Low-carbohydrate diet for women, men, and diabetes

Baked fish with asparagus in the low-carb diet menu

Carbohydrates are organic compounds and are present in all cells and tissues of living organisms. Life is impossible without them. According to their structure, they are divided into simple and complex, the first ones are fast, with a high glycemic index, are instantly broken down, do not have time to be converted into energy and are deposited under the skin in the form of fatty deposits. A low-carbohydrate diet aims to saturate the diet with proteins and reduce carbohydrates as much as possible.

Indications for use

Excess weight not only negatively affects a person's appearance, but is also associated with health risks. It entails the danger of cardiovascular diseases, the development of diabetes, and it is an excessive load on the joints and spine, leading to their pathologies. Therefore, the benefits of a low-carbohydrate diet are obvious - to lose excess weight, prevent the risk of developing diseases or contribute to their treatment.

Low carbohydrate diet for type 2 and type 1 diabetes

The absorption of proteins and fats occurs much more slowly than carbohydrates. It helps reduce insulin release and is used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The first recommendations to patients when a disease is diagnosed are to lose weight and eat right. A low glycemic index diet has been shown to be effective in lowering blood glucose levels.

Although type 1 diabetes is insulin-dependent and allows hormones to adjust sugar levels based on carbohydrate intake, it is best to avoid spikes through diet. In diabetics of this group, insulin is not produced by the pancreas at all, so its dose must be determined by counting carbohydrates.

When using a low-carbohydrate diet for type 1 diabetes, it is necessary to take this circumstance into account so as not to provoke a hypoglycemic coma.

Low carb diet for high cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fatty alcohol, 80% of which is produced by the body, the rest comes from food. It is divided into high and low density compounds. The latter are called "bad cholesterol" becausethey are deposited on the inner walls of blood vessels, clogging them. This leads to strokes and heart attacks. An active lifestyle, getting rid of bad habits and reducing consumed fats, namely fatty dairy products, butter, meat, help to influence their ratio and reduce harmful ones. Raw vegetables and fruits, juices high in carbohydrates are very useful. Therefore, a low-carb diet cannot be used if you have high cholesterol.

Low carbohydrate diet for hypertension

Hypertension is characterized by an increase in blood pressure and makes itself felt by headaches, noise in the head, dizziness, nausea, spots before the eyes, and rapid heartbeat. In addition to poor condition, this is fraught with danger to life, because. . . entails heart failure and hemorrhage.

The causes of the disease are different: from hereditary to poor lifestyle, nutrition, and excess weight. To lose weight with hypertension, you can use a short-term low-carbohydrate diet if the disease is not accompanied by high cholesterol or is not burdened by atherosclerosis.

Desirable foods on the table for hypertensive patients are dried apricots, raisins, bananas, honey, and vegetables. Restrictions are imposed on animal fats, salt, and alcohol.

Low carb diets for weight loss

Nutritionists have developed many nutritional systems based on limiting carbohydrate consumption. Some of them focus on proteins - low-carbohydrate protein diets, while others focus on fats - high-fat diets. Let's present some of the most popular ones.

The essence of a low-carb diet

A low-carb diet shifts the role of energy source to fats. It is usually drawn from glycogen, into which glucose is converted as a result of metabolic reactions. The depletion of its reserves leads to the fact that one’s own fat reserves begin to be used.

The essence of the diet is to eliminate fast carbohydrates from the diet, minimize complex ones, and saturate the body with proteins, fiber, and nutrients. Its other rules include small and frequent meals, drinking plenty of fluids (a necessary condition for the absorption of proteins), organizing the first meal an hour after waking up, the last one 2 hours before bedtime. Sweets, flour, soda, fast food, sweet berries and fruits, marinades, mayonnaise, and smoked foods are completely excluded from the diet.

Low Carb Atkins Diet

Its main phase is designed for 2 weeks, but it lasts much longer and promises weight loss of up to 10 kg. Its author, American cardiologist Robert Atkins, based on research, specially developed it to combat his excess weight. The diet is also called the "Hollywood" diet because of its successful use by many celebrities.

The main rule of such nutrition is the complete exclusion of carbohydrates from the menu. In fact, it is a protein, becauseIt contains predominantly proteins, but fats are not excluded. It is believed that in tandem they promote weight loss.

