Living a low carb lifestyle just got easier

By Bianca Frew

29 October 2020

4 minute read

Low carb lifestyle eating showing a flatlay of curries and leafy greens

Living a low carb lifestyle has never been easier.

Spring has finally sprung! And, with the change of season, a lot of us have committed to changing up our diets too.

But it’s a routine we know all too well. Menu plans written, fridges stocked, but then Sunday night comes along and the last thing we feel like doing is cooking.

With delivery apps and heat-and-serve supermarket options, never before have we had access to so many convenient food options. For those of us who are trying to eat healthier, the choices can be overwhelming.

Living la vida low carb 

Decades of our nutritional and behavioural research has helped us understand the barriers people face when trying to improve their diet. Budget and time, pressures, the increase of single-person households, and conflicting information online all play a part.

So, we’re making it easier for time-poor Australians to choose nutritious convenient ready-made meals. And these meals are consistent with our Low Carb Diet and Lifestyle Plan.

We’re doing this with the help of Australian food manufacturers and retailers. Our first partner, online retailer Be Fit Food is launching a range of eight meals to purchase online and have delivered to your door.

Health benefits of a low carb diet

Our Low Carb Diet is an energy controlled, nutritionally complete eating plan based on simple principles of healthy eating. The diet promotes consuming low energy, nutrient-dense, whole foods and can be followed by and benefit a wide range of the population.

Rigorous clinical studies have shown that our Low Carb Diet and Lifestyle Plan effectively delivers sustained health benefits. Compared to a traditional high carb, low-fat diet, our plan delivers long-term weight loss, improvements in blood glucose control and a reduction in diabetes medication requirements, and reduces risk factors for heart disease.

Good vs bad carbs

In some circles, carbs get a bad rap. They are necessary for our bodies to function well, however, we don’t need a lot. Around 50g a day is not only suitable but achievable for most people.

While we don’t like to demonise one type of food over another, there are good quality carbs which help us achieve good health and function. Just like there are poor-quality carbs that lead to the onset and risk of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Good quality carbs include fruit and vegetables such as strawberries, kiwi fruit and leafy greens as well as high protein yoghurt and milk. Poorer-quality carbs include the usual suspects like white pasta, cakes, pastries, lollies and sugar-sweetened beverages.

Not all low carb diets are equal

All low carb diets are not necessarily equal. Some low carb diets restrict the intake of entire food groups and can contain high levels of unhealthy (saturated) fat. Avoiding food groups entirely, in favour of increasing other food groups, carries an increased risk of missing essential nutrients.

Our Low Carb Diet is an eating plan that is nutritionally complete and balances out the foods across all food groups. It provides all essential nutrients including vitamins, minerals, trace element and fibre and remains low carbohydrate and increases the healthy fats in the diet.

Striking a healthy balance

Changing behaviours is hard, so don’t expect a complete overhaul of your diet to happen without putting in some time and effort. It’s important to be patient with yourself while you adapt to the new routine. And seek input from a low carb trained dietitian if you need.

Ready to get things going? Start with a blank canvas by restocking your kitchen with foods that are low or lower in carbs. There are some great lists of foods in our Low Carb Books. And don’t forget the healthy fats! These help to contain hunger after a meal and can also slow the digestion of food, helping your body respond better to the carbohydrates.

Getting the right foods is one thing, making sure you have the right tools of the trade is another. Low carb eating can be as simple as a few stovetop pans, baking trays, baking paper, sharp knives and spiralisers. So make sure you have the right gear handy.

And don’t forget, if you don’t have time to cook, we’ve partnered with Australian online food retailer Be Fit Food to bring convenient ready meals to you. Their range of meals, that are consistent with our Low Carb Diet, can be purchased online and delivered to your door.

You can purchase the CSIRO Low-Carb Diabetes Diet and Lifestyle Solutions book though CSIRO Publishing, booksellers and retailers or digital versions through Pan Macmillan.