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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Healthy Carbs to Add to Your Diet

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From television commercials, magazine spreads, and internet articles, it’s easy to see why you think carbohydrates from your meals should be blacklisted. At a time when you are used to hearing low-carb diets for it or low-carb diets for it, the truth is that your body needs carbohydrates.

But not all carbohydrates are created equal. The type of carbohydrates you eat is more important than the amount you eat. In other words: think quality before quantity. To help you beat the record, here’s how carbohydrates work, what healthy carbohydrates you can add to your diet, and easy recipes to try at home.

Understand simple and complex carbohydrates

Many of the foods and beverages you consume contain carbohydrates, a macronutrient that is essential for the functioning of your body. When you eat, the carbohydrates are broken down and enter your blood as glucose during the digestive process. The glucose helps supply the cells in your body with energy to carry out everyday activities.

Carbohydrates, which are made up of sugar, starch, and fiber, occur naturally and are added to processed foods. When you think about carbohydrates, your brain can imagine unhealthy foods. But you can find carbohydrates in fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds, and foods like beans.

Sugar is a simple carbohydrate, which means it breaks down more quickly in your bloodstream. For this reason, there are Sugar Rushs that will give you a brief burst of energy.

Many simple sugars, including candies, syrups, and non-diet sodas, are made from added or refined sugars, which are low in calories and nutritional value. Check the ingredients list on the labels for sucrose (table sugar), fructose (fruit sugar), or lactose (milk sugar). These are fancy chemical names for different types of sugar.

Starch and fiber, on the other hand, are complex carbohydrates in which several sugar units are linked together. Your body will take more time to break down these complex carbohydrates; thus the energy generated is longer lasting. You can find complex carbohydrates in starchy vegetables, whole grains, high fiber fruits, and dried beans.

What are healthy carbohydrates?

Here we can debunk the myth “All carbohydrates are bad for you”. In short, you can classify any complex carbohydrate as a healthy carbohydrate.

Why? It goes back to how your body processes carbohydrates. The time it takes for your body to convert carbohydrates to glucose is known as the glycemic index. Complex carbohydrates have a low glycemic index, which indicates a longer digestive process. Conversely, simple carbohydrates have a high glycemic index.

Your body’s cravings for carbohydrates isn’t so much about the sweet taste of a chocolate chip cookie or the satisfaction of salty french fries as it is about the need to raise your blood sugar. But your body will soon run out of fuel and need more carbohydrates, which can leave you feeling hungry or sluggish after eating fast food or desserts.

As the name suggests, processed or refined foods are stripped of their nutrients and fiber. Complex carbohydrates are not refined and are full of starches and fiber that your body uses for energy.

For example, bread or pasta made from whole grain products take longer to digest because the grain is whole and not yet separated. The longer the process takes to break down into a simple carbohydrate, the longer you will feel full. This explains why high fiber foods are more filling.

Healthy carbohydrates to eat

You can think of complex carbohydrates in three categories: high fiber fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. While you can get complex carbohydrates from fruit and vegetable juices, opt for the full version whenever possible.

In general, you should stay away from a diet high in simple carbohydrates, but avoiding them altogether isn’t as easy as it sounds. You can find lactose in milk, but that doesn’t mean you should eliminate cereal, yogurt, and other dairy products from your diet. Enjoy them in moderation or opt for low-fat options such as skimmed milk or semi-skimmed cheese.

Fruit contains simple sugars, but the fiber in each serving adds nutritional value. You may not like the texture of edible fruit peels, but they are a great source of fiber. Leave your apple or pear peel on for your next breakfast or snack.

For whole grain products, swap white bread, rice and pasta for products that state wheat, rye or another whole grain as the main ingredient. Making sandwiches made with 100 percent whole grain bread is a good start. If brown rice isn’t for you, you can try quinoa or wild rice as a side dish. For breakfast, opt for a high-fiber granola or a bowl of steel-cut or old-fashioned oatmeal with yogurt or fruit.

Legumes like nuts, beans, and lentils have the dual benefit of providing carbohydrates and protein. They also contain several nutrients like potassium and iron. Chickpeas, also known as chickpeas, are versatile enough to be served in an appetizer or as a side dish.

Some snacks can be good for you too. Popcorn is a complex carbohydrate and has health benefits when eaten without the addition of butter or salt. The kernels come from corn, the same variety that is eaten off the cob, frozen, or canned. Whole corn is considered a starchy vegetable and is actually a grain.

Quick and easy healthy carbohydrate recipes

Switching to a diet full of healthy carbohydrates – and avoiding simple sugars and refined carbohydrates – may seem boring, but it doesn’t have to be. You can still eat well just by making a few changes. Here are some quick and easy recipes that feature healthy carbohydrates like chickpeas, oats, black beans, and whole grain tortillas.

