Benefits of Adding More Fiber to Your Diet
Ah fiber, we hear so much chatter about it on a daily basis, yet many of us fail to get enough in our diet. Even worse, a lot of us are completely oblivious of what it does, or why you should be getting more in your diet. Are you one of the many who are misinformed when it comes to fiber?
Sources of Healthy Low Carb Fiber Foods
Here are some of the best sources of low carb fiber you can add today to get your body functioning better.
There are almost no carbs in flaxseeds because they contain so much fiber, and both soluble and insoluble varieties, with 1/3 being soluble. Flax may just be the best low carb fiber sources, with 1 tablespoon yielding only 2 grams of carbs and 1.9 of which is fiber. Look online for flaxseed crackers, there are several products that offer a great alternative to high carbohydrate crackers and will allow you to increase your fiber intake.
Health Benefits of Avocados
A highly nutrient dense fruit, the avocado’s health benefits are plentiful. While it has 9 grams of carbs, 7 of those are fiber, which nets only 2 impact carbs and ideal for a low carb diet.
Additionally, the avocado contains 2 grams of protein and 15 grams of healthy fats, both of which are essential for a healthy low carb diet.
Key Nutrients in Just a 3.5 Ounce Serving Include:
• 26% RDA of vitamin K
• 20% RDA of folate
• 17% RDA of vitamin C
• 14% RDA of potassium
• 14% RDA of vitamin B5
• 13% RDA of vitamin B6
• 10% RDA of vitamin E
Avocados also have more potassium than bananas, a nutrient that helps to maintain electrical gradients in cells and assists with other vital internal body processes. A 3.5-ounce serving contains 14% of the RDA of potassium.
Several studies found that potassium intake helps to reduce blood pressure and lower risks for heart attack and strokes.
If that’s not enough, avocado also contains manganese, copper, magnesium, zinc, iron, vitamins B2 and B3, phosphorous and vitamin A.
Broccoli Low Calories
Broccoli has been handpicked by us, over traditional vegetables not just for its fiber level but also for its ridiculously low caloric density. ½ a cup of broccoli has only 31 calories, 2 grams of fiber, and 4 grams of carbs, bulking up stomach contents without a large carb or caloric load. It also supplies a lot of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin B-6.
Another major plus? Broccoli is able to eliminate excessive estrogen levels, a very welcome benefit for male athletes.
Spinach and Chard
1 cup of chopped spinach has one carb and one gram of fiber, so no carbs at all, and the same goes for chard!
Asparagus -½ a cup of cut cooked asparagus has 4 grams of carbs and 2 grams fiber.
Celery - 1 cup of chopped celery has 3 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fiber.
Mushrooms - One cup of sliced mushrooms has two gram of carbs and one gram of fiber.
Healthy and Portable Low Carb Meals
So you’ve made the decision to eat low carb- kudos to you for that. However, you may soon realize that it can easily become a lot more difficult than you anticipated; at least without diligent thought and preparation.
So What’s to Be Done?
Let’s face it- we all have jobs (or at least I hope so!) and it can be quite the task to wake up very early in the morning to prepare food, then struggle through morning commute for who knows how many more hours. Then, as soon as you reach into work, you run down to the vending machine and pick up a Snickers. Whoa there! You’re off to a bad start.
What if I told you, that you can carry your food with you? Yes, I know you won’t be spending hours in the kitchen before work, but there are ways you can expedite preparation time, and have delicious, healthy and most importantly portable low carb meals at your disposal.
First, A Few Quick Tips:
Finding it hard to forego your delicious bread based sandwiches? For many people, bread forms a very important meal base, around which endless varieties of sandwiches can be concocted. Going cold turkey on bread when on a low carb diet can drive you bananas! But, luckily, you can use lettuce to substitute as bread slices, or even in the case of bun less burgers!
Sandwiches are the ultimate portable food, and this can be a godsend. Fill with lean meats, onion, ranch dressing for a zesty kick (which coincidentally is low in carbs wink wink!) and, in limitation, a bit of cheese. You can try a new type of lettuce sandwich everyday if you like!
