Breads Great Source of Starch and Fiber
Importance of Complex Carbohydrates
Starches are referred to as complex carbohydrates as they are long complex chains of simple sugars. It is now known that some starches are actually more glycemic than some sugars, which is a danger for the diabetic patient. They don’t stay complex for long as they break down into sugar.
Starchy foods make up about 1/3 of our daily food. Most people should be eating more starchy food because they are a good source of energy and the main source of nutrients in our diet. These foods also contain fiber, calcium, iron and the B vitamins. Starchy foods contain about half the calories of fat. It is the added fats when cooking that add the calories.
Grains are an excellent source of starches; include wheat, rice, barley, oats and cornstarch. Grains are made into bread, cereal, pasta, couscous, bulgar wheat, crackers, biscuits, cookies, cakes, pie crust, and include anything made with flour. Rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, beans, pulses, nuts, vegetables, some fruits and grains are other choices. Rice includes quick cook, abborio, balsamic, long grain, brown, short grain and wild rice. They give us some protein, some fiber and B vitamins. They give us energy and are also good value, low in calories and fat.
Breads-Rye, Sour Dough, Whole Meal, Tomato Bread
Increasing Starch in Your diet
Here are some tips to help you increase the amount of starchy foods and fiber you are eating:
- Eat more rice and pasta while using less sauce.
- Add beans or lentils to your casseroles, stews and curries to increase the fiber content.
Try different breads such as seeded, whole meal and granary and go for thick slices.
- Try brown rice as it will work in any dish that you normally would use white rice.
- Choose wholegrain cereals.
- Oatmeal is a great warm winter breakfast and adding fresh fruit enhances the flavor.
Make Red Beans and Rice
Low carbohydrate diets are very popular now. These diets usually involve cutting out most starchy foods. Cutting out starchy foods, or really any food group isn’t healthy as you are going to be missing out on some nutrients. Low-carbohydrate diets are often high in fat, especially saturated fat which can increase your chances of developing coronary heart disease. This diets nutrition is not adequate to meet all of your bodies needs.
These foods include meat, cheese, butter and cakes. These diets restrict the amount of fruits and fiber which are necessary for good health. Rather than not eating starchy foods, it's better to try to eat your 1/3 amount of starchy foods and cook them in a healthy manner.
Starchy foods are an essential part of a balanced diet. It is important to eat healthy. Many people think starchy vegetables and grains have high calories. It really isn’t true. The problem happens when we prepare the starches with fattening extras, i.e. sauces, butter, gravy, etc.
Eat healthy and think about using less calorie laden recipes for healthy eating.
© 2010 Pamela Oglesby
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