What is a Low Carb Diet?

Low carb diets are all the rage, but how can you be sure that the prepackaged food you are about to purchase is the real thing? The simplest solution is to create your own meals; you will know exactly what is going into the food you eat.

But what do low carb diets consist of? The idea behind low carb diets is that carbohydrates, which consist of sugars and starches to energize the body, are taken out of the picture, so that the body will metabolize and use up stored areas of fat for energy. Sounds unappetizing? Not really, low carb diets include a variety of foods, including desserts. Yes, I said desserts.

Low carb diets really aren’t diets at all; low carb diets are a change in eating habits and lifestyle. Low carb diets include an incredible variety of foods that we didn’t even realize were low in carbohydrates, but beware, the no-no foods are out there. Here are some of thing things that should be avoided with low carb diets.

While most low carb diets recommend avoiding fruits in any form during the first several weeks, fruits such as oranges, lemons and other citrus fruits and berries are acceptable in moderate quantities.

In low carb diets, avoid wheat products such as white flour. Wheat gluten and small amounts of whole wheat and wheat bran are ok. Reject commercial bread crumbs, cornbread (faux corn bread is available), pretzels, corn chips, potato chips, popcorn, hot cereal and grits, cakes, cookies – unless they are derived from low carb diets recipes. Instead of eating canned soup, hearty soups and stews can be made using a variety of meats, seafood and vegetables.

Bypass starchy vegetables such as corn, lima beans, okra, peas, beans (with the exception of green and black soy beans), barley, tamales, flour tortillas, beer, non diet soft drinks. Instead of milk, use heavy cream.

A low carb diet’s worst enemy seems to be the potato due to the starch content. American’s are simply in love with this root vegetable and the potato has been a staple in the diets of American for hundreds of years. But believe it or not, low carb diets can supplement our love of the potato with these starch-free alternatives.

Cauliflower- a versatile member of the cabbage family, similar to broccoli. The best use for cauliflower in low carb diets are “mashed potatoes,” but can be used for scalloped, au gratin, salads, and even as “stuffed potatoes.” Ramekins replace the potato skins.

Turnips, also a member of the cabbage family, are interchangeable with potatoes in low carb diets.

Jimaca, also known as yam bean root, comes from Mexico and South America and must be peeled before eaten. The flavor is a cross between an apple and a potato and makes a great substitute in low carb diets. Jimaca contains no starch. Celery Root- one of the most over looked foods in the U. S. As strange as celery root looks, it is one of the most flavorful vegetables, tasting a bit like licorice and lemon, as well as celery, but without any strings attached.