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9 Low Carb Grains (and Some High Carb Ones to Avoid)



Grains are often banned entirely from many low-carb diets.

However, some grains are high in fiber and can be consumed in moderation as part of a healthy, carbohydrate-controlled diet.

This is because high fiber foods contain fewer net carbohydrates, which is the number of carbohydrates the body is consuming. You can calculate net carbs by subtracting grams of fiber from total grams of carbohydrates (1).

Here are some of the best low-carb grains, as well as some others you might want to limit to a low-carb diet.

Oats are very nutritious and a great source of many important nutrients, including fiber.

In fact, a 1 cup (33 gram) serving of cooked oats contains more than 8 grams of fiber and only 21 grams of net carbohydrates (2).

Oats are also rich in beta-glucan. This is a type of fiber that research has shown to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. High LDL cholesterol levels are a risk factor for heart disease (3, 4).

Additionally, oats are a great source of several other micronutrients, including manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, and thiamine (2).

Make sure you choose steel cut or rolled oats instead of highly processed varieties like instant oatmeal to get the most bang for your buck in terms of nutrition.


A 1 cup (33 gram) serving of cooked oats contains 21 grams of net carbohydrates. Oats are also high in beta-glucan, a type of fiber that can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.

Although quinoa is technically classified as pseudocereal, quinoa is often prepared and enjoyed as a grain (5).

Quinoa is loaded with beneficial antioxidants and polyphenols that can reduce inflammation and protect against chronic disease (6, 7, 8).

It’s also relatively low in carbohydrates, with only 34 grams of net carbs in every 1 cup (185 gram) serving of cooked quinoa (9).

Quinoa is also one of the few plant-based complete sources of protein, meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids the body needs to be obtained from food sources (10).

In addition, quinoa is rich in other important nutrients like manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and folic acid (9).


Quinoa contains 34 grams of net carbohydrates per cup (185 grams) cooked. It’s also high in antioxidants and contains all nine essential amino acids your body needs.

Bulgur is a type of grain that is typically made from cracked wheat berries.

You can use it in a variety of dishes including tabbouleh salad, porridge, and pilaf.

Bulgur is not only versatile and easy to prepare, but also very nutritious.

In particular, it’s a great source of manganese, iron, magnesium, and B vitamins (11).

Plus, at just 25.5 grams of net carbs in 1 cup (182 grams) of cooked bulgur, it’s one of the lowest carbohydrate whole grains available (11).


One cup (182 grams) of cooked bulgur has 25.5 grams of net carbohydrates. Bulgur is also versatile, easy to prepare and rich in manganese, iron, magnesium and B vitamins.

Millet is a type of ancient grain that is grown all over the world.

Like other whole grains, millet is high in antioxidants and polyphenols, which can help prevent chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes (12, 13, 14).

Millet is also a good source of fiber and relatively low in net carbohydrates, which makes it a great addition to a healthy, low-carb diet.

In fact, a 1 cup (174 gram) serving of cooked millet contains over 2 grams of fiber and 39 grams of net carbohydrates (15).

Millet is also rich in a variety of other vitamins and minerals, including phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and folic acid (15).


Millet has 39 grams of net carbohydrates per cup (174 grams) cooked. It’s also high in phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and folic acid.

Couscous is a processed grain product that is typically made from semolina flour or durum wheat.

Couscous is a staple in many Middle Eastern and Moroccan dishes and is relatively low in carbohydrates. Per 1 cup (157 grams) serving of cooked couscous (16), about 34.5 grams of net carbohydrates are used.

Couscous is also filled with selenium, a trace element that plays a vital role in heart health, thyroid function, the immune system, and more (16, 17).

Adding couscous to your diet can also increase your intake of several other important micronutrients such as pantothenic acid, manganese, copper, and thiamine (16).


Couscous is a grain product with 34.5 grams of net carbohydrates per cup (157 grams) cooked. Couscous not only contains a lot of selenium, but also a lot of pantothenic acid, manganese, copper and thiamine.

