Taco tomatoes are a tasty low-carb option. Fillings can be changed up to make cheeseburger tomatoes. Photo by: delish.com
January 16, 2019 10:16:48 AM
If reducing carbohydrates in your diet is part of your I'm-gonna-do-it-better-this-year master plan, you're not alone. According to dietdoctor.com, a poll conducted for the U.S. online magazine Insider shows that, among those who resolve to lose weight in the new year, the top dietary approach is the low-carb diet.
The poll found that 43 percent of respondents said weight loss/eating habits were their top resolution. Of those, 45 percent said their method would be using a lower-carb, higher-fat strategy.
Clinical psychologist Dr. Jen Unwin of the UK advises, among other things, taking small habit-forming steps to help you see low carb as a lifestyle and not a diet with an end date. If you have small lapses in keeping to the resolution, just get right back at it.
In general, low-carb plans are used for losing weight, but they can have health benefits beyond that, such as reducing risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome -- a cluster of conditions, like increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess abdominal weight and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels, that occur together and increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes (mayoclinic.org).
There are multiple low-carb diets, but to summarize, in general they focus on proteins, including meat, plant-based proteins, poultry, fish, eggs and some nonstarchy vegetables. They tend to exclude or limit most grains, legumes, breads, sweets, pastas and starchy vegetables and certain other foods.
Before making drastic changes in diet, it pays to understand carbs and their function. Talk to your doctor. Information can also be found at sites such as mayoclinic.org. Carbohydrates are the body's main source of energy, and too few carbs, as well as too many, can cause concerns.
That being said, it's probably safe to say most of us take in more carbs than we need. If you're looking to moderate, healthline.com offers a few simple tweaks. Among them:
When it comes to meals, some restaurants identify low-carb or "light" choices on their menus. And when cooking at home, you don't have to give up all your favorite comfort foods. Recipes below provide some flavorful lower-carb twists.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Makes 4 servings
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (1-ounce) packet taco seasoning
4 large, ripe beefsteak tomatoes
1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
1/2 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
1/4 cup sour cream
(Source: Lena Abraham/delish.com)
HASH BROWN EGG CUPS
Servings: 12 cups
1 head of cauliflower, stalk and leaves removed, cut into florets
1 extra large egg, whisked
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, (or mozzarella)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2-1 teaspoon salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste (optional)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, (or 1 teaspoon onion powder)
12 small-medium sized eggs
COCONUT FLOUR CHOCOLATE BROWNIES
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup virgin coconut oil
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted
1 tablespoon semisweet chocolate chips, or more to taste
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.