Low Carb Diet for Women Over 50
A lot happens when a woman turns 50 and above that – this includes a massive shift of hormones caused by menopause that leads to several health effects like changes in mood, weight gain, and hot flashes.
That’s why having a diet like the low-carb plan will help you fight the side effects of menopausal would be an advantage, especially if you’re in your 50s.
But, before we dig deeper into that, what is the low-carb diet, and how can you start doing it?
What is the Low-Carb Diet?
According to Mayo Clinic, a low-carb diet mainly focuses on having protein-rich induced meals. This includes having a more significant portion of meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and protein-rich vegetables, including avocados and kale. Since you have more protein, it means that you must limit your carbohydrates and only have a few amounts of it to be able to achieve results during this diet.
How does the Low-Carb Diet Work?
It’s simple – your body will run on proteins instead of carbs. It means that you’ll be able to lose more fats since you will use it for energy instead of the carbs. In addition to that, the low carb diet also promotes insulin management which is great for diabetes patients. It’s because this diet plan lowers the number of sugar levels in your body as you consume fewer carbs.
How can you do a Low-Carb Diet?
There are various ways you can do a low-carb diet, its because a lot of people created different types of low carb diets. To know more about that, here are some famous ways on how to do low carb diets:
The Basic Low-Carb Diet
It’s as simple as it sounds – you just have to restrict yourself from eating carbohydrates and add more protein to your diet. You can do this by focusing on having meals with the meat of your choice, some protein-rich vegetables, and more “good” fats. While on this diet, you must limit your grains, starchy foods, and junk foods. In terms of fruits, you can still have some, but, you need to make sure that it’s low-carb like avocados and berries.
The Ketogenic Diet
Ever heard this diet? Well, it’s because this became one of the most popular diets in the 2020s. The keto diet became famous because of the number of positive reviews from people all over the world who have tried this diet out. Aside from that, it also promotes a scientific way to lose weight as it uses a metabolic process called “ketosis” in order to help you lose unwanted weight.
The LCHF Diet
Have any idea what does LCHF stands for? Actually, this is the acronym for the “Low-Carb, High Fat” diet that promotes eating unprocessed foods that are high in fat. It includes intake of meats, shellfish, fish, eggs, healthy fats, dairy, nuts, and berries.
The Paleo Diet
Many of the experts say that the Paleo Diet is another form of low carb diet even if it’s definition doesn’t call for it. This is due to the fact that this diet restricts the intake of processed foods, unnecessary sugars, grains, dairy, and nuts. Giving people only the option to have protein-rich foods like meat, seafood, eggs, and seed on their diets.
The Atkins Diet
Next to the popularity of the Keto Diet is the Atkins Diet. This type of low carb diet works with having fewer carbs and more protein and fats as wanted. What’s unique about this diet is that it specifically lets you divide your diet into four phases (introduction, balancing, fine-tuning, and maintenance).
The Zero Carb Diet
For this type of diet, you will simply have to erase all carbohydrates from your diet for a specific amount of time. There are people who have done this diet for about year and said to have stayed in good health condition despite that. However, this diet isn’t the best because it lacks some necessary nutrients like vitamin C and fiber.
What to have when on a Low Carb Diet?
For starters, doing a low-carb diet mainly involves incorporating beef, pork, chicken, turkey, eggs, and seafood into your meals. However, for women in their 50s, it’s important for them to have fiber in their diet since it helps balance their blood sugar levels from increasing so fastly.
So, how can you do this when doing a low carb diet? You can include some non-starchy vegetables in your diet like alfalfa sprouts, spinach, bok choy, broccoli, asparagus, kale, onions, and lettuce into your plan. Aside from that, you can also have some fruits such as olives, avocados, and pumpkin to introduce some fiber into your body without defying the diet plan.
If you are vegan and want to do a low-carb diet, you still can – since soy foods such as tempeh, edamame, and tofu are filled with protein while having a few amounts of carbs in them. Soy products are also rich in fiber, minerals, and vitamins, giving you all the nutrients you need to have a healthier body.
What are the Benefits of a Low-Carb Diet for Women?