Wild rice is a type of cereal obtained from the grasses of the Zizania plant genus.

Compared to other types of rice, wild rice is significantly lower in carbohydrates, with 32 grams of net carbohydrates in every 1 cup (164 gram) serving of cooked wild rice (18).

Wild rice is also full of health-promoting antioxidants.

Interestingly, one review showed that the phenolic compounds found in wild rice had ten times the antioxidant activity of those in white rice (19).

Additionally, wild rice is an excellent source of various other nutrients, including zinc, vitamin B6, and folic acid (18).


Wild rice is lower in carbohydrates than other types of rice, with 32 grams of net carbohydrates per cup (164 grams) cooked. It’s also rich in antioxidants, along with zinc, vitamin B6, and folic acid.

Sometimes referred to as peeled wheat or spelled wheat, spelled is an ancient whole grain that has been linked to a number of health benefits (20).

Studies show that consuming more whole grains like spelled may be linked to a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer (21, 22, 23, 24).

Although spelled is mostly carbohydrates, it does provide a fair amount of fiber in every serving.

For example, a 1 cup (194 gram) serving of cooked spelled contains about 7.5 grams of fiber and 44 grams of net carbohydrates (25).

Spelled is also high in niacin, magnesium, zinc, and manganese (25).


One cup (194 grams) of cooked spelled contains 44 grams of net carbohydrates and 7.5 grams of fiber. Each serving is also high in niacin, magnesium, zinc, and manganese.

Most people think popcorn is little more than a snack, but technically it’s a whole grain.

It’s also one of the lowest carbohydrate grains available, with 6.5 grams of net carbohydrates in every 1 cup (14 gram) serving of popcorn (26).

Plus, popcorn is low in calories and high in B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus (26).

However, opt for airborne popcorn whenever possible to maximize the nutritional value of this healthy grain.

This is because many prepared varieties are high in unhealthy fats, added sugars, and artificial flavors, all of which can negate potential health benefits.


Each cup (14 grams) of popcorn contains 6.5 grams of net carbohydrates. Popcorn is also low in calories and high in B vitamins, iron, magnesium and phosphorus.

Barley is a nutritious cereal grain that is characterized by its nutty taste and characteristic, chewy texture.

Barley is also high in fiber, with 6.5 grams and about 41.5 grams of net carbohydrates in every 1 cup (170 gram) serving of cooked barley (27).

In addition, cooked barley is an excellent source of selenium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and copper (27).

However, opt for peeled barley instead of pearl barley whenever possible, as peeled barley is less processed and is considered whole grain (28).


Barley contains 41.5 grams of net carbohydrates in each cup (170 grams). In addition to being high in fiber, barley is an excellent source of selenium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and copper.

Although many grains fit into a healthy, low-carb diet, some grains are high in carbohydrates and low in fiber.

Refined grains, in particular, are grain products that have undergone processing to improve their texture and shelf life.

This results in a lower fiber content, which can increase the number of net carbohydrates in the end product.

Some examples of high-carb grains include:

  • White bread
  • refined pasta
  • white rice
  • cracker
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Pizza dough
  • Potato Chips
  • Instant oatmeal

Also, keep in mind that while cutting carbohydrates, you may still need to cut back on many healthy whole grains depending on how restrictive your diet is.

For example, very low-carb or ketogenic diets often limit carbohydrate intake to less than 50 grams per day, which can make it difficult to incorporate grains into your daily carbohydrate allocation (29).


Refined grains have been processed to improve their texture and shelf life. These foods usually contain less fiber and more net carbohydrates than whole grains.

Although many low-carb diets do not eliminate grains, many strains can fit into a healthy, controlled-carbohydrate diet.

In fact, many grains are high in fiber and low in net carbohydrates. This is the number of carbohydrates that the body actually absorbs.

For best results, be sure to choose whole grains and avoid grains that have been heavily processed or refined if possible.

Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

Types of Chocolate, Explained:



You’ve seen these numbers on fancy candy bar packaging, but what do chocolate percentages mean and which one should you choose? We’ll break it down so you can make the best chocolate choice possible.

When it comes to chocolate, I used to be part of the high cocoa cult. My favorite was 70 percent, with an 82.5 percent shot every now and then. However, the more I learned about chocolate, the more I realized that the percentage had nothing to do with quality: I had greasy 85 percent bars and fantastic 40 percent bars.

That’s because the cocoa percentage is the percentage of the bar that comes straight from cocoa beans. Take my beloved 70 percent bar as an example: 70 percent of this bar is made from refined cocoa beans, and 30 percent is made from all the other ingredients like sugar, vanilla, sea salt, pop rocks, whatever.

Just because you’ve tried a 70 percent bar doesn’t mean you’ve tried them all. Everyone has a unique mouthfeel and taste. (A genius came up with the fancy sounding “mouthfeel” to describe how things feel in the mouth. In practical terms, this means whether the chocolate is grainy or smooth, melts quickly or slowly, etc.) One reason is that one chocolate bar contains significantly more cocoa butter than another. Both cocoa solids and cocoa butter are included in this 70 percent.

As I write in my book, “Bean-to-Bar Chocolate: America’s Craft Chocolate Revolution ”,“ A 70 percent bar could contain 50 percent cocoa mass and 20 percent cocoa butter; another could have 30 percent cocoa mass and 40 percent cocoa butter (that would make a very smooth, buttery bar!). To make it even more complicated, different types of beans naturally contain different amounts of cocoa butter. Some are leaner, others fatter. The natural “butteriness” of a bean changes the consistency of the resulting chocolate. “

Milk chocolate generally has a fairly low percentage, usually around 40 percent or less (Hershey’s is 11 percent). I’m in love with Zotter’s 40 percent bar diluted with “Bio Tiroler Bergmilch” and Frans smoked salt.

Dark chocolate has no legal definition in the United States (it comes under the umbrella term semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate). It’s usually at least 55 percent, but most dark chocolate lovers enjoy 70 percent or more. I’m obsessed with a new variety called dark milk chocolate, a high-proof milk chocolate that combines the best of both worlds: you get the intense flavors of dark chocolate with the creaminess of milk chocolate. My favorite right now? Chocolate Naive’s 62 percent dark milk with porcini mushrooms. (Yes, you read that right: mushrooms!)

Then there are some dark candy bars that stamp in at 100 percent. That said, they only contain ground and refined cocoa beans, and the trick for the chocolate makers is to bring out the natural flavors of these beans to make them not only edible but also enjoyable. The best – like those from Fruition and Pralus – are far from making chocolate. I urge you to try a 100 percent bar for Valentine’s Day: you might find your true love.

But don’t forget the white chocolate either.

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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

Best Food Podcasts 2021



Thanks to the development of some very good culinary podcasts, today’s food freaks are asking, “What are you listening to?” as much as they are “What shows do you watch?” and “What books do you cook from?”

Right now we may be on a temporary break from commuting to work or exercising at the gym, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up listening to podcasts. (I mean, there is only so much TV that you can watch in a day, right?). There’s a diverse buffet of quality, audible food content, with programs covering everything from the latest industry news and the impact of food on identity and culture to the whimsical stories behind the most mundane foods. Below is a list of some of our favorites in case you need entertainment (not to mention a sense of social interaction and community) during these isolating times.

This podcast by Samin Nosrat and Hrishikesh Hirway came at exactly the right time and is the perfect listening pleasure during quarantine – it covers cooking with simple ingredients from the pantry (the first episode is all about beans), but also goes against anxiety, that we’re all feeling right now. You are encouraged to submit your own questions, stories, and experiences, but even if you just tune in, you’ll feel reassured. The original four-part run was so popular that it was expanded to include the latest episode (which only released July 22nd) featuring Nadiya Hussein from “The Great British Baking Show” and Netflix’s “Nadiya’s Time to Eat”.

Listen to home cooking.

