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General Practice 2023

Low Carb Diet Guide: what é, how to make it, menuápio and recipes

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Low Carb Diet Guide: what é, how to make it, menuápio and recipes
Low Carb Diet Guide: what é, how to make it, menuápio and recipes

The low carb diet is a style of eating where the intake of foods rich in carbohydrates, such as bread, pasta and tapioca, is reduced, and the consumption of proteins, such as eggs, meat, fish and chicken, is increased, and good quality fats from olive oil, nuts and avocado, for example.

What makes this diet a he althy option for weight loss is the introduction of more vegetables low in carbohydrates and high in fiber, such as chayote, spinach or zucchini, and the increase in the amount of protein-rich foods such as fish, eggs or lean meats, and good fats, which contribute to reduced appetite.

In addition, in a low carb diet, regular intake of fruits, vegetables and nuts, which are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, help to lower cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar levels, preventing diseases such as heart attack., diabetes and obesity.

In the low carb diet, industrialized foods rich in bad fats, such as bacon, chips, ice cream and cookies, and alcoholic beverages should be avoided, as these types of foods cause weight gain and contribute to weight gain. emergence of diseases such as cancer, hepatic steatosis and obesity.

Key he alth benefits

Following a low carb diet can bring several he alth benefits, such as:

  • Control hunger, as increased consumption of protein, fiber and fat promotes satiety for longer;
  • Reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood, as well as increase good HDL cholesterol, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases;
  • Help in controlling diabetes, as it regulates blood sugar level;
  • Improve the functioning of the intestine, as it is a high fiber diet;
  • Favour weight loss, due to the reduction of total calories and increase in the amount of fiber in the diet;
  • Fighting fluid retention, as it is a diet rich in water, and minerals such as potassium and magnesium, which increase urine production, eliminating excess fluid accumulated in the body.

To follow this type of diet, it is essential to have the follow-up of a nutritionist, since the quantity and quality of carbohydrates in the low carb diet may vary according to the needs and he alth history of each person.

How to do a low carb diet

To follow a low carb diet, you should especially remove simple carbohydrates from your diet, such as sugar, white wheat flour, soft drinks and sweets. Depending on the amount of carbohydrates in the diet, it may also be necessary to restrict the intake of some complex carbohydrates, such as bread, oatmeal, rice or pasta, for example.

In a “normal” diet, an average of 250 g of carbohydrates is consumed per day. On the low carb diet, the goal is to ingest 130 g to 200 g of carbohydrates per day, which is equivalent to approximately 1 medium silver banana + 200 g of natural full-fat yogurt + 2 tablespoons of oatmeal + 2 tablespoons of honey, in the morning and afternoon snack, for example.

Once the body is used to a large amount of carbohydrates, the low-carb diet should be done gradually, so that the body gets used to it and there are no symptoms such as headache, dizziness or changes in mood..

During the low carb diet, it is important to have 3 main meals and 2 snacks, so that you eat more often, but in small portions throughout the day, which helps to reduce the feeling of hunger. Breakfast and snacks should include eggs, cheese, nuts, avocado and coconut, for example. Lunch and dinner, on the other hand, should be rich in salad, protein and olive oil, with just a little carbohydrate.See recipes for low carb snacks.

Check out in the following video how to do a low carb diet correctly:

3-Day Low Carb Diet Menu

The following table shows an example of a 3-day low carb diet menu:


Day 1

Day 2

Day 3


200 g of plain yogurt with 1 tbsp of honey + 1 slice of 50g of wholegrain bread with 1 slice of mozzarella cheese + 3 tbsp of mashed avocado 1 cup of unsweetened coffee with 200 ml of coconut milk + 2 scrambled eggs with 1 medium tomato and 1 tablespoon of basil soup 1 cup of coffee with 200 ml of whole milk + 1 slice of 50g of wholegrain bread with 25 g of smoked salmon + 1/2 papaya (155 g)

Morning Snack

Coffee without sugar with 200 ml of coconut milk + 20 units of almonds 200 g plain yogurt with 1 tbsp chia seeds + 1 medium tangerine 1 medium persimmon (110 g) + 10 almonds


200 g zucchini noodles with 50 g homemade tomato sauce + 150 g ground beef + lettuce salad, 50 g carrots, 20 g onion and 1 tablespoon of olive oil + 1 large orange 150 g of roasted salmon + 3 tbsp of brown rice + 1 cup of peppers, carrots, zucchini, eggplant and sautéed broccoli + 1 tbsp of olive oil + 1 medium slice (90 g) of melon. 150 g grilled chicken breast + 150 g yam puree + lettuce salad with 1 medium tomato, 20 g onion, 3 tbsp diced avocado soup, seasoned with 1 tbsp olive oil and vinegar