Stir Fried Veggies and Seafood
Don’t like to cut up and prepare veggies on the weekend? (Lazy, aren’t you!) Then, still no reason to stress. You can just as easily pick up a bag of frozen veggies from your supermarket freezer isle, and easily whip out a few for a tasty stir fry. Add shrimp in the mix, or even canned tuna, and what you’ve got is a powerful and portable meal rich in heart healthy Omega-3 Fatty acids and lots of Zinc (watch out for that libido increase!)
Low Carb Bento Boxes
Bento boxes may be unknown to you, but they can be a very nice way to spruce up a boring or visually dead diet. The way food looks plays an important part in its perceived taste, and this is especially where bento box low carb meals excel. All you need is a lunch bowl with 3-4 compartments, and fill with various foods in each. Typically, Japanese Bento contains rice, but low carb substitutions are a quick and easy fix.
You can fill one compartment with seasoned or stir fried veggies (your choice; I love the way stir fried Brussels sprouts taste!), one compartment with a lean meat of your choice, or even better fish; and a boiled egg or two in the other compartment. Sprinkle a little soy sauce over the dish and you will have a delectable meal that looks stunning too.
Smoked or Grilled Kebabs
Love a good Fourth of July weekend? So do we! Well, now you can have your mini HEALTHY low carb barbecue whenever you need! Just fire up that grill (gas or charcoal) and make your own kebabs on skewers! Accessorize with sweet bell peppers, onion, tomatoes, maybe some bacon, and even the occasional pineapple chunk. A very low carb portable meal as long as you do not go overboard with the pineapple.
Good Old Salads
Nothing beats a nice salad when it comes to health, and convenience. Salads take mere minutes to prepare, can be done however you like, and are filling too. Load up with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet peppers and lean meats of your choice (turkey works well here). Hey, if you like pack two servings for a long day!
Now that you’ve seen the simplicity of packing a healthy low carb meal, there’s no longer a reason to not carry yours from home.
The portability of these meals is unmatched; you can likely fit them in your handbag or even pocket!
Energizing Low Carb Breakfasts Ideas
By now, it has been pounded into your head more times than you’d like to remember; breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Yet, many people skip this meal altogether, for reasons that range from “no time,” to “can’t stomach food” to “I don’t like breakfast.”
However, regardless of the best lame excuse you can muster, there are reasons too many to mention why you NEED to have breakfast, and there is an endless number of options for you to consider.
Just in case you don’t know why breakfast is so important, here’s a quick refresher:
By now you may be thinking that it’s about right to go load up on bread and pancakes at breaky. Not at all; in fact, diets high in refined, starchy and simple sugars are actually the worst in regulating your energy levels and keep you working at peak performance.
Instead, Consider These Amazing Low Carb, Energizing Breakfasts to Keep You On the Go:
Wheat Free Pancakes
Good news for you- you can still have that pancake, but this time it is 10 times healthier. Typical wheat free pancakes are made of almond flour, which is extremely low in sugar and carbs, but a decent source of proteins. The natural flavor of almonds means that your pancake will still taste excellent even without added sugar. You can serve with a few berries on top, but keep in mind that berries are reasonably high in sugar content.
Delicious Cheese Muffins
These are not your typical muffins; in fact, these are even more delicious! These muffins are made of cheese (mainly cheddar) and broccoli, along with eggs and veggies of your choice. They’re easy and fast to prepare, so you can even make them in the evening before bed, and have breakfast waiting for you when you get up! What you get is a muffin high in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals and very low in carbs- just what you need to get up and go.
Baked Eggs and Bacon with Wilted Spinach
If your stomach is a bottomless pit, this will suit you just fine! This breakfast meal is healthy, and very filling. To make, just line a baking pan with spinach, followed by bacon, then top with eggs, veggies of your choice and two tablespoons of grated cheese and pop in the oven for about 20 minutes.
Trust me, you won’t be very hungry for snacks today!
Frittatas Made of Tomato
This will be likely one of the tastiest frittatas you can make, and also one of the healthiest. Eggs, a bit if bacon, and cheese are filled into a tomato center, and baked for about 15 minutes. The result? A breakfast meal rich in protein, lycopene, and many vitamins and minerals.
Smoked Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
If you’re not a major fan of baking, then you can whip up the old grill for a quickie. These bacon wrapped asparagus stalks make for a tasty breakfast, and are extremely convenient and easy to carry around. This opens your eyes to a whole other world of delicious recipes that are awesomely healthy and low carb!