Stay Healthy on the Slow Carb Diet

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

For decades, carbohydrates were shunned for their apparent fat-building properties. However, in recent years, doctors and nutritionists have started distinguishing between different types of carbs and are recommending slow carbs as an important part of a healthy diet. While certain types of carbs are proven to cause weight gain, many nutritionists now differentiate between healthy carbohydrates, or slow carbs, and unhealthy carbohydrates, known as fast carbs. The slow carb diet is an easier and healthier way to lose weight than some of the more dramatic diets, making it perfect for the inexperienced dieter.

How does it work?
The slow carb diet is less like a traditional diet than it is simply a balanced way of eating. Rather than cutting out certain foods types altogether, the diet concentrates on the glycemic index (GI) of each food.  The glycemic index indicates the rate at which different foods are digested in the body and the effect they have on blood sugar levels. Foods with a higher GI will be processed more quickly, causing your blood sugar to rise and fall rapidly, while lower GI foods will provide you with a slower release of energy, which will leave you feeling fuller for longer and help you to lose weight. Without set meal plans and banned food types, dieters can become more creative with their daily meals, which can help to remove some of the monotony from dieting. In addition, the slow carb diet has virtually no side effects and doesn’t require a dramatic change to your regular diet, making it perfect for first-time dieters.

What can’t you eat?
The cardinal rule of the slow carb diet is to avoid “white” carbohydrates. As the name would suggest, white carb foods can usually be identified by their color. White rice, potatoes, sugars, white pasta, cereal, white bread and any food made with white flour should be avoided. Dieters should also steer clear of sweets, crackers and high GI fruits like watermelons and pineapples.

What can you eat?
Although no single set menu exists for the slow carb diet, your daily nutrition should consist of a healthy balance of lean protein, fat and good carbohydrates. Slow carbs can be found in many vegetables, fruits, and whole grain pastas and breads. Dieters can also eat plenty of high-protein foods like lean meats, poultry, fish and eggs, as the also have a low GI. Legumes such as beans, lentils, peas and nuts, as well as healthy fats like fish oil, flax seed and olive oil are also important parts of a slow carb diet.

The best way to remain vigilant and disciplined is to choose a small number of acceptable meals and rotate them on a daily on a weekly basis. This makes it easier to keep track of the carbs you’ve ingested and keep your diet from faltering. Once your selection of meals becomes tedious, devise a new set to keep your meals fresh and interesting.