Low Carb Avocado Recipes
This easy Avocado Popsicle recipe is fun and refreshing! The texture is just like a fudgsicle a perfect warm weather low carb treat!
One of the easiest ways to incorporate avocado into your diet is to use it as a condiment. Try my Avocado Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise recipe for a low carb, nutrient-packed sauce that’s good on EVERYTHING!
Low Carb Avocado Recipe Roundup
Everything you could ever want to know about avocado
The avocado is a fruit native to Central America and Mexico. The tree-grown fruit is part of the Lauraceae family: This grouping also includes laurel, camphor, bay, and cinnamon. The avocado is a flowering tree. The fruit is actually a single, pear-shaped berry with a large walnut-colored seed in the middle.
Let me know how it goes!
How We Define Low Carb And Keto
At Diet Doctor, we define the different levels of carbs this way:
- Ketogenic low carb < 20 gram net carbs per day.5This level of carbohydrates is defined as below 5 energy percent carbs in our recipesor, if it is a meal, 7 grams of carbs or less.6 In our ketogenic recipes the amount of carbs per serving is shown in green balls.
- Moderate low carb 20-50 net grams per day. This level is defined as between 5-10 E% carbs in our recipes and the amount of carbs per serving is shown in yellow balls.
- Liberal low carb 50-100 net grams per day. This means 10-20 E% carbs in our recipes and the amount of carbs per serving is shown in orange balls.
Note: Although our recipes are arranged by percent calories of carbs, protein, and fat, we do not feel you need to calculate these on your own. We provide them as a reference, but practically we recommend you limit your carbs, ensure adequate protein, and adjust fat as needed for satiety and taste. That eliminates the need to constantly calculate percent macros.
The Ketogenic Diet As A Medical Treatment
Evidence suggests that a ketogenic diet, under the supervision of a doctor or dietitian, is useful for children with epilepsy who continue to have seizures while on antiepileptic drugs. There is growing interest in its use in cancer, particularly in brain cancer, although more studies are needed on humans before this can be recommended.
For people who have type 2 diabetes, a ketogenic diet may improve blood sugar control in the short term. However, the long-term effects are not known, particularly on cholesterol levels, which increased in some studies.
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How Many Carbs Should You Eat If You Have Diabetes
Figuring out how many carbs to eat when you have diabetes can seem confusing.
Dietary guidelines from around the globe traditionally recommend that you get around 4560% of your daily calories from carbs if you have diabetes .
However, a growing number of experts believe that people with diabetes should eat far fewer carbs. In fact, many recommend less than half of this amount.
This article tells you how many carbs you should eat if you have diabetes.
I Learned To Be Very Creative In The Kitchen
It’s almost impossible to eat at a restaurant and keep your keto status. Luckily, I consider myself an adventurous cook, frequently cooked at home before the diet, and am willing to try new recipes.
Write the recipes down, use a meal-tracking app like MyFitnessPal to record the ingredients, and you can figure out if a recipe can work for you. It takes a bit more work than an average meal plan, but it’s worth it.
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How To Find Your Own Personal Keto Carb Limit
One of the only ways to find out if you can stay in ketosis while eating more carbs than we suggest is by tracking your ketones with a blood ketone meter like the Precision Xtra. You can also use Ketostix, but they are not as accurate.
After establishing ketosis by eating less than 35 grams a day and verifying it with your ketone meter, you can try slowly increasing your carb consumption by 5 grams each day.
This doesnt mean that you can eat sweets and candies. Simple carbs like these can kick you out of ketosis because they tend to increase insulin levels more rapidly than anything else. Instead, increase your carbs by eating complex carbohydrates from plant-based foods like vegetables or low glycemic fruits.
Measure your ketones at the same time each day to see if the increase in carbs decreases your ketone levels. If you are still maintaining ketosis after increasing your carbs, try it again. Your goal is to raise your carbs little by little while maintaining a medium or deep level of ketosis.
Heres a quick overview of what medium and deep ketosis actually mean:
- Light Ketosis: 0.5 mmol/L 0.8 mmol/L
- Medium Ketosis: 0.9 mmol/L 1.4 mmol/L
- Deep Ketosis : 1.5 mmol/L 3.0 mmol/L
The only way to accurately find out if you are in light, medium, or deep ketosis is by using a blood ketone meter like the Precision Xtra.
Eating 2050 Grams Per Day
This is where the low carb diet has bigger effects on metabolism. This is a possible range for people who want to lose weight fast, or have metabolic problems, obesity, or diabetes.
When eating less than 50 grams per day, the body will go into ketosis, supplying energy for the brain via so-called ketone bodies. This is likely to dampen your appetite and cause you to lose weight automatically.
