Carbohydrates and your healthy eating

Following on from yesterdays overview of developing a healthier lifestyle, in this article we will concentrate on Carbohydrates, sources of carbohydrates and how we can consume them with healthy eating

What are Carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are all about energy – your body uses these foods to make glucose, which is your body’s main energy source. Glucose is a type of sugar that can be used right away for energy or stored away to be used later.

Where do we find Carbohydrates?

Good Carbs and Bad Carbs

Know the difference between Good Carbs and Bad Carbs

Carbohydrates are found in lots of foods, but we need to distinguish between “good” carbohydrates and “bad” carbohydrates. Good carbs are generally found in foods that contain a lot of fibre, Bad carbs are found in foods like white bread, cakes and buns. The bad carbs will have been processed to take out the grain and have sugar added to them. The good carbs take longer to break down into glucose and also give you the most nutrients along with your calories.

Food sources that contain Good Carbohydrates are :

  • Whole-Wheat Pasta
  • Quinoa
  • Barley
  • Bulgur
  • Wheat Berries
  • Popcorn
  • Oatmeal/Porridge
  • Whole Grains
  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Pulses (lentils, beans, etc)

You will recognise most of these and find them in pretty much every mainstream supermarket you come across. It is a god idea to use all or most of them at some stage in your weekly diet. Don’t just stick to say whole wheat pasta or porridge as your good carbs – using different food sources for these carbs means you will get a wide range of recipes and never get bored of them. Having a piece of fresh fruit as part of your daily diet is a great idea – we supply fresh fruit to students and any family that comes to watch free of charge – we really do think it is that important.

Low Carbohydrate Diets – do they work?

We have heard lots of people swear by low carbohydrate diets – eat less bread and pasta – and eat fresh veg and fruit. This indeed does lose you weight as your body breaks down the stored carbs and quickly loses water. Unfortunately as soon as you come off the diet, and start eating the bread and pasta again, your body starts storing the carbs and the weight comes back on. It is far better to eat a balanced range of the carbohydrate food types and let your body naturally deal with them.

Tasty Recipes For Carbohydrate Rich Foods

So now we have whetted your appetite with the mentioning of food, here are eight healthy recipes that contain “good” carbohydrates listed above.

Just click on the recipe of your choice to see the ingredients and how to make them

Whole wheat pasta with broccoli and almonds

Wh le-wheat pasta with broccoli and almonds

Photo Credit : www.bbcgoodfood.com

Recipe from BBC Good Food

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced (add extra chilli if you like)
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 250g wholewheat spaghetti
  • 300g thin-stemmed broccoli, cut into pieces
  • zest 1 lemon
  • 25g flaked toasted almonds
  • parmesan shavings (or vegetarian alternative), to serve

Method

  • Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil.
  • Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan.
  • Add the chilli and garlic, and cook on a low heat until golden.
  • Remove from the heat.
  • Add the pasta to the water and cook following pack instructions.
  • In the final 4 mins of cooking, add the broccoli.
  • Once cooked, drain and tip into the garlic pan.
  • Add the lemon zest and almonds, and toss together well.
  • Serve in bowls, topped with Parmesan shavings.

Spicy Popcorn with Smoked Paprika

Spicy Popcorn with Smoked Paprika

Photo Credit : www.deliciousliving.com

Recipe From Delicious Living

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more, to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels

Method

  • Combine smoked paprika and cayenne in a small dish; set aside
  • Place coconut oil in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid over high heat.
  • Add popcorn kernels and cover.
  • When popcorn begins to pop, grasp pot handles and lid with hot pads and shake to keep kernels on the bottom.
  • Keep shaking until popping slows and nearly stops.
  • Remove from heat, uncover, and pour popcorn into a large bowl.
  • Sprinkle paprika mixture over popcorn and immediately toss to coat.
  • Add salt to taste and toss again.
  • Serve at once.

Quinoa lentil and feta salad

Quinoa lentil and feta salad

Photo Credit : www.bbcgoodfood.com

Recipe From BBC Good Food

Ingredients

  • 200g quinoa
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot or ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp tarragon, roughly chopped
  • 14oz 400g can Puy or green lentils rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cucumber, lightly peeled and diced
  • 100g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 6 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • zest and juice 1 orange
  • 1 tbsp red or white wine vinegar

Method

  • Cook the quinoa in a large pan of boiling water for 10-15 mins until tender, drain well, then set aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small pan, then cook the shallot or onion for a few mins until softened. Add the tarragon, stir well, then remove from the heat.
  • Stir the softened shallot and tarragon into the cooled quinoa along with the lentils, cucumber, feta, spring onions, orange zest and juice and vinegar.
  • Toss well together and chill until ready to serve.

Blackberry and apple crumble smoothie

Blackberry and apple crumble smoothie

Photo Credit : www.bbc.co.uk

Recipe From BBC

Ingredients

  • 300g/10½oz frozen mixed berries
  • 1 apple, cored and sliced
  • 200ml/7floz semi-skimmed milk
  • 150g/5½oz fat-free natural yoghurt
  • 25g/1oz porridge oats, with extra fibre
  • 10g/¼oz flaked almonds

Method

  • Place the berries, apple, milk, yoghurt, oats and nuts in a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Add 75-100ml/2½-3½floz cold water, a little at a time, to achieve a smooth consistency and blend again.
  • Pour into glasses and serve.

