” carbs category. Try to remove these kind of snacks from your diet and to replace them with other healthy snacks. For instance, you could cut up 1-ounce portions of cheese and divvy up 1-ounce portions of nuts into tiny snack bags for a handy snack at the ready. But, if you can’t live without them, limit yourself to one small bag a day.
3. Eat potatoes boiled/baked with the skin still on
Potatoes are not dangerous for our health if we know how to cook them. In fact, the effect of potatoes on blood sugar depends on how the potatoes are prepared so there’s no need to avoid them completely, just eat them boiled or baked in the oven with their skin on because in this way they have fewer simple carbs than other types of cooked potatoes.
4. Instead of bread, use eggplant slices to make a delicious sandwich
Broil two thick slices of eggplant until brown, then add mozzarella and tomato, olive oil and basil to one slice, top with the other slice of eggplant and broil again until the cheese melts.
5. Say no to Libyan bread
Replace the Libyan bread, the rolls, tortillas and bread slices with lettuce leaves and wrap the food in these leaves, even if the food is Chinese, Mexican or American.