The Atkins diet consists of 4 stages. The duration of the first is 14 days, during which carbohydrate intake is reduced to 20 g per day. At this stage, serious changes occur in the metabolism, the process of ketosis begins, i. e. The body does not produce enough glucose to produce insulin.

In the following stages, carbohydrates are gradually added to the menu every week, while body weight is monitored. As soon as it stops decreasing, take the last amount as your consumption rate.

The advantage of this diet is the absence of hunger, because proteins saturate well.

Dr. Bernstein's Low Carb Diet

Designed for diabetics and is a guide to normalizing blood glucose. It was originally developed for himself through trial and error, because he suffered from this disease. Thanks to the production of the first glucometers at the plant where he worked, it was possible to trace the glycemic level at different times of the day and identify the pattern of its changes due to food intake and after the administration of insulin.

It turned out that by maintaining blood glucose levels, you can live and work fully. To achieve recognition of his technique, Bernstein had to train as a doctor, publish his theory and, as proof of it, live with complex diabetes to a ripe old age.

Bernstein's low-carb diet is based on a complete prohibition of foods such as any cereals, sugar, low-fat dairy products, berries and fruits. In parallel, insulin is used (for type 1 diabetes), sugar-lowering medications, the dynamics of sugar levels are monitored, and drug doses are individually adjusted.

Low-carb diet Enheld

Enheld is a Western nutritionist who has written more than one book on the topic of low-carbohydrate, fatty diets, which have become real bestsellers. A practicing physician, he argues that there is no better way to get rid of extra pounds than by consuming fat, and that there is no connection between cardiovascular disease and fatty foods.

The Enhalda diet prohibits sugar and sweetener substitutes, foods containing starch (potatoes, rice, white and brown bread, even whole grain products), breakfast cereals, soft drinks, beer, margarine, sweet fruits and dried fruits.

But you can have any meat, all types of fish, eggs, vegetables growing above the ground, butter, milk (except low-fat) and dairy products, cheeses, nuts, sour berries. A moderate amount of root vegetables such as carrots, beets, and radishes is acceptable.

For those with a sweet tooth, good news will be the message about the benefits of chocolate containing at least 70% cocoa, and alcohol lovers can occasionally afford a little dry wine, cognac or whiskey, the main thing is that they do not contain sugar.

Low carb Dukan diet

Dealing with nutrition issues in order to help his friend fight obesity, Dukan developed a diet that allowed him to lose more than three kilograms in a week. This gave him the impetus to further his activities as a nutritionist. Now his work is successfully used by a large number of people in many countries.

His diet is low-carbohydrate and protein, the list of allowed foods includes as many as 72 items, there are no strict restrictions on the amount eaten, you can even use seasonings.

You also need to drink a lot, include oat bran in your diet all the time, moderately exercise yourself, and take walks.

The Dukan diet consists of several phases, the duration of which depends on how much weight you need to lose. So, to get rid of 5 kg, the first phase "attack" lasts 2 days, the second "alternation" - 15 days, the third "consolidation" - 50 days. To lose 10 kg, it will take 3, 50 and 100 days, respectively, etc. A final "stabilization" is also provided, containing recommendations for further proper organization of your diet so as not to regain lost weight.

The first stage includes a purely protein menu, without fats and carbohydrates, as well as 1. 5 tablespoons of bran daily and plenty of liquid.

On the second, protein foods and proteins with vegetables alternate. This can be a 1/1, 3/3 or 5/5 scheme, depending on how much kilogram you need to lose. A larger gap, accordingly, removes more.

In the third phase - products of the previous ones and a small amount of previously prohibited ones, for example, pasta, rice, potatoes, buckwheat, peas, pork, and a few slices of bread.

"Stabilization" should be considered as a further method of nutrition in order to remain at the new weight: drink plenty of fluids, several tablespoons of bran, unlimited proteins and vegetables, moderately 2 of any starchy foods per day.

Low carb vegetarian diet

Is a low-carb diet applicable for vegetarians, since the usual source of proteins (meat, fish, eggs) is unacceptable for them? As a rule, this category of people is not overweight, but there may be carbohydrate intolerance, forcing them to minimize their consumption.

