Carbohydrates don't need to be avoided when trying to lose weight. Some carbs can be great in a diet such as complex carbohydrates that are whole-grain and high in fiber.
Benefit of fiber & whole grains:
- Many studies show an inverse association between fiber intake and body weight - higher fiber intake is associated with lower body weight.
- Studies show that obese people consume significantly lower amounts of fiber than lean people.
- In a study, when fiber was added to a low-calorie diet, subjects lost significantly more weight with the addition of fiber as opposed to a low-calorie diet alone.
- Another study showed that a high-fiber breakfast resulted in less calories and food consumed in lunch.
- Soluble fiber slows down digestion time which will keep you feeling fuller longer - helping you eat less and lose weight.
- Soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol by attaching it self to cholesterol in your gut and resulting in excretion rather then absorption of cholesterol.
- Fiber lowers risk of colon cancer.
How much fiber should you have
- 20+ grams a day for women
- 30 grams a day for men
Discover whole grains
There is so much more out there than brown rice. Brown rice is a great option but check out these grains that pack more fiber for the calorie:
TIP: Try going to whole-foods or fresh market where they sell different grains by the pound, you'll find great options there and the prices are good. Try grains you've never tried and look up recipes on how to cook them!
- Whole-wheat couscous - It is very high in fiber and low in fat. It tastes great and is super easy to make, takes just a couple of minutes!
|Check out this recipe for whole-wheat couscous on my friend Jackie Salk's blog "Healthy Rhythm": Recipe|
- Quinoa - Suitable for gluten-free diet, it is a complete protein, and high in fiber. There are a few types of quinoa, I like the regular and the red.
|Check out this recipe for quinoa on my friend Jackie Salk's blog "Healthy Rhythm": Recipe|
- Bulgur - a middle-eastern grain that is delicious, takes 15 minutes to make, high in protein and is lower in calories and higher in fiber than brown rice. Try making tabouli, a middle eastern salad with bulgur. Bulgur salad Recipe
- Whole-wheat pasta - my favorite is barilla plus because it looks and tastes like regular pasta but is high in protein, fiber, and omega 3.
- whole wheat israeli couscous (AKA pearl couscous, ptitim) - different from regular couscous, israeli couscous is larger in size. Ptitim are a toasted pasta product that are delicious.
- Farro - A whole grain popular in italy, farro has more twice as much protein and fiber than brown rice with same calories. I love farro it's delicious in a salad or in soups. Find it in health stores such as whole foods or epicure or italian markets.
- Wheat berries - Wheat berries are whole wheat kernels that you can make like you would make rice in boiling water. Wheat berries can be eaten as a side dish, sprouted to put on top of salads by adding water to them, added to a soup or chili, used in a salads or a pilaf with dried fruits. Click here for more information and recipes.
- Barley - Barley has 6 grams of fiber per cup compared to the 4 grams of fiber in a cup of cooked brown rice. Barley tastes great in soups and gives a great bite and texture.
Wondering about the whole gluten free craze? read my previous health blog post about the gluten free diet here.