Web Analytics

Ten tips for a healthy low-carb diet

hole wheat foods are essential heart-healthy staples that keep us slim and satisfied, right?

Maybe not. In fact, as new research emerges suggesting that a diet heavy in “healthy whole grains” can lead to weight gain and may not be so healthy after all, more and more dieters are kicking those plates of pancakes and bowls of pasta to the curb.


Low-carb diets are a proven way to help you lose weight and stay healthy – but only if you follow other guidelines for healthy eating in conjunction with limiting grains and starches. Unfortunately, a diet consisting solely of burgers and brie won’t do your body any favors.

Want to maximize your health in the modern age of mass-produced commercial foods? Follow this wheat-free advice adapted from the new book “Wheat Belly Total Health,” by Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist.

1. Choose uncured and unprocessed meats without sodium nitrite. Processed meats such as sausage, pepperoni, bacon and salami often contain the color-fixing chemical solution known as nitrite. When cooked, sodium nitrite reacts with the amino acids in meat to yield nitrosamines that, in every animal experimental model, have been linked to gastrointestinal cancers and, in several human epidemiological studies, have been associated with greater cancer incidence. Look for meats that are processed naturally and do not contain sodium nitrite.

2. When it comes to dairy, always choose organic. Many commercial dairies milk cows during pregnancy, so products made from this milk often contain increased levels of estrogen. To avoid this problem as well as exposure to bovine growth hormone, choose milk, sour cream, cheese, yogurt and butter from organic producers that practice a more limited milking period.

3. Consider fermented foods. In the absence of fibrous grains, coconut or dairy yogurt, kefir, fermented radishes, fermented cucumbers, and fermented onions are an easy and delicious way to obtain healthy quantities of probiotic-like bacteria to benefit bowel health. Fermented foods can be eaten as is, added to salads, or dipped into hummus or salsa.

4. Don’t limit salt. The Institute of Medicine stands by its advice to limit salt to no more than 2,300 mg per day, but Davis argues that the average salt intake in the United States of 3,400 mg is a perfectly fine level. In fact, for the vast majority of people practicing a grain-free lifestyle, light to moderate use of mineral-rich forms of salt such as sea salt is actually healthier than severely restricting salt, particularly when that salt is combined with healthy, potassium-rich foods such as vegetables, avocados, or coconut.

However, there are serious problems associated with unlimited salt use, so don’t go crazy with that salt shaker. In fact, salt intakes in or above the 6,000-mg to 10,000-mg range per day can be associated with adverse cardiovascular effects. Also, a minority of people, such as people with kidney disease, do have sensitivities to salt and should not engage in unrestricted salt intake. If you have such a condition, a sodium prescription should come from your doctor.

5. Use safe sweeteners. If you’re familiar with the Wheat Belly diet or have read the “Wheat Belly 30 Minute (Or Less!) Cookbook,” you know that it’s relatively easy to create grain-free versions of cookies, muffins and other goodies using the alternative sweeteners that Davis deems safe for consumption – namely liquid or powdered stevia, stevia with inulin (but not maltodextrin), monk fruit, erythritol and xylitol. A few people may experience a triggering of their sweet tooth with these sweeteners, leading to sugar cravings, but most dieters do well with safe sugar substitutes.

Be sure to avoid fructose-filled sweeteners such as grain-sourced high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose (50 percent fructose), and agave nectar (90 percent fructose). Some people choose to use honey and maple syrup because they are natural sources of sugar, but both are high in fructose and should be used sparingly, since the sugar has been linked to obesity and a higher risk of metabolic and cardiovascular disorders.

6. Choose organic vegetables and fruits. If they’re available and your budget permits, make organic your first choice. This is especially important when the exterior of the food is consumed, as with blueberries and broccoli, for example. With bananas, avocados, and other foods where the exterior is not consumed, it’s not as important, though pesticides and herbicides can still penetrate to the interior so it can’t hurt to go all organic. If you cannot choose organic, rinse your fruits and veggies thoroughly in warm water to minimize residues of pesticides and herbicides such as perchlorates, which can block thyroid function.

7. Minimize exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA). This compound, found in polycarbonate plastics (clear hard plastics with recycling code No. 7) and the resin lining of cans, exerts endocrine disruptive effects that may cause congestive heart failure, diabetes, thyroid dysfunction and weight gain. Native Forest and Natural Value are among the first brands to declare that they use BPA-free cans, but as the controversy over BPA heats up, more and more manufacturers are converting to BPA-free linings.

8. Avoid soft drinks and carbonated beverages. The acid effects of carbonation erode bone health because carbonic acid is neutralized by extracting calcium salts from bones. Instead of sipping on a soda, drink water (with lemon, lime, cucumber, kiwi, mint leaves or orange), teas (black, green or white), infusions (teas brewed from other leaves, herbs, flowers and fruits), unsweetened almond milk, unsweetened coconut milk, coconut water, hemp milk and coffee.

9. Avoid hydrogenated fats. Hydrogenated fats, or trans fats, that fill processed foods contribute to heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. The worst culprit is margarine because it is made with vegetable oils hydrogenated to yield a solid stick or tub form. Many processed foods, such as cookies and sandwich spreads, contain hydrogenated oils and should be avoided for their trans fat content as well as their grains and sugars.

10. Minimize exposure to high-temperature cooking. When cooking in temperatures that exceed 450 degrees Fahrenheit, reactions called glycation or lipoxidation will occur between carbohydrates or proteins with the fats in foods. These contribute to hypertension, formation of cataracts, arthritis, heart disease and cancer. These reactions develop with deep frying (but not sautéing), broiling, and any other form of cooking that involves charring the food’s surface.

Custom Search
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
Leave a Reply

Facebook Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com