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Low Carb

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the benefits from following a low carbohydrate diet?
  • Is there anyone who should avoid a low carbohydrate diet?
  • How do I know how many carbohydrates per day I should eat?
  • What amount of protein is recommended on a lower carbohydrate diet?
  • What foods are classified as protein foods?
  • What foods are classified as carbohydrates?
  • What types of fats are considered healthy choices?
  • What are some foods I should avoid when starting a lower carbohydrate diet?
  • What are some breakfast ideas?
  • What are some lunch and dinner ideas?
  • How about some snack ideas?
  • What are the best choices for salad dressings?
  • How many meals a day should I eat?
  • How important is water in my diet?
  • What are Protein shakes and how do I incorporate them into my diet?
  • What should I do if I get hungry between meals?
  • If I know I will be eating dessert, how do I calculate it into my diet?
  • What do I do if I am traveling or eating out?
What are the benefits from following a low carbohydrate diet?

A lower carbohydrate diet will lower your body's production of insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas in response to blood sugar levels. Lower insulin levels will help improve health conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, obesity, chronic fatigue, muscle aches and pains, gout, addictive eating patterns, gastric reflux, plus many more conditions.

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Is there anyone who should avoid a low carbohydrate diet?

If you already have existing kidney disease then you would need to be more careful on a higher protein diet about your total intake of protein. Pregnant and nursing women can follow a modified lower carbohydrate diet with a little higher intake of carbohydrates and well as protein. Children can eat more healthy choices of carbohydrates but should avoid sweets and excess starches.

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How do I know how many carbohydrates per day I should eat?

Everyone's needs are different depending if you are on a weight loss amount or maintenance amount of carbohydrates per day. For weight loss purposes you can start at 30-40 grams total per day and lower this if needed. This needs to be divided into at least 3 meals, never eating more than 15 grams at one sitting. Maintenance amounts vary so slowly increasing the grams until you are able to maintain your weight is recommended.

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What amount of protein is recommended on a lower carbohydrate diet?

The amount of protein is individual and depends on your body size and activity level. If you are moderately active-exercise at least 3 days per week for 45 minutes, you can multiply your weight by .7 and this will give you a good estimate of protein grams needed per day. If you are sedentary then multiply your weight by .5 and an active person who exercises 5-7 times per week can multiply their weight by .8 or .9 to get the total grams of protein needed per day.

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What foods are classified as protein foods?

Animal based foods such as beef, veal, pork, lamb, venison, wild game, poultry, all fish varieties, eggs, tofu, cottage cheese, small amounts of other cheeses, and protein powders. There are some foods that contain protein, carbohydrates and fats but typically the higher macronutrient (protein, carbohydrate, fat) determines how it is classified.

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What foods are classified as carbohydrates?

ALL vegetables, All fruits and ALL grain-based foods such as corn, wheat, oats and rice are classified as carbohydrates. In each of these food groups, there are carbohydrates that contain more sugar in them than others. The starchy, sweet carbohydrates are to be controlled with smaller portions versus the fibrous, crispy carbohydrates such as broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, green beans, peppers, spinach, lettuce, celery, tomatoes, etc, which can be eaten more abundantly.

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What types of fats are considered healthy choices?

Healthy fats contain omega 3 and omega 6 oils which are essential to the health of the body and required through dietary intake. These fats include: raw nuts of all varieties, raw seeds, nut butters, i.e. peanut, almond, hazelnut, macadamia nut butters, nut oils, olives, olive oil, flax seeds, flax meal, flax seed oil, fish oils from fresh fish or supplemental forms such as cod liver oil, avocados.

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What are some foods I should avoid when starting a lower carbohydrate diet?

The obvious sweet treats such as cakes, pies, cookies, candy, ice cream, as well as fruit juices, sweeter fruits such as bananas, papaya, raisins, dates, figs, mangos, dried fruits, potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, pasta, fried foods, chips, crackers, breads, muffins, bagels, pop, ketchup, BBQ sauce, excess coffee and alcohol. Once you reach your goal, then small portions of these foods can be added on a rotational basis.

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What are some breakfast ideas?

Breakfast meals can consist of a protein based smoothie made with protein powder, water and frozen berries; cottage cheese with nuts or berries; eggs cooked any style, omelets, scrambled eggs, tofu and cheese; left over meat from dinner with fruit, plain yogurt with protein powder added or any of the lower carbohydrate versions of muffins, pancakes, breads, etc.

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What are some lunch and dinner ideas?

Salads such as Caesar with chicken, shrimp or fish; Cobb salad; Chef salad; Greek salad with chicken or shrimp; deviled eggs with raw vegetables and dip; beef, chicken or fish burgers without the bun along with a salad, tuna, egg or chicken salad on lettuce with vegetables or fruit, grilled meat, poultry, or fish with dinner salad and sautéed vegetables; meat loaf with sautéed vegetables, stir fry meat, fish, poultry, tofu with vegetables, stuffed peppers or cabbage.

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How about some snack ideas?

Raw nuts and seeds or trail mix with mainly nuts and seeds, deviled eggs, celery with peanut butter or cream cheese, sardines, baby clams or oysters in the can with Rye Crisp crackers, avocado slices with egg or chicken salad, left over protein from another meal, raw vegetables with protein based dips, deli meats with cheese roll-ups.

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What are the best choices for salad dressings?

Protein based dressings made from cream cheese, sour cream or cottage cheese with seasonings, cheese based dressings such as Blue cheese, Roquefort, Ranch, vinegar and oil, lemon juice or any lower carbohydrate dressing.

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How many meals a day should I eat?

Ideally our bodies do better with smaller portions more frequently throughout the day-3 meals and 2 snacks. You should never feel stuffed when you finish a meal/snack. Always feel like you could eat more when you walk away from the table. Avoid eating anything after dinner-these calories just get "stored." Make meals/snacks a focus-don't eat "on the run." Chew your food slowly, savoring each and every bite. Don't skip breakfast! This sets you up for wanting more food at other meals.

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How important is water in my diet?

VERY! To calculate your body's water intake needs multiply your weight by .69 for the number of ounces then divide by 32 for the total number of quarts of water needed each day.

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What are Protein shakes and how do I incorporate them into my diet?

A protein shake or smoothie is made from a quality protein based powder that contains no more than 3 grams of carbohydrates per serving. New Millennium powder at www.nutritionalwisdominc.com is a quality Protein Powder. Mixing the powder with water will provide fewer carbohydrates or milk can be used. Frozen berries or melon, light cream or nut butters, ice cubes, coconut milk are all good ingredients to add, depending on preferences and taste. A protein shake can be used as a meal, a snack, before or after workout drink.

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What should I do if I get hungry between meals?

Always eat some form of protein if feeling hungry or raw nuts or seeds work too. This will keep your blood sugar stable and takes longer to digest, keeping you from experiencing carbohydrate yo-yo cravings.

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If I know I will be eating dessert, how do I calculate it into my diet?

The ideal time to eat sweet treats is earlier in the day. This way you have time to "burn it off" through daily activities. Lower your carbohydrate intake for the day and the meal you will be having the dessert. Always eat dessert with your meal, never alone. Plan the times you will be eating dessert. This helps keep you on target and allows for making appropriate adjustments to your carbohydrate intake that day. Always get back on target immediately. Don't let dessert be an excuse to "de-rail" from your diet.

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What do I do if I am traveling or eating out?

It is very easy to order the appropriate foods from any restaurant. You just have to ask for what you want. When traveling, take protein-based snacks, nuts and seeds or protein bars. Don't forget your water.

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