You've probably heard that many people aim to eat low-carb foods, but do you know why? As it turns out, low-carb foods can be downright delicious. The truth is that eating to sustain your body doesn't have to be boring or exhausting.
You might have also gathered that some people cut calories, but did you know that upping your calories may help support you throughout the day? Choosing high-calorie foods and low-carb snacks are just two nutritional goals you can explore to help you live your life to the fullest.
Let's get the lowdown on low-carb and high-calorie foods! Then, we'll explore a modern miracle: low-carb vegan sweets that taste incredible.
Why Should You Aim for Low-Carb Treats?
Figuring out your nutritional needs can sometimes feel like walking through a funhouse mirror maze. It's daunting at first, and it's something that seems to look different for every person.
When deciding whether or not to go low-carb, there are many personal factors to consider. Still, there are a few potential benefits to eating low-carb:
- Weight loss
- Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Supports blood sugar levels
- May promote brain health
Most people tend to ditch carbs to see results with weight loss. Whatever your reasoning is for going low-carb, know that it doesn't have to be as challenging as it seems.
In just a bit, we'll show you how even sweet treats can be low-carb. That's right, you can actually enjoy treats without feeling guilty about it –– who knew?
How Many Calories Should You Eat?
Let's talk calories. If you're like many of us, you might feel a sense of taboo when talking about this word. In reality, a calorie is a just unit of energy; it's nothing to be afraid of! So, when you read the number of calories on a given food, it lets you know how much energy your body might receive.
Some people choose to eat within a specific calorie window for different nutritional needs. For example, people who wish to lose weight may limit their calories to ensure they use more energy than they take in. On the other hand, some people might opt to up their caloric intake if they want to prepare for a rigorous activity or gain strength.
One rule of thumb is to consume around 2,000 to 2,500 calories per day, depending on your physical makeup and wellness goals. Ultimately, the number of calories you consume should be a topic you discuss with your trusted health care provider. They'll have the inside scoop on your medical history and be able to provide insight into what might work well for you!
How Protein Works With Your Body
Here's the thing: Protein has superpowers. Okay, not really, but it might as well! Protein is more influential in your body than you might think. Here's a quick list of tasks this group of molecules is responsible for in your body:
- It helps your blood transport oxygen to your cells.
- It aids blood clotting.
- It supports your vision.
- It influences your metabolism.
- It boosts your immune system.
- It helps lower blood pressure.
- It improves your bone health.
- It helps make up your skin, nails, and hair.
Protein is a vital component in your body. When you consume it, you provide your body with material to increase strength and help fuel you for all your daily activities. Sure, eating more protein won't give you superpowers, but this list of potential advantages is too big to ignore!
Here are some of the possible wins you might experience from adding more protein to your meals:
- A sustained feeling of fullness and reduced appetite
- Increased muscle mass
- Bone support
- Lowered blood pressure
- Boosts fat-burning
- Helps you manage cravings
- Heightened metabolism
- Boosts calorie-burning
The Magic of High Protein and Low-Carb Foods
One specific meal plan has been making waves. It's a 1200-calorie diet that emphasizes high-protein and low-carb foods. Essentially, the potential benefit is that you can manage your weight or lose weight if that's one of your goals.
If you try out this meal plan, you'll want to shoot for at least 50 grams of protein per day, if not more. In addition, eating 1,200 calories will allow you to burn more energy than you consume. When it comes to carbs, try staying below 120 grams per day, and you'll be on your way to seeing results!
Protein-Rich Snack Foods
Now that you're off on your personal yellow brick road to the Emerald City of high protein and fewer carbs, you'll probably want a little help to direct you on your path. Knowing a quick list of protein-rich snack foods can make the journey easier than you think.
Here's a look at a few ingredients to keep in stock:
- Tofu: This soybean product is rich in amino acids that help support your body. Add it to salads, bread it as a chicken substitute, or use it to make yummy miso soup.
- Edamame: These are also soybean products and can add crunch and flavor to salads and soups.
- Beans: Whether you choose garbanzo beans, black beans, pinto beans, or kidney beans, you can enjoy the protein they add to soups, salads, and burritos.
