They May Help You Lose Weight
Eating vegetables may help you lose weight or avoid gaining it in the first place.
This may be due to several factors. First, vegetables generally have a low calorie density they contain very few calories for the volume they take up in the stomach .
Vegetables are also rich in fiber, which can help you feel fuller for longer. Viscous fiber, a type of fiber found many in vegetables, seems to be particularly effective at reducing appetite .
Thus, adding vegetables to your diet may help you lose weight by relieving hunger and reducing calorie intake. In fact, several studies link increased vegetable intake to weight loss and slower weight gain over time .
One small study researched fruit and vegetable intake in overweight individuals over a 6-month period.
People counseled to eat more fruits and vegetables lost up to an extra 3.3 pounds for each additional 3.5-ounce portion of fruits and vegetables eaten per day. Dark or yellow fruits and vegetables seemed to have the greatest weight loss benefits .
Another study recorded fruit and vegetable intake in people for over a total of 24 years. The researchers reported their results per 4-year period and noticed a link between higher intakes of certain vegetables and weight loss.
Specifically, per 4-year period, participants lost on average 0.3 pounds for each 48 fluid ounce serving of non-starchy vegetables eaten per day .
Busting A Few Nutrition Myths
Avoid grain-based foods: You do not need to eat whole grain foods to get fiber and good carbs. You can obtain plenty of fiber from vegetables, nuts and seeds. And grain-based foods, even whole grains are high in carbs and will raise blood sugar.
Enjoy dairy: Dairy products are fine to eat, even full fat varieties. There is no evidence to show these are bad for our health. And in fact, new evidence suggests they are very beneficial. In terms of carbs, cheese and cottage cheese are lower in carbs than milk and yogurt.
Become a detective: When you go shopping, dont rely on front-of-pack labelling. Food companies are great at enticing you to purchase foods, or telling you that a food is healthy, but it may not be true. The only way youll know is to read food labels and learn to understand the nutrition facts panel. When looking at nutrition labels, dont just look at the total calories, observe the amount of carbs, fiber and how much sugar an item contains.
Carbs are more important than calories: But overall, the best bet for your diabetes diet is to focus on carb control. When you can observe your daily intake of carbs and lower them, you will see results pretty quickly. And just to be clear, we are talking about a low carb diet here, not a no carb diet! Sure, in the long term, calorie intake is important to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. If you need to, on a lower carb diet, you can control calorie intake by focusing on the amount of food you eat.
Rethinking Mainstream Carb Recommendations
Over the years its been pretty common practice to recommend a low fat, high carbohydrate diet to people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.
Even as little as a few months ago, the American Diabetes Association were still stating that: A place to start is at about 45-75 grams of carbohydrate at a meal.
That would equate to around 135-225 g carbohydrates per day, excluding snacks.
And globally, diabetes associations have kept emphasizing that people with type 2 diabetes should eat the same as the general population , that everything in moderation is fine .
So quite frankly, these large organizations have had you fooled none of their dietary information has been based on real science!
And the fact is, 45-75 g per meal of carbohydrates per meal is way too high!
If youve been eating 225+ grams of carbs per day and wondering why you cant get your blood glucose levels or A1c under control, theres a simple answer youre eating too many carbs!
What the science shows is you must forget the mainstream carb recommendations and flip the nutrition circle on its head. Because the goal is to keep your carb intake to less than 25%, not 60% as these large health organizations have been pushing for years.
As you can see, these recommendations suited for the general public are highly flawed recommendations for people with type 2 diabetes, and are in fact, keeping you sick!
Like we always say: Diabetes prevention and diabetes treatment are two completely different things.
Also Check: How Many Calories Do I Need To Gain Muscle
Carbs Found In Snacks
Popular snacks such as chips, crackers, and other processed snack foods are all high in carbohydrates and are usually enjoyed in large quantities within a short period of time.
Just think of all those social gatherings with various snacks platters- its something we have all gotten used to!
When planning your snacks, consider healthier, low-carb options such as guacamole with celery sticks. Here are 35 Best Low Carb Snacks to choose from.
Carbs Found In Beige Foods
Carbs per 100g of beige food
Most beige foods such as pasta, sweetened cereals, bread, grains, and beans are very high in carbohydrates and unfortunately are found in almost everyday food staples that most of us have grown up on.
The Ultimate Guide To Carbs In Beige Foods is a comprehensive resource for you to utilise when cutting out refined and processed foods from your diet.
Heres a short outline to give you an idea of the carb content found in these types of foods which may shock you:
- 1 slice of white bread contains 14 grams of carbs with only 1 gram of fibre.
- 1 slice of whole-wheat bread contains 17 grams of carbs with only 2 grams of fibre
- A standard size flour tortilla contains 36 grams of carbs with only 2 grams of fibre
- 1 bagel contains 29 grams of carbs with only 1 gram of fibre.
Also Check: Slow Cooker Low Carb Recipes
The Different Types Of Carbs
Just as the number of carbs in each food can differ, so can the type. There are three main “classes” of carbohydrates found in your diet, and each type is not always exclusive to one food or another, many foods contain a unique combination of the three. The main types of carbohydrates in food include:
Monosaccharides are the simplest form of carbohydrates. In other words, they are the most broken down already, making them a quick source of sugar in the diet. They provide a sweet taste to foods and include glucose, fructose, and galactose.
