A Little Creativity And A Whole Lot Of Nutritional Gain
As with all macronutrients, carbohydrates are necessary for optimal body function. How much is a matter for debate depending on your health goals and which type of nutritional plan you are following – and a topic for another day! Regardless of the quantity you consume, the quality of the carbs you eat determines their nutritional benefit and has an enormous impact on your health.
When carbohydrates such as rice and grains are refined or processed into “white” grains and flours, they lose virtually all of their good nutrition, since this is most concentrated in the outer ‘husk’ of the grain (the part that makes it look more brown in colour). It’s a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater!
In fact it is believed that the reason flour producers began to refine flour centuries ago was because they discovered it was toxic to pests, particularly rats, who died when they consumed it, therefore preserving it during transportation. (Ok for it to kill rats, but we’ll still feed it to humans!?).
Refined carbohydrates are converted to blood glucose very quickly so they cause that fast blood sugar spike that is quickly followed by the energy level crash that leaves you feeling tired and lethargic.
Consuming whole grains (the way nature intended) and vegetables rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals is a sure way to avoid the energy slump and improve your nutritional intake.
Here’s 7 great ways to switch your favourite refined carb foods for healthier alternatives.
Try These Great Swap Out Tips
1. Try lettuce cups instead of white flour tortillas
Skip the flour tortilla for crisp and hydrating lettuce cups! Use fresh large leaves for wraps or taco shells, filling them with your favorite ingredients.
2. Try cauliflower pizza bases instead of white flour pizza bases
Sneak some extra veggies into this household favorite by making the pizza base out of cauliflower!
3. Try zucchini spaghetti instead of regular spaghetti
This is such a fun food made popular by the spiralizer trend. Try out this delicious zucchini noodle recipe.
4. Try sweet potato fries instead of french fries
Deliciously satisfying, swap regular French fries for sweet potato fries to boost your intake of vitamin A and fiber.
5. Try portobello mushroom “buns” instead of burger buns
Most burgers are usually more bun than filling! Change it up by with tasty Portobello mushroom buns. Simply brush two mushroom caps with a little olive oil, place on some aluminium foil and roast in the oven (400 F) for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove the stems once cooled slightly and add your fillings. Easy!
6. Try quinoa instead of white rice
Quinoa is packed with plant-based protein, fibre and essential minerals. Serve as a tasty side dish, or make it the star in this delicious Quinoa Vegetable Pilaf.
7. Try almond meal bread instead of refined white wheat bread
Fill up with healthy fats, fibre and protein by using almond meal as a base to homemade bread, instead of regular white flour. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll never go back!
Original Article: Food Matters TV