Typically, vegans get their protein from beans and grains, but they are rich in carbohydrates. Hemp seed can be a complete replacement for these products. For 28 g of its weight, 16 g are proteins, and they also contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Other foods on the menu include nuts, avocados, lettuce, asparagus, vegetable oil, and seaweed.

Low carbohydrate diet during pregnancy

In order for the baby to develop fully in the womb, the expectant mother needs to eat properly and balanced. Any diet suffers from its one-sidedness, which means that the fetus will not receive something. That is why different food groups are needed in the diet: fats, proteins, carbohydrates, microelements, fiber, vitamins. Thus, a low-carbohydrate diet is contraindicated for pregnant women.

Menu for a week on a low-carb diet

In addition to foods rich in carbohydrates, there is a large list of those that you can use to diversify your menu on a low-carbohydrate diet. Each nutrition system offers its own scheme, but the menu for the week could be like this:

1st day:

  • breakfast - 2 boiled eggs, grapefruit, tea;
  • 2nd breakfast - a piece of cheese, lettuce leaves;
  • lunch - boiled chicken breast, vegetable salad;
  • afternoon snack - yogurt;
  • dinner - baked fish.

Day 2:

  • breakfast - cottage cheese casserole, topped with sour cream, coffee;
  • 2nd breakfast - cabbage and carrot salad;
  • lunch - fish, asparagus;
  • afternoon snack - kefir;
  • dinner - grilled meat and vegetables.

3rd day:

  • breakfast - omelet with vegetables;
  • 2nd breakfast - salad with avocado and shrimp;
  • lunch - mushroom soup without potatoes with sour cream, a slice of whole grain bread;
  • afternoon snack - cottage cheese;
  • dinner - boiled veal, greens.

4th day:

  • breakfast - oatmeal without sugar with butter;
  • 2nd breakfast - baked sour apples;
  • lunch - meatballs, salad;
  • afternoon snack - grapefruit;
  • dinner - vegetable stew.

Day 5:

  • breakfast - cottage cheese, coffee;
  • 2nd breakfast - salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, dressed with olive oil;
  • lunch - chicken, broccoli, cauliflower;
  • afternoon snack - yogurt;
  • dinner - 2 eggs, vegetable salad.

Day 6:

  • breakfast - milk buckwheat porridge;
  • 2nd breakfast - grapefruit;
  • lunch - chicken broth soup, toast of bread;
  • afternoon snack - kefir;
  • dinner - grilled eggplant, fish.

Day 7:

  • breakfast - egg and squid salad, apple;
  • 2nd breakfast - Greek salad;
  • lunch - red borscht, bread;
  • afternoon snack - grapefruit;
  • dinner - baked mackerel with vegetables inside.

Menu for type 2 diabetes

In case of type 2 diabetes, it is necessary to exclude fast carbohydrates from the menu, because. they lead to a sharp jump in blood glucose. All products whose glycemic index exceeds 50-55 units should not be consumed by the patient. The above menu can be used to feed diabetics. Also relevant are dietary cooking methods, low-fat varieties of fish and meat, and dairy products.

Low carb diet menu for 2 weeks

For those who like strict methods of achieving weight loss in a short period, there are more strict diets. Low-carbohydrate diet menu for 2 weeks (food per day is divided into several meals).


  • 1st - 200 g of chicken meat, 300 ml of vegetable juice, 2 glasses of water, a glass of green tea, herbal decoctions (chamomile, lemon balm, rose hips). Drinking is relevant for every day of the entire diet period;
  • 2nd - a handful of nuts, half a grapefruit, tomatoes, a piece of boiled fish, kefir;
  • 3rd - apple, steamed meat;
  • 4th - a portion of vegetable stew, steamed meatballs with lean meat;
  • 5th - boiled egg, pea soup, 150 g chicken, yogurt;
  • 6th - 2 oranges, a glass of milk, an omelette from the whites of 2 eggs;
  • 7th - 200 g of red fish, vegetable salad, coffee without sugar;
  • 8th - several slices of hard cheese, boiled chicken;
  • 9th - vegetable soup, omelet, kefir, coffee;
  • 10th - nuts, grapefruit, meatless wild rice pilaf;
  • 11th - 150 g of steamed beef, cabbage and carrot salad;
  • 12th - lentil soup, 100 g of ham, banana, coffee;
  • 13th - vegetarian soup, bread;
  • 14th - heavy drinks, kefir, nuts.

