Hello all. I just have a quick question concerning carbs. I used to have a book with all the info in it, but can't find it. What are some HIGH carb foods to avoid? What are some GOOD carb foods? I'm Italian, LOVE MY PASTA...is that a good thing? Are starchy foods high in carbs? I've never paid much attention to carbs, just calories and food intake. Maybe that's what I need to do. Get more info on carbs, etc. Thanks. Any info would be greatly appreciated!
Italian here, too, and there was no way I could give up my pasta.
The way I see it, if you can't make any particular diet a permanent lifestyle change, then don't do it. I personally found it much easier to avoid foods high in saturated fats for the long-haul.
I changed my meals involving pasta more geared towards the northern areas of Italy as opposed to the southern areas. Think pasta primavera instead of lasagna (more veggie pastas with olive oil and a touch of parmesan instead of cheese pastas with rigotta and meat gravies). This is an easy lifestyle change I can live with and enjoy -- just watch the portion sizes on that pasta and, of course, everything in moderation.
Sometimes I use a wheat-based pasta; sometimes I don't.
My hubby & I have lost 100+ pounds in the last year and we've eaten pasta, as well as rice, bread (including white Italian!), lean meats, olive oil, plenty of fruits & veggies, skim dairy and even some sugar. The things we avoid are foods high in saturated fat and anything with trans fat. Of course we take brisk walks daily. Our main literature we used for references/recipes were the American Heart Assocation Step I & II diets, the Omega Plan, as well as Weight Watchers cookbooks (they have an awesome Italian one, btw) which implements low-calorie meals.
I LOVE carbs! However, they don't like me as far as the weight loss...A friend of mine who just won a body building competition gave me a diet to follow. It basically contains high proteins like chicken, lean red meats, salmon, tuna, lots of veggies, and some fruits. Women are notorious for being bad carb burners. The body stores it as fat and when you eat sugar or bad carbs, it raises your insulin level and your blood sugar drops. This causes us to gorge ourselves when we get hungry again.
Make sure you eat 5-6 small meals a day or your body will shut down. Sugar and bad carbs are the worst... stay away from them. Try eating oatmeal for breakfast and put a little Splenda in it. It's a great carb. Baked sweet potatos with nothing on them fills you up and are good for you as well. If you like pasta, try the whole wheat kind. I've been eating it and it's not bad with tomatoe based sauces and some veggies. If you crave something sweet, try a whey protein shake. You can buy whey protein powder anywhere. Mix it up in a blender with some low fat milk, ice and some frozen fruit. It's really good and satisfies my sweet tooth and for some reason, my carb tooth! Another great thing to eat is protein bars. They are sweet and depending on what ones you eat, are low in carbs and high in protein.
Weight Watchers is a great source of carb based meals that aren't so bad for you! I was on it after my first two children and it works really well! If you like shrimp, they have an excellent pasta & shrimp dish! They also have some desserts that are really good (of course, I love the chocolate ones!) The main source of carb intake should be your veggies and some fruits. Try to stay away from processed foods like cookies, crackers, etc.
You get 2 kinds of carbs. low Glycaemic Index(GI) carbs which are your starches and high GI carbs which are your sugars. low GI carbs are the healthier ones as they digest slower and dont sit as fat as readilly as sugars do. If you want pasta, keep it wheat pasta. Plain white pasta is a high GI carb so it has a much higher chance of sitting as a fat and will spike insulin levels. Brown rice, whole-grain breads, oats etc are other examples of good carbs. Vegetables are also good. Fruits are sugars but in moderation, they wont sit as fat as readilly as other sugars do. Search the net for the different GI levels of carbs, you'll probably find some that you might enjoy eating more than the ones ive mentioned.
Each gram of carbohydrates has 4 calories.
Make sure you get protein into your diet. Protein is way more filling than carbohydrates and also wont sit as fat easilly.
You might want to google up some research on refined and unrefined carbs. some breads, cakes and cookies and other refined carbs are bad, but then there are good carbs. Southbeach and Zone really get into that in detail.
As far as pasta, I would have to do some research on what types are ok, but I do know that Sophia Loren has eaten pasta her whole life and "MAMA MIA!" if I look even 1/10 that good at here age I would be in heaven! She is slim trim and looks like a 30 year old at 70!
I have dieted WITHOUT pasta and WITH pasta. The WITH PASTA diet is going much more smoothly, comfortably and EFFECTIVELY than the forced restriction of the delicious and nutritious carbs of spahetti, linguini, penne, etc.etc, ever did. I've shed over 40 pounds over the last 4 years with pasta (4 ounces dry weight...a big serving) at least twice a week.
There's no denying it's a calorically concentrated food and it must be parcelled out in sensible doses.
YAY for Sophia Loren and her daily pasta at 72 , but alas, poor Luciano "Wide-Load" Pavarotti and Mario "Too Fat For Movies" Lanza ate it daily too.
Even the good things must be appreciated in moderation...and pasta is DEFINITELY one of the good things!