Carbohydrates are an essential element of a healthy, balanced diet. However, when trying to lose your baby weight, many people mistakenly think that they have to cut out carbohydrates completely.
This is not necessarily the case and the trick is to understand the different sorts of rice and grains on the market and plan your weight loss meals accordingly.
6 well known carbs and their effect on weight loss
There are many varieties of white rice, such as basmati, short grain and long grain. Compared with other starchy foods such as potatoes, rice is low in calories. It is also very easy to source, as it is sold in nearly every supermarket and food store.
However, the refining process associated with making the rice white strips away many of the valuable vitamins and minerals and also reduces its dietary fibre. These factors mean that white rice may not be the best choice for those trying to lose weight.
Recipes in the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge, like this Spanish Rice with Chorizo, often use low GI brown rice. Brown rice takes longer to digest and will keep you feeling fuller for longer. It’s also lower in calories and has higher levels of iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Originally from North Africa, couscous is a semolina type grain which is easy to prepare and is usually eaten warm with vegetables or cold in a salad. Couscous is low in calories and has very little fat.
It is low in dietary fibre but high in vitamins and minerals such as calcium and potassium. Its lack of fibre doesn’t make it as good as brown rice but eaten in moderation it provides an alternative to white rice or pasta.
3. Bulgur wheat
Bulgur wheat is often used as a rice substitute and is lower in calories than white rice. It is higher in dietary fibre than rice, and is also a good source of protein. Bulgur wheat is rich in many vitamins and minerals, and is a good source of folates which are essential for pregnant women and also helps to protect against developing heart disease.
This South American grain has become fashionable in recent years and is increasingly easy to find in supermarkets. It is very high in protein and lower in calories than most other types of grain and rice. It is high in fibre and has good levels of vitamins and minerals. Quinoa can be mixed with vegetables and served as a side dish, or used as a flour substitute in certain types of cooked dishes. This delicious Chicken Macro Bowl pairs quinoa with healthy proteins, fats and veggies for a nutritious and delicious meal.
Barley scores very well on the glycemic index, which is a measure of how long a food keeps blood sugar levels high. This means that eating barley will keep you feeling fuller than eating other types of grains. Barley cannot be eaten raw, but can be added to soups for extra bulk and is particularly good when substituted for rice in a risotto dish.
Buckwheat is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, and full of vitamins and minerals. It is commonly made into a porridge, which makes the ideal breakfast to keep you feeling full through to lunchtime. It can also be used in pancakes and baked goods, like these Banana, Berry and Yogurt Muffins and is gluten-free. Buckwheat is also a natural probiotic, which means it helps natural bacteria in the digestive tract.
To find out more info on bread, pasta and other carbs click here
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