It becomes more important with each passing year for you to take control of your health and really invest in your diet and exercise routine. As you age paying attention to what you eat, how much you eat, and how often can have a great effect on your health. With certain swaps, additions and deductions from your diet, you can keep control of your carb intake and better regulate your calories and blood sugar. Cutting carbs doesn’t have to be hard. Here are 4 more ways you can cut your carbs and stay satisfied.
1. Tofu and Tempeh
Tofu and tempeh are high-protein soy products that can be added to just about any meal. Soft tofu has a higher water content and can be blended into smoothies or desserts. Firmer styles of tofu have less water and can be chopped and added to salads, minced and mixed into fillings, or grilled and served as a main course. Tempeh is quite firm and often flavored, so it can be featured on its own. Tofu has a milder flavor and will take on the flavors of whatever it is mixed with. You can also marinate tofu overnight to make it even tastier.
2. Protein and Fiber
Isolate powders come in many forms these days. Whey, pea, soy and peanut protein are easy to come by in stores and online. Psyllium husk is a popular fiber powder, but you can also use flax seed or inulin. Adding protein isolate or fiber powder to smoothies, soups, desserts and minced fillings can increase the volume of your food and keep you feeling fuller longer without resorting to carb loading. You can even add them to your homemade bread dough and starchy sides to make them more filling, so you eat less.
3. Resistant Starches
Pre-biotic resistance starches are indigestible to the small intestines and pass through to the colon, where good gut bacteria thrive on them. Your best bet for adding resistant starches to your diet while cutting carbs is to replace simpler carbohydrates with RS1 (resistant starch type 1). RS1 are found in grains, seeds and legumes.
RS2 are indigestible in the raw state. Since they’re unappetizing as true foods, you can try adding a few tablespoons of raw potato starch (not potato flour), or unripe green banana or plantain flour to your smoothies or cold puddings. RS3 starches are found in cooked and cooled rice and potatoes. They can be reheated to less than 130 degrees and maintain the gut flora benefits. RS4 is a synthetic form of starch that is not recommended for consumption.
4. Less Bread
If none of these substitutes appeal to you, you can simply eat less of what you love. Hollow out your bread products like buns and rolls. Cut your sandwich bread in half to make it thinner, or eat your sandwiches open face; with one slice of bread or only a top or bottom bun. Peel off the unneeded rolls of your tortilla wraps. Eat thin crust or flatbread pizzas instead of deep dish or Chicago style. And finally, it won’t work as well as cutting down but if you must have your carbs and eat them too, opt for whole grain varieties of bread, rolls, buns and tortillas. And as always, go organic whenever possible.
Carbohydrates are not the enemy. As macro-nutrients go, there are essential amino acids and essential fatty acids. But there is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate. A carb’s main duty is to provide quick energy. At best, ironically, that energy should be provided gradually in a complex form so it doesn’t tax the pancreas and promote fat storage and insulin resistance. When you can achieve this, enjoying your carbs will be so much sweeter. Happy eating!