Good sources of carbohydrates

2 June 2014
Love it!

I see a lot of people who are caught in the safety net of fast carbohydrates. There is only one solution for them: fewer carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates are starches and sugars. By fast carbohydrates I mean not only all modified products based on sugar, but also bread, potatoes, rice, and pasta. Lots of unhealthy sugars are released into the blood during the digestion of these carbohydrates, from which both your blood sugar and insulin levels rise very quickly. This is extremely unhealthy and, according to a number of scientists, the primary cause of obesity and type-2 diabetes.

The contradiction in our western way of eating

In the west, our staple foods consist mainly of ‘cereal grains and potatoes’. We have to find the courage to admit that the way we treat these ingredients is problematic. It concerns the quantity, the processing and the preparation, in the home and in the kitchen, but especially in the food industry. We’re in the habit of preparing these ingredients in an unhealthy way and combining them wrongly, I mean without vegetables. As a result, they become rather addictive. Meanwhile, westerners are increasingly becoming fatter, with Belgium topping the list as (on average) the fattest population in Europe. (Info from the World Health Organization)

With regard to this western way of eating, I wonder: where are the fibers, the vegetables, the vitamins and minerals? Where are the healthy carbohydrates? Where is the satisfaction?

Opt for more quality sources of carbohydrates
In the first place, substitute potatoes, bread, pasta and rice with vegetables and fruit.

What are the advantages?

  • Vegetables and fruit contain fewer carbohydrates. Moreover, they are not fast carbohydrates.
  • You’ll eat a lot more fiber, vitamins, minerals and other powerful anti-oxidants and phytochemicals that protect us from a variety of ailments.
  • Vegetables are authentically health-promoting foods.
  • Vegetables and fruit make the body less acidic.
  • Vegetables and fruit are not addictive; they are 100% natural and unprocessed.
  • They stimulate good intestinal flora.

If I choose to have a meal with carbohydrates, then my options would be:

  • Pseudo grains such as buckwheat and quinoa (they’re not grains)
  • Pulses like chickpeas, lentils and beans
  • Wild rice and whole grain rice
  • Oatmeal

These are all much better sources of carbohydrates because they: 

  • Are not modified and are less processed, enhanced and manipulated.
  • Contain more fiber and therefore release their sugars more slowly and don’t cause blood sugar levels to spike.
  • Supply fiber that’s good for your intestinal flora.
  • Are more satisfying.
  • Contain higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
  • Are gluten free.
  • Lend themselves to being prepared in a much healthier fashion. The latter is perhaps the most important distinction.

Therefore the problems surrounding carbohydrates are:

  1. gluten                      
    Those who are allergic to gluten are advised to choose carbohydrates that don’t contain gluten. (most cereals/grains and their derivatives)
  2. amount
    The problem is that we can only store a limited amount of carbohydrates (about 150 gr in the muscle and 100 gr in the liver) those who eat more carbohydrates than they use, or can store, become fatter because the excess carbohydrates are converted into fat.
  3. speed
    Choose sources of carbohydrates that release their sugars at a slow rate. (often high-fiber sources)
  4. addiction
    Be aware of the rewarding effect of fast carbohydrates; call it an addiction if you will. I was addicted to fast carbohydrates and when I look around in a restaurant I see a lot of people with the same addictive behavior. I recognize it immediately. The only solution is to ‘stop eating fast carbohydrates’.