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There's nothing quite like scrolling through a gorgeous Instagram feed full of food.
But if you're trying to cut down on carbohydrates, it might make sense to limit the amount of drool-worthy cake and cookie photos. Luckily, there are plenty of Instagram accounts created solely for our viewing (and tasting) pleasure, to inspire those looking to try a new eating plan in the new year.
Cutting processed foods and carbs has helped plenty of people lose weight. Popular diets like South Beach and Whole30 keep lean proteins and fresh veggies centerstage. But a more extreme example of low-carb dieting is gaining popularity with the ketogenic diet which encourages adherents to eat higher-fat foods and protein (that's a solid "yes" to eggs, steaks, bacon, butter and avocado). The diet advises followers to consume 60 to 80 percent of their calories from fat, 15 to 35 percent of calories should come from protein sources, and carbs should be kept at about 5 percent of one's daily caloric intake. The rigid nature of the diet can be difficult for some to follow, so a lot of people turn to (where else?) social media for advice.
There are plenty of self-proclaimed "healthy-eating" accounts out there, so it's important to always consult with a medical professional before embarking on any serious lifestyle changes.
“The great thing about social media is that it provides visual inspiration and can be helpful in getting people excited to make positive changes to their health," Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, nutrition expert and author of "Eating in Color," told TODAY Food. "Just make sure that you’re checking in with a credible health professional before following any advice you see online.”
And while these popular accounts may offer unique recipes and trendy eating ideas, Largeman-Roth, cautions that going keto isn't for everyone: "While it’s safe for most healthy individuals, it’s not appropriate for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or kids."
These 10 accounts are full of new recipe inspiration for those looking to lose weight, cut carbs or just try something new ... with some deliciously eye-catching photos, of course.
Low Carb Yum
Food blogger Lisa MarcAurele specializes in low-carb, gluten-free and keto-friendly foods. She's been creating recipes since 2010 after she herself adopted a low-carb, low-sugar eating plan. Her motto "keep it simple" is evident in her recipes like baked zucchini chips (which is just three ingredients!) and a low-carb chicken soup recipe that can be made in a slow cooker.
This Instagram account is designed to help followers "eat beauty every day" and is managed by Sarah Gim, founder of TheDeliciousLife.com. The Delicious is filled with colorful recipes that utilize lots of fresh produce. Many of her posts provide easy swap tips for low-carb dieters, coupled with light-hearted, cheeky captions that are far from preachy. From eye-catching smoked salmon platters to shakshuka made with broccolini, chard, collards, kale, and avocado, there are plenty of refreshing takes on healthful eating.
Recipes like her Wild King Salmon with Wild Citrus and Herbs, got a ton of great feedback for being simple, beautiful and tasty.
Suzanne Ryan, the author of "Simply Keto," lost 120 pounds by sticking to a ketogenic diet plan and consuming very few carbs. Her Instagram account has nearly 250,000 followers and plenty of posts with advice that will make it simpler for beginners to get started.
In addition to posting recipes that are easy to make at home, she also shows keto-friendly foods she eats while dining out to help make the super strict diet seem a bit more accessible.
In January 2018, the Oscar Award-winning actress told fans that she'd been following the ketogenic diet for years but encouraged people to think of it as a "lifestyle change" and not just a diet. In addition to following Halle Berry because she's, well, Halle Berry, keto dieters or people who just want to try eating like one of the world's most famous people will find plenty of inspiration. Her page is sprinkled with #FitnessFriday motivation tips, as well as some keto-devoted posts. In her stories, Berry often shares recipes crafted by her personal chef, Christina Shabatian.
On a recipe for Zucchini Pasta with Pesto, Berry wrote that it's one the whole family can enjoy, "picky eaters included."
Nom Nom Paleo
Michelle Tam, the award-winning food blogger behind this wildly popular feed (and growing empire), creates umami-packed dishes that are great for easy weeknight meals or fancier dinner parties. Not all of her recipes are super low in carbs but her ability to transform mundane staples like chicken breast or cauliflower rice is pretty unmatched.
This page created by a keto-loving couple, gym partners, food bloggers and YouTubers provides new recipes weekly. Low-carb dieters who still want to enjoy dessert or those seeking simple tips to eating fewer carbs overall will enjoy Keto Connect's approach.
"I love their enthusiasm and creativity," said Largeman-Roth, "just remember that if you're embarking on a diet overhaul like keto, you should talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian nutritionist first —don't just rely on Insta wisdom."
"Thanks for this one guys, I've been looking for a good pecan recipe," one pleased follower wrote on the account's recipe for Pecan Chocolate Chip Muffins.
The Diet Doctor
This Instagram account is entirely devoted to "making low carb and keto simple" with hundreds of keto-approved recipes as well as meal plans. Some plans, even those filled with warm, hearty dishes to alleviate those winter blues, keep carb counts at 25 grams or less for the entire day.
Keto Guido (aka Vinny Guadagnino)
Former "Jersey Shore" star Vinny Guadagnino is a hardcore keto fan — that means no more spaghetti tutorials with Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford (unless it's zoodles with that meat sauce). On his second, food-focused Instagram account, Guadagnino notes, "Not a medical expert. Just a guido who went Keto and never felt better."
In addition to sharing plenty of before and after selfies, Guadagnino posts tons of photos of very, very simple homemade meals, ideas for eating out and keto-friendly snacks that he eats to keep himself satisfied throughout the day. He often responds to fans looking for more specifics on his diet, too.
"I've got to hand it to Vinny for calling out that he's not a medical professional. But just keep in mind that celebrities and influencers may be getting endorsement deals for mentioning products on their feed," advised Largeman-Roth.
This Instagram feed has lots of low-carb, high-fat meal ideas from around the web that aren't just keto-friendly — many of them are actually beautiful. Who knew fat could do that? From a hearty breakfast pizza to homemade peppermint patties and grilled shrimp skewers, this page has something for everyone looking to cut down on carbs.
Fit Men Cook
Kevin Curry, the Texas-based author of the cookbook "Fit Men Cook," posts tons of recipes for both men and women who are looking for low-carb foods and transformational food ideas, like healthier takes on hearty chilis, chicken nuggets (he uses quinoa for breading) and more. His 1.3 million followers frequently comment that he makes eating healthy "fun" and that his dishes are packed with flavor. Largeman-Roth also liked many of his recipes.
Curry also claims, "there’s no one on IG who can clean a kitchen faster than me" in a post that showed what actually goes in to a food shoot that involves prepping and cooking 24 dishes.
He's welcome in the TODAY Food kitchen any time!