Carbs you can eat include:
- some berries, maybe with whipped cream
- trace carbs from other foods, like avocados, nuts, and seeds
Be aware that a low carb diet doesnt mean its a no-carb diet. Theres room for plenty of low carb vegetables.
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Intermittent Fasting & Keto
Some people on a keto diet choose to also practice intermittent fasting to speed up weight loss or when trying to reverse type 2 diabetes.
Intermittent fasting involves cycling between periods of fasting and eating. When eating a keto diet, many people feel hungry less often. And since we advise eating only when you are hungry, this means that you might naturally begin to eat fewer meals a day or you may deliberately plan fewer meals to match your reduced appetite. For some people, this could mean eating two meals a day . For others, this could mean eating once a day, which is often referred to as OMAD, meaning one meal a day.
Want to learn more about the potential benefits of intermittent fasting or need information on how to get started? Read our full guide to intermittent fasting >
Choosing What Carbs To Eat
When choosing what carbohydrates to eat when you have diabetes, it’s important that you choose those that offer vitamins, minerals, and other elements of nutritional valuenot just empty calories.
Skip or limit refined carbohydrates in favor of complex carbohydrates, which are slower-burning starches like whole grains such as brown rice or oats, or veggies like squash or potatoes, in portion-controlled amounts.
The carbohydrate count of all packaged foods can be found by reading the Nutrition Facts label. For foods without a label, a food journal app in which you input specific foods and portion size can determine the approximate number of carbs you’re consuming.
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Don’t Be A Fool Eat Avocado
Why I love avocado on the keto diet
Avocado is one of the healthiest low carb veggies on the planet.
Avocado contains fiber, copper, folate, and potassium. The fruit also contains Vitamin K, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6. Thats a lot of B-Vitamins! It also contains zinc, iron, manganese, and magnesium. With a mere 2 net carbohydrates per 100 grams, the avocado is a must on the list of acceptable foods on the keto diet. It is low in saturated fats and absent of sodium and cholesterol.
Eating avocados may help with controlling hypertension. The fruit is high in potassium and studies have identified a link between elevated potassium levels and normalized blood pressure values. The fruit is also high in good-for-you monounsaturated fatty acids. About of the avocados content is insoluble and soluble forms of fiber: This means the fruit can help in keeping the digestive processes and gastrointestinal tract functioning at its best.
Avocados have high phytonutrient content. The fruit also features a number of antioxidants for natural free radical defense. Additionally, the high amount of oleic acid in avocados serves to help in diminishing issues with inflammation and for lowering cholesterol levels.
Curious where it stacks up in comparison to other vegetables? Check out the low carb vegetables list I put together!
Low Carb Diets Help You Burn Fat
Low carb diets greatly reduce your blood levels of insulin, a hormone that brings the glucose from carbs into the bodys cells.
One of the functions of insulin is to store fat. Many experts believe that the reason low carb diets work so well is that they reduce your levels of this hormone.
Another thing that insulin does is to tell the kidneys to retain sodium. This is the reason high carb diets can cause excess water retention.
When you cut carbs, you reduce insulin and your kidneys start shedding excess water .
Its common for people to lose a lot of water weight in the first few days on a low carb diet. Some dietitians suggest you might lose up to 510 pounds this way.
Weight loss will slow down after the first week, but your fat mass may continue to decrease if you maintain the diet.
One study compared low carb and low fat diets and used DEXA scanners, which are very accurate measures of body composition. The low carb dieters lost significant amounts of body fat and gained muscle at the same time .
Studies also show that low carb diets are particularly effective at reducing the fat in your abdominal cavity, also known as visceral fat or belly fat. This is the most dangerous fat and is strongly associated with many diseases .
If youre new to low carb eating, youll probably need to go through an adaptation phase where your body is getting used to burning fat instead of carbs.
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What Constitutes A Low Carb Diet
Most low carbohydrate diets that you see advertised online or in magazines recommend that you limit your carb intake far below the guidelines recommended by the government. And when you see headlines about low carbohydrate diets in the news, the low carb diets studied are often much lower in carbohydrates as well.
In one large study of diets, for example, researchers defined a low carbohydrate diet as any diet that allowed a maximum intake of 60g of carbohydrates per day. While another recent study defined a low carbohydrate diet as less than 40g per day.
Confused? You’re not alone. I asked nutrition expert Marie Spano, MS, RD, CSCS, CSSD to explain the low carb confusion in simple terms.
“There is no universal definition of a low carbohydrate diet. Instead, a low carbohydrate diet is sometimes defined by the amount of carbohydrate grams consumed and other times its considered as a percent of overall calorie intake. I generally define a low carbohydrate diet as one that contains 20 to 70 grams of carbohydrate per day. A very low carbohydrate diet contains less than 20 grams per day.”
