- Diet & Weight Loss
The Comfort Foods That Make You Skinny
Too much of a good thing may actually be good for you. So, go on and binge to your heart's content.
Why do "feel-good" foods like chocolate and chips tend to make you feel fat? Why do we reach for the takeaway pizza menu when we're stressed out?
According to expert, we are psychologically programmed to yearn for food we associate with happiness as kids, however others might say that we believe certain foods will makes us feel better. One thing's for sure: When we need a pick-me-up, we reach for carbs. These foods produced serotonin, the brain chemical that is responsible for restoring our chirpy mood. So what's the secret to eating carbs the right way.
While carbs are vital to a healthy diet because they give us energy, we need to be wary of it's glycaemic (glycemic) index (GI). According to Melanie Marino, a dietician "GI is a ranking given, to describe how quickly the carbs the food contain are digested and absorbed into the blood.", . Foods that are quickly digested have a high GI (70 or more) and food that take the longest are low (less than 55).
The sudden rise or dip of glucose levels are eating high-Gi foods saps your energy, a "crappy feeling" as described by the some people after eating high-GI foods.
Here's how to indulge in your favorite food minus the guilt or weight gain.
- Porridge - or oatmeal - has a medium GI. Natural oats are great for you because they fiber-rich, high in vitamin B6 (which stimulates serotonin production), and help absorb toxins (think: a natural hangover cure). But if you add full-fat milk, raisins, sugar or bananas, it's GI increases, and you'll be wanting to eat more in about half and hour.
- Add peaches, apricots, pears, cherries or plums (fresh or canned in natural juice) to lower its GI and fill you up.
- Most pastas have a low GI, but it's the additives that count. Tomato-based sauces are your best bet. Steer clear of creams sauces and swap high-Gi dinner rolls with sourdough bread (the lowest GI bread)
- Pizza has a medium GI, but you can lower it with a few changes. Go for thin crust or whole wheat instead of having a high-GI white bread, and avoid having pizzas with cheese-filled crust. Toppings such as low-fat cheese, tomato, olives, and mushrooms are good low GI options, and you can always add herbs (basil or garlic)
- Some high-GI food are nutritious, like potatoes. If you can't resist a handful of chips or a cup of mashed potatoes or a handful of chips, be savvy: "Sweet potato (camote) has a really low GI. Swap your French fires to sweet potato (camote) wedges.
- Ice cream and most cakes have a relatively low level of Glycemic Index (GI) but contain "empty kilojoules" (loads of sugar with no nutritional benefits). Get a low-fat version ice cream or cake, and add berries or peaches. A few squares of dark chocolates with nuts, which are rich in antioxidants will also go a long way.
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