This diet is suitable only for healthy people. For even longer-term low-carb diets, for example, for a month, you can use the Dukan system and stick to his menu.

Low Carb Diet Recipes

Numerous recipes will tell you how to cook on a low-carb diet.

  • Soups.They can be cooked with either water or broth.

    1. Vegetableincludes the following ingredients: broccoli, cauliflower, a little carrot, tomato, onion (potatoes are not used). The heads are divided into inflorescences, the rest is cut, dipped in boiling liquid, and brought to readiness.
    2. Mushroom soup:chopped champignons, grated processed cheese, onions are added to the broth, and chopped dill is added at the very end of cooking.
    3. Cabbage soup:shredded cabbage, sweet peppers, green peas are boiled in water, seasoned with a spoon of olive oil.
  • Porridge.Important in the diet menu, because. . . They are a source of fiber and many nutrients. For a low-carb diet, you need to choose cereals with the highest protein content. These include buckwheat, oatmeal, and quinoa, which is not very common in our area. Cook using water or natural milk without sugar.

Vitamins for a low-carb diet

When on a low-carbohydrate diet, the body suffers from a lack of vitamin C. Together with B vitamins, it helps break down carbohydrates. Without D, calcium cannot be absorbed. Chromium and zinc are also necessary for metabolic reactions. Therefore, when on a low-carbohydrate diet, you can not take individual vitamins, but select vitamin-mineral complexes. Consulting a doctor will help with this.

Low carbohydrate diet and biguanide

Biguanide is a drug that lowers blood sugar. Diabetics drink it, and sometimes take it for weight loss. If the diet already contains few carbohydrates, then what about biguanide? It is recommended to use it for the purpose of losing weight in diabetes with obesity, aggravated by hypertension, high cholesterol levels, cardiovascular system disorders, and in other special cases.

The use of the drug can be safe if the calorie intake does not fall below 1200 kcal per day, and there should be no alcohol, although with a diet without biguanides, low-carbohydrate alcoholic drinks (dry wine, whiskey, zero-carbohydrate beer) are not prohibited.

They start drinking biguanide with a small dose - 500 mg per day at night, after dinner. After 1-2 weeks, it is increased and gradually brought to 1500-2000 mg.

What is possible and what is not?

Many products that can be used on a low-carb diet have already been mentioned more than once above, but to summarize, we remind you:

  • meat - veal, beef, rabbit, turkey, chicken, as well as offal;
  • vegetables - leafy vegetables, cabbage, zucchini, bell peppers;
  • eggs;
  • fruits - grapefruits, oranges, lemons, currants, cranberries, strawberries, pomegranates, green apples;
  • nuts - walnuts, almonds, pine, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds;
  • dairy products - plain yogurt, kefir, cottage cheese, sour cream, whole milk.

What can't you eat?When following a low-carbohydrate diet, you absolutely cannot eat various sausages, confectioneries, bread and buns, potatoes, rice, semolina, pasta, bananas, grapes, dates, figs, sugar. As in any diet, pickles, smoked foods, sweet drinks, jelly, mayonnaise, ketchup, and fatty sauces are unacceptable. Cooking methods such as frying in oil and deep-frying are not suitable.


A low-carbohydrate diet is not recommended for pregnant, lactating women, children, and adolescents.

Possible risks

A carbohydrate deficiency can lead to dehydration, which puts the liver and kidneys at risk. There is also a lack of fiber, which reduces intestinal motility and causes constipation. Risks associated with the diet include decreased brain activity, calcium deficiency, and increased cholesterol.

Another unfortunate side of the low-carb diet is ketosis. It is characterized by an increase in ketones - carbohydrate fragments, a product of the breakdown of fats. They are formed in the liver from fatty acids. Possible complications are associated with the likelihood of intoxication of the body, damage to vital organs: liver and kidneys.


According to reviews from those who used a low-carb diet to lose weight, they actually managed to lose weight. Sometimes the result reached 10 kg in a month. Many noted that it was much easier than others, because. . . not limited to proteins or fats (depending on which one was chosen).

Another advantage they note is that upon completion you do not pounce on food. By observing moderation, you can maintain your existing weight for a long time.