Diet Plan For Low Carb

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The diet plan for low-carb is very similar to the diet plan for low-fat in that it was originally intended as a way to promote weight loss. The premise of both diets is that they give you a general eating structure that you can follow while substituting some foods for others. Low-carb diets have become more popular, and more accepted, than low-fat diets are. Many people have lost weight using these low-carb plans and believe them to be good for training stomach muscles to feel full after just a small amount of food has been eaten.

Diet Plan For Low Carb

Eating a low-carb diet means cutting down on the amount of carbohydrates (carbs) you eat to less than 130g a day. But low-carb eating shouldn’t be no-carb eating.

Some carbohydrate foods contain essential vitamins, minerals and fibre, which form an important part of a healthy diet.

Here we’ll explain what we mean by low-carb, what the benefits are of low-carb eating when you have diabetes, and share a low-carb meal plan to help you get started if this is the diet for you. We’ll also explain how to get support to manage any potential risks, especially if you manage your diabetes with medications which put you at risk of hypos.

If you or someone you know is self-isolating, find out how to eat healthily whilst staying at home.

What Is A Low Carb Diet Plan?

A low carb diet plan restricts carbohydrate intake, without being as restrictive as the keto diet. When creating a low carb meal plan, you’ll have a little more flexibility to decide how much you want to restrict your carbs. As a general guideline, most people who follow a low carb meal plan avoid things like bread, pasta, crackers, pastries, and foods with added sugars.

One of the primary reasons someone starts a low carb diet plan is to support weight loss, but a low carb diet plan has also been shown to be beneficial for reducing the risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Other people may decide to start a low carb menu plan to help eliminate inflammatory sugar from their diet and focus on consuming more whole and nutrient-dense foods to support overall health. But how low is low-carb? There are different types of low-carb diets. Generally, low-carb eating is when you reduce the total amount of carbs you consume in a day to less than 130g.

To put this into context, a medium-sized slice of bread is about 15 to 20g of carbs, which is about the same as a regular apple. On the other hand, a large jacket potato could have as much as 90g of carbs, as does one litre of orange juice. A low-carb diet isn’t for everyone. The evidence shows they can be safe and effective in helping people with type 2 diabetes manage their weight, blood glucose (sugar) levels and risk of heart disease in the short term. But the evidence also shows they can affect growth in children, and so should not be recommended for them. And there is little evidence to show the benefits of this type of diet in people with type. If you do decide to follow a low-carb diet, it’s important to know all the potential benefits and how to manage any potential risks.

Low-carb Meal Plan

Our low-carb meal plan aims to help you maintain a healthy balance while reducing the amount of carbs you eat. Varying amounts of carbohydrate are shown each day to help you choose which works best for you.

It’s nutritionally balanced, we’ve counted the calories for you, and it contains at least five portions of fruit and veg per day.

We’ve included the values of fibre and protein too to help you make sure you are meeting your nutritional requirements. We know lots of people in the UK aren’t eating enough fibre, so it’s important to try and include good sources in your diet every day.

Please note that the nutritional information and exact specifications for all meals and snacks is available in the linked recipes and the low carb meal plan (PDF 84KB).

What is the Keto diet?

Keto is short for what is more formally known as the ketogenic diet – essentially, an ultra low carb diet. The basics of the ketogenic diet are high fat, moderate protein and very few carbohydrates. The typical ratio is 70-80 per cent fat, about 10-20 per cent protein and about 5-10 per cent carbohydrates. By drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat, your body is put into a metabolic state called ketosis. When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy.

Before You Begin This Meal Plan

Before starting any healthy eating programme, please read how to choose your meal plan to make sure you follow the plan that’s right for you.

Please speak to your diabetes health care team before making significant changes to your diet.

This is especially important if you treat your condition with insulin and diabetes medications that increase the risk of hypos (low blood sugar levels). Reducing your carbohydrate intake and changes to your body weight may mean your insulin and diabetes medication needs to be adjusted.

Important Points About This Meal Plan

  1. This meal plan has taken nutritional information from our recipes and the sixth edition of Carbs and Cals, unless otherwise stated.
  2. A mix of whole milk and semi-skimmed milk has been used, but please use whichever you prefer. Any dairy alternative should be unsweetened and fortified with calcium.
  3. These meal plans meet your recommended amount of fibre across the week.
  4. This meal plan outlines daily food intake for one person, but it’s still important to remember to drink regular fluids. This includes plain water, plain milk, and tea or coffee without added sugar.

Disclaimer: every effort has been taken to make these meal plans as accurate as possible, but there will be some variation in nutritional values. Speak to a dietitian or your diabetes healthcare team if you have questions about your individual dietary needs.

