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A Beginner’s Guide to LCHF Food

by anjali

Our previous articles How the Keto diet works? and What’s the Hype Around LCHF? touched upon the science behind the low carbohydrate diet and why it works.

 This diet plan that is exactly the opposite of what you are following right now. Here, you lower the intake of carbohydrates and increase your intake of fats, thereby depending entirely on fats to you fuel your body.

This is a fairly simple method of using fat to burn fat. The excess carbs coupled with sedentary lifestyle is the primary reason for those big love handles. By restricting the easy energy from carbohydrates, you force the body to start using fat as its primary fuel.  This means, not only the fat you eat, but also the fat accumulated in your body gets used up in the process.

Next comes the most important part – what to eat! The LCHF diet isn’t about starving or counting calories, but is about eating only real foods. You limit your intake of carbs to less than 100 grams a day and increase your fat and protein quotient. The emphasis is on what contributes to our calories, rather than just simply counting our calories. 

Our quick guide here will help you with choices that can make your low-carb journey smooth.

Foods to include in LCHF diet

Foods to include in LCHF diet

Vegetables

You get a free hand with almost all vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, cucumber, cauliflower, kale, broccoli and spinach are the perfect choice. Melons like bottle gourd, ash gourd, snake gourds and pumpkins are excellent additions. The more colourful you make it, the better it is. Vegetables are an abundant source of dietary fibre and a powerhouse of micro-nutrients. 

Carrots, peas, raw banana, etc. can be consumed in moderation. Starches like potatoes, yams, corn, sweet potatoes and other tubers need to be completely avoided. 

Meat and poultry

You can happily relish your meat as it not only makes the diet delicious but also charges your body with proteins and essential natural fats that also increase your satiety. Chicken, pork, mutton, steak, veal, duck, turkey sure goes in the list. Opt for grass-fed and fattier versions of the meat as they are healthier and satiating. 

Fish

All kinds of fishes are good for you; however, choosing fattier version is always the best way to go. Fishes are a great source of protein and omega -3 fatty acids.

Eggs

Whole eggs are great and you can have them alone or add to other meats or veggies to make them healthier. Stir, boil or make omelettes with those eggs as they are a healthy supplement of nutrients. It is wise to go for organic eggs rich in omega-3s.

Dairy

Meeting your calcium requirements in a LCHF diet is made easier with dairies. Butter, cheese, paneer, milk and yogurt can be incorporated in your recipes. Avoid flavoured or sweetened yogurts and low fat dairy products. Remember, higher the natural fat percent, better it is. Now is the best time to work those creative grey cells.

Fats

The best suited fats for the Indian DNA are: Ghee, Butter and Coconut oil. One can never go wrong with them. Apart from the goodness they come with, they also enhance the taste of the food to great extent. You can also get fats through dairy (cheese, paneer, full fat cream), nuts & seeds, fruits like avocado and animal fats (lard, poultry fat, bacon, etc.).

Nuts, seeds and legumes

Apart from low carb veggies, nuts are a great snacking option and also a tasty way to enrich your meal with good fats and nutrients. Almonds, cashews, walnuts, macadamia and pecans are a great choice. You can also add flaxseeds, chia, pumpkin and sunflower seeds in your diet.

While talking of nuts, we seem to be missing the most common “nut” – the peanut/groundnut. The groundnut is actually a legume and not a nut at all. They can be safely consumed in moderation as they are high in proteins and fats.

Amongst other legumes, the only ones that can be consumed in moderation are: Green gram (sprouted), Black Channa, Black Rajma and Moong/Masoor dal. While they are still high in carbs, they contain an equal amount of fibre and are a powerhouse of protein for the vegetarians.

Beverages

You can sip on water all day long and enjoy your favourite tea and coffee. The low carb community abounds with delicious versions of coffee and tea that are LCHF safe. Go dive in. Just ensure to keep the sugars at bay and you will begin to relish the real taste of food.

Foods to avoid in LCHF diet

Foods to avoid in LCHF diet

Sugar

This is the first thing you need to cut from your diet. Sugar in any forms need to be eliminated and most importantly the artificial sweeteners stays away from your food. This means candies, pastries, ice-cream, fizzy drinks are a big no-no. Sugar comes disguised under multiple names – sucrose, dextrose, lactose, fructose, etc. Read the product list to identify the sugars hidden in them. 

Starch

Starches are a complete no-no, as they are the problem makers. As much as we love our breads, roti, rice and porridges, they are best to steer away from. Rice, Wheat, Millets, Oats and other grains contain at least 70-80% carbs making them unacceptable. 

Unhealthy fats and low fat products

While the diet has to be rich in fats, what is more important is the source of that fat. Fats from margarine, canola, sunflower, rice bran and other kinds of unhealthy oil need to be immediately cut, simply because they are highly processed and cause more harm than good in the long run. Mayonnaise and salad dressings are great if you can make them at home or buy one that is sugar-free and uses healthier ingredients.

Alcohol

It is best to stay away from alcohol until you have reached a certain stage in your diet. Consumption would only disrupt the metabolism and set back the efforts by days.

Carefully plan your menu, follow the diet religiously and have fun enjoying the right food to stay fit.

Our Nutribowl range of products exclusively cater to the LCHF diet. One can easily sustain the diet with our flexible options. Talk to us at +91 9840279969 and together, let’s begin the journey towards health and fitness.

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