Friday, September 27, 2013
TO EAT CARBS, OR NOT TO EAT CARBS
I am still surprised by the number of people who choose to eliminate all carbohydrates from their diet in fear of gaining weight or not losing weight. In fact, just this week I heard a couple of celebs on the Emmy's red carpet (via TV of course, E News to be exact) boasting about the fact they had starved themselves of 'carbs' for weeks in an attempt to fit comfortably in to their couture gowns. Carbohydrates are not the enemy folks, but the type and amount of carbohydrates, and what we put on them can be, if we are not careful.
Let's take an example. I know quite a few people who refrain from eating potatoes because “they are fattening”. It is worth pointing out here that gram for gram carbohydrates contain the same amount of calories as protein (4kcals/g). What tends to make carbohydrates fattening is the amount we eat and/or the fats we add to them. Mashed potatoes are a classic case in point. A common accompaniment to most meals; we pile the mashed potatoes on to our plate, our mouth salivating as we see this creamy, fluffy dollop fall off the spoon. Creamy because we've mashed it in with full fat milk/cream, lots of butter and finished off by melting in some cheddar cheese. Delicious, yes; calorific, I’m afraid so, especially if you’re one of those people who haven’t quite got to grips with serving smaller portions or leaving food on your plate. Read more about carbohydrates here.
Now I’m not going to suggest that you never eat your favourite recipe of mashed potatoes again, however, I was having some potatoes myself yesterday and thought I’d write a quick post on my oven roasted potato and sweet potato wedges: high in fibre - low in fat/calories. These might not suit everyone’s taste, but for someone like me who actually loves chips, I feel the wedges are an easy alternative with much less oil and less need for salt!
Grab yourself one sweet potato or a Maris Piper potato, whichever you prefer, or both - I used both. Each packs a powerful nutritional punch, although sweet potatoes have the edge nutritionally over white potatoes. In addition, despite the name, sweet potatoes have a lower GI than white potatoes, so they should keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Scrub the potatoes clean and cut them in to chunky wedges. Don’t be tempted to peel the skins as they provide us with the extra fibre.
Grab yourself some seasoning/spices - I used paprika, dried mixed herbs, ground black pepper and grabbed some thyme out the garden. You really don’t need to add salt. Rub it all in, so that every wedge is covered with flavour.
Spray the roasting dish with a couple of sprays of ‘one-cal spray’ and spread the wedges in one layer.
Pop them in the oven on gas mark 6 for 45 minutes whilst you get your protein and vegetables ready. Serve with a low sugar/fat/salt dip or sauce such as salsa, or you could make a homemade dip. Beware of creamy dips though, which can be laden with oil!
I had mine with chicken and salad - nom, nom, nom! What would you have yours with, or are you still a zero-carb fiend?
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