25 Ways to Get More “Good” Carbs Into Your Diet
Trade in those nasty, weight-gain carbs for any of these good guys!
Designate One Day a Week to Have a Yogurt Mix for Breakfast
Take 175 g of yogurt and mix in 1/3 cup (75 ml) of All-Bran cereal, 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds and 5 large, diced strawberries for a whopping amount of fibre.
Eat Two Apples Every Day
Not just to keep the doctor away, but because apples are a good source of pectin, a soluble fibre that contributes to a feeling of fullness and which is also digested slowly. A 1997 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that 5 g of pectin was enough to leave people feeling satisfied for up to 4 hours.
Enjoy Cereal Every Day for Breakfast
Ideally, aim for a whole-grain, unsweetened cereal with at least 3 g of fibre a serving. Just eating any cereal might be enough, though. A University of California study found that cereal eaters tend to eat more fibre and less fat than non-cereal eaters.
Mix your usual cereal with the high-fibre stuff
You might not want to face an entire bowl of All-Bran in the morning. Mix it with an equal amount of your usual cereal and you’ll barely know it’s there.
Dip baby carrots and broccoli florets into low-fat yogourt dip or salsa for your afternoon snack three days a week. You’ll fill up the empty afternoon space in your stomach while getting about 5 g of fibre from each 150 g of veggies.
Eat the Whole Thing
Make sure that the first ingredient in whole-grain products has the word “whole” in it, as in “whole wheat” or “whole grain.” If it says multigrain, seven-grain, nutragrain, cracked wheat, stone-ground wheat, unbromated wheat or enriched wheat, it’s not whole wheat, and is thus lacking some of the vitamins and minerals, not to mention fibre, of whole grains.
Keep a snack container in your car and office for the munchies. Mix together peanuts, a high-fibre cereal such as All-Bran and some chocolate-covered raisins. Allow yourself one handful for a sweet, yet high-fibre, snack.
Switch to Whole-Grain Crackers
You’d never think a tiny cracker could make a difference, but one regular whole-grain cracker contains 500 mg of fibre. Ten crackers give you 5 g of fibre. So next time, try spreading some peanut butter on whole-grain crackers instead of bread.
Add Kidney Beans to Your Next Salad
Adding kidney beans, or other legumes, is a great way to add fibre to your diet.
Every Week, Try One “Exotic” Grain
How about amaranth, bulgur or wheatberries? Most are as simple to prepare as rice, yet are packed with fibre and flavour. Mix in some steamed carrots and broccoli, toss with olive oil and a bit of Parmesan or feta cheese, maybe throw in a can of tuna or 50 g or so of sliced chicken, and you’ve got dinner. Or serve as a side dish to chicken or fish. Make sure all the grains you try are whole grains.
Once a week, make pearl barley (no soaking before cooking required) as a side dish. A 100 g serving of cooked pearl barley contains 3.8 g of fibre.
Sneak in Oatmeal
Use basic oatmeal in place of breadcrumbs for meatballs, sprinkle it on top of casseroles and ice cream, bake it into cookies and muffins, and add it to homemade bread and cakes.
Use Whole-Wheat Bread to Make Your Sandwich
Even sandwich store chains offer whole-wheat options for lunchtime munching. If you want to break into the whole-wheat club gradually, use whole-wheat bread as the bottom slice of your sandwich and white bread as the top layer. Eventually, make the move to all whole wheat.
Every Week, Switch From a White Food to a Brown Food
So instead of instant white rice, you switch to instant brown rice. Instead of your usual pasta, choose whole-wheat pasta. Similarly, go for whole-wheat pitas and whole-wheat couscous. Within two months, you should be eating only whole grains, and you should have increased your daily fibre intake by an easy 10 g without radically changing your diet.
Spread Your Sandwich With Hummus
Add 2 heaping tablespoons of hummus and you’ve got 2 g of tasty fibre. Add some spinach leaves and a tomato slice for another couple of grams.
Make Beans a Part of at Least One Meal a Day
They’re packed with fibre. Just rinse first to remove excess salt. Here are some health-boosting tips for getting your beans.
– Purée a can of cannellini beans for a tasty dip. Add 2 cloves of garlic and a tablespoon each of lemon juice and olive oil to the blender. Use as a dip for veggies and whole-grain crackers.
– Fry a couple of tablespoons of mixed beans with some onion and chicken in a little oil and use to fill a soft flour tortilla.
– Mix black-eyed beans with finely chopped onion, chili, garlic and tomatoes to make a salsa.
– Make a bean salad with canned black-eyed beans, fresh or frozen corn, chopped cilantro, chopped onion and chopped tomato. Drizzle with olive oil and a dash of vinegar, salt and pepper.
Have a Beet Salad for Dinner.
These bright red veggies have virtually no fat, no cholesterol, no sodium, quite a bit of potassium and 2 g of fibre. Try roasting whole, peeled beets for 45 minutes, chilling, then dicing into a summer salad.
Indulge in Dessert
Make rice pudding for dessert tonight. Only, instead of white rice, use brown to kick it up a notch.
Switch to Whole-Wheat Flour When Baking
You can start by going half and half, eventually using only whole-wheat for all your cooking needs. Adding a little baking powder helps to lighten foods made from whole-wheat flour (note that you may have to add a little more liquid if using whole-wheat flour).
Add some flaxseeds, wheat germ or other high-fibre ingredients to batter. They add crunch to your cookies, muffins and breads – and loads of fibre.
Eat the Skin of Your Potatoes
Eating baked potatoes and sweet potatoes with the skin on ups the fibre by at least 3 g (depending on the size of the potato).
Mix it Up
Start every dinner with a mixed green salad. Not only will it add fibre, but, with a low-calorie dressing, it will partially fill you up with very few calories, and thus offers great weight-loss benefits.
Use beans or lentils as the main protein source for dinner once or twice a week. A classic dish such as pasta e fagioli (pasta with beans) works well.
Drink Your Fibre
Make your own smoothies by blending whole fruits (take out the large pips or seeds). If all the fruit goes into your glass, you’ll get all the fibre – often missing from fruit juice.