Carbohydrates can get a bad wrap in the health and fitness industry. There is this common misbelief that you need to go on a carb free diet plan to lose weight and fat. However, your body needs carbs to function properly and they are an essential part of your daily nutritional needs. That’s why in my F.I.T programs, the meal plans include healthy complex carbs like oats, brown rice, quinoa and sweet potatoes. When you drastically remove or reduce carbs, you get left feeling deprived, hungry and lethargic. Not to mention the metabolic damage you can do to your body. However, it’s important to note that not all carbohydrates are created equal and you want to stay away from processed carbs. Unfortunately, it is generally the unhealthy refined carbs like white bread, pizza, pasta and French fries that we want to eat the most. However, if you want to eat healthier, it doesn't mean you need to give up all your favourite foods. Check out some of these delicious ways you can swap out refined carbs and add some extra nutrition to your favourite meals.
1. Eat sweet potato fries instead of French fries.
In my opinion, sweet potato fries are so much tastier than normal fries. They also have a lot more nutritional value than your much loved white potato fries. Sweet potatoes contain Vitamins A and C, are high in fibre and have fewer carbs than white potatoes. My favourite way to eat them is oven baked, in some coconut oil, and with some paprika sprinkled on top.
2. Use portobello mushrooms for burger buns, instead of white rolls.
If you love a burger, but want to ditch the processed white bread, then swap out the bun for portobello mushrooms. Not only does it taste great, it’s friendlier to your waistline. All you need to do is brush the mushroom caps in some olive oil and bake in the oven on some baking paper for around 15 minutes. Turn over half way through and then allow to cool before serving with your favourite burger ingredients.
3. Swap quinoa for white rice.
Quinoa is a great alternative to white rice. That’s because quinoa is unprocessed and a great source of plant-based protein, making it one of the healthiest grains you can eat. You can make a great quinoa risotto or a healthy version of fried rice. It’s even great to chuck in your favourite summer salad.
4. Swap packaged processed breakfast cereal for a homemade healthy granola.
So many people believe the marketing on breakfast cereals that are sold as a healthy breakfast. Most of these cereals are processed carbs, with little to no nutritional value whatsoever, with a lot of added sugar. If you love cereals for breakfast then why not try making your own homemade healthy granola, like this recipe here. It tastes better and will give you sustained energy until lunch.
5. Eat zucchini spaghetti over pasta.
Pasta is definitely a carb you want to try and stay away from. It’s highly processed and often leaves you feeling extremely bloated and tired. You can turn any of your favourite pasta dishes into a healthy meal by using zucchini noodles or “zoodles” as some call it. If you like creamy pasta then replace your cream with avocado. Here’s one of my favourite zoodle pasta recipes.
6. Make a cauliflower pizza base instead of a white flour base.
You can turn an unhealthy pizza into a healthy meal when you make a cauliflower pizza base and then top with some of your favourite fresh pizza toppings. It’s a great way to add some more vegetables into your dinner and without that heavy feeling you get after consuming a greasy pizza.
7. Use eggplant to layer your lasagna.
I love lasagna and when I had to give up gluten, I thought I would have to give up one of my favourite meals. That was until a friend introduced me to using slices of eggplant in replacement of the pasta. Simply slice the eggplant into thin slices and layer the way you would a lasagna sheet. Seriously, you won’t even feel like you are missing out on anything.
Remember, eating carbohydrates is good for the body, when it’s done the right way. When you fuel up on good whole grains and vegetable sources for your carbohydrate intake, you are able to boost your meals with more nutrients, without a heavy energy crash. If you want to learn how to fuel the body for maximum fat loss results, check out my F.I.T programs.