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Ah, the vegetable myth...
This is one that we hear way too often: "...but low carb diets don't let you have vegetables! All
you eat is meat and fat." We've even heard this from people already on a low-carb diet. We've heard
it from people in restaurants when we tell them we can't have sugars and starches. We order my vegetables
and totally confuse them. And of course we hear it from the low-fat crowd, warning us that our ways will
lead us to health-related ruin..
While it's a certainty that a great deal of our readers already know this not to be true, we decided it
might be smart to devote a little time to the "veggie issue", especially with the holidays coming up in
the next few months, and great meals to be served!
It's really a simple concept: We eat more vegetables now than we did before low-carbing. Green beans and
spinach are personal favorites (and we certainly get a lot of them.) But there are many, many others that
we enjoy on a regular basis. We love broccoli (especially with cheese sauce), and of course salads with
different kinds of lettuce, cucumbers, etc. are a mainstay when we go to a buffet.
Do we miss any veggies? Sure. We confess we always enjoyed (and still miss) lima beans, sweet peas, and
corn. But since we're now healthy and full of energy, we're just not going to be sorry that we can't eat
those kinds of vegetables with any regularity any more.
Want a list of low carb veggies you can have?
- bamboo shoots
- bean sprouts
- bell peppers
- brussels sprouts
- collard greens
- mustard greens
- snow peas
- spaghetti squash
- string or wax beans
- Swiss chard
- water chestnuts
The amounts you can have vary depending on carb count and the plan you're on. If you are on Atkins Induction,
you can generally have two cups of salad vegetables each day. You can usually also have a cup of additional
veggies each day. As you progress past induction, most of us can add even more vegetables.
According to Atkins, there are some general guidelines for veggies:
- Consume veggies throughout the day instead of saving up your carb allowance for a giant veggie splurge, which
might produce a surge in your blood sugar.
- Eat vegetables with protein and fats, which slow their passage through your digestive system and minimize their
impact on your blood sugar. You'll feel satisfied longer with a chef's salad than a green salad.
- Look for recipes in which a variety of vegetables are included, with meat, fish or fowl as part of a
complete entr?e, such as stews and dishes based on Asian cuisine.
- Don't drink your vegetables. Juicing removes the fiber, which has the double merit of helping you feel
full and maintaining a healthy digestive system. Juices also concentrate the sugars from vegetables,
increasing the risk they'll spike your blood sugar.
- Cook carefully. Most vegetables are most nutritious when brightly colored and crisp ? not overcooked.
An exception to this rule is the tomato, because the cancer-fighting chemical lycopene becomes more
bioavailable when heat breaks down the cell walls.
So the next time someone tells you our diet is void of the bountiful nutrition of vegetables, you'll
know how to answer them. (And we wonder how many of them, worried for YOUR health will have a Krispy
Kreme donut for a breakfast, and a Twinkie in their lunch sack...)
Copyright © September 2004 Low Carb Luxury
Title photo Copyright © 2004 Neil Beaty and Low Carb Luxury