What to Avoid on No-Carb Diets

Updated February 21, 2017

Following a no-carb diet can be difficult if you do not normally watch your carbohydrate intake. Furthermore, questions regarding the health benefits of the no-carb diet must be considered as well. Some people take the idea of the no-carb diet to the extreme by taking license with types of foods they eat. Eating too many of the wrong foods while on a no-carb or a low-carb diet can have long-term, negative consequences.

Which Foods Contain Carbohydrates?

If you must go on a no-carb diet, the foods you should avoid are easy to identify. These include all forms of breads, grains, and pastas. The basic rule of thumb is to cut out any food containing flour, but the list does not stop there. Many other foods contain carbs as well. Beans, milk, fruit, and all forms of sweets contain carbohydrates also. If you want to lose weight on a no-carb diet, basically avoid eating just about everything except meat, cheese, and certain types of condiments.

Avoiding the Bad Proteins

You will be better off avoid certain types of meats, or at least eating them in moderation. Fatty meats like minced meat, bacon, and pork sausage fit into that category. All of these meats are high in saturated fats, which can raise your blood cholesterol levels and increase your risk for heart disease. Instead, eat a variety of fish, chicken, and turkey, which are all lower in fat and more heart-healthy. Of these, fish is probably the most important because it contains Omega-3 fatty acids -- good fats necessary for proper cell function.

No-Carb vs. Low-Carb

If you want to diet for long-term health and sustained weight loss, consider the fact that carbohydrates are necessary for proper metabolic function. You can still benefit from a low-carb lifestyle by avoiding high-glycemic carbohydrates like those in breads and potatoes. These are starchy carbs that are easily converted from starch to sugar in the body and cause spikes in insulin levels. These spikes often lead to increased hunger and the excess calories are easily stored as fat.

Instead, eat low-glycemic carbohydrates like those in oats, nuts, and green leafy vegetables like broccoli. Eaten in moderation, these too can contribute to the weight-loss benefits of a reduced carbohydrate diet. By eating these types of foods, you will also be contributing to your long-term health by providing the body with much-needed energy and nutrients it cannot get by simply eating meat and cheese.

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About the Author

Jared Lewis is a professor of history, philosophy and the humanities. He has taught various courses in these fields since 2001. A former licensed financial adviser, he now works as a writer and has published numerous articles on education and business. He holds a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in theology and has completed doctoral work in American history.