The Low Carb Vegetarian Diet
Whilst not specifically vegetarian, low carb diet plans and low carb foods are nothing new - although recently popularised by Dr Atkins with his bestselling books and products, the first low carb diet was published in 1863 by William Banting, and many people believe the high-protein, low-carbohydrate means of nutrition best mimics those our hunter-gatherer ancestors.
So, what's the big idea? Well, the principle of low-carb eating is to switch the metabolism over from burning carbohydrates as its main fuel, to burning fat instead. This dramatically reduces insulin production, which many people find stabilises food cravings and blood sugar levels, creating a state known as 'ketosis' - this creates a by-product called ketones, (which can be detected in the urine using disposable paper ketostix).
Most low-carbohydrate diet programmes involve a very low level of carbs to start with, eg Atkins recommends a period of 20g per day, gradually increasing levels whilst maintaining fat burning / the ketosis state. To achieve this it is vitally important to count your carbs accurately, as achieving vegetarian ketosis is slightly more difficult - given that ALL our proteins (even tofu) have some carbohydrate element.
To help you get started we include some great recipes for planning a vegetarian
Atkins diet induction menu.
Advocates of low carb dieting maintain that as our ancestral diet, ketosis is our normal metabolic state for thousands of years, with carbs (especially highly refined ones like sugar) being a recent and unhealthy innovation - coinciding with escalating obesity and health problems in the developed world. Vegetarian low carb dieting combines these twin elements of healthy and natural eating to achieve great results.
So is a low carb diet suitable for vegetarians? Yes of course it is! But many mainstream programmes and publications focus on meat, meat and more meat, which is very off-putting! The answer is, as for so many things in our veggie life, there is a way of doing it you just have to shop around, make some changes, and adapt what's already out there. It's just a case of taking the building blocks of your diet and rearranging them to fit the low carb proportions - as ever, you
get your protein
from different sources than your carnivore friends do (and you need to be sure you are getting the right amount of it too). And there are
new foods you may want to include,
or include more of in your vegetarian low carb diet.
There are lots of delicious vegetarian low carb diet recipes to choose from,
making it easy to experiment with and incorporate into daily meals from entertaining to family dinners.
We also take a look at
The Zone Diet
- after all if it worked for Demi Moore and Jennifer Aniston, then it might just work for us too!
Another approach looks differently at the way our bodies metabolise carbs, and this ebook contains a wealth of interesting (whilst not specifically vegetarian) information at a fair price, which is well worth investing in, especially as it's aimed at those of us who are 'serial dieters' and have a history of losing and regaining weight.
The low carb bandwagon rolls on into town, and there are bound to be more plans and programmes that can offer new tweaks and approaches to this overall way of eating. We want to keep you updated with all the possibilities, as well as new recipes, vegetarian news and fresh weight loss tips. So please do sign up for our monthly ezine, so we can all keep in touch...
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