Monday

Breakfast: Baked eggs with two slices of rye bread

Lunch: Chilli bean soup with avocado salsa

Dinner: Mackerel tomatoes served with leeks and broccoli

Pudding: Apple strudel

Snacks: Greek yogurt, two satsumas, plain almonds, one apple

Milk: 225ml semi-skimmed milk

Tuesday

Breakfast: Porridge made with 30g porridge oats, 200ml almond milk, 40g blueberries and 10g pumpkin seeds

Lunch: Bang bang chicken salad

Dinner: Minced beef and vegetable filo pie

Pudding: 80g strawberries

Snacks: Avocado, brazil nuts, celery and peanut butter

Milk: 225ml semi-skimmed milk

Wednesday

Breakfast: Mushroom and spring onion omelette

Lunch: Butterbean paté with carrots, tomatoes and mini wholemeal pitta bread

Dinner: Aubergine and courgette parmesan bake with rocket, tomato and tinned kidney beans

Pudding: 80g melon

Snacks: One apple and peanut butter, one pear with almonds, natural yogurt and pumpkin seeds

Milk: 225ml semi-skimmed milk

Thursday

Breakfast: Summerberry smoothie

Lunch: Chickpea and tuna salad

Dinner: Chicken tikka masala and cauliflower pilaf

Pudding: Summer berry posset

Snacks: Greek yogurt, two satsumas, one orange, almonds, two oatcakes topped with smooth peanut butter

Milk: 225ml semi-skimmed milk

Friday

Breakfast: Baked eggs with two slices of rye bread

Lunch: Two slices of medium wholemeal bread with grated cheddar, vegetable oil-based spread, tomato and cucumber

Dinner: Grilled salmon steak with baked sweet potato, broccoli and cabbage

Pudding: Sugar-free jelly

Snacks: raspberries, melon, avocado, plain almonds

Milk: 225ml semi-skimmed milk

Saturday

Breakfast: Welsh leek rarebit

Lunch: Cauliflower and leek soup with 25g cheddar

Dinner: Butternut squash and borlotti bean stew

Pudding: Tinned peaches in juice

Snacks: One apple, 30g almonds, Greek yogurt, small pear and almonds, 60g pistachios with shells

Milk: 225ml semi-skimmed milk

Sunday

Breakfast: Omelette made with two eggs and milk along with 80g spinach, 80g mushrooms, 1tsp of vegetable oil, 25g grated cheddar. Pair with a slice of rye bread with 1tsp of unsaturated margarine

Lunch: Smoked mackerel on granary toast with 1sp of veg spread, rocket, tomato and cucumber.

Dinner: Greek homestyle chicken with broccoli and leeks

Pudding: 80g raspberries and 80g melon

Snacks: Low-fat Greek yogurt with almonds and pumpkin seeds, spicy roasted chickpeas, one small pear

Milk: 225ml semi-skimmed milk

Benefits Of Following A Low-Carb Diet

One of the main benefits of following a low-carb diet is weight loss. For people with type 2 diabetes, this helps to reduce HbA1c and blood fats such as triglycerides and cholesterol. For people who don’t have diabetes, losing weight can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and a low-carb diet is one option to help you do this.

For people with type 1 diabetes

If you have type 1, the strongest evidence suggests that carb counting is the best way to manage your blood sugar levels. This means matching how much insulin you take to the amount of carbs in your meal, snack or drink.

There is no strong evidence that following a low-carb diet is safe or beneficial, which is why we don’t recommend this diet for people with type 1 diabetes.

It is really important that you speak to your healthcare team for support to manage your insulin if you’re considering a low-carb diet.

For people with type 2 diabetes

We know losing 15kg within three to five months will give people with type 2 the best chance of putting their diabetes into remission. Evidence tells us this is more likely if you are able to lose weight within 6 years of your diagnosis.

Finding a way to lose weight can also help you improve the way you manage your condition and reduce your risk of diabetes complications. There are different ways to lose weight, such as a low-carb diet – but there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.

Low Carb Meals and Meal Planner

Have you considered starting a low carb meal plan but don’t know where to start? Learn more about low carb meal planning can help reach your goals.

How To Cut Carbs Without Cutting Corners

With a low carb meal plan, eliminating heavy carbohydrate foods doesn’t have to be as restrictive as it sounds. Instead of completely depriving yourself of carbs, swap out refined carbohydrate options for healthy whole foods. This means you can still enjoy some carbohydrates but will want to make smarter choices with your carbohydrate selection.

Here are some healthy low carb foods you may want to add to your low carb meal plan:

  • Vegetables
  • Avocados
  • Lower-sugar fruits (berries, grapefruit, oranges, apples)
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Healthy oils (avocado, coconut, olive)
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Full-fat dairy
  • Quinoa (quinoa is a seed, not a grain!)

