The No Sugar No Carb diet is the most popular diet in Hollywood right now. Many celebrities have tried it and are posting their impressive results on social media. Are you thinking about joining the trend, but not sure exactly what it is? Keep reading and I will fill you in on all the details.
Basically, this diet is framed around drastically cutting carbohydrates and sugar. You will eat mostly leafy green vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Starchy carbohydrates like white bread and pasta are actually sugar in disguise. Your body breaks them down quickly into glucose.(8) Complex carbohydrates that are fiber-rich, like leafy green vegetables, take longer to digest, so you feel full longer. This is the basic reasoning behind it. Let’s discuss this more in detail.
What are Carbohydrates?
Basically, carbohydrates give the body the energy it needs to function properly. Carbohydrates are found mostly in plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, peas, grains, and beans. Milk and milk products are the only foods that come from animals which are carbohydrates. The two groups of carbohydrates are simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates.
Simple carbohydrates include:
Complex carbohydrates include:
There is also a classification of carbohydrates that includes high and low glycemic index foods. The low glycemic index foods are what we will focus on for this article. I will be discussing more about the types of carbohydrates, and the effect of each one in the next section.
Why Limit Carbohydrates?
Reducing the amount of carbohydrates and sugar in the diet is helpful for everyone. The main reasons people choose to do this diet is because they want to lose weight or stop insulin resistance. There are other benefits you will see from cutting down on carbohydrates as well.
Some of them include:
- Burning Fat
- Less Hungry
- Flatter Belly
- Reduce Risk of Diabetes
- More Energy
- Stronger Muscles
When you reduce carbohydrates in your diet, it reduces the amount of daily calories that you consume. This forces your body to burn fat stored around your belly for energy, rather than the sugars it takes from carbohydrates.(9)
Nutrients in your food are what makes you feel full. These nutrients are fiber, protein and healthy fats. Simple refined carbs are low in all three of those nutrients. So if you eat food that is low in fiber, low in protein, and low in healthy fats, you won’t feel full. No matter how much you eat, your body will go in search of more food. This results in you still being hungry. You will be searching for any food you can find to satisfy that hunger. However, if you reduce the amount of carbohydrates you consume, you will be full and not have that result.(9)
Most Americans only consume 15 of the recommended 38 grams per day, according to the Institute of Medicine.(10) As a result, the healthy gut microbes that keep us lean don’t have enough to consume. This results in the unhealthy microbes taking over. Unfortunately, those are the microbes that cause bloating, and make your belly look bigger.(10)
Simple carbohydrates are made of simple sugars. If you consume too many, it will destroy your body. Basically, the more simple carbohydrates you consume, the more insulin your pancreas produces. This can eventually lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, according to Smith.(10)
All carbohydrates are not bad. Your body needs carbohydrates to function. Carbohydrates are essential for adequate brain and muscle function. By switching from simple carbohydrates to more complex carbohydrates, you will have a steady amount of energy. Also, by filling your body with protein and other nutrients, you’re giving it what it needs to grow without the additional calories.(9) Now let’s discuss what the best choices are for you to eat.
What Can I Eat?
The best type of meats to consume are pasture-raised and grass-fed meats. The advantages to eating this type of meat is that they contain fewer calories, more healthy fats, reduce the risk of heart disease and are better for the environment. Grass-fed meats are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduces inflammation as well. There are many types of meat to choose from:
Grass-fed beef is also a good source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA is a polyunsaturated fatty acid. It has been shown to help fight cancer, encourage weight loss, and build muscle (1). Grass-fed meat has actually been shown to help the environment as well. (2) As you can see, CLA is crucial when you are trying to lose weight.
Eggs from pasture-fed chickens are fed with food sources of a higher quality than those who are hosted within a factory for mass consumption. (3) This is why the yolk is richer and the shell is thicker. The bottom line is that farm fresh eggs taste better, and hold more nutritional value than store bought eggs.(3)
They have many advantages of regular eggs:
- Less Fat
- Less Cholesterol
- More Vitamin A
- More Vitamin E
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Eggs from pasture-fed chickens contained 1/3 of the cholesterol and 1/4 of the saturated fat of conventional eggs (3). Vitamin A is crucial to the healthy development of teeth, bones, soft tissue and tissues in the eyes. It also acts as an antioxidant and protects cells from damage. Also, cage free eggs have triple the amount of vitamin E that store bought eggs contain. Furthermore, Pennsylvania State University research found double the vitamin E in the eggs of grass-fed hens (4). Omega 3 Fatty Acids are shown to help heart health, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. They also decrease other potential health issues. Some of issues are decreased risk of diabetes, stroke, digestive disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, and some cancers. (5) Now that we have discussed why it is important to buy cage free eggs, we hope you will buy them instead of buying store bought eggs.
