“No carbs before Marbs!” as one of the perma-tanned character’s of the reality TV show ‘The Only Way is Essex’ said.
It seems CARBS are perceived as EVIL fat inducing foods by people from all walks of life. The problem we have here is not all carbohydrates are the same and not all carbohydrates have the same effect on your body.
To determine which carbs have a good effect on your body and which don’t it helps to understand The glycaemic index (GI).
The glycaemic index (GI) was originally designed for people with diabetes to help keep their blood sugar levels under control. It is also a useful tool for non-diabetics in planning healthy meals and choosing foods.
The GI ranks carbohydrate foods based on the rate at which they are broken down into glucose. Too much glucose in the bloodstream triggers the pancreas to release a hormone called insulin to bring blood sugar levels back into the normal range. Consuming foods with a high-GI leads to high levels of circulating insulin levels, which we want to avoid.
Foods with a GI of 70 or more are typically called ‘high-GI foods’ as they trigger a rapid rise in blood sugar. Foods with a GI of 55-69 are ‘medium-GI foods’ as they trigger a moderate increase. Foods with a GI below 55 are ‘low-GI foods’ because they have a minor impact on blood sugar.
- Low-GI foods provide natural, slowly released energy.
- Generally, the less processed a carbohydrate, the more likely it is to have a low-GI score.
- Foods that are white, including processed foods made with white flour and white sugar, tend to have a high-GI.
- High fibre foods take longer to digest and therefore produce a slower rise in blood sugar levels. Fibre also keeps you feeling fuller for longer, which helps prevent overeating. Most vegetables, whole-grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and fruits are rich in fibre when you eat them whole.
Link to Low GI foods: http://www.the-gi-diet.org/lowgifoods/
Below are 4 great carbs that will leave you full and satisfied.
Sprouted Grain Bread
Sprouted grain breads, like Ezekiel 4:9 bread (one of the most popular brands of sprouted grain bread) is a great way to include bread in your diet on ocassion without all the issues associated with white breads and even 100% whole wheat breads.
Instead, Ezekiel bread is organic, sprouted, 100% whole grain flourless bread. A 2-slice serving even contains 8 grams of complete protein and 6 grams of fiber, so don’t give up the bread, just choose the right kind!
Berries & Cherries
Berries like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and cherries (although not technically a berry) are some of the BEST carbs you can eat. They are high in fiber, packed with antioxidants, and score extremely low on the glycemic index, especially cherries which come with a GI of just 22.
While brown rice is thought to be the healthy grain, there’s one even better, and that’s quinoa. Quinoa is a gluten free grain that contains double the protein of brown rice along with greater fiber content and a lower glycemic load. Not only that, but quinoa is the ONLY grain to contain complete protein and the full spectrum of amino acids. It comes in several varieties, including “oatmeal-like” flakes and it’s wholegrain rice-like form.
Enjoy it as an oatmeal substitute for breakfast, in salads or casseroles, or as a wholesome whole-grain, high protein side item to any lunch or dinner meal.
Beans, Lentils, and other Legumes
Beans and Lentils, part of the “legume” family are packed with loads of fiber and protein, and come in so many different varieties that you’ll never get bored: lentils, chickpeas, black eyed peas, black beans, red beans, kidney beans, navy beans, butter beans, lima beans, pinto beans…and the list goes on.
Not All Carbs Are Bad, By The 4D Personal Trainer in Oxford