It’s been hitting me from all sides lately: “CARBS ARE GOOD!”
By which I mean carbohydrates (obviously). Long considered the dieters enemy, it’s all about balance these days. There are ‘good carbs’ 🙂 and ‘bad carbs’ 😦
The advice given in these articles is: Choose your carbs wisely! Complex carbs found in things like wholegrains and vegetables can keep weight gain at bay, help you stay healthy, and improve your fitness. According to the research in Healthy Food Guide: “without carbs you lose water, sodium and potassium and won’t have the energy reserves in our muscles to help you in an emergency” The bottom line: Not all carbs are equal; it’s important to consider factors such as the glycaemic index (gi – how quickly the food is broken down and affects your blood sugar) and other health benefits such as fibre and vitamins. Carbohydrates should make up to 50-60% of your diet according to Women’s Fitness – the NHS Livewell plate breaks this down further into a third starchy carbs, and a third vegetables and fruit. (FYI the other third is made up of equal parts dairy and protein and just a little left for ‘unhealthy treats’)
So, as I like to try new foods I’ve been try different grains rather than relying on wheat all the time. I don’t have a particular problem with gluten or wheat, but it’s always nice to give your body some variety. I was quite excited to see this Buckwheat pasta for sale in the local health food shop.
I long ago replaced all white products with their wholemeal counterparts: wholemeal pasta, brown/red/wild rice, wholemeal/granary bread. I’ve also started branching out from the traditional wheat pasta:
- brown rice pasta – check
- spelt pasta – check
I’m not interested in anything that is not wholegrain, I’m talking the corn, rice and potato starch pastas out there.
So, buckwheat it isn’t actually wheat at all, but a seed from the same family as rhubarb. So it’s gluten free and contains protein. You might have come across buckwheat in soba noodles (can be 100% or part wheat, part buckwheat) or buckwheat pancakes.
On doing some research for this blog, I came across the following on Wikipedia (I know, you can’t trust Wikipedia, but I’ll give you the information, you work out whether to believe it or not) In the words of the L’Oréal adverts “Here comes the science bit…”
- Buckwheat contains a phytochemical (rutin) which is thought to strengthen capillary walls.
- Buckwheat contains D-chiro-inositol, which sufferers of Type II diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome are shown to be defficient in. It is being studied for use in treating Type II diabetes. Research on D-chiro-inositol and PCOS has shown promising results.
Roast veg buckwheat pasta
This was one of those throw it all together meals. I roasted some butternut squash, red pepper, red onion, courgette and cherry tomatoes in the oven. I even tried to roast one of the asparagus spears.
I simply prepared it (see my post on white asparagus soup) and wrapped it in tin foil with a slice of lemon and a clove of garlic.
Cook buckwheat pasta according to packet instructions.
Once the vegetables were cooked I mashed up the tomatoes a bit, and stirred it all into some cooked red lentils and added the pasta. Simples 🙂
Topped with the asparagus spears and then sprinkled with nutritional yeast flakes and freshly ground black pepper.
Where do you stand on Carbohydrates? Are they a diet destroyer or an energy provider?