Recently carbohydrates seem to have been demonised by some. I actually think they’re simply a little misunderstood (aren’t we all!)
We all need carbohydrates in our diet (see Sarah, What Should I Eat for more on this).
The problem comes when we eat cr*ppy poor quality carbohydrate. You see processed food is cheap and fills us up, but often contains carbohydrates, which have little nutritional value – or they try and dress up the rubbishy stuff by popping in some ‘wholegrains’ and hoping you won’t notice the copious amounts of sugar and poor quality stuff they’ve snuck in as well.
As I’ve probably mentioned many times before:
– DON’T FALL FOR THE MARKETING ON THE FRONT OF THE PACKET, LOOK AT THE INGREDIENTS ON THE BACK –
Carbohydrates like sugar and white flour add calories without giving you much bang for your buck. Now, I’m not saying never eat them, just save them for treats, not everyday use. Think about it for a second – in reality these carbohydrates actually contain little flavour – if you ate them on their own with nothing else, would you still want to eat them? Things like pasta and bread are actually often simply carriers for the tasty stuff and I promise you can find better carriers!
Quality carbs come along with lots of fibre and micro-nutrients to give you an extra boost of nutritional goodies.
Think of things such as:
– Sweet potato (or white though sweet is more nutritious – eat the skin)
– Parsnips (eat the skin)
– Squashes and pumpkins
– Jumbo oats
– Buckwheat (despite it’s name it is gluten free for those like me that can’t have gluten)
– Pulses like chickpeas, lentils and beans (flageolet are my fav’s)
– Brown rice
Also, don’t forget that all fruit and vegetables are good sources of carbohydrate some are just starchier than others.
Quick Tip: Next time you are craving some cr*ppy carbs try and pin point what you are actually craving. is it actually the tasty stuff that goes with it?
For example, when I could still eat dairy I was craving cheesy chips (fries for my American friends) one day. When I thought about it for a moment what I actually really wanted was the melted cheese so I had some melted cheese on a flattened chicken breast with my dinner, which completely satisfied me. Another time I was craving crisps (chips for my American friends – gosh this gets confusing – virtual high five if you’re still following!) and realised I actually just wanted something crunchy and kale crisps hit the spot. I realise I’m now starting to sound like a hippy but you get the idea I’m sure.
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