Reducing your carbohydrate intake and increasing lean protein at each meal can be good for both your heart and your waistline.
A low-carbohydrate diet is defined as one that restricts carbohydrate intake to less than 20 percent of caloric intake. Research has shown that a moderately low-carbohydrate diet can treat or prevent some chronic diseases and conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, hyperinsulinemia and obesity, as long as the protein and fat selections come from healthy sources.
Consuming leaner proteins not only provides a leaner waistline, but also reduces blood pressure, LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and triglycerides, studies show.
Related: Pack a protein punch in your breakfast ›
If you’re interested in adopting a low-carbohydrate diet and increasing protein, introduce fish, eggs, fruits, non-starchy vegetables and whole grains into daily recipes. Aim for 24 to 30 grams of protein at each meal.
To get started on the path of a healthier lifestyle, try this satisfying, gluten-free dish.
Florentine-Swiss Omelet for One
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/2 cup shredded spinach, fresh or frozen (defrost and squeeze out the water)
- 1 thin slice of reduced-fat Swiss cheese
Break eggs into small bowl, add water and beat vigorously with whisk. Heat a nonstick eight-inch skillet on medium heat and pour in eggs. Watch the dish carefully and when egg begins to firm, lift with a spatula and let uncooked egg run underneath.
Top your omelet with cheese and spinach, fold over and turn off heat. There will be enough heat to warm the spinach and melt the cheese.
- 190 calories
- 20 g protein
- 9 g fat (42 percent calories from fat)
- 370 cholesterol
- 1.5 g carbohydrates
- Less than 1 g dietary fiber
- 215 mg sodium