Apple Cinnamon Bread
Banana Nut Bread
Banana Nut Muffins
Raisin Bran Muffins
Orange Cranberry Muffins
Pumpkin Nut Muffins
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Fettucine with Roasted Eggplant and Broccoli
Wild Rice and Black Beans
Whole Wheat Biscuits
Yam Home Fries
Diet and Glycemic Index:
Glycemic Index (GI) is a concept that has been around for decades and has moved in and out of favor for use with weight loss and for diabetics. It's a great tool in many ways, but it does add another number to learn and there has long been debate as to whether diets that specifically use foods with a low GI are effective.
Low-Carbohydrate Diets and Heart Disease:
There has been longstanding controversy over low-carbohydrate diets. Those who write books about such diets make dramatic claims about weight loss as well as the overall health benefits from eating an extremely low-carb diet. Unfortunately, there has not been proof that eating this way prevents disease or helps with weight loss.
The low-fat, high carbohydrate diet - or the Anti-Atkins diet:
There has been a great deal of controversy about low-carbohydrate diets and weight loss. The main argument is that it is easier for people to lose weight eating a low-carb "Atkins" type diet than the recommended low-fat diets, which have been shown to help reduce risk of heart disease and other illness.
Bean there, done that!
I have written recently about the positive effects that diet can have on different cancers. We know that people with a normal Body Mass Index have a lower risk of cancer. Studies have also shown a clear link with increased fruit and vegetable intake providing a decrease in the risk of some cancers.
The low carbohydrate craze is no longer at full boil, but I still have those patients who come in and talk about being on a low-carb diet. While the plans for most such diets are pretty silly, most folks do need to cut back on calories. In general, the western diet is now largely built around the carbohydrate, and those carbs, unfortunately, have often been soaked in fat and coated with salt.
Like all foods, however, carbohydrates are actually good for you. Choosing what types of carbs and how many you eat is the key.
Carbohydrates are chains of basic sugar molecules called saccharides (SACK-a-rides). Single sugar molecules are known as monosaccharides while two sugars linked together are disaccharides. Such one and two sugar carbs are generally called simple sugars because they are easily broken down in the body into the monosaccharides.
The monosaccharide glucose is important because it’s the primary fuel for your body. All edible carbohydrates contain glucose. Combining the monosaccharides glucose and fructose results in the disaccharide called sucrose (good old fashioned table sugar). Granulated sugar is sucrose and is a highly refined product usually made from sugar cane or beets. You hear all the time that white sugar is bad for you and using “natural” sugars is healthier. This is silly. Sugar is sugar and your body digests it all in the same way.
When monosaccharides form chains longer than two they are called polysaccharides or complex carbohydrates (sometimes called starches or complex sugars). Starches as a rule contain at least some glucose.
Fiber is made up of long chain carbohydrates, but they’re not absorbed into the body like other carbs because humans don’t have the enzymes to break them down. As a result, foods that are higher in fiber are generally lower in calories.
When you look at the nutrition facts on food labels there is a line for carbohydrates. This is for all carbs - both simple and complex. The sugars line is for simple carbohydrates only. Notice that there’s a line for fiber. Both of these are O.K. for you but getting more fiber is really good for you.
So what does this mean in day to day terms? A good example is the difference between an apple and apple juice. The same weight of the juice and the apple contain about the same amount of calories and carbohydrate but there’s 5 grams of fiber in the apple and none in the juice. Both essentially carbohydrates and both good for you but the apple is better. More fiber, more satisfying -- healthy.
Look at the carbs in the foods that you are choosing. Pick those that are higher in fiber and lower in sugars.
|potatoes||sweet potatoes or yams|
|white bread||whole grain bread|
|white rice||brown rice|
|pasta||whole wheat pasta|
|fruit juice||fresh whole fruit|
|sugary cereal (Frosted Flakes)||whole grain cereal (Cheerios)|
|sugary cereal (corn flakes)||whole grain cereal (shredded wheat)|