How to reduce carbohydrate intake while following vegetarian diet
Carbohydrates are essential for the proper functioning of the human body. However, excessive carbs can lead to problems like weight gain. Cutting down on carbs is not easy, especially on an Indian vegetarian diet. Our regular meals contain either rice or roti, both rich in carbs. But you can still find a way around them. Here are some ways to reduce carb intake.
Replace carbs with a diet rich in protein and fat
Indian diet is such that when you reduce your carb intake suddenly, you might end up craving them. The best way to prevent this craving is to replace carbohydrate-rich foods in your diet with food items rich in protein and fat. These will keep you full for a longer time. Such foods include nuts, seeds, and vegetables like tomatoes, cauliflower, legumes, berries, and avocados.
Avoid artificially sweetened drinks, including fruit juice
Sugar is the leading source of carbohydrates. Therefore, drinks, including fruit juices, that are sweetened with sugar can increase your carbohydrate intake. Excessive sugar also leads to diabetes and other health issues. So be mindful to avoid these drinks to cut down on the amount of sugar intake. Replace sugar with natural and healthy sweeteners like honey to add an element of nutrition.
Choose low-carb dairy options like almond milk, coconut milk
Milk can help with your calcium needs but it is also high in carbs because it contains a type of sugar called lactose. You can substitute normal milk with low-carb options like almond or coconut milk. Greek yogurt and cheese are great low-carb dairy products that will fulfill your dietary requirements without adding any extra calories. Other sweetened dairy items should also be avoided.
Be mindful while choosing what you snack on
Snacking in between meals is how we curb hunger pangs. But these snacks are often loaded with carbs and end up adding unnecessary calories. Chips, crackers, and baked goods are some of such foods, which can easily be replaced with nuts like almonds, walnuts, and peanuts. You can also substitute the flour used for baked stuff with alternatives like almond or coconut flour.
How to track your carb intake?
There are many nutrition tracking apps available online that can monitor your carb intake from your devices. You just need to enter your food intake for each meal and snack. Nutrients, including carbs, are automatically calculated to help you in making the right meal choices.