When on a Carb Diet, many think that this diet means not consuming carbohydrates at all. In reality, this is not always the case. Find out what a carbohydrate diet is and how to do it in the following explanation.
What is this?
A carb diet is a diet that limits carbohydrate intake or adapts it to your daily needs and activities. Quoting from the journal Frontiers in Nutrition (2021), this diet is usually followed by type 2 diabetes patients and obese patients who need to reduce or maintain weight.
This healthy diet program focuses on reducing carbohydrate intake compared to usual. In general, healthy adults are recommended to consume about 300–400 grams of carbohydrates per day.
When on a low-carb diet, you will reduce your carbohydrate intake by half, or around 150–200 grams.
The body needs the intake of carbohydrate nutrients as the main source of energy. This healthy diet method is usually associated with removing rice from the main menu. You can still consume rice in limited portions.
But to replace white rice, you can eat foods that contain complex carbohydrates, such as:
- Red rice,
- yams, and
When you go on a low-carb diet, energy sources are usually reduced. To replace it, you should consume more protein from meat, fish, and eggs and healthy fats such as processed milk, olive oil, and avocados.
This diet generally does not reduce excess calories, it just avoids consuming too many simple carbohydrates, especially:
- sweet drink,
- trans fat,
- artificial sweeteners,
- high fructose corn syrup,
- low-fat foods, and
- processed flour.
Various diet methods also reduce carbohydrate intake and replace it with other foodstuffs.
The methods below have different variants of the low-carb diet menu.
1. Paleo Diet
This is the closest eating pattern to the principles of a low-carb diet, as it avoids a variety of refined sugars and starches. Quoting from the Mayo Clinic website, the paleo diet also avoids carbohydrates from dairy and wheat products. Types of food consumed are only meat, fish eggs, seafood, vegetables, fruit, and tubers.
The Mediterranean carb diet originally appeared based on the diets of people in the Mediterranean in the 20th century. The Mediterranean diet prioritizes the intake of vegetables and fruit, as well as sources of protein from fish and eggs. In addition, this diet avoids meat, dairy, sugar, and refined carbohydrates completely
The ketogenic diet (keto diet) aims to put the body into a state of ketosis. In this condition, the body does not use carbohydrates from food to produce energy. According to the Harvard Medical School website, the keto diet uses fat stores produced by the liver. This eating pattern places more emphasis on high amounts of protein and fat, as well as a very minimal amount of carbohydrates, which is less than 50 grams per day.
The Atkins diet is based on reducing carbohydrate intake to only about 20 grams per day. Instead, there are no definite limits for consuming protein and fat. The Atkins diet lowers your intake of carbohydrates and slowly replaces them with nuts, vegetables, and fruit. Ultimately, the body begins to get used to healthier sources of carbohydrates.
5. Zero-carb Diet
According to a quote from the journal Behavioral Sciences (2021), this carbohydrate diet is really strict in choosing carbohydrate sources and only consuming animal foods. The effects of this low-carb diet are not known for certain, but low consumption of vegetable sources can cause a deficiency of vitamin C and fiber.
The Safe Way to Go on a Carb Diet
The main goal of the carbohydrate diet is to maintain a healthy weight and prevent obesity.
For optimal results, follow these guidelines for a low-carb diet.
1. Drink more water
People who are on a carbohydrate diet and replace it with high-fat consumption will experience ketosis. The higher the ketone content in the body, the more it has to be excreted in the urine. For that, drink more to avoid the possibility of dehydration.
2. Don’t forget fiber
Fiber does belong to the class of carbohydrates, but the fiber is not absorbed by the body, does not produce energy, and does not affect blood sugar levels. The fiber and water content in vegetables provide content for the stomach, so it fills up faster. If we eat lots of vegetables, the brain will immediately receive a signal to stop eating. You will feel full and be less likely to overeat.
3. Do not overeat
When someone is on a low-carb diet, it does not mean that they can consume as much protein and fat as possible. Consuming excessive meat and cheese is not only a health risk but can also increase body weight.
These foods contain high levels of fat and calories, so you should pay attention to a balanced nutritional menu. Eat when you’re hungry and stop before you’re full.
Too little carbohydrate intake without adaptation can cause the yo-yo effect (yo-yo diet), which has the effect of increasing body weight even more.
4. The body needs adaptation
When you decide to go on a carbohydrate diet, your body needs to go through an adaptation period. So, reduce the number of carbohydrates gradually, do not immediately cut your carb intake drastically. Weakness, lack of energy, and constipation are the initial changes you will experience. If your symptoms get worse, consult a doctor or licensed nutritionist, as this diet may not be for you.
5. Exercise regularly
Exercise can help the body control weight and burn calories. This physical activity also helps the cardiovascular system work more efficiently and prevents loss of muscle mass due to diet. When the health of the heart and lungs gets better, the metabolism becomes smoother and the body has more energy.
6. Always consume fruits and vegetables
Vegetables and fruit are sources of vitamins and minerals for the body. Vitamins and minerals are needed to help the process of absorption in the body. Vegetables and fruit as carbohydrate diet foods also help prevent metabolic diseases such as cancer, diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease.
If you want to follow this eating pattern, you should first consult a doctor or nutritionist. That way, you can get the appropriate diet results.