By Ginger Lambert
Carbs get a bad rap these days. Carbohydrates are our energy source. Not all carbs are created equally. When you eat whole grain carbohydrates, such as bulgur, brown rice, quinoa and kasha (also known as buckwheat groats), you stay satisfied much longer because whole grains take longer to break down in the body and thus provide energy longer.
Other than tasting good, white flour products do not have a lot going for them. Refined carbohydrates metabolize almost immediately, leaving you hungry as your blood sugar and insulin levels shoot through the roof and then back to ground zero. Hearty breads are tasty and often include barley, millet, flax, rye and whole wheat flours. When you eat these heartier breads you need less to feel full, and the taste is delicious. Add a little hummus and tomato slices atop the bread and you have a nutritious and healthy lunch.
It’s important to maintain a balance of carbs and protein. There are different guidelines for the carb-to-protein ration depending on whether you are an endurance athlete or a body builder or you want to lose weight. Avoid chips and cereals that have a 10-to-one carb-to-protein ratio. Stock your fridge with healthy sources of calories, both carbs and proteins. Lean meats like fish, poultry, eggs, cottage cheese and tofu are good options for protein. Nuts, seeds, grains and yogurts are foods that will help you in reaching your weight goals.
And remember that moderation is always the key!