credit: picture and recipe from, http://www.tablefortwoblog.com/zucchini-chips/
Carbohydrates are not evil! Most sources of carbohydrates that most people eat are processed (cereal, bagels/bread, yogurt, pasta), add calories and stimulate appetite without providing much benefit. Kick unhealthy carbohydrates to the curb but swap them for healthier versions of carbohydrates. Get “nutritional bang for your calorie buck”!
Carbohydrates from low-calorie veggies, low glycemic fruits, nuts and seeds are filled with nutrients that keep you healthy and looking good.
The 3 strongest arguments for cutting unhealthy carbohydrates and substituting healthy carbs are:
Phytonutrients are nutrients provided by a plant through its color or pigment, http://health.mo.gov/living/families/wic/wiclwp/pdf/phytonutrientsposter.pdf, and they have been found to stave off disease (cancer, heart disease…), slow aging, lower inflammation and support good health. More than 100,000 phytonutrients are found in colorful fruits and vegetables. Some phytonutrients in plants are fat soluble and need fat for nutrient absorption.
When you swap commercially prepared carbohydrates like bread, pretzels, processed rice… for plant foods you fuel your body with an artillery of phytonutrients that boost body systems to function at peak performance reducing the chance of health issues. Healthy carbohydrates with phytonutrients and their colors are:
- Lycopenes, ellagic acid, quercetin, hesperidin, anthocyanidins are red so eating tomatoes, red onion, watermelon, pink grapefruit or promote heart health, urinary tract health and can protect memory.
- Carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene), beta cryptoxanthin, lutein/zeaxanthin, hesperidin are orange/yellow and help maintain healthy eyes and skin and protect against cancer and heart disease use these substitutes: carrots, winter squash, yellow & orange bell peppers, pumpkin, cantaloupe and tumeric/curry.
- EGCG, allicin, quercetin, indoles, glucosinolates compounds are white/tan eat onions, cauliflower, tea, turnips and garlic to help boost the immune system and support heart health.
- Lutein/zeaxanthin, isoflavones, EGCG, indoles, isothiocyanates, sulphoraphane from greens like spinach, kale, collards Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, bok choy all work to detox the body and slow cell damage, lower oxidative stress and inflammation. Eating these green carbohydrates can help ward off cancer and all types of illnesses.
- Anthocyanidins, resveratrol, phenolics, flavonoids are antioxidant powerhouses that help neutralize free radicals which contribute to aging and many disease conditions. Choose these carbohydrate foods from the blue and purple group: berries, eggplant and plums.
- Slashing calories
Replacing unhealthy carbs with non-starchy veggies is calorically economical and can help in weight management.
A serving of bread or starch contains 80-100 calories and 12-15 grams of carbohydrate, (if you read the label, any given product may contain more). In comparison a serving of non-starchy vegetables is < 25 calories and 5 grams of carbohydrates.
Simple math gives you the answer. Reduce the starch and bread and cut calories by 75% and lower carbs by two thirds.
Tantalize your tongue with these unhealthy carbohydrate replacement recipes. When you are happy and satisfied with your meals nothing else matters!
- Paleo Zucchini Tortillas:
- Cauliflower fried rice:
- Zucchini chips:
- Don’t feel like cooking? try spicy pumpkin seeds:
- Desserts? Try these:
So now, what is stopping you from optimal nutrition and kicking unnecessary carbs to the curb?