Brown Windsor soup with pearl barley

Beef soup with barley

Photo Credit : www.jamieoliver.com

Recipe From Jamie Oliver

Ingredients

  • 1 large knob butter
  • olive oil
  • 500 g quality stewing steak, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Marmite
  • 1 splash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 sticks of celery, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 litres organic beef stock
  • 150 g pearl barley

Method

  • Serve the brown Windsor soup in mugs with hunks of rustic soda bread to mop up every delicious drop.
  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat and add a splash of oil.
  • Lightly brown the meat in the pan, then stir in the Marmite and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Turn the heat up and keep stirring as the meat browns further.
  • It will release lots of juices – just keep stirring and cooking until all the liquid has evaporated.
  • Throw in the chopped veggies, bay leaf and rosemary sprig, place a lid on top and sweat gently on a low heat until softened.
  • Stir in the flour and, after a minute, pour in the stock.
  • Season well with salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
  • Turn the heat down to a simmer, add the pearl barley and cook gently for about an hour.
  • Take the pan off the heat and discard the rosemary sprig and bay leaf.
  • Whiz the soup with a hand-held blender for a couple of seconds, so it thickens, but there are still some chunky bits in it, then give everything a good stir.
  • Serve with hunks of soda bread.

Potato and walnut kibbeh

Potato and walnut kibbeh
Recipe From BBC

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, grated, plus 2 onions, sliced
  • 250g/8oz bulgur wheat, cooked
  • 500g/1lb 2oz mashed potato
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 175ml/6fl oz olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 200g/7oz walnuts
  • 100g/3½oz butter
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg
  • Greek-style yoghurt, to serve
  • lemon wedges, to serve

Method

  • Preheat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  • Grease and line a 6in/15cm x 8in/20cm baking tin.
  • Blend the grated onion and bulgur wheat in a food processor until smooth.
  • Place the mashed potato, cinnamon and parsley into bowl.
  • Add the bulgur and onion and mix until well combined.
  • Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the sliced onions and garlic for 4-5 minutes, or until soft. Add the walnuts and butter and cook for a further two minutes.
  • Spoon half of the potato mixture into the greased baking dish.
  • Add a layer of the onion and walnut mix and then finish with the rest of the potato mixture on top.
  • Score the mashed potato in a diamond pattern with the tip of a small, sharp knife.
  • Pour over the remaining olive oil and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until crisp and golden-brown.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle over the nutmeg.
  • Serve with Greek-style yoghurt and a lemon wedge.

Vegetarian Wheat Berry Chili

Vegetarian Wheat Berry Chili

Photo Credit : www.thespruce.com

Recipe From www.thespruce.com

Ingredients

  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 tsp chili powder, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1 – 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 – 28 ounce can tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 – 15 ounce can kidney beans
  • 1 – 15 ounce can white beans
  • salt, to taste

Method

  • Cook wheat berries in 3 cups of water for 1 hour until tender; add more water if necessary, drain.
  • Rinse wheat berries with cool water and drain thoroughly.
  • In the microwave on medium heat, cook onion, green and yellow pepper for 1 minute, or until desired softness.
  • In a 4-quart pot, combine remaining ingredients with microwaved vegetables.
  • On stove top, bring to a boil and simmer uncovered 1 hour or until desired consistency is reached, stirring occasionally.

Wholegrain Breakfast Flapjacks

Wholegrain Breakfast Flapjacks

Photo Credit : www.allrecipes.co.uk

Recipe From All Recipes

Ingredients

Serves: 12

  • 100g (4 oz) rolled porridge oats
  • 60g (2 oz) wholemeal flour
  • 60g (2 oz) wheat and barley nugget cereal, such as Grape-Nuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 4 tablespoons apple sauce or purée
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown soft sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 30g (1 oz) unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 30g (1 oz) chopped walnuts

Method

Prep:10min › Cook:30min › Ready in:40min

  • Preheat oven to 160 C / Gas mark 3.
  • Line a 23cm square baking dish with baking parchment.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the oats, flour, cereal and cinnamon.
  • Add the egg, apple sauce, honey, sugar and oil.
  • Mix well.
  • Stir in the sunflower seeds, walnuts and dried fruit.
  • Spread mixture evenly in the prepared baking dish.
  • Bake 30 minutes, or until firm and lightly browned around the edges.
  • Let cool.
  • Use the parchment to lift from the dish.
  • Cut into squares, and store in the refrigerator.

We hope you found this article informative and that we’ve given you a few ideas for including Carbohydrates in your diet as part of your healthier lifestyle.

By |2018-12-27T12:40:49+00:00January 13th, 2015|

About the Author:

Marsden Martial Arts in Chesterfield teach Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Karate, Judo, Muay Thai Boxing, MMA and Kickboxing with individual classes for men, women and children.