Glucose is found in natural sweeteners like honey, molasses, and agave. Fructose is the main type of sugar found in fruit and veggies. And galactose primarily comes from dairy options.
Sucrose, lactose, and maltose are disaccharides. Once eaten, these carb types must be broken down into their monosaccharide counterparts.
Lactose is a sugar in milk commonly associated with dairy intolerance. Sucrose comes from sugar beets and sugar cane plants, as well as some fruits. And maltose is the least common disaccharide, coming mainly from malt products.
Polysaccharides, the most complex of carbohydrates, include starch, cellulose, and pectin.
Examples of starchy foods are corn, legumes, potatoes, and grains.
Some carb types can be extracted from food and used in their singular form as an ingredient in processed foods – most commonly as added sugar.
Carbohydrate Quantity Vs Quality
Our modern diets differ from hunter-gatherer diets in more than just macronutrient composition. One of the biggest changes to Western diets over the last 50 years is the replacement of whole foods sources of carbohydrates with refined carbohydrates.
When you compare average carbohydrate consumption in the United States now to 100 years ago , its not that different, averaging about 500 grams per day. What is different is the percentage of those carbohydrates that come from fiber, an indicator of how refined these carbohydrate sources are: the more refined a food is, the more carbohydrate grams per fiber grams it typically has. A century ago, Americans averaged about 30 grams of fiber daily whereas current dietary fiber intake averages about 15 grams . And, right when the percentage of carbohydrate coming from fiber starts to dip is right when we start seeing exponential increases in cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. See How Does Sugar Fit into a Healthy Diet? and 5 Nutrients Youre Deficient InIf You Eat Too Much Sugar
Recommended Reading: Should I Count Calories Or Carbs
Suggested Servings From Each Food Group
Do you ever feel like the serving sizes on food labels, in restaurant portions and what youre hungry for dont line up? If youre looking for a simple way to eat healthy, use this handy serving size chart to get the right balance of nutrition on your plate.
The American Heart Association recommends an overall healthy dietary pattern tailored to your personal and cultural food preferences. Emphasize a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, fish, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and liquid, non-tropical plant oils. If you eat poultry or red meat, choose lean or extra lean meats or skinless poultry. Choose foods that are unprocessed or minimally processed where possible. And balance energy intake and output to maintain a healthy body weight. Its all about making healthier choices.
The Carbohydrate Needs Per Day
Carbohydrates are your bodys main source of energy, especially during exercise. Although many low-carb diets consist of 50 to 150 grams of carbohydrates per day, the Institute of Medicine recommends adults eat at least 130 grams of carbs every day. If youre physically active, youll likely need additional carbohydrates.
Recommended Reading: How Many Carbs In Miller Light
Healthy Carbs In Foods
How many carbs are in these common foods? Here is your quick breakdown of grams of carbs:
- Beans , 1/1 cup: 64 grams
- Beans , 1/2 cup : 20 grams
- Pasta , 1 cup cooked: 43 grams
- Sweet white corn, 1 ear: 17 grams
- Sweet yellow corn, 1 ear: 19 grams
- Boiled sweet white corn, 1 ear: 22 grams
- Boiled sweet yellow corn, 1 ear: 22 grams
- White rice, 1 cup cooked: 45 grams
- Brown rice, 1 cup cooked: 45 grams
- Oatmeal, 1 cup cooked: 27 grams
- Apples, 1 medium: 25 grams
Very Low Carb Ketogenic Diets
Very low carb diets typically induce mild to moderate ketosis, a state in which your body uses ketones and fat, rather than sugar, as its main energy sources.
Ketosis usually occurs at a daily intake of fewer than 50 grams of total carbs .
Very low carb ketogenic diets were prescribed for people with diabetes even before insulin was discovered in 1921 .
Several studies indicate that restricting carb intake to 2050 grams per day can significantly reduce blood sugar levels, promote weight loss, and improve cardiovascular health for people with diabetes .
In addition, these improvements often occur very quickly.
For instance, in a small 3-month study, people consumed either a low carb diet containing up to 50 grams of carbs per day or a calorie-restricted low fat diet.
The low carb group averaged a 0.6% decrease in hemoglobin A1c and lost more than twice as much weight as the low fat group. Whats more, 44% of them discontinued at least one diabetes medication compared with 11% of the low fat group .
In fact, in several studies, participants have reduced or discontinued use of insulin and other diabetes medications due to improvements in blood sugar control .
Diets containing 2050 grams of carbs per day have also been shown to lower blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of disease in people with prediabetes .
Another study found that the diet might actually improve kidney function in people with type 2 diabetes and normal renal function or mild kidney disease .
Recommended Reading: How To Determine My Calorie Deficit
Carbs Found In Beverages
Carbs in alcohol
You will find that carbs are particularly high in content in alcoholic beverages such as cocktails, beers, sweet wines, and other drinks that mix hard liquor with sweetened mixers.