Afternoon Snack

1 cup strawberry gelatin + 1 50g serving of peanuts Vitamin with 100 g of avocado, 1 tablespoon of oatmeal and 200 ml of coconut milk + 10 hazelnuts 1 glass of green juice prepared with 1 cabbage leaf, ½ lemon, 50 g of cucumber, 200 ml of coconut water and 1 tablespoon of chia


Spinach omelet with 2 eggs, 20 g of onion, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 125 g of spinach, 50 g of tomato, s alt and pepper + salad with 100 g of lentils, 50 g of broccoli and 50 g cauliflower + 1 medium pear (130 g) 2 eggplants (360 g) stuffed with 150 g of tuna + 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese, au gratin in the oven + salad with 100 g of chickpeas and 50 g of tomato 2 large red peppers (190g) stuffed with 150 g of ground beef and 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese, gratin in the oven + salad with 100 g of soy, 50 g of tomato, 50 g of broccoli and 50 g of grated carrot + 1 medium slice (100 g) watermelon

Amount of carbohydrates

168 grams

142 grams

143 grams

Amounts of carbohydrates included in the menu may vary according to age, gender, physical activity level and disease history. Therefore, the ideal is to have the follow-up of a nutritionist for a complete evaluation and a nutritional plan suited to the needs of each person.

There is another type of low carb diet, which is the ketogenic diet, where the amount of carbohydrates ingested is even lower, being between 20 and 50 grams per day, which causes the body to enter the state known as "ketosis", in which you start using body fats as your main source of energy. However, this diet is only indicated for some cases.Understand better what the ketogenic diet is like and when it can be indicated.

Allowed foods

Allowed foods on a low carb diet are:

  • Fresh and whole fruit, with skin and in small quantities, such as apple, lemon, kiwi, cashew, plum, guava, papaya;
  • Vegetables in small quantities, such as lettuce, arugula, tomato, chayote, cauliflower;
  • Lean protein, especially skinless chicken or turkey;
  • Fish, preferably the fattest ones like salmon, tuna, trout, sardines;
  • Milk and dairy products, such as cheese and yogurt;
  • Good fats such as olive oil, coconut oil and butter;
  • Chestnuts, such as walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts and peanuts;
  • Seeds in general, such as chia, flaxseed, sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds;
  • Drinks, such as unsweetened coffee and teas.

Milk can be substituted for coconut or almond milk, whose carbohydrate content is much lower. It is also important to follow the low carb diet with 2 to 3 liters of water a day.

Some foods have moderate amounts of carbohydrates, which may or may not be included by the nutritionist in the low carb diet plan, such as beans, lentils, brown rice, potatoes, cassava, sweet potatoes, yams and pumpkin.

Forbidden foods

On a low carb diet, it is important to avoid foods rich in carbohydrates, as they can harm the diet. Some examples of the types of foods that should be avoided are:

  • Sugar: refined sugar, soft drinks, industrialized fruit juices, sweeteners, sweets;
  • Cereals: white rice, white pasta, farofa, couscous;
  • Dried fruits: raisins, apricots, plums;
  • Flours: tapioca, white wheat flour, and foods prepared with this flour, such as white bread, pancakes, cakes and cookies.

In addition to foods rich in carbohydrates, it is also necessary to exclude industrialized foods, such as pizzas and cookies, those rich in bad fats, such as margarine, ice cream, sausage, French fries and bacon, and alcoholic beverages from the diet.

An important tip to maintain a low carb diet is to avoid all types of processed foods, as they usually contain a high concentration of carbohydrates. See a list of foods rich in carbohydrates.

Amount of carbohydrates in foods

In the following table, some fruits and their amount of carbohydrates per 100 g are indicated:



Amount of carbohydrates per 100g

Avocado 6 g
Raspberry 5, 1 g
Strawberry 6, 8 g
Melon 7, 5 g
Coco 6, 4 g
Grapefruit 6 g
Tangerine 9, 6 g
Orange 8, 9 g
Papaya 10, 4 g
Pear 14 g
Amora 4, 5 g
Cherry 13, 3 g
15, 2 g
Blueberry 6, 4 g

The following table shows some vegetables and the amount of carbohydrates per 100g serving:


