Easy ways to reduce carbohydrate intake

Products sources of carbohydrates. Healthy carbs food. Top view

Carbohydrates are a very important part of your daily diet. In some circumstances, however, cutting back on carbohydrates may provide some real health benefits. Studies show that low carb diets may help with weight loss and better management of diabetes or prediabetes in adults with higher body weights. 
Continue reading to know some easy ways to cut down carbs from your diet.  

Cut down on white bread- white bread is made out of refined flour(maida) and has very low fibers and other micro nutrients. Being low of fibers, the sugars and carbs in white bread are quickly processed in the body and this leads to spikes in blood sugar levels. To avoid these spikes, you can cut down on your white bread intake or replace white bread with whole grain bread that is rich in fibers, which means it takes longer to digest and affects blood sugar gradually, unlike the white bread spikes.  

Fresh orange juice in the glass on dark background

Ditch that glass of juice- Fruit juice contains no fibers and is also high in the fruit sugar ‘fructose’ which is a form of simple carb. Other than some of the minerals and vitamins it provides, a glass of fruit juice is no different from a sugary beverage in terms of carbs and sugars. If you are looking to cut down your carb intake swap that glass of fruit juice for a piece of fruit that is rich in fibers. 

Track carbs with a nutrition tracker– A nutrition tracker is a great tool to track not just your calories, but also your macro nutrients like carbs, proteins etc. Most of these apps are easily available for smart phones and are pretty accurate. Carbs and other nutrients are automatically calculated when you enter them into the tracker. 

Healthy food high in protein. Meat, fish, dairy products, nuts and beans. Top view

Focus on high protein foods- A great way to cut down your carbs in to increase your protein intake.  Protein rich foods can help increase satiety, which means it helps you feel fuller longer. It may also help you eat less throughout the day. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7539343/ Following a diet high in proteins (while still supplementing your diet with complex carbohydrates) may even get the extra benefit of some weight loss. 

Cut down intake of sugar sweetened beverages– Most sugars (fructose, lactose, sucrose, glucose) are simple carbs. This means that they give quick energy, cause a quick rise in blood sugar and insulin secretion from your pancreas. Beverages like cola’s, ice tea and other such beverages add a lot of carbs in the form of sugars into your diet. Reducing your intake of sugar-sweetened drinks can significantly reduce your simple carb intake and may help protect against the development of type 2 diabetes.  

Roasted Phool Makhana or Crispy Lotus pops Seed served in a bowl, selective focus

Chooses low crab snacks– Foods like chips, cookies, French fries etc. are rich in carbs but lack protein and fibers, the 2 main nutrients that are responsible for making you feel full. Its due to this that you end up eating more carbs. Switching to snacks that are low in carbs but rich in fibers and proteins will be a healthy decision. You can include snack like sprouts, nuts, eggs, roasted chana/ makhana, low fat yogurt etc.  

Be smart- Plan your melas with a balanced amount of lean proteins (eggs, chicken etc.), healthy fats (nuts, olive oil etc.) and complex carbs (whole grains, vegetables etc. ). Try and stick to consuming more whole foods rather than processed foods.  

Cut down baked goods– While it will be tempting to grab a puff from your local bakery or a packet of biscuits/ cookies when you are pressed for time, they are not helping with your carb addiction. Such baked goods only add to sugar spikes, hence are best avoided.  

Eat more fiber– Getting your daily requirement of fibers is the best way to reduce cravings and fight diabetes. Fiber down in digestion, it doesn’t raise blood sugar and actually slows down the flow of sugar into the bloodstream. study showed that people who ate 26 grams of fiber per day experienced an 18% reduction in their diabetes risk when compared to people who ate less than 19 grams a day (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5883628/). You can get your daily fiber intake from foods like oats, whole grains, vegetables etc.  

Drink more water- Another amazing way to keep yourself from overeating is to increase our water intake. Very often people mistake thirst for hunger and reach for food instead of a glass of water. One study found that simply drinking a glass of water before meals helped people lose weight over a 12-week period (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150826101645.htm). 

Go thin crust- If pizza is your first love and can’t seem to let it go…. then at least you can let go of the thick crust or cheese stuffed crust and go for a thin crust (even better if its whole wheat) By doing this you’ll get the taste you love without sacrificing an unnecessary amount of carbs to get it. Not only that, but you’ll also be reducing your refined white flour consumption.   

Mix of nuts of cashew, almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts and walnuts is against the background of brown fabric of burlap. Nuts as structure and background, macro

Consume more healthy fats– Add healthy fats to your meal plan for flavor, health benefits, and satiety. Your body needs enough fat to function correctly; eating a diet that includes plenty of healthy fats is vital to your overall health (https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12937-017-0271-4) Include healthy fats like nuts, flax seeds, olive oil, fatty fish etc.  

Cutting down on simple carbs has many health benefits especially for those living with type 2 diabetes. Concentrating on protein, fiber, complex carbs, and healthy fats can help you feel satisfied throughout the day and will provide the nutrients needed for a balanced diet. 

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Rithika Rajgopal

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