Carbohydrates have been given a bad reputation over the years. When someone’s trying to lose weight a popular tactic is to cut carbs out of their diet. First of all, I don’t believe in diets. When you deprive yourself of something it only makes you want it more and you’re left feeling miserable, and likely to binge on the forbidden food at your first moment of weakness. I believe in eating a variety of healthy foods in moderation and to allow yourself those little indulgences once in a while. It’s about living a healthy lifestyle; not yo-yo dieting.
The only time it’s a good idea to cut carbs out entirely is if they are the white, refined, processed kind, ie. white rice, white pasta, white bread, white pizza dough, etc. They have very little nutritional value and your body burns the glucose in them so quickly that you’re left feeling hungry soon after you’ve eaten.
Healthy carbs do exist, and they’re an important part of a wholesome, nutritious diet. They provide us with energy to perform physically & mentally, and keep us feeling full longer, which can help avoid overeating, curb cravings, and actually help you maintain or lose weight. The trick is to know which carbs to choose. Here are a few of my favourite healthy carb options:
1. Whole Wheat or Brown Rice pasta: great options if you love your pasta. But be aware of serving size; healthy carbs still pack a calorie punch.
2. Brown Rice: when ordering sushi request brown rice instead of white. Some sushi places charge extra for the substitution, but your health is worth it!
3. Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wa): this is an amazing carb because it also has protein in it! It kind of looks like cous cous, but is way better for you because it’s not a white, processed carb. Use this as a sub in your next cous cous recipe!
4. Pearl Barley: this is a whole grain that is high in fibre and minerals. The next time you make risotto, simply substitute barley for white Arborio rice; the same cooking instructions apply.
5. Soba noodles: this is a buckwheat noodle, and is great to use instead of white rice noodles in stir-fries or Pad Thai.
6. Oats: a whole grain that can be eaten warm or cold (soaked in almond milk) for breakfast or as a whole grain flour in healthy baking.
Do you have some favourite healthy carb options that I’ve missed?