Amount of carbohydrates per 100g

Spinach 2, 6 g
Lettuce 1, 7 g
celery 4, 3 g
Broccoli 4, 4 g
Cucumber 2 g
Arugula 2, 2 g
Watercress 2, 3 g
Chicory 2, 9 g
Zucchini 3, 0 g
Onion 8, 9 g
Tomato 3, 1 g
Cauliflower 3, 9 g
Cabbage 3, 9 g
Carrot 6, 7 g

The following table shows the amount of carbohydrates in 100 grams of some foods:

Other foods

Amount of carbohydrates per 100g

Skimmed milk 4, 9 g
Natural yogurt 1, 9 g
Butter 0, 1 g
Pumpkin 10, 8 g
Coconut milk 2, 2 g
Yam 23, 2 g
Brown rice 25, 8 g
Mozzarella Cheese 3, 0 g
Lentils 16, 3 g
Potato 11, 9 g
Black beans 14 g
Boiled rice 28 g
Sweet Potato 18, 4 g
Peanuts 18, 7 g

Low carb recipe options

Some recipes that can be included in the low carb diet are:

1. Zucchini noodles

A 100g serving of these noodles has about 59 calories, 1.1g of protein, 5g of fat and 3g of carbs.


  • 1 small zucchini cut into thin strips;
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil or olive oil;
  • Sea s alt and ground black pepper, to taste;

Preparation method:

Slice the zucchini lengthwise into spaghetti noodles. There are also special slicers that cut the vegetables into spaghetti shapes. In a skillet, heat the coconut oil or olive oil and place the zucchini strips. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until the zucchini starts to soften. Season with s alt, garlic and black pepper. Turn off the heat and serve with the desired meat and vegetables.

2. Spinach Tortilla

An 80g serving (¼ of a tortilla) provides approximately 107 calories, 4g of protein, 9g of fat and 2.5g of carbs.


  • 550 g spinach or Swiss chard leaves;
  • 4 lightly beaten egg whites;
  • ½ chopped onion;
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives;
  • Pinch of s alt and pepper;
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil.

Preparation method:

Place the spinach leaves in a frying pan, cover and keep over medium heat until wilted, uncovering and stirring occasionally. Then remove from the heat and let it rest for a few minutes on a plate.

In the same skillet, add a drizzle of oil, the onion, chives, s alt and pepper, and let the onion cook until lightly golden. Then add the egg whites and spinach, let it cook for another 5 minutes, until the tortilla is golden underneath. Flip the tortilla and cook for another 5 minutes on the other side.

3. Stuffed cherry tomatoes

A serving of 4 cherry tomatoes (65 g) has about 106 calories, 5 g of protein, 6 g of fat and 5 g of carbs.


  • 400 g of cherry tomatoes (about 24 tomatoes);
  • 8 tablespoons (150 g) of ricotta cheese;
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil;
  • 1 crushed garlic clove;
  • S alt and white pepper to taste;
  • 6 basil leaves (for plating).

Preparation method:

Wash the tomatoes and cut a small lid on the top, remove the pulp from the inside using a small spoon and being careful not to pierce the tomato. Stuff the tomatoes with the ricotta.

In a separate bowl, mix the oil with the garlic, s alt and pepper and place over the tomatoes. Plate up, decorating with sliced ​​basil leaves.

4. Strawberry and fruit gelatin

A serving of this gelatin of about 90 g (1/3 cup) has approximately 16 calories, 1.4 g of protein, 0 g of fat and 4 g of carbohydrates.

Ingredients (for 7 servings):

  • ½ cup sliced ​​strawberries;
  • ¼ chopped apple;
  • ¼ chopped pear;
  • 1 cup of hot water;
  • 1 sachet of strawberry gelatin powder (sugar free);
  • ½ cup of cold water.

Preparation method:

Put the gelatin powder in a container and add the cup of hot water on top. Stir until the powder is completely dissolved, then add the cold water. Finally, place the fruits in the bottom of a glass container and add the gelatin already dissolved over the fruit. Place in the fridge to chill until firm.

5. Low carb cauliflower pizza

Low carb pizza with cauliflower dough is a great he althy snack option, as it is rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and 1 slice contains about 150 calories.


  • 400 grams of cauliflower;
  • 1 egg;
  • 25 grams of mozzarella cheese;
  • 25 grams of grated Parmesan cheese;
  • Pepper and oregano to taste.

Preparation method:

Check out the step-by-step video below to make a low carb pizza with cauliflower dough:

Who should not do this diet

This diet should not be done by pregnant or breastfeeding women, as well as by children or adolescents, as they are in the growth phase.In addition, elderly people and people with kidney or liver problems should also avoid this type of diet.

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