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What Is The Best Low Carb Diet For You?

Published on January 9, 2014,

Our friends at Low Carb Diet Support have put together a very useful comparison of five popular low carb diets to help you pick which one is most suitable for your needs. Here’s an extract…

English: Typical Atkins diet meal

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Atkins: the original and still the best-known low-carb diet, consisting of 4 phases, starting with Induction at just 20g net carbs a day and gradually increasing. More about Atkins Diet…

Dukan: very low-fat as well as low-carb and quite radical, starts with Attack phase of several days on protein-only foods, followed by protein-only days alternating with days on protein plus salad vegetables. More about Dukan Diet…

Keto: similar to Atkins Induction, daily carbs are kept to a minimum throughout the full duration of the diet. More about Keto Diet…

Paleo: although not specifically designed to be low-carb, Paleo excludes foods made available by agriculture and processed foods, cutting out grains and refined sugar, which results in lower carb consumption. More about Paleo Diet…

South Beach: low-fat as well as low-carb but a lot less radical than Dukan, with several phases. More about South Beach Diet…

Click on the diet’s name in the first row to see its overview and pros/cons, and click on the criteria in column one to see the full explanation below.

Atkins
Dukan
Paleo
Keto
South Beach
1. Weight loss guaranteed1, 2
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
No
2. Easy to follow2
No
No
Yes
No
Yes
3. Phased structure
Yes
Yes
No
No
Yes
4. Amount of fat
High
Very low
High
High
Low
5. Ketogenic
Yes
No
No
Yes
No
6. Suitable for intensive exercise2
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
7. Requires carb counting
Yes
No
No
Yes
No
8. Sweeteners allowed 
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
9. Easy for vegetarians2
No
No
No
No
Yes
10. Supplementation2
Yes
Yes
Optional
Yes
Optional

1 provided all the guidelines of the diet are followed fully and accurately

2 these criteria are subjective and a matter of opinion rather than fact. I provided my judgement based on my knowledge and experience, but other people may have different opinions (please feel free to share in the comments below)…

See more at: What is the best low-carb diet?

There is also a follow-up post where the author’s preferred approach based on the Atkins diet is described: Atkins Diet – What to Expect

See more from Low Carb Diet Support on twitter @Carbophobic

A low-carb alternative to potatoes or rice…

Published on January 29, 2013,

Most of us – at least those of us in the west – grow up being conditioned that meals come with a starchy side dish such as potatoes, rice or pasta. This can leave quite a hole for anyone switching to a low carb diet but the excellent blog Low Carb Diets thinks there is a solution at hand – cauliflower. Not convinced? Have a look at the suggestions below and you might be very pleasantly surprised. This is from Low Carb Diets…

The butcher had a lovely small cauliflower wit...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cauliflower is low in carb – about 5g net carbs per 100g – but you would never guess that. It tastes “carbohydrate-y” and so works really well as a low-carb alternative in recipes that call for potatoes or rice.

It is suitable for most low-carb diet plans: for example, it is fine on Atkins (from Induction onwards), Dukan (from Cruise onwards), South Beach and Paleo.

It is a great source of fibre, vitamins (especially vitamins C, K and B6) and antioxidants.

Five low-carb recipes with cauliflower

1) Low-carb mash

One classic low-carb recipe substitution is to use mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes. This works well on its own and as part of other recipes such as shepherd’s pie.

Recipe: Cut a head of cauliflower into chunks, steam or boil them. Once soft, squeeze out excess moisture using a colander or a sieve. Mash your cauliflower using a blender or a potato masher. Dress it up by adding butter, grated cheese, salt and pepper to taste. This usually comes out tasting much better than mashed potatoes!

2) Low-carb “rice”

This is similar to the above, but you will need to grind cauliflower first, and cook it second.

Recipe: Grate cauliflower using a food processor or a cheese grater, until it is in small bits about the size of rice grains. Heat a little bit of oil in a frying pan and gently fry your cauliflower bits for about 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

3) Low-carb cauliflower and cheese

Cauliflower cheese is of course a real classic. The only high-carb bit in the traditional recipe is flour that is used in the sauce.  You can use other ingredients to thicken the sauce instead – for example, egg yolks, cream cheese or almond flour.  I tend to use Atkins Baking Mix or Atkins Bread Mix. They are much lower in carbs than traditional flours and you only need a little bit for the sauce.

Recipe: Steam or boil cauliflower chunks until tender. Melt 60g (2oz) of butter in a pan, add 30g of Atkins Baking Mix and stir well. Slowly add 1/2 pint of full fat milk, stirring continuously. Simmer for about 5-10 minutes and add 60g (2oz) of grated cheese. Place cauliflower chunks into an oven-proof dish and pour sauce all over them. Sprinkle some more grated cheese on top. Bake for 20-30 minutes in a hot oven (390F/200C/Gas 7) until golden.

4) Baked cauliflower “chips”

Baked cauliflower can help to bridge the gap left by the absence of potato fries (well, almost).

Recipe: Break up the cauliflower into small florets, slice up the steam into thin slices. Mix several tablespoons of oil with salt, pepper and any spices you like. Dip each bit of cauliflower into the oil mix, ensure it is coated really well. Place cauliflower chunks onto a baking tray and bake for about 60-90 minutes in a hot oven (hot oven (390F/200C/Gas 7) until soft and brown.

5) Simple cream of cauliflower soup

Cauliflower works well in soups, both where it is the key ingredient and as a substitute for potatoes.

Recipe: Cut up a medium head of cauliflower into small chunks. Boil in two pints of chicken or meat stock. Add 100ml (3oz) of cream, salt and pepper. Cool and blitz together in a blender. Jazz it up by adding chunks or grilled bacon and grated cheddar.

More at: Cauliflower: Low-carb answer to potatoes

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