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Low-Carb Meal Replacements

written by: Kumara Velu • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 12/24/2010

If you’re concerned about keeping your weight in check, you would want to try out these low-carb meal replacements and get all the necessary carbohydrates your body needs.

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    Proponents of fad diets have often warned us of the dangers of carbohydrates and seem to be advocating the total elimination of the same from our diet.

    What needs to be borne in mind before accepting these blanket statements is carbohydrates are essential for good health as they are needed by the body to undertake physical activity and for proper organ function.

    While it’s true that carbohydrates from white rice, pastries, white bread and most processed foods contribute to weight gain, carbohydrates from natural food sources like whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables are actually important for the maintenance of good health.

    Experts agree that carbohydrates are not bad, but only that there are healthy sources of carbohydrates and unhealthy sources of carbohydrates.

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    Good Carbs Are Low Carbs

    A good way to start a low-carb diet is to consume fruits, vegetables and whole grain carbohydrates daily. They contain the necessary amounts of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that are beneficial for good health. Among foods that supply you good carbohydrates are whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole oats and even whole grain pasta. These foods help prevent chronic diseases while agreeable to the palate.

    Let’s take a look at how you can incorporate low-carb foods into your diet on a regular basis to promote good health.

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    Low-Carb Meal Replacements

    If you’re serious about going low carb, you should include whole grains in your breakfast. If you prefer hot cereals, you can opt for steel-cut oats. If you’re the cold cereal type, then you can choose food items that have whole wheat or any type of whole grain listed as the main ingredient.

    If you’re fond of consuming 'heavy’ lunches rich in carbohydrates, you may want to consider whole grain breads not only for lunch but also as replacement for snacks.

    For dinner, you would want to cut your intake of potatoes and replace them with brown rice or other grains like wheat berries, millet or hulled barley.

    Beans are also recommended for inclusion in your diet as the carbohydrates they provide are of the types that are slowly digested.

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    Quick Meals

    If you don’t have the time to prepare a proper low-carb meal, you can consider the following ideas.

    You can add sugar-free yogurt without 'disagreeable’ additives to your diet. If you’re having difficulty locating the sugar-free variety, then you can opt for plain yogurt and add your own fruits or sugar alternative to make it sweet.

    You can also include low-sugar fruits in your diet. Examples are blackberries, cranberries and raspberries. If you wish, you can also include lime and lemon in small quantities.

    Sugar-free gelatin snacks are sweet, yet are low-carb foods. You could try Jell-O low calorie snacks which come in various fruity flavors.

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    References

    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/carbohydrates-full-story/index.html#good-carbs-not-no-carbs Harvard School of Public Health general information on carbohydrates and healthy sources of carbohydrates

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/low-carb-diet/NU00279 - low carb diet ideas