Low-Carb Diet For Dummies, 2/e
Katherine B. Chauncey
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448 Pages
2 Edition
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Low-carb diets are a hugely popular way to lose weight and stay healthy. But, contrary to what you may have heard, eating low-carb doesn`t have to mean losing all your favorite foods and treats!

In Low-Carb Diet For Dummies, you`ll find an easy-to-follow guide to minimizing carbs while keeping the flavor by evaluating the quality of the carbs you do eat. You will learn to control―but not entirely eliminate (unless you want to)―the intake of refined sugars and flour by identifying and choosing whole, unprocessed food instead. You`ll get fun and creative recipes that taste amazing, reduce the number on the scale, and improve your health. You`ll also get:

  • Great advice on incorporating heart-healthy and waist-slimming exercise into your new diet 
  • Tips on how to maintain your low-carb lifestyle in the long-run 
  • Strategies for responsibly indulging in the occasional carb-y food―because "low-carb" doesn`t mean "no-carb!"

Perfect for anyone dieting for a short-term goal, as well as those looking for a long-term lifestyle change, Low-Carb Diet For Dummies is your secret weapon to going low-carb without missing out on some of the world`s greatest foods.

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Foolish Assumptions 3

Icons Used in This Book 3

Beyond This Book 4

Where to Go from Here 4

Part 1: Understanding the Carbohydrate Controversy 5

Chapter 1: Mapping Out a Low-Carb Diet 7

How Low Is Low Carb? That’s the Question 8

Defining a low-carb diet: Not as easy as you’d think 8

Clarifying what this low-carb diet is about 9

Figuring out whether low-carb eating is right for you 13

Discovering Whole Foods 13

Living the Low-Carb Way 13

Beyond the Scale: Identifying Other Factors for Overall Health 14

Exercise and low-carb dieting: Your partners in fitness 15

Exploring vitamins and supplements 15

Maintaining Your Low-Carb Lifestyle 16

Making the commitment 16

Planning ahead 16

Picking yourself up when you fall 16

Chapter 2: Delving Deeper into Carbohydrates 17

Evaluating the Controversy 17

The low-fat, high-carb diet 19

The low-carb, high-protein diet 20

Deconstructing the Typical (Bad) Diet 21

Eating more refined sugars 22

Eating more salty snacks 22

Eating more fast foods 23

Eating larger portion sizes 24

Eating more calories 24

Getting a lower percentage of calories from fat 25

Eating fewer fruits and vegetables 25

Eating fewer whole grains 26

Looking at the Nation’s Health 26

Obesity 27

Diabetes 27

Metabolic syndrome 27

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or non-alcoholic steatohepatitis 27