Studies suggest that having a low carb diet in your meal plans would lead to many health benefits especially for women in their 50s and above. How so? It’s because research shows that the said diet can help reduce knee pains linked with women with osteoarthritis. Aside from that, it can also assist in improving the amount of good cholesterol and balance sugar levels much better compared to carb-rich diets.
Here are more advantages of the said diet:
- You’ll feel less hungry – what is great about this diet is that it limits your hunger levels for a good amount of time which means that you will eliminate your hangry emotions that usually result in overeating.
- Better sleeping habits – another benefit of low carb diets include having a good night’s rest and better sleeping habits compared to having junk foods and carbs in your diet. The reason for this lies in how your body lowers some hormones that usually trigger insomnia.
- Balanced sugar levels – we may have discussed this in the previous paragraphs but it’s still an important benefit of this diet.
- Weight Loss – since you will be eliminating carbs in your diet, it’s a guarantee that you will lose some unwanted weight while on a low carb diet. Because this is how the body works as it responds to the carb-restriction that is happening in your body.
- It energizes you – another benefit of the low carb diet includes stable energy levels that make you energetic all day because of using fats as a fuel in your body.
What are the Disadvantages of a Low-Carb Diet for Women?
Sadly, the low carb diet isn’t perfect and has its own disadvantages as well. It’s because in this diet you will have deficiencies in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and fiber if you follow this diet. Aside from that, here are more disadvantages you should note of if you are planning to try this diet plan out:
- Lack of glycogen – since you are having more proteins and fewer carbs, your glycogen stores will also deplete because of your body using such fats and proteins as your energy source.
- Mood swings – another disadvantage of this diet includes mood swings that are due to hormonal imbalance that occurs to your body once this plan is followed.
- Brain Fog – once you eat a fewer amount of carbs and sugars (which is the food for the brain), you will most likely encounter a brain fog from time to time. This is also because of the relationship between the gut health to everyone’s mental health.
- Hormonal Imbalance – currently, there aren’t much studies that focus on how low carb diets affect the number of hormones in the body. But, in theory, the body always makes sure that it is protected from any bad changes – so, if it feels like a restriction or stressful metabolic state is happening within the body, it decides to shut down all of its best reproductive functions. This leads to hormonal imbalances that can be annoying for most women.
- Digestive problems – this is another disadvantage of the low carb diet. Since you will be eating foods that are less in carbs, this means that you will also have fewer grains that are rich in fiber in your diet. This fiber deficiency would result in digestive problems and can affect your digestive system.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Make a Simple Low-Carb Meal Plan
- Know how many calories should you have daily.
- After finding out your supposed maximum calorie intake per day, you can now start on setting how much grams of carbohydrates you would need to suffice your hunger and needs.
- Many like to start with a limit of 30 grams of carbs daily (you can choose which kind of carbs you would like to have, it could be any grain or starchy food).
- Pick your protein.
- Know portion control – this means that you should weigh or know first how much protein in your meal should you cook, how much carbs can you have, and what supplements from different vitamins and minerals can you intake to replenish the depleted ones in that diet.
The Final Verdict
In summary, we have seen how the low carb diet works, what are its benefits and disadvantages, and what are the foods you can have when doing this diet. In the end, it is also important to know that this diet works for some, but it may also not work for others. This means that it can be worth trying for a couple of days and if you have medical conditions please consult with your physician for medical advice before doing this diet.
Jill Corleone (2019) The Unexpected Benefits of Low-Carb Diets for Women Over 50. Retrieved from: https://www.livestrong.com/article/253103-low-carb-diets-for-women-over-45/
Mayo Clinic (n.d.) Low-carb diet: Can it help you lose weight? Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/low-carb-diet/art-20045831#:~:text=In%20general%2C%20a%20low-carb,and%20sometimes%20nuts%20and%20seeds.
Candice Choi (2019) Low Carb? Low Fat? What the Latest Dieting Studies Tell Us. Retrieved from: https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2019/low-carb-vs-low-fat-diet.html
Carrie Forrest (2019) Pros and Cons of a Low-Carb Diet. Retrieved from: https://www.cleaneatingkitchen.com/is-a-low-carb-diet-right-for-you/
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