To some people, carbs are the devil, a fact I’ve been aware of since the late-’90s, when my parents decided to get into a newfangled way of eating called The Atkin’s Diet. Our bathroom was soon taken over by ketosis sticks, our fridge stocked with sliced turkey and deli-counter cheese, our proverbial bread basket barren.
At the time, the high-fat, no-carb plan was a fad—a permission slip to eat naked bacon cheeseburgers for every meal. The diet has since revised itself a bit, but its principles aren’t junk science: Research has shown that people on a low-carb diet reduced certain risk factors for heart disease and lost nearly three times as much weight as those on a low-fat diet.
I can attest: Every time I need to drop a few pounds, I simply axe carbs from my diet and I’m good as gold. Now, I’m aware not all types are created equal—there are “good” carbs (whole grains, fruit, legumes) and there are “bad” carbs (white flour, refined sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, a huge glorious plate of salty french fries with a vat of sweet ketchup). The big difference: Bad carbs don’t offer much in the way of nutritional value and tend to be digested so quickly that they can cause our blood sugar to spike, leading weight gain and other pretty serious health problems.
However, while good carbs are excellent for your overall health, studies have shown that making some adjustments to your overall intake can be extremely effective. That’s not to say you shouldn’t ever eat a piece of fruit or a bowl of brown rice, but making smart swaps can result in weight loss and improvements to your body.
Below, 25 low-carb dinner recipes to make on repeat. You won’t even miss the rice.