Avoid those starchy carbs with these 6 great alternatives!

23 Sep

By now most people understand how eating starchy carbs like corn, potatoes,pasta and white rice spike your insulin levels leading to those carbs turning straight into fat. Eating these types of carbs is actually equivalent to eating sugar! You’re body responds to both in the same way. However that doesn’t mean we have to deprive ourselves and go on the Atkins diet. What it does mean is that we need to rethink the way we plan our meals and choose alternatives that are just as delicious, but much healthier. Luckily you have me to help!

1. Yams, Sweet Potatoes, Fingerling Potatoes, & multi colored small potatoes

These are all great alternatives to baked and mashed potatoes. Yams and sweet potatoes are actually lower on the glycemic index and will not spike your insulin levels. Also if you love potatoes try sticking to small potatoes that retain their skin which means extra fiber. The trick is really in the preparation. All that’s needed is a very small amount of olive oil, salt, pepper  & fresh parsley or rosemary.

2. Smart Taste Pasta, Berillo, Whole Wheat Pasta’s

Ronzoni Smart Taste - White pasta enriched with Calcium and Fiber

Now a days it is very common to find great pasta’s that have exactly the same taste, yet are full of fiber and protein. I;ve even found whole wheat pasta full of fiber at The Dollar Store, so eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive

3. Quinoa

File:Red quinoa.png

This amazing grain alternative is actually a seed that almost pops in your mouth like caviar yumm! It can really be specialized with seasoning, fresh herbs and you can dice up and add just about any vegetable. It’s especially great with carrots, zucchini, butternut squash, & mushrooms. Quinoa is lower in carbs and high in protein and dietary fiber. I especially love this alternative for women since we are more susceptible to anemia.

4. Red Lentels

I recently discovered this great side dish alternative at Trader Joes. The best part? It takes 12 minutes to cook. Like quinoa you can add  a variety vegetables. These sides are awesome if you have children and need to sneak in those veggies. Red Lentels are also a popular and trending ingredient in salads. One serving provides a whopping 5g of fiber and 10g of protein.

5. Wild Rice

6. Squash

This is one of my faves. You can use spaghetti squash as an alternative for Pasta or just as a side dish. I also love butternut, acorn, and even pumpkin. You can cook all of these the same way so its much less intimidating than they look. Simply cut in half, scoop out the seeds, and add a small amount of olive oil or smart balance, salt, pepper, fresh parsley, and bake for 30 minutes or until tender at 350 degrees.

Rice can still be a healthy alternative, but you have to read the ingredients and look for that high fiber content. I’ve been using a variety from trader Joes for years and love it. I wish Trader Joes was available in more states! Now with that being said, don’t be fooled by brown rice. Most are also refined, enriched, and contain as little as 2g of fiber per serving. We want at least 5g of fiber per serving when you are choosing a healthy grain. The best thing to look for is a rice blend. This one uses Diakon Radish Seeds which are so delish, who knew!

So this week your challenge is to experiment with different healthy alternative side dishes and enjoy watching the pounds melt off. The saying “you are what you eat” is so very true.  Avoid side dishes like mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, french fries, and potato chips. Eat these in moderation as a treat. Also remember that corn is a starch so when trying to improve your diet, treat corn as a carb and opt for veggies like kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, spinach, and carrots. Believe it or not onions and garlic have amazing health benefits so I always add diced onions and garlic with all my vegetables to add more flavor and ad as much nutrients to my meals as possible.


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