When you decide to lose weight, you wish to try the A to Z of all the diets you know. The Indian low carb diet AKA the Indian high protein diet has gained a lot of special attention of the weight watchers. Before we move on to see what an Indian low carb diet comprises of, we must first clear our basics about what carbs actually are and how they affect our body.
What are carbs?
Carbs are one of the basic nutrients found in all plant foods. And based on its chemical structures, it’s classified as monosaccharide, disaccharides and polysaccharides. In simple terms carbs can be divided as simple carbs or complex carbs. It is important to know that Indian low carb diet calls for minimum or no intake of simple carbs , like that coming from corn syrups , sugars ,cane sugars and honey.
The complex carbs are rather healthy for the body and yes even allowed in the Indian low carb diet for weight loss. When we dieticians plan diets, the calorific distribution of a balanced diet is usually like below –
|carbs – 65 – 70 %|
|proteins – 20- 15 %|
|fats – 15 – 10 %|
This distribution is changed depending on the individual requirement and medical conditions. As you can clearly see that the majority of calories come from carbs, to plan an Indian low carb diet is a little challenging, as we need to provide calories through proteins and fats. We cannot over do the fats of course, so it leaves us with the only option of meeting the calorie requirements through proteins. Each of these nutrients provide different amount of calories.
|1 gm carb provides 4 kcals|
|1 gm protein provides 4 kcals|
|1 gm fat provides 9 kcal|
As you can see, fats provide a lot of calories; the consumption should be kept to the minimum. While carbs and proteins provide similar calories, they both have different important functions in the human body. Here are some foods that you can include in your Indian low carb diet for weight loss.
Foods to include in Indian Low Carb Diet :-
- Soaked Almonds (5-8 pieces. This is the best way to start your day )
- Roasted Almonds for mid time snacking.
Nuts and seeds
- Roasted soybean, Roasted Bengal gram dal, roasted flax seeds, roasted sunflower seeds for mid time snacking.
Rajma / Kidney beans
There are a lot of dishes you can make using Kidney beans
- Mexican salsa with chopped veggies
- Rajma tikki (griddle cake ) with coriander or curd and mint leaves dip/ chutney
- Boiled kidney bean salad
- Baked kidney beans with little cheese.
- Mung Dal chilla / savory pan cakes using yellow or green split mung Dal . (you can add chopped veggies , coriander or even stuff it with paneer to add to taste and fiber )
- Mung Dal with veggies (recipe of mung dal with veggies )
- Mung Dal soup
- Mogar (a famous Rajasthani preparation made with Palak and Mung Dal )
Panner / cottage cheese
- Paneer bhurji with veggies (cook in very little oil)
- Paneer tikka (marinate with only curd and needed spices , and grill without any oil)
- Cubed panner salad
- Palak panner veggie (home made with little or no oil)
- Sauteed paneer chilly in minimum olive oil
- Smoothies – Use any ow carb fruit (avoid – banana, mango, chikku, custard apple )
- Salted lassi
- Flavor yogurt
- As dressings on salads
- Boiled red channa salad with cucumber , tomatoes and onion.
- Pressure cooked red channa with tomato gravy (cooked in little or no oil).
- Mix sprouts salads
- Mix sprouts dosa / pan cake
- Sprout usal cooked in little or no oil
- Mix sprouts bhel with little puffer rice.
- Plain or flavored, and hot or cold as you like it
- Soy milk and tofu
- Roasted soy bean
- Soy bean chunks or granules with homemade gravies in less oil
- Boiled , scrambled or poached
- Omelets with veggies
- Steamed , broiled, baked or grilled form.
- In salads and brown bread sandwiches
- Steamed, broiled, baked or grilled
Now that you now what foods to eat in an Indian low carb diet, Here are some tips on how you can adapt an Indian low carb diet for weight loss.
Tips for following an Indian low carb diet :
Choose Complex Carbs:
Indian low carb diet calls for giving up on consumption of simple carbs and include more of complex carbs through whole grains like brown rice, oats, whole wheat, barley, whole wheat pasta and whole wheat breads. These whole grains are complex carbs containing plenty of fiber. Intake of these foods will facilitate the weight loss process.
Increase Protein Intake:
Proteins help to get the feeling of satiety. They stabilize the blood sugar level and control your cravings. You can include more of low fat dairy products, lean meats, beans, legumes and a total of around 50 gram protein per day.
Go High on High Fiber Food:
Having raw salads with your meals and with a good amount of fruits will ensure an increased fibre intake in the diet. Green leafy vegetables are rich in minerals and they help in certain health conditions like blood pressure and diabetes. Being high in fibre, they also aid in weight loss. Besides fruits and veggies, you can add flax seeds, fenugreek (methi) seeds, sprouts and whole grains to your meals.
Watch Your Fat:
You need to avoid all Trans fats. This means that you have to stay away from fast foods and deep fried foods like fries, cutlets, cheese sticks and pakodas. Try to consume the monounsaturated fats (present in olive oil, peanut oil and mustard seed oil) as they help in limiting your carb intake and in bringing the feeling of satiety. Avoid saturated fats (present in butter, ghee and margarine).
Become a Wise Eater:
Low carbs and desserts is a rare combination. Most people have a misconception that excluding desserts completely from the diet will allow them to lead a healthy life. In actuality, it’s not about omission, but about choosing your food correctly without depriving yourself! All you need to do is to eat in limitation. Every food, when eaten in limitation, can only benefit your health while undesirable consequences begin to appear once you stop watching your portion intakes. Staying within the limits helps in controlling and maintaining weight apart from helping in avoiding sugar hikes and in maintaining stabilized blood sugar levels. So eat wisely and be healthy.