At this age of “If you didn’t post every item of your meal on Instagram, did you even eat there?” this podcast for anyone curious about the interface between food, art and design is particularly interesting and relevant. This program, hosted by award-winning photographer and cookbook author Michael Harlan Turkell, takes the standard interview with chef / food personalities and presents it through a new lens where the conversations are likely to be immersed in the artistry of a culinary technique (e.g. cutting fish for sushi or whole animal butchering) or the development of the materials chefs use for work today. And best of all, with over 400 episodes, you have tons of listening material to help you tackle all of the thorough projects that you promised yourself to be.

Listen to the food seen.

Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I have a hard time imagining the effectiveness of a cooking class without the visual element. That was until I discovered this podcast and was forced to gobble up my words. Most of the episodes follow moderator Roger as he guides the audience step by step in real time through a recipe. It might not be something you just want to hear out of context, but if you want to feel like you’re in a real cooking class with someone to guide you along the way, it’s a great tool. He has a knack for breaking things down in a practical, easy-to-understand home-style way, and these are the kind of basic building block recipes you will come back to again and again. (And yes, don’t worry, he has an accompanying blog with pictures of the key steps in case you’re looking for a point of reference.)

Listen to The Kitchen Counter.

In this young podcast, veteran cooking authority America’s Test Kitchen deviates from their usual tried and true recipe test format. Admittedly, the episode themes don’t have a lot of street appeal: In the 30-minute debut episode, you’ll learn everything about celery; another focuses on ketchup. But rather than conveying best cooking practices or running brand reviews side by side, the show addresses the infinitely more interesting backstories (the “it” vegetable status of celery in the Victorian era) and big questions (does ketchup go with a burger?). Not at all straight forward and clinical at all, the tone of the show is rather light-hearted fun mixed with real nerd curiosity (especially the LOL-inducing episode about taste; I won’t spoil it, but there are dirty sock-flavored jelly bellys in it). .

Listen to evidence.

If you are looking for a food podcast that meets all of the criteria, “The Splendid Table” is for you. Hosted by esteemed and easily relatable food writer / personality Francis Lam, this diverse program almost feels like listening to the audio version of the best newspaper food section. There are interviews with experts, short stories, history lessons, opinion pieces, recipes and cooking tips, audience Q & As, whatever. The episodes last about an hour and thematically range from “Eating in the Age of Social Media” and “The History of Sauces” to “The Art of the Sandwich” and the “Power of Scent”.

Listen to The Splendid Table.

Food is so much more than just what happens on your plate. It’s a powerful insight and formative force on everything from history, science, culture, politics and, as this podcast explores, people. The James Beard Award-winning program, hosted by Dan Pashman, has been described as a show that is “not for foodies, but for eaters.”

Listen to Sporkful.

In the podcast world, comedy has been successfully applied to all sorts of topics (e.g. real crime, American history) so why not food? If you need something to break up the serious, cerebral food conversations in your library, this long-running show from writers / comedians Molly Wizenberg and Matthew Amster-Burton should be on the rotation. Each week, the two fun friends take about half an hour to discuss whatever comes to their mind over an all-over-the-map assortment of food topics (from hot pockets and movie candies to beets, mayonnaise and “Sick food” from childhood). . It’s a simple, satisfying palate cleanser for non-food lovers that is guaranteed to make you smile.

Hear spilled milk.

The history and culture of southern food is rich. And not just because of the kitchen’s well-documented relationship with butter and anything fried. In this intelligently produced series from the Southern Foodways Alliance, the culinary landscape of the American South is explored through stories that go beyond the obvious and expected. Such as Montgomery, Alabama’s burgeoning Korean food scene; or the fact that chili powder, a staple of southern cuisine, was invented by a German immigrant; or how a Texas winemaker helped save French vineyards in the late 19th century.

Hear about sauce.

