The Most Common Low Carb Misconception

Woman eating salad
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Almost every "anti-low carb" article or news report says the same thing: reduced-carb diets don’t have enough fruits and vegetables. But if you talk to someone who follows a healthy low carb way of eating, or carefully read most of the books about low carb diets, you’ll find that nothing could be further from the truth! Not only is eating a wide variety of non-starchy vegetables and low-sugar fruits one of the most important things we can do for our long-term health, it is very easy to fit them into a healthy low carb eating plan.
In fact, many low-carbers find themselves eating more vegetables and fruits than ever before, without really trying.

Why are Vegetables and Fruits So Important?

Not only are these plant foods high in fiber and loaded with vitamins and minerals, they contain myriads of substances called phytonutrients or phytochemicals. These compounds are probably the explanation for why people whose diets are high in vegetables are at a lower risk for cancer, heart disease, certain eye conditions, and many other health problems. Phytonutrients can act as antioxidants, boost our immune systems, repair cellular damage, and much more. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of these compounds – impossible to obtain through pills.

Happily, not only are vegetables encouraged when cutting carbohydrates, they fit into this way of eating very naturally and easily. They provide variety in flavor, texture, and color, making it easier to be happy eating fewer carbs.
Additionally, many of the vegetables and fruits with the highest amounts of phytonutrients are also low in carbohydrates.

Tips for Raising Your “Fruit and Veg Count”

Use low-starch vegetables as a substitute for starchy foods. Mashed cauliflower standing in for potatoes is a classic. Try zucchini strips or spaghetti squash instead of pasta.
Put cheese or spreads on cucumber or jicama slices, or, of course, celery.

Berries are not only low in sugar, but have some of the highest antioxidant counts of all. Freezing them doesn’t lose any of the “goodness”, so have them with yogurt or cottage cheese for breakfast, bake them into low carb pancakes and muffins, or enjoy them straight up, knowing that they are doing wonderful things for your body while tasting delicious!

Put “green leafies” and other veggies into egg dishes (omelets, frittatas, etc.), soups, casseroles, and really any dish. Chopped sautéed chard can add a subtle depth of flavor to many skillet meals.

Try some new veggies! For example, I keep hearing about pureed celery root being another substitute for potatoes – I’m going to try it soon! Be bold and experiment! Compare notes with your friends! Low Carb Vegetable List

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