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) 28

Heart disease 28

High blood pressure 28

Inflammatory disease 28

Arthritis and related conditions 29

Cancer 29

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) 29

Determining Whether Low-Carb Dieting Is Dangerous 29

Evaluating limits on carbs 30

Getting Back to Basics: The Whole Foods Weight Loss Eating Plan 31

Unveiling the plan 31

Knowing who can benefit from the plan 34

Chapter 3: All Carbs Aren’t Equal: Looking at the Differences 35

Understanding Carbohydrates 36

Identifying the sugar connection 36

What carbs give you beyond nutrition 37

Discovering How Carbs Affect Your Blood Sugar Levels 40

Understanding Refined and Processed Carbs 40

Replacing the Food Pyramid with a Healthy Eating Plate 41

Going Low-Carb without Going Extreme 43

Chapter 4: Determining Whether Low-Carb Eating Is Right for You 45

What’s Your Story? Assessing Your Personal Health Risks 46

Playing detective: Uncovering your family medical history 46

Figuring out how your age is affecting your health 47

Looking at your body mass index 49

Identifying your diabetes risk 51

Recognizing the silent syndrome 53

Understanding lipids 53

Spotting early problems with blood pressure 55

Understanding the relationships between ethnicity and health risks 56

Be Honest! Examining Your Current Diet and Lifestyle 56

Paying attention to what you eat 57

Determining your level of activity 60

Discovering the effects of stress 61

Deciding Whether a Low-Carb Diet Can Help 63

Part 2: Steering Yourself Back to Whole Foods 65

Chapter 5: Falling in Love with Whole Foods 67

Green-Light Foods: Identifying Foods You Can Eat without Thinking Twice 68

Exploring the Free Carbs: Fruits and Vegetables 69

Making fruit choices — fresh is best 70

Eating your veggies, the superstars 73

Indulging in Free Proteins 80

Meat and cheese choices 81

Seafood 84

Making Meals from Whole-Food Choices 86

Letting Green Light Foods Satisfy Your Appetite 86

Chapter 6: Navigating Your Way through Starchy Carbs 89

Yellow Light: Putting Starchy Carbs on Cruise Control 90

Controlling Portion Sizes 91

Breads 91

Cereals, grains, and pasta 92

Vegetables and fruit 94

Dried beans, peas, and lentils 96

Crackers and snacks 97

Choosing the Best, Leaving the Rest 99

Low-glycemic-load carbs 100

High-glycemic-load carbs 100

Putting the Brakes on Refined Carbs 101

Trading off your carb choices for an occasional treat 102

Paying attention to sugar 103

Avoiding the urge to exceed your daily allowance 103

Evaluating Low-Calorie Sweeteners 104

Use in moderation 104

Use with caution 105

Fitting in Your Daily Dietary Fiber 107

Current dietary fiber guidelines 107

Putting It on the Menu: The Daily Plan 109

Chapter 7: Shifting into Dairy Foods 111

Understanding the Benefits of Dairy Foods 111

Got milk? Got nutrients 112

Calcium: It’s everywhere! 113

Getting Enough Calcium 119

Considering Dairy Alternatives 122

Almond milk 122

Cashew milk 123

Coconut milk 123

Hemp milk 124

Macadamia milk 124

Oat milk 124

Quinoa milk 125

Rice milk 125

Soy milk 126

Chapter 8: Fueling Up with Fats: Good Fats, Bad Fats 127

Recognizing How Fat Helps Your Body 128

Regulating body processes 128

Providing energy 128

Storing it up 128

Understanding the Different Kinds of Fat 128

Saturated fats 129

Monounsaturated fats 132

Polyunsaturated fats 132

Knowing How Much Fat Is Enough 134

Including More Healthy Fat in Your Diet 136

Improving Your Ratio of Good Fats to Bad Fats 137

Part 3: Shopping and Cooking for A Low-Carb Lifestyle 139

Chapter 9: Navigating the Supermarket 141

Understanding Supermarket Psychology 142

Knowing Supermarket Layout and Design 143

Patrolling the perimeter 144

Eyeing the endcaps 144

Hitting at eye level 144

Targeting your child 144

Anticipating traffic jams 144

Seducing you with signs 144

Heading into the holidays 145

Luring you with free samples 145

Grooving to the music 145

Steering Your Cart toward the Healthy Foods 145

Making Good Use of New Features 146

Focusing Only on the Healthy Foods in the Aisles 148

Deciphering Food Labels 150

Understanding the ingredient panel 150

Discovering the Nutrition Facts label 151

Considering labels on the Whole Foods Weight Loss Eating Plan 152

Chapter 10: Planning Menus and Meals 153

Planning Menus Ahead 154

Failing to plan is planning to fail 154

Developing your food-plan strategy 154

Scheduling for special occasions 156

Getting Organized 157

Maintaining grocery lists 158

Creating a snack list 159

Ensuring Breakfast Is Quick and Easy 160

Waking up fresh and healthy 162

Grab-and-go breakfasts 163

Making Power Lunches 164

Noontime fuel 165

Brown-bag bounty or working at home 166

Putting Together Satisfying Suppers 168

Evening nourishment 169

Company’s coming 170

Snacking the Good-Carb Way 171

Chapter 11: Starting the Day with Breakfast 173

Creating Some Egg-cellent Choices 174

Using a Carb Choice for Breakfast 180

Chapter 12: Perfect for Lunch: Soups and Salads 187

Making Hearty Soups 188

Tossing Together Healthy Salads and Easy Dressings 194

Chapter 13: Fixing Low-Carb Finger Food: Appetizers and Snacks 203

Starting with Some Tasty Low-Carb Appetizers 204

Feeling the Snack Itch? Feed It with These Low-Carb Snacks 215