Omega 3 fatty acids are the most important nutrient in fish. The best types of fish to consume are:
As previously mentioned, Omega 3 Fatty Acids are shown to help heart health, lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure. They also are connected with decreased risk of diabetes, stroke, digestive disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, and some cancers. (5) Omega 3 Fatty Acids have done very well in studies. In fact, the FDA approved a new “qualified health claim” for the effects of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) for reduced risks of coronary heart disease. (6) By now, you are probably convinced that fish are essential to a healthy diet. Let’s move on to the best types of vegetables to consume.
The most important issue to remember about vegetables is to buy pesticide free. One way to ensure that a vegetable is pesticide free is to buy from local farmers at a local farmers market. This way you can ask them questions and find out about their individual processes. Here is a list of the most important vegetables to eat:
- Bell peppers
- Green Beans
- Brussel Sprouts
Keep in mind that organic vegetables can be treated with pesticides as well. Always double check with the farmers. If you want to be extra cautious, you can always grow your own.
Fats and Oils
Fat is an essential part of our diet and is important for good health. There are different types of fats. Some fats are healthier than others. The best fats and oils to use are the monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. These are known as the “good fats” because they are good for your heart, cholesterol, and overall health.
These fats can help to:
- Lower the Risk of Heart Disease
- Lower the Risk of Stroke
- Lower Bad LDL Cholesterol Levels
- Increase Good HDL
Some examples of good fats are:
- Coconut Oil
- Olive Oil
- Avocado Oil
Unsaturated fats are an important because they help reduce the risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol levels. They also hold us over for longer periods of time and have more nutrients in them.
High Fat Dairy
Keep in mind, fat does not make you fat. The most beneficial dairy for you to eat is high fat dairy. Heavy Cream, yogurt, cheese, and milk are good examples. High fat is important for us to eat because you must balance out the low amount of carbohydrates you are now eating. Also, high fat dairy has the following benefits:
- Easier Weight Loss
- Lower Risk of Diabetes
- Healthier Heart
- Calmer Digestive Tract
- Lower Sugar Intake
There are many reasons supporting this theory. There are over 400 unique types of fatty acids found in dairy products.(11) Many of them are believed to have anti-inflammatory effects in the body. This helps keep your heart healthier. Eating high fat dairy also makes the blood sugar rise slowly over time, which helps lower the risk of diabetes. Also, eating high fat dairy fills you up more so you are not hungry as quickly. This supports weight loss. It contributes to a calmer digestive tract because it reduces belly bloat. In addition, high fat dairy contains less sugar than other options. Now we will move onto the types of nuts and seeds that are most beneficial.
Nuts and Seeds
Buying raw nuts and seeds is your best bet to lose weight on this diet. Nuts and seeds are good sources of protein, healthy fats, fibers, vitamins and minerals. They regulate body weight because fats are not fully absorbed. They also regulate food intake by keeping you fuller for longer time periods.(7)
The best nuts and seeds to reach for are:
- Sunflower Seeds
- Brazil Nuts
- Macadamia Nuts
Nuts and seeds are highly nutritious and low in carbs. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats that can benefit your health in several ways. Adding these to your no-carb meal plan may boost heart health, promote weight loss and keep blood sugar in check. The best quality of nuts and seeds is that they are versatile ingredients that can be added to almost any meal or snack.
The most beneficial beverage you can drink is definitely water. However, there are some other beverages worth trying.
- Sparkling Water
- Dry Wine
You should always make sure that you are consuming the correct amount of water. Water flushes out toxins and keeps you hydrated. The above beverage suggestions are helpful as well. These beverages are important because the most significant source of added sugar is in beverages.
You should eat fruits in moderation. When you do eat them, you should eat low glycemic index fruits. There are some listed below.
Low glycemic index fruits are best to eat because they only cause a small raise in blood sugar. Also, fruits are high in vital nutrients like fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Now that you have a good understanding of the No Carbs No Sugar diet, you should join the trend. What are you waiting for?