- Lentils: Lentils are a terrific source of protein and fiber that can be eaten a la carte or in a soup.
- Green Peas: You might not immediately think of peas when you imagine protein-packed foods. Surprisingly, these contain high protein content and are a good source of several vitamins. Mix them into your vegan mac-n-cheese, or add them as a side for your favorite weeknight meal.
High-Calorie Foods to Snack On
Let's say one of your goals is to add more calorie-dense foods to your weekly dishes. Incorporating high-calorie foods with high protein content can help you feel full for longer, but there’s more to the advantages of a high-cal diet than just feeling full!
More calories mean more energy to work out and perform daily tasks, while the added protein content can help your body heal after exercise, build muscle, and get stronger. If you’re looking for muscle gains and better performance during your workouts, high-calorie and high-protein meals can help you build up that lean muscle mass.
Of course, while you pack in the calories, that doesn’t mean you should be packing in the carbs, too — the key to an effective and fueling high-cal diet is eating fewer calories from carbs to incorporate a higher proportion of protein. The protein-rich foods above are great for a high-cal menu, too, but there are a few healthy carbs and fats you can add to the rotation to make sure you get a bit of everything while still prioritizing those gains.
Here are some quick ideas for high-calorie foods to include in your household menu:
- Homemade granola: Making your own granola can help you consume more calories. You can also add dried fruit, but that may raise the sugar content. This is a hearty snack or breakfast all on its own.
- Sweet potatoes: Although these contain a significant amount of sugar, sweet potatoes can also help you meet your caloric goals! Eat them alone or toss them up in a salad.
- Avocado: This food is creamy and tasty in so many dishes. Add it to your morning toast or breakfast burrito to boost calories and amino acids.
- Nut Butters: Adding nut butter to your morning oatmeal can help you reach your calorie count and feel fuller!
Naturally Low-Carb Foods
You don't have to worry when you want to cut down on carbs. So many delicious vegetables are low in carbs, making low-carb meal-prep simple.
When you want to choose fewer carbs in your foods, you may want to stock your fridge with these delicious veggies:
- Broccoli: You can eat this veggie raw or cooked, making it versatile in the kitchen. It's low in carbs and packed with beneficial vitamins.
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes aren't merely accessories for your sandwiches. Tomatoes make an excellent kitchen staple for low-carb meals!
- Brussel Sprouts: Rich in vitamins C and K, this vegetable offers nutrients and flavor.
- Cauliflower: This low-carb food can also complement many dishes. It's packed with vitamins C, K, and folate, too.
- Eggplant: This fiber-rich food is technically a fruit if you can believe it. It's low in carbs, making it a unique snack when you're dodging carbohydrates.
- Cucumber: Cucumber is a moisture-rich food that can add an exciting crunch to so many snacks. It's low-carb and highly refreshing.
Low-Carb Sweets You'll Adore
We've talked about how to stock up your kitchen with low-carb veggies. But let's be honest –– some days, we all find ourselves daydreaming of chocolate over broccoli.
You can relish the delightfully smooth sweetness of chocolate without too many carbs or loads of sugar. How? It's simple. At MiiRO, we use nut mylk to create other-worldly chocolate. We don't use added sugars or low-quality sweeteners with that icky aftertaste. You’re free to indulge.
You can also try out keto and vegan-friendly baking recipes that transport you to deliciousness. Low-carb. Plant-based. Every time.
What Makes MiiRO So Unique?
When looking for low-carb snacks, you might find that many contain artificial sugar to compensate. We think you should be able to savor low-carb sweets without sacrificing flavor — each MiiRO bar contains less than a teaspoon of sugar while still providing plenty of yummy sweetness.
We choose quality ingredients, too. That means you won't find palm oil or dairy products in our sweets and baking chocolate: only tasty plant-based, delicious treats.
Make Carbs, Calories, and Protein Work for You
Going low-carb, changing your caloric intake, and upping the protein in your meals can be as uncomplicated as putting one foot in front of the other.
You don't have to get lost in a mirror maze of confusing choices, especially when it comes to treating yourself. Just stock up on a few key ingredients and trusted low-sugar treats, and you'll be ready to start this new way of eating.