If you’re craving high quality culinary audio, the Brooklyn-based Heritage Radio Network has a veritable food court of options. For story seekers there is “Evolutionaries”, a documentary series in which industry giants share their experiences that have shaped them and their careers. In another corner, you’ve got scientific (and infectiously animated) chef Dave Arnold answering your nerdy, bizarre culinary problems in Cooking Issues. And let’s not forget “Radio Cherry Bomb” – even more relevant in this era of the #metoo movement – with interviews with the women who shape today’s food world. But if you’re looking for a snack rather than a full meal, do yourself a favor and subscribe to Meat + Three. Each episode, over 20 minutes long, uses the traditional southern “meat and three sides” model to discuss the week’s most important food news: one topic is treated as a protein star, while three short stories round out the audible plate. Where so many great food podcasts need a longer, in-depth look at the food for thought format, it’s nice to add something quick and easy to digest to the mix.

Hear Meat + Three.

“Eating through the Lens of Science and History” may sound more like heady food studies classroom feed than an entertaining podcast, but hosts Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilly do a great job keeping the investigation on the accessible and friendly side of geeky curiosity . I imagine this show will appeal to people who love to see shows like Food Network’s Unwrapped and anything hosted by Alton Brown.

Listen to gastropod.

If you’re thirsty for great content on this oh-so-important food-wine-topic, subscribe to I’ll Drink to That hosted by ex-NYC sommelier Levi Dalton. The show’s interviewees roster is a veritable who’s who of the big-ticket industry talent, from sommeliers and importers to legendary winemakers themselves, and Dalton has the kind of ease and comfort at eye level to coax some really good stories.

Stop it, I’ll drink to it.

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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

Rolled Oats vs. Steel Cut Oats vs. Quick Oats: How to Choose



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Have you ever gotten yourself stared at all the different oatmeal in the store? Should you be getting steel cut oats, oatmeal, or old-fashioned oats (or are some of them the same)? Which one is healthier and can they all be used interchangeably? Here’s what you need to know.

If you want to eat oatmeal, you might as well have the variety that is not deprived of its nutrients. Especially if you are feeding it to children. But hey, you are important too. So what’s the difference between Steel Cut, Scottish, Irish, Rolled, Quick Cooking, Old Fashioned, and Instant Oats?

Short answer: some are milled differently, others are exactly the same but are named differently.

Speaking of which, what’s the difference between oats and oatmeal? Technically, oats refers to the whole grains themselves and oatmeal to the pulpy dish often made from them and / or the processed form of the whole grains – but now the terms are often used interchangeably.

With any type of oatmeal, the oats are first cleaned, peeled, and conditioned, which removes the outer shell (called the peel) and leaves the inner core or grits behind. The groats are then brushed clean in scrubbing machines. Next, an oven heats the grits to about 215 degrees Fahrenheit to deactivate their enzymes, which limits the oils in the germ from reacting with oxygen, making the oats shelf-stable and giving them a slightly toasted taste. Chelsea Lincoln, a representative of Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods says this is important because “oats go rancid very quickly if not stabilized”.

From there, the whole oat groats are processed differently, depending on the type of oat flakes they are made into:

Steel-cut oats (also known as Irish oats)

Lincoln says that to make steel cut oats (also known as Irish oats), the groats are crushed with steel blades. “This allows for a tougher oatmeal,” says Lincoln. It takes about 30 minutes to cook.

Stone milled oats (also known as Scottish oats)

With stone-milled oats (also called Scottish oats), the groats are ground into a meal, creating an “oat porridge with a nice, creamy texture”. Like Irish oats, Scottish oats take about 30 minutes to cook.

Oatmeal (also known as old-fashioned oats)

Oatmeal (also known as old-fashioned oats) takes less time to cook and is less coarse and chewy in texture. To make them, the groats are softened by steaming and then passed through metal rollers to flatten them. Lincoln says that Bob’s Red Mill’s regular oatmeal is flattened to 0.024-0.032 inches.

Quick cooking oats

Quick-cooking oats are rolled even thinner – about 0.017 to 0.022 inches – so they cook in less than five minutes.