Do Regular Exercises:
After years and years of researches, experts have claimed that any person who is regular in his exercise has an overall better health in comparison to a person who doesn’t exercise. Exercise helps in maintaining a good body weight, it keeps blood sugar levels under control and aids in the better functioning of the heart and other organs. You can increase your carb allowance window by exercising.
* Note – In my experience of 10 years now i have noticed that an Indian low carb diet works to give good weight loss results only if the person includes exercises in his schedule while following the diet.
Most of the snacks that we binge on are carbs, whether it is a chocolate, a candy, pastries, chips or fries! If we learn to avoid binging, we will be successful in cutting down on a lot of unwanted carbs. Try to eat your meals in time and most importantly, eat in regular intervals. A gap of more than 4 hours between your meals will make your hunger take a hike and you will jump to take all the unhealthy foods!
Balance it Out:
If you happen to go heavy on your meal either due to a social gathering or a festival or any such occasion where you don’t have much control over your food, then you must balance it out well to avoid sugar splurges in blood. There is nothing wrong in going light once in a while! A complete fruit diet for a meal or just milk and cereals are not bad options!
Now that you have read the tips on adapting an Indian low carb diet, you must understand that cutting on the simple carbs is a good idea. But cutting down carbs completely from your meal plan is not really advisable. Here are 2 reasons why you should never completely omit carbs from your meal while following an Indian low carb diet.
Why you should not completely omit carbs from your diet?
1] Carbs (glucose) is the only source of energy that your brain and the central nervous system can utilize. So Absence of glucose can turn out to have serious ill effects on health.
2] Carbs and fat Metabolism
Fats cannot be completely broken down in the absence of carbs. Hence if you are looking for losing fat weight, it is important to have the minimum amount required of carbs to facilitate the complete breakdown of fat or the process of lipolysis. In the absence of carbs, the amount of ketone bodies in the blood stream will accumulate and lead to metabolic disorders like ketosis or acidosis.
The above mentioned reasons will justify the presence of carbs day in strict diets like the General Motor’s diet (GM diet). Read – Indian version of GM diet.
3] Carbs and exercises
Do you know that without proper carbohydrate intake, you cannot do exercises? Carbohydrates are the best fuels for your muscles since they become accessible easily in comparison to proteins and fats.
The process – At the time of digestion, carbs are broken down into glucose, which then enters the bloodstream. The glucose is then picked up by the other cells of the body to produce energy. Glucose, that remains unutilized, is converted and stored as muscle glycogen in the short run and finally gets converted into body fat in the long run. So carbs are needed to supply energy to you while doing physical activities.
Carbohydrates are not bad provided you select the right ones. For example having mango is better than munching potato chips. The nutritional value of carbohydrates depends on the presence of nutrients and on the degree of processing that the food has gone through.
What are the Healthy Carbs that you should Love?
If you have made up your mind to follow an indian low carb diet, you must also know about the healthy carbs that you should include in your regime.
Fruits and Vegetables:
while following an Indian low-carb diet, people generally ignore the fruits and vegetables! But these are the healthiest foods of all. According to a study report published by the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund, you can prevent art least 20 percent of all cancers by including 5 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. Another study has proved that the risk of coronary heart disease falls by four percent for every one serving increase of fruits and vegetables each day. Adequate consumption of fruits and vegetables also yields positive effects on bone density.
The breads are back – think of the fiber-packed brown ones and forget about the ones made with refined flour. Whole grains are packed with nutrients and fiber. They contain all the three parts of the kernel. The bran or the outer shell contains B vitamins, fiber and at least 50 percent of the minerals contained in the entire grain. The germ part contains B Vitamins, Vitamin E, minerals, healthy fats and phytochemicals. The endosperm part contains protein, carbs and smaller amounts of B Vitamins.
Refined grains only contain the endosperm part and hence the vital nutrients present in the germ and bran are left out. Research suggests that three servings of whole grains per day can cut down your risk of diabetes and coronary heart disease by almost 30 percent. Other health benefits include lowering of serum triglyceride levels and blood pressure and a fall in the risk of gum diseases. Some popular whole grain choices include brown rice, oatmeal, corn and pop corns, wild rice, buckwheat, barley, Bulgar wheat and quinoa.
Low Fat/Non-Fat Yogurt and Milk:
These carbs add health to your bones and cause a lowering of your blood pressure. These dairy products are good sources of Vitamin D, protein, Riboflavin and Calcium. Yogurt lacks Vitamin D. So get your Vitamin D from milk and vitamin D-fortified cereals. You should check the fat content of the dairy products. High amounts of saturated fat are not heart-healthy.
Beans are healthy carbohydrates which can prevent cancer. It is known for preventing the reappearance of colon cancer. Research suggests that beans can prevent constipation, lower cholesterol and brings down the risks of coronary heart disease. The nutrients present in beans include protein, folate, potassium, magnesium, fiber and other minerals.
Taking in to mind all the tips mentioned above , we have planned an Indian version of the Atkins diet plan (low carb and high protein diet ), This will really help you in losing tremendous amount of weight in an healthy manner.
End Note –
Thus, you see all carbohydrates are not bad! You can find many healthy exceptions like the ones mentioned above. The decision rests with you – either you spread hummus on wholegrain crackers and relish the taste or you go for a huge cheeseburger made with refined flour along with French Fries!
The lean, thin look of Angelina Jolie may fascinate you. But you will be surprised to note that her diet consisted of all low carbs food! But experts have opined that a diet without carbs is unhealthy. Eating a lot of carbs may load you with calories, but eating healthy carbs while on an Indian low carb diet will allow you to meet your weight loss goals.
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