Low-carb, less-fat din­ners: de­li­cious meals that are kind to the waist­line yet please the palate

These de­li­cious week­night din­ners are all car­bo­hy­drate- and fat-re­stricted – so they’re healthy, nu­tri­tious and a great way to con­trol your weight.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CONTENTS - PHOTOGRAPHY ● JAMES MOF­FATT AND LOUSIE LIS­TER STYLING ● OLIVIA BLACKMORE AND ANNETTE FORREST

Ase­vere re­stric­tion on carb in­take is not ad­vo­cated by most health pro­fes­sion­als, but the re­duc­tion of en­ergy-dense, nu­tri­tion-poor carbs is. These recipes re­duce car­bo­hy­drate in­take with a fo­cus on us­ing the best-qual­ity foods, rather than cut­ting out carbs al­to­gether – and this means stay­ing away from highly pro­cessed grains, such as rice and pasta, and foods high in sat­u­rated fats and added su­gars – which adds up to a health­ier way of eat­ing.

What are carbs?

Carbs, or car­bo­hy­drates, are macronu­tri­ents the body needs to func­tion prop­erly; the main macronu­tri­ents the body needs are car­bo­hy­drates, pro­tein and fats. Im­por­tant sources of car­bo­hy­drates are grains, veg­eta­bles and fruits (plant foods). As well as pro­vid­ing en­ergy in the form of glu­cose (needed to fuel the body’s or­gans, tis­sues, brain and mus­cles), car­bo­hy­drates also as­sist in the ab­sorp­tion of cal­cium, nec­es­sary for good bone health, and help to de­liver good in­testi­nal bac­te­ria.

Some car­bo­hy­drates break down quickly into glu­cose (sim­ple su­gars such as sweets, fizzy drinks, pro­cessed foods and some fruit), while oth­ers take longer (com­plex carbs, such as grains and most veges).

Why go low carb?

By low­er­ing the amount of car­bo­hy­drates avail­able to your body, it is forced to burn more fat. Car­bo­hy­drates break down into glu­cose, which fuels your body. If no glu­cose is avail­able, your body starts to burn your fat stores. One ma­jor ben­e­fit of a low-carb diet is that it cuts out highly pro­cessed foods – those carbs with lit­tle or no nu­tri­tional value. Switch­ing to more nu­tri­tious, whole­some foods helps keep blood glu­cose lev­els un­der con­trol and re­duces the amount of in­sulin your body needs to pro­duce.>>

These recipes are from The Aus­tralian Women’s Weekly Low Carb Less Fat cook­book, RRP $16.95.

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