When we start eating a low carb diet, we can often make the mistake of just eating our old diet, but with fewer carbs. And although this will definitely help us control our appetites and lose weight, it is boring, and completely defeats half the point of a low carb diet in the first place, which is to chase health.
The basic problem is that our everyday diet is already too simple and lacking in variety. Count the number of different foods you eat every day, including herbs and spices, but not including different ways of cooking the same foods. The average American eats 26 different foods a day, plus of minus 8. That means that chances are you eat 18-34 different foods every day. On the other hand, today alone I ate over sixty different food items. How can this be done? Quite simply by increasing the variety of vegetables we eat every day.
Swapping carbs for low carb veggies and nonsweet fruits is the perfect way to go about things. For every carb you remove from your diet, add at least two vegetables or nonsweet fruits. This will increase the amount of fiber and nutrients you eat every day. If you are having a hard time doing this all in one go, take one day at a time. Choose a carb to get rid of from a meal, and put two low carb veggies in its place. Then keep doing it until your carb intake is reduced and your vegetable intake is increased.
As a starting point, here are my favorite low carb veggies. These veggies pack an impressive nutritional punch in even a very small amount. So they’re definitely the first ones you want to try out.
This vegetable is loaded with fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. It is also very versatile, as you can spiralizer it into noodles, make it into purees to top pies with, and generally throw it into any soup or stew that needs a little texture.
Pumpkin and other squashes are not only loaded with valuable vitamins and minerals, but are also ridiculously low calorie and low carb. 100 grams of pumpkin will only give you 26 calories, whilst loading you with Vitamin A, potassium, and B vitamins. Use pumpkin to fill pies and top meaty dishes with it instead of potato.
Avocado is a great natural source of dietary fats that help control our appetites and improve our immune systems. They have quite a few carbs, but most of them are fiber. Use it as a spread, in salads, or as a nice dipping sauce.
Celery is very low in calories and carbs, but loaded with exactly the sort of fibre which we need to eat loads more of. It is robust and scrapes our guts clean, whilst providing our gut bacteria with an amazing habitat in which to grow and develop. You can use it for dipping, or crunch in salads. It is also a good addition to stews, adding a lightly salty taste without using table salt.
5: Bell peppers
Both sweet peppers and spicy peppers are amazing for our bodies. They are low in calories, high in water, and very high in vitamins A and C, for a stronger immune system. You can eat them fresh and raw, use them for dipping, or cook them up into some eggs for color and texture.
All kinds of onions are great for us. They add dietary fires, and are full of all the minerals we need to stay hydrated and strong. But don’t limit yourself to the humble white onion. Use spring onions, shallots, red onions, and anything else you can get your hands on. They all have their own tastes and uses.
Many of us just can’t get along with the cabbage family, but all of the brassicas are amazing for us. Loaded with fiber and minerals, use kale, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts in stir fries, stews, and even shredded in salads.
Although many people think of cucumber as having little to no nutritional value, its high water and mineral contents, combined with the loads of fiber it gives us, make it an impressive asset against dehydration.