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Foods For Weight Loss – Part 3

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

If you haven’t read the earlier posts, you can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.¬†

Part 3 is about grains, carbs, and starches. Of course, if you ever read this blog you already know that I am already referring to whole foods and not processed and refined foods. So, if you are on a mission to lose weight and are wondering what grains or carbs you should eat to help your mission, then you are in the right place.

Certainly, cutting out carbs does a lot for losing weight, controlling blood sugar, and reducing inflammation in the body. In fact, many of these things are tied together and one impacts the other. So if you are focusing on losing weight, then you definitely want to be careful which carbs you are eating, but I think you can effectively lose weight while keeping carbs in your diet.

Some stellar winners in the carb category that you should become acquainted with are buckwheat, quinoa, millet, and amaranth. 

When it comes to carbs, Buckwheat is the number one recommendation for people trying to lose weight as it has so many benefits. It is actually the seed of a fruit and not a true grain, but it can be used like one. Buckwheat’s protein characteristics and minerals make it a low glycemic food that helps to control blood sugar levels (very important when trying to lose weight). Buckwheat is also unparalleled in its ability to lower bad cholesterol (you should already know that I am a fan of good cholesterol and saturated fat). There is more, buckwheat actually has a fair amount of antioxidants as well and studies have been done combining it with traditional wheat and wheat breads to boost the antioxidant value. Also, buckwheat is virtually gluten free which makes digestion easier for most people (even people who are not allergic to gluten will digest it easier).

So. You can see why I am such a fan of buckwheat… besides, it tastes so good. Buckwheat pancakes and crepes are so good. You can experiment in all sorts of baked goods and the inclusion of it in even partial amounts boosts the nutritional aspect of the food and will help you in your quest. Now, I know we are talking about controlling blood sugar and losing weight, but I just have to say that I have made buckwheat chocolate chip cookies that totally ruled! Some of the best cookies that I have made. Of course I used unrefined cane sugar. You can find buckwheat flour in health food stores or in the “natural” section of several grocery stores. Read the ingredients and make sure that it is just buckwheat flour… as different things can be added… and it is good to always read the labels.

Quinoa is the next carb I would like to highlight. It contains all nine essential amino acids (buckwheat contains 8 of the 9) and so it is a complete protein. Quinoa also is not a true grain, but is the seed of a plant… although it is used as a grain. It is especially high in the amino acid lysine which is essential for tissue growth and repair, and thus, quinoa is the choice of many athletes and those with heavy workout routines.

Prone to migraines? Well, first you should probably be drinking a lot more plain water. BUT, you can also eat more quinoa. Since quinoa is high in magnesium it helps to relax blood vessels and can reduce the frequency of migraines and hypertension. You can use quinoa in so many different ways… just like you would use rice.¬†

Well that’s all the space I am going to devote to highlighting better options for grains and carbs. In general, if you are trying to lose weight, substitute all of your wheat products for something like buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth, and millet. Spelt flour is also better than wheat (it’s basically an older form of wheat). If you have spelt and wheat products it is best to have them either soaked or sprouted (sprouted grain breads)… or fermented (sourdough breads). However, it will be easier to lose weight if you use buckwheat and quinoa.

Now a quick word on what to avoid. Avoid the whites! Ha. Avoid white flour, white sugar, white salt… etc. In general all of these have been processed and refined and many times bleached to look pure when in reality the good stuff has been taken out. Flour is not pure white. Sea salt usually is a little gray or has some speckles in it (depending what area/ocean it is from), and real sugar is definitely not white.

Stay tuned next week for part 4. I’m out.

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Foods For Weight Loss – Part 1
Foods For Weight Loss – Part 2
Foods For Weight Loss – Part 4
Foods For Weight Loss – Part 5
Foods For Weight Loss – Part 6