Instant oats

Instant oats are also rolled thin, but then “boiled and then dried again,” says Lincoln. Just add hot water and stir.

All oatmeal is pretty healthy for you; They are full of soluble fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Compared to other breakfast cereals and many other grains, they also have a low glycemic index, which means they are digested longer and have less of an impact on blood sugar levels (they are considered good carbohydrates). The less processed the oats are, the more nutrients they retain. And you should watch out for added sugars and preservatives in instant oatmeal.

Oats are naturally gluten-free, but are often processed in flour-handling operations, so cross-contamination can be a problem. If you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, look for a certified gluten-free label.

Most recipes that call for oatmeal indicate oatmeal or old-fashioned oats (which, remember, are the same), but you can also use quick-cooking oats interchangeably. There may be minor changes to the texture, but it’s usually not so noticeable that it’s a deal breaker.

In a pinch, instant oatmeal can also be used in place of the above in things like oatcakes (where they are completely mixed into the batter), but the texture will be even softer and the cooking time can be significantly shorter, so make sure you get it sooner check the degree of doneness. They’re not a good substitute for homemade granola or recipes that use the oats for a crumbly, crispy topping.

Irish and Scottish oats will not work in place of other types of oats because they are much tougher and stronger. So, look for steel cut oat recipes if you want to use them in particular.

You can add oats to smoothies in some recipes and even replace flour with ground oats, but here are nine of our favorite ways to enjoy all types of oats in a starring role:

1. Simple homemade granola

Making your own granola to top up yogurt or just to snack on is usually much healthier and sometimes more economical than buying it in the store (but it depends on what you want to add). Get our Easy Homemade Granola Recipe.

2. Apple and oatmeal bars

These are tough, sweet, soft and a little crispy on top with the oat crumble. And they’re easy to make using ingredients that many of us already have on hand, so you don’t have to hunt for a random ingredient in the store. Get our recipe for apple and oatmeal bars. (Also try our recipe for apricot and oatmeal bars.)

3. Slow Cooker Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Throw the ingredients in your crock pot before you go to bed and wake up to a creamy, hot breakfast. Just add vanilla, nuts and fruits – fresh or dried. Get our Slow Cooker Steel-Cut Oatmeal Recipe.

4th No-bake oatmeal cookies


Wait what Oh yeah. These are especially great in summer when you don’t want to heat your kitchen any more than it already is. Preparation takes 15 minutes plus cooling time. These cookies taste like chocolate and peanut butter too, and we love that. Get our no-bake oatmeal cookie recipe.

5. Peach Melba Cake

This is what your summer is missing: peaches and raspberries wrapped in a crust and topped with an oat-brown sugar sprinkle. Serving this cake with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream is a must. Get our peach melba pie recipe.

6th Do-Si-Do copycat cookies

These are perfect if you’re calling for Girl Scout Cookies out of season. We’re calling for quick-boiling oats here to keep the texture nice and soft. Get our Do-Si-Do Copycat Cookie Recipe. (For more upgrades to the common oatmeal raisins, check out our Tropical Oatzravaganza Biscuit Recipe and our Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Biscuit recipe as well.)

7. Overnight oats with summer fruits

You don’t even have to cook this! The oatmeal absorbs the milk and becomes soft over time. It’s very easy now. Put the ingredients in a bowl or glass the night before, put them in the refrigerator and take them out the next morning, cover them with fresh fruit and eat them. Get our Overnight Oats with Summer Fruit Recipe.

8. Hearty oatmeal

Who says oatmeal has to be sweet? Steel-cut or stone-ground oat flakes in particular take on hearty flavors, and you can also cook them in the slow cooker. Get our recipe ideas for hearty oatmeal.

9. Oat honey vodka

Another unusual thing about oatmeal? Soak it in vodka for a toasty-sweet drop! Get our Oat Honey Vodka Recipe. (If you don’t drink alcohol, you can try making oat fortified milk … not to be confused with non-dairy oat milk, but still delicious.) Drink it straight or try it with cream in our Quaker Shaker recipe.

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