How Are Carbs Measured
Carbs are measured in grams. On packaged foods, you can find total carb grams on the Nutrition Facts label. You can also check this list or use a carb-counting app to find grams of carbs in foods and drinks.
For diabetes meal planning, 1 carb serving is about 15 grams of carbs. This isnt always the same as what you think of as a serving of food. For example, most people would count a small baked potato as 1 serving. However, at about 30 grams of carbs, it counts as 2 carb servings.
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How Protein Can Keep You From Ketosis
Insulin is known as a blood sugar lowering-hormone. However, not only carbs but also protein increases insulin levels. The hormone helps to shuffle sugar and amino acids into cells.
Since high insulin levels can prevent ketosis, you should try to limit insulin release.
Even though protein does not nearly cause the same insulin spike as high glycemic carbs do, too much can make ketosis less stable.
This is why carb restriction shouldnt be your only focus on the ketogenic diet. To achieve ketosis efficiently, eat the right amount of protein and limit your carbohydrate consumption. Dont just do one or the other.
In general, you should aim to get around 25% of your calories from protein. If youre active or restricting calories for fat loss, then it is best to increase your protein intake. To find out the exact amount of protein you should eat, use our keto calculator.
Eating Only 20 Grams Of Carbs A Day Is Hard
The keto diet is a high-fat and low-carb diet. I would actually describe it as extremely low-carb-you’re allowed to eat just 20 grams in a day. Some people on keto follow a net-carb plan and you’re allowed to eat more carbs in a day. For my 30-day diet and for the sake of simplicity, I stuck with total carbs.
As a rule, I aimed for 20 grams each day-2 at breakfast, 5 at lunch, 3 for snacks and 10 for dinner. I found that if I aimed for 20, I’d land under 30. That was successful enough for me.
The key to hitting my number was to plan, plan, plan. I worked out all three meals, down to the condiments, plus snacks on the weekends. If I knew what I was having and what I was “allowed” to have while staying under my carb goal, I found managing the infrequent cravings and hunger pangs easier. I can’t stress enough the importance of planning for a keto diet.
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Guidelines For Individualized Protein Intake
Taking into account the different positions among keto and low-carb experts, we recommend a protein intake of 1.2 to 2.0 grams per kg of body weight for most people. Protein intake within this range has been shown to preserve muscle mass, improve body composition, and provide other health benefits in people who eat low-carb diets or higher-carb diets.9
If youre near your ideal body weight or very muscular, use your actual weight to calculate your protein needs. Otherwise, you can use your height and the chart below to estimate how much protein you should aim to eat on most days.
Minimum daily protein target
2 tbsp butter
Finding Your Keto Carb Limit
Although everyone may need to restrict their carbs to slightly different amounts to get into and stay in ketosis, there is a carb limit that almost anyone can use to achieve results. This keto carb limit is 35 grams of total carbs and 25 grams of net carbs.
If net carbs are further limited to less than 20 grams, then most people will get into ketosis even more quickly. Keeping your carbs consumption at this level and rarely going above it is a reliable way to stay in ketosis .
And here is a brief list of what you should and shouldnt eat to achieve ketosis:
Do Not Eat
- Sweeteners stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, and other low-carb sweeteners >
- Other fats coconut oil, high-fat salad dressing, saturated fats, etc.
To see more specific advice on what to eat,
By sticking to these foods, eating keto-friendly meals , and limiting your carbohydrates to 35 grams or less, you will most likely get into ketosis. The reason why I say most likely rather than definitely is because carbs arent the only thing that can keep you from ketosis.
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The Difference Between Total Carbohydrates And Net Carbs
Net carbs are the total amount of carbs you consume , minus the grams of dietary fiber. Net carbs are calculated this way because dietary fiber does not raise your blood glucose levels , which is exactly what youre trying to avoid on keto.
Many people choose to calculate net carbs as opposed to total carbs when theyre on a ketogenic diet. Calculating net carbs means youll get to eat slightly more total carbs during the day, which can make your life a lot easier.
Other people choose to stick to 30-50 total carbs daily, which is much more restrictive but is a guarantee that youll stay in ketosis.
What Is Protein
Protein is made up of several smaller units called amino acids. Although your body is capable of making most of the 20 amino acids it needs, there are nine that it cant make. These are known as the essential amino acids, and they must be consumed in food on a daily basis.2
Animal protein is commonly referred to as complete protein because it contains all 9 essential amino acids, with an inference that plant proteins are therefore incomplete. The reality is more nuanced. Animal protein sources do contain the essential amino acids in consistently high amounts. Plant proteins also contain each of the 9 essential amino acids but might have less of one of the essential amino acids compared to animal protein.3
Keto-friendly animal protein sources include meat, poultry, seafood, eggs and cheese.
Keto-friendly plant protein sources include tofu and soy-based products, as well as most nuts and seeds, although some are higher in carbs than others.
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