Carbohydrates are an essential element of a healthy, balanced diet, but when trying to lose pregnancy weight or trying to lose stomach fat many people mistakenly think that they have to cut out carbohydrates completely.
However, 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.
White rice comes in many different types, such as basmati 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 in the rice and also reduces its dietary fibre. These factors mean that white rice may not be the best choice for those trying to lose weight or following a weight loss plan.
Brown rice is the unrefined version of white rice and as such is far higher in fibre than white rice. This means that brown rice takes longer to digest and will keep you feeling fuller for longer than eating white rice. Plenty of fibre in the diet also helps to keep the digestive system healthy. Brown rice is lower in calories than white rice and has far higher levels of iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice and cannot be stored for as long, but it is by far the better choice for those trying to lose weight.
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.
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.
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 made into pancakes and is gluten free. Buckwheat is also a natural probiotic, which means it helps natural bacteria in the digestive tract.
To see more info on bread, pasta and other carbs click here
To see our Quinoa, Couse Cous & Rice recipes click here
Easter is nearly here and if you are worried about sugar & calorie overload this Easter then NEVER FEAR – the Healthy Mummy is here!
And this April – straight after Easter, we are running our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge SUGAR DETOX SPECIAL
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Results from mums on the 28 Day Challenge
Mums lose an average of 4-6kg* (8-13 pounds) on our 28 Day Challenge and below are some of the amazing results from mums JUST LIKE YOU who are already using the 28 Day Challenge and losing tummy fat – make the change and join them today too!
You can see lots of results and you can join here too
Tawhai Lost 46kgs* with the 28 Day Challenges
Tawhai says: “Before the 28 Day Challenges regularly after a busy day I wouldn’t be organised and we would have takeaway.
Now I customise the meal plan on Sunday night and do our shopping online for collection Monday morning.
It saves time running around the supermarket and it also stops junk food sneaking in the trolley. I write up the meal plan and stick it to the fridge so I know exactly what we are having each day, it makes life so much easier.
If you are thinking about joining the 28 Day Challenges definitely give it a go, you won’t regret it at all!”
You won’t regret it!