Its best to stick to dry wine, hard liquors , and low-carb beer options.
Fruit juice and sodas are also very high in sugars and carbohydrates and should be avoided entirely.
Its very easy to go over daily carb limits by drinking carbs and its why I always caution against drinking your carbs.
How Do You Count Carbs
Carb counting at its most basic level involves counting the number of grams of carbohydrate in a meal and matching that to your dose of insulin.
If you take mealtime insulin, that means first accounting for each carbohydrate gram you eat and dosing mealtime insulin based on that count. You will use what’s known as an insulin-to-carb ratio to calculate how much insulin you should take in order to manage your blood sugars after eating. This advanced form of carb counting is recommended for people on intensive insulin therapy by shots or pump, such as those with type 1 and some people with type 2.
While people with type 2 diabetes who don’t take mealtime insulin may not need detailed carb counting to keep their blood sugars in line, some prefer to do it. While some choose to stick with traditional carb counting, there are others who do a more basic version of carb counting based on “carbohydrate choices,” where one choice contains about 15 grams of carb. Still others use the Diabetes Plate Method to eat a reasonable portion of carb-containing foods at each meal by limiting whole grains, starchy vegetables, fruits or dairy to a quarter of the plate.
Don’t Miss: How Do I Calculate Net Carbs
Glycemic Load Vs Glycemic Index
One measure of a foods carbohydrate quality is its glycemic load. Its important to differentiate between a foods glycemic index and its glycemic load. Glycemic index is a measure of how quickly the carbohydrates from a specific food impact blood sugar levels , but this concept doesnt take into account that foods carbohydrate density. Glycemic load measures how quickly the carbohydrates from a specific food impact blood sugar levels, adjusting for how many carbohydrates are likely to be consumed in a serving. Some foods have a high glycemic index but a low glycemic load: while the sugars in those foods are easily absorbed and cause a rapid impact on blood sugar, there arent that many of them, so these foods are often still healthy choices . Generally, a low glycemic load carb-containing food means that its a healthy slow-burning carbohydrate choice.
Some Examples Of Simple Carbs Include:
- fresh fruit and dried fruit
- fruit juices, jams, and jellies
- white bread
- green peas
You can learn more about why these foods fall into the complex carb category in the gallery below. Ideally, you’ll be loading up on these kinds of carbs to make up your carb intake each day.
19 Complex Carbs You Should Definitely Incorporate Into Your Diet
Read Also: High Protein Diet Low Carb
How Does A Low
On a very basic level, weight loss happens when the number of calories consumed is less than the number of calories burned. Eating low-carb is one way to get there, but its not the only way, says Schaub. More important than the sheer amount of carbs is the kind of carbs you eat replacing simple carbs, like refined grains and sugar, with complex ones, like carbs from veggies and legumes, can have many of the same low-carb benefits.
Fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts, whole grains, and dairy all contain carbohydrates but are minimally processed and loaded with fiber and other nutrientsno research has ever shown that eating these types of carbs hinders healthy weight loss, Schaub explains, adding that the carbs found in processed foods like pasta, bagels, muffins, crackers, soda, and candy dont contain many nutrients and are the main culprits for weight gain and metabolic issues.
For example, a 2017 review in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health suggests that simple carbs like sugars and sweeteners may increase a populations rate of obesity, where complex carbs like whole-grain cereal may contribute to an overall decrease in obesity rates.
All About Carbs And Weight Loss
No But Really How Many Grams Of Carbs Should You Have Per Day
As a jumping-off point, I generally recommend having a source of carbs at each of your meals. Whether you get it from grains, legumes, starchy veggies, fruit, or dairy is up to you. To help you stay in balance without overthinking, fill half your lunch or dinner plate with non-starchy veggies, a quarter with protein, and the last quarter with carbohydrates. Spreading your carbs out consistently over the course of the day can also help with keeping your blood sugar stable, which supports continuous energy and balanced mood levels.
Here are some examples of meals and snacks that, when you choose one from each category, provide the minimum 130 grams of carbs per day. If you need more, of course, listen to what your body is asking for and incorporate additional carbs where it makes sense for you.
Don’t Miss: Low Carb Bbq Sauce Recipe
They May Reduce The Risk Of Certain Cancers
Eating a lot of vegetables each day may reduce your risk of certain cancers, and fiber may be the reason why.
Some studies observe a link between a higher fiber intake and a lower risk of colorectal cancer .
Vegetables may reduce the risk of other cancers, as well. One review linked each portion of vegetables consumed per day to a 50% lower risk of oral cancer. Unfortunately, the volume or weight per portion was not specified .
Another review observed that smokers who ate the most vegetables benefited from an 8% lower risk of developing lung cancer, compared to those who ate the least.
The researchers noted that 10.5 ounces of vegetables per day appeared to deliver the most benefits. Very few extra benefits were seen at higher intakes .
Most studies on this topic are observational, which makes it difficult to make strong conclusions on the exact role of vegetables in cancer prevention.
Summary Eating enough vegetables each day may help reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancers, though most studies are observational in nature.