Low Carb – Clean Eating

Low Carb – Clean Eating

Last Updated on by Adrienne

LOW CARB CLEAN EATING

Low carb clean eating is not a new concept, even though magazine covers and ads try to persuade us otherwise every day. Low carb has been a recommendation from cardiologists for years.

While many naysayers may try to label this way of eating as a tagline, fad or “a latest craze” diet, low carb clean eating continues to receive praises for its impact on people’s lives.

It challenges us to make healthier decisions about what it is we put into our mouths. It forces us to ask the hard question –am I eating food, REAL food or that which comes from nature?

Is Clean Keto the Same as Clean Eating? 

Clean keto refers to the traditional keto diet, which is meant to get your body burning fat as its main fuel source instead of carbs.

This eating pattern consists of whole, minimally processed foods that are low in carbs but high in fat.

Grilled Tuna Steaks
Mediterranean Grilled Tuna and Asparagus

What is Dirty Keto?

Dirty keto is also called lazy keto, as it allows for highly processed and packaged foods.

It’s popular among individuals who want to get into ketosis without spending lots of time prepping clean keto meals.

For instance, someone on dirty keto might order a double bacon cheeseburger without the bun instead of grilling a grass-fed steak and making a low carb salad with a high-fat dressing.

Why Should I Eat Clean?

This way of life enables us to enjoy a multitude of health benefits including the prevention of heart disease, stroke, type II diabetes, and some forms of cancer.

Low-carb, clean eating can improve our mood and boost our energy levels.

What constitutes a “low-carb diet” may vary depending on who it is you ask. Eating Well suggests that at a minimum, you should aim for a minimum of 40 percent of your calories to come from carbs. This balance ensures that you maintain a healthy distribution of nutrients in your diet.

Should you choose to a low carb diet, there are a few principles associated with low carb, clean eating that you will need to consider.

Try to Stick with Whole and Natural Foods

Your goal should be to stick with whole, natural foods or eating foods as close as possible to how they are in their original state while avoiding highly processed foods that come in a package, box, bag or can.

(If you are like me, I can hardly even GET INTO packages anymore. )

Clean eating experts remind us however that there are a few exceptions to this rule. Frozen veggies in a bag, for example, are not necessarily a bad thing.

Also, your goal should be to eat whole, natural foods most of the time. The keyword here is most – we are all human, and will stray from the low carb thing occasionally. That is one of the things I like the most about this way of eating, if you “cheat,” you can start making best choices at the very next meal.

What Foods are Low Carb?

Basically –

Eat:

  • Meat and fish
  • Eggs
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits (in moderation! Many fresh fruits have high natural sugar content)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • High-Fat Dairy
  • Fats (butter!) and healthy oils
  • Maybe even some tubers (sweet potatoes) and non-gluten grains.

Don’t eat:

  • Sugar and HFCS (high fructose corn syrup – be careful, they are sneaky with this stuff!)
  • Wheat
  • Seed oils
  • Trans fats
  • Diet and low-fat products
  • Highly Processed foods

Brussels Sprouts

“No White” Diet

Many people trying no carb/clean eating realize that it is a “no white” diet – no rice, no pasta, no flour, no bread, no potatoes.

If you are genuinely trying to stay in the low-carb zone, most carb-laden foods like rice or quinoa will be off-limits to you.

However, if you do decide step out of the low-carb lane from time to time, try whole grain, unrefined foods like quinoa, amaranth, millet or brown rice and reduce your portions of these foods to keep the carb count low. Shirataki rice or noodles may be another option for you if you are looking to eat rice or noodles that do not have any carbs.

Depending on your current carb count, and whether your downfall is pasta/rice/grains or sweets/sugar, you will really be surprised after the first 2 weeks of being without these carb bombs. Cravings will drop off; it should be easier to skip that bread or sweet midnight snack.

Reduced Salt and Sugar Intake

When you choose to follow a low carb clean eating practice, you naturally reduce your salt and sugar intake.

Your goal is to avoid foods that contain sugar and even those that claim to be sugar-free including cookies, cakes, sodas, diet drinks, and juices as much as possible.

Studies continue to show that sweeteners are not necessarily having the positive impact in the way of reduced sugar as once thought. Your best option will be to stay away from these foods or minimize your interaction with them.

The great thing about following a low-carb diet is that it reduces your craving for sugar over time.

Avoid Artificial Ingredients

Clean eating encourages us to eat real food and banish the fake stuff which contains a bevy of additives, artificial colors, and preservatives. Again, stay with the idea of eating foods that are as close to their natural state as possible.

Same goes for sweetening coffee or tea…just try to limit and decreases the use of artificial sweeteners.

Shrimp Zoodles
Shrimp Zoodles with Pesto          Zoodles, curly noodles made from zucchini with a spiralizer, cut down the calories and carbs but add flavor and fiber.

 

 

Drink More Water

You may notice that your water intake will increase thanks in part to the requisite reduction of sodas and juices in the world of low carb clean eating. Increasing your water consumption will have several positive effects on your body including more energy and the sense of fullness. Not a fan of water?

You can try varying the temperature. Try iced water as opposed to just refrigerated water. If you aren’t currently a water drinker, you find that you prefer bottled or filtered water to tap water.

There are several ways to give your water flavor. Try adding slices of citrus fruit like lemons or lime to your water for a bit of taste. Freeze dark berries or citrus into ice cubes.

Think About Increasing Health, Not Dieting

These are a few principles of low-carb clean eating. Take your time adopting this way of eating.

Begin with slow changes. Sweeping changes can be overwhelming to establish a plan that allows for a gradual transition.

Familiarize yourself with low carb foods. In the beginning, My advice would be not setting a daily “carb limit” – i.e. “I can have that one serving of pasta and still be under my limit.”

As you eliminate these carbs from your diet, your cravings should lessen. If you don’t eliminate them, you only extend the uncomfortable time of cravings and the feeling of being deprived.

Having a reward serving of pasta in a couple of weeks is a better plan, and it is less likely that any feelings of deprivation will occur.

 

Healthy Low Carb Egg Roll in a Bowl

EGGROLL IN A BOWL

(See below ingredient adjustments for Paleo/Keto/Whole 30)

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Tbs Olive oil
  • 1- pound ground beef
  • 1 onion yellow or red
  • ½ red and orange pepper
  • 1 – 16-ounce bag coleslaw mix shredded carrots and cabbage
  • cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon of Sriracha optional
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Green onions for garnish

Instructions
 

  • In a large skillet, brown beef over medium-high heat.
  • Add onions and peppers and cook until tender
  • Add shredded cabbage and mix well
  • Mix soy sauce / sesame oil / sriracha and add to skillet
  • Stir and cook for about 5 minutes, make sure the cabbage is still crunchy.
  • Sprinkle salt & pepper to taste
  • Top with chopped green onions for garnish and extra crunch.

Notes

PALEO:  May want to reduce soy sauce and use beef broth instead KETO: May want to reduce peppers and onion or replace wit broccoli florets and celery, depending on your Carb macro WHOLE 30:  May want to omit the Sriracha

 



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