One of the biggest reasons people choose to eat low carb vs. keto is that you can still maintain a low carb approach while enjoying some healthier carbs. The most important thing to focus on is removing the inflammatory processed carbs like bread, pastries, and pasta, and choosing healthy options like the options above.

A low-carb diet is not an all or nothing approach. Just be selective with the carbs you do choose to add to your diet to make sure you are nourishing your body with the healthiest carbohydrate choices.

Foods To Avoid

Now that you know about the foods you will want to consume on a low carb diet, here are some foods you will not find on a low carb meal plan:

  • Sugar
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Trans & hydrogenated fats
  • Sweets/desserts
  • Processed foods
  • Starchy vegetables (like potatoes or sweet potatoes)

If you’re worried about missing some of your favorite carb-heavy meals, here are some almost-zero-carb swaps you can enjoy as part of your low carb meal plan that taste just as delicious!

  • Cauliflower rice vs. white rice
  • Cauliflower pizza crust vs. regular pizza crust
  • Zucchini noodles vs. spaghetti
  • Homemade almond flour bread vs. sandwich bread
  • Grain-free granola made with nuts and seeds vs. store-bought granola
  • Bell pepper & hummus vs. a carb-heavy snack like crackers

Low Carb Meal Shopping List and Planner Tools

If you’re interested in starting a low carb diet and not sure where to begin, consider using a low carb meal planner with shopping list included. PlateJoy offers low carb meal plans customized to your dietary needs. Plus, with the addition of a weekly grocery shopping list, you can streamline your low carb meal prep each week without the stress.

With PlateJoy’s meal planning app, you can make your low carb meal plan as unique as you would like. We use over 50 data points to build your perfect custom meal plan. You tell us about your budget, time constraints, favorite meals, and dietary restrictions, and we give you a collection of clean eating recipes that are nutritious and fit to all of your dietary preferences.

Ready to try a different diet or give keto a try after testing the waters with low carb eating? No problem. You can change your dietary preferences at any time.

Since planning is often one of the hardest parts of starting a new diet, let PlateJoy take the stress out of figuring out what you’re going to eat by providing you with simple weekly low carb meal plans. Having your meals all mapped out for you may just be the secret to your success on a low carb diet.

Suggested Low Carb Diet Recipes

Looking for some low carb meal plan recipe inspiration? Here are some easy low carb meals that may quickly become staples in your diet:

Low Carb Breakfast Ideas

  • Scrambled eggs with bell peppers, spinach, and shredded cheese
  • Hard-boiled eggs with cooked bacon and a side of berries
  • A low carb smoothie made with unsweetened almond milk, blueberries, avocado, and collagen protein powder

Low Carb Lunch Ideas

  • Turkey roll-ups with cheese and sliced avocado
  • Taco salad with romaine lettuce, ground turkey, salsa, shredded cheese, and guacamole

Low Carb Dinner Ideas

  • Turkey burger using lettuce leaves as a bun topped with sliced onion, tomato, and avocado
  • Chicken parmesan without the breading served over zucchini noodles

Low-carb diet: What to eat

Low-carb diet plans tend to include lots of the following foods, which are high in protein or fat:

 

  • Lean meat
  • Fish and seafood
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Yoghurt
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Butter and cooking oil
  • Herbs and spices
  • Condiments
  • Fresh or frozen vegetables
  • Fresh or frozen fruit

 

Low-Carb Diet: What To Avoid

If you’re following a low-carb meal plan, you should avoid eating the following foods:

  • Bread, including bagels, pitta and tortillas
  • Grains, including rice, wheat and oats
  • Pasta
  • Cereal
  • Beans, lentils and chickpeas
  • Starchy vegetables like potato and sweet potato
  • Fruits with high carb counts, like banana and mango
  • Dried fruits
  • Fruit juice
  • Alcohol

 

Low-Carb Meal Plan: Sample Menu

Wondering what a typical day on a low-carb diet might look like? Check out this 3-day sample meal plan, and get inspiration from some of our favourite low-carb recipes! Please note, these ideas are just suggestions – use your personalised Points budget to tailor your meal plan to you!

Day one

Breakfast: Omelette with spinach, goats’ cheese and cherry tomatoes

Lunch: chicken and vegetable soup

Dinner: spaghetti bolognese with courgetti

Day two

Breakfast: Greek yoghurt with honey and berries

Lunch: Tuna nicoise salad

Dinner: salmon and vegetable stir fry

Day three

Breakfast: Protein pancakes with banana

Lunch: Cajan shrimp taco bowl

Dinner: chicken curry with cauliflower rice

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