Whipping Up Low-Carb Spreads and Salsas for Snacking 223

Chapter 14: Making Some Main Dish Mainstays 231

Beyond Fish Sticks: Your Green-Light Guide to Seafood 232

Cooking Chicken, Beef, and Pork Entrees 238

Going Meatless: Vegetarian Options 251

Chapter 15: Adding Side Dishes to Your Meal 257

Pairing Veggie Side Dishes to Your Low-Carb Meals 258

Getting Some Natural Sweetness — Including Fruit Side Dishes 273

Chapter 16: No Sacrifices Made: Tasty Desserts and Refreshing Beverages 279

Ending Your Meal on a Sweet Note: Low-Carb Desserts 280

Drinking Your Way in a Low-Carb Diet 294

Part 4: Sticking to the Plan 299

Chapter 17: Eating Out without Apologies 301

Making Smart Choices in Restaurants 302

Studying the menu in advance 302

Assessing portion sizes 304

Splitting entrees 304

Reducing liquid calories 305

Knowing how to order 305

Making Sensible Fast-Food Selections 306

Pizza restaurants 306

Burger joints 306

Buffet-style restaurants 307

Evaluating Carry-Out Options 308

Eating on the road or in the air 308

Smart eating on the go 308

Seeing How Ethnic Foods Stack Up 309

Chinese 309

Greek/Mediterranean 310

Indian 310

Italian 311

Mexican 311

Thai/Vietnamese 312

Chapter 18: Psyching Yourself Up 313

Preparing Your Mind 313

Analyzing Your Eating: Mindful or Mindless? 314

Visualizing Your Success 315

Recognizing Your Level of Commitment 315

Ignorance isn’t always bliss: The pre-contemplation stage 316

So how does this work, anyway? The contemplation stage 317

How do I do it? The preparation stage 317

Practice makes perfect: The action stage 318

Creating a habit: The maintenance stage 318

Making it permanent: The termination stage 319

Taking It Up a Notch: Moving from One Level of Commitment to the Next 319

Rallying Support 320

Chapter 19: Setting Yourself Up to Succeed 323

Identifying Your Trigger Foods 324

Stocking the Fridge 325

Filling the Freezer 326

Organizing the Cupboards and Pantry 327

Oils and vinegars 327

Marinated foods 327

Canned and jarred foods 328

Grains 329

Snacks 329

Seasonings 329

Paying Attention to Safety 330

Chapter 20: Falling Off the Wagon and Getting On Again 333

Forgiving Yourself 333

Analyzing the Fall 334

Planning alternative defenses 335

Conquering stress 336

Attitude 336

Organization 337

Self-control 337

Planning 337

Self-care 338

Renewing Your Commitment 339

Breaking the Cycle of Failure 339

Part 5: Recognizing Factors other than Food 341

Chapter 21: Taking Supplements When Food May Not Be Enough 343

Looking First at Food 344

Investigating Supplements 344

Vitamins 345

Minerals 345

Antioxidants 345

Herbs 346

Establishing Your Needs 347

Avoiding excesses 347

Knowing how much is too much 348

Determining if you need more 350

Navigating the Sea of Supplements 352

Chapter 22: Setting a Fitness Goal 355

Establishing Realistic Expectations 356

Accepting your size 356

Understanding genetics and their effect on your body shape 357

Setting Benchmarks beyond the Scale 357

More energy 359

Better sleep 359

Improved mood 359

More self-confidence 360

Getting Up and Moving 360

Knowing how much exercise is enough 361

Using fitness trackers 362

Accumulating exercise and letting it add up 362

Walking your way to fitness 363

Fitness for Life: It’s Never Too Late 364

Changing your attitude 365

Altering what you eat 365

Modifying your workouts 366

Part 6: The Part of Tens 367

Chapter 23: Ten Benefits of Low-Carb Dieting 369

Improved Glucose Control 369

Better Appetite Control 370

Improved Concentration 370

Weight Maintenance 370

Improved Blood Pressure 370

Improved Cholesterol 371

Improved Sleep 371

More Energy 371

Better Mood 372

More Self-Confidence 372

Chapter 24: Ten Questions about Low-Carb Dieting 373

Do I Count the Carbohydrate in Fruits and Vegetables? 373

Can I Use Dried Beans and Peas as Meat Substitutes? 374

How Do I Follow a Lower-Carbohydrate Diet If I’m a Vegetarian? 374

What If I Just Eat Green Light Foods? 374

Do I Need to Take a Supplement? 374

How Much Weight Can I Expect to Lose? 375

Is a Low-Carb Diet Safe for Kids? 375

What Can I Keep in the House for When I’m in a Hurry? 375

How Do I Control Cravings? 376

What Do I Do When I Just Can’t Keep to the Five Carbohydrate Choices per Day? 376

Chapter 25: Ten (Plus Two) Best Sources of Dietary Antioxidants 377

Berries 378

Broccoli 378

Garlic 378

Green Tea 379

Tomatoes 379

Corn 379

Bell Peppers 380

Spinach 380

Cherries 380

Peaches 381

Dark Chocolate 381

Red Grapes 381

Part 7: Appendixes 383

Appendix A: The Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load of Foods 385

What Is the Glycemic Index? 386

What Is the Glycemic Load? 386

What Alters the Glycemic Value of a Food? 387

Why Are Glycemic Values Important? 387

Where Can I Get More Information? 388

Appendix B: Sample Grocery List 389

Green Light Fruits 389

Green Light Vegetables 391

Green Light Proteins 393

Dairy Foods 397

Yellow Light Carbs 397

Other Elements of a Low-Carb Lifestyle 400

Appendix C: Dietary Reference Intakes 401

Vitamins and Minerals 401

Carbohydrate, Protein, and Fat 403

Sugar 404

Dietary Fiber 404

Appendix D: Metric Conversion Guide 405

Index 409 


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