Photograph courtesy of Paleo Running Momma/Kerri Olkjer/White on Rice Couple/Instagram
Paleo. Whole 30. Keto (a.k.a. the ketogenic diet). These days, it seems like everyone is doing the low-carb thing. They’re skipping the sugars and starches found in bread, pasta, and many processed foods and embracing protein, healthy fats, and vegetables. Lots of vegetables.
If you want to get technical, Emily Kyle, a registered dietitian nutritionist based in Rochester, NY, says that a typical low-carb meals contains 30 grams of carbohydrates or less per serving. But you don’t have to follow those super-rigid guidelines, she says.
In fact, it makes her cringe when people cut foods like potatoes or bananas out of their diet because they’re high in carbs. “It’s too strict,” she says. “When we become really restrictive and cut out entire food groups, we could potentially run the risk of being deficient.” Instead, Kyle says it’s all about portion size. So choose half a sweet potato instead of the whole thing.
Beyond that, the best low-carb meals are rich in veggies, Kyle says. “It’s a meal based around fresh vegetables, which have the lowest amount of carbs and are the most filling,” says Kyle. Add to that some good quality protein like lean, whole cuts of meat, chicken, or fish; and vegetarians can stock up on nuts, seeds, eggs, and dairy.
But if you can’t imagine your world without pad thai or pasta, don’t fret. Low-carb meals mean more than just chicken and steamed broccoli. Here are eight low-carb dinners to try this week. The best part? You can make them in 30 minutes or less.