Black Bean Quesadillas (click here to download the PDF)

Chickpea salad (click here to download the pdf)

Easy Overnight Oats (click here to download the PDF)

How many carbohydrates per day are healthy?

Healthy carbohydrates should make up one-half to two-thirds of your breakfast, lunch, or dinner plate. This diagram from the Healthy Eating Platter shows that vegetables and whole grains should make up the majority of your meal. This means that you are loading up on starchy vegetables, beans or lentils, or a whole grain like brown rice or quinoa, which is a seed although it is similar to rice and other grains.

Regardless of age, American Dietary Guidelines (DGA) recommend consuming carbohydrates, which make up 45 to 65 percent of your daily caloric intake. This is further proof that carbohydrates are not bad as long as you add healthy carbohydrates to your body. Everyone should consume at least 130 grams of carbohydrates a day. This is the basis for maintaining healthy functions.

The range of calories the DGA recommends per day varies by age – 1,000 for children 1-3 years old; 1,600 to 1,800 for young people; and anywhere from 1,600 to 2,000-plus calories for younger and older adults. For example, between 900 and 1,300 calories should come from carbohydrates if you are on a 2,000 calorie diet. That adds up to 225 to 325 grams.

Sticking to these guidelines can prove helpful in the long run. The fiber found in whole grains is often linked to strong heart and digestive health. It can also help regulate your weight by preventing overeating and constant snacking.

According to the American Heart Association, excessive amounts of simple sugars can increase triglyceride levels over time and lead to heart disease, diabetes, and liver problems.

If you have additional questions about carbohydrates or are considering changing your diet, contact an INTEGRIS Health GP to learn more about making changes.

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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Expert’s nutrition tips for runners

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Running is a very popular sport, thanks to its simplicity and many health and fitness benefits. It’s versatile and inexpensive, requires very little equipment, and it’s an excellent way to strengthen your cardiovascular health.

Nutrition plays an important part in optimum running performance. pexels

With the competitive nature of the sport, runners continuously challenge themselves and each other to improve. In addition to training, proper fuel for the body is vital for peak sports performance.

Noted medical and nutrition specialist Dr. Korakod Panich provided the five best nutrients for optimal running performance.

Nutrition is important for runners because it plays a vital role in overall health and can also support performance. A balanced diet for healthy runners should include these five key nutrients:

1. Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates—which can be found in food such as fruits, dairy products, and starches such as rice, bread, and pasta—are the most important source of energy for the body.

For runners, a small meal, taken an hour before running, consisting of carbohydrates and a bit of protein can provide the energy needed to run effectively. A smoothie made with milk and fruit, or some yogurt topped with berries, provides the nutrients needed and is easily digested before a workout.

Consuming the right amount of carbohydrates before exercising can help you maximize your workout.

2. Protein
Protein—found in meat, milk, eggs, and soy—helps repair and rebuild tissues and muscles that could be affected during physical activities. With the proper amount of protein and adequate sleep, muscles repair, rebuild, and become stronger.

Soy is a good protein source as it is one of the few complete plant-based proteins containing all of the nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. Runners should consume a combination of carbs and protein 30 to 45 minutes after exercising.

Carb to protein ratio should be 2-3:1, with 20 grams of high-quality protein after a workout and between 40 and 60 grams of carbohydrate. A sandwich on whole-grain bread with a piece of fruit or a high-protein recovery shake would fill the bill.

3.Fat
Fat serves as an essential energy source. It is often used as fuel, particularly during moderate-intensity exercise that lasts for an extended period, such as a moderate jog lasting at least 30 minutes or so. The body will utilize more fat than carbohydrate for fuel in an attempt to conserve carbohydrate that is stored in the liver and muscles.

Choose beneficial fats—such as those found in olive oil, avocado, and nuts—and avoid saturated fats¬¬that can raise the risk of heart disease. This means staying away from fatty red meats, and ultra-processed foods, such as fast food or bakery items.

4. Vitamins and minerals
There are different kinds of vitamins and minerals that help maintain the balance in body system functions; fruits and vegetables are the best sources to obtain them. During exercise, the body excretes waste in the form of sweat, which also removes important minerals from the body. If you opt to exercise for more than one hour, energy and mineral drinks are highly recommended to replace lost fluids and minerals.

5.Water
The human body is made up of 70 percent water, which is why staying hydrated is crucial. Water helps deliver nutrients to the cells and plays a significant role in eliminating waste. Runners need to maintain body water balance before, during, and after workouts because water provides nourishment that the body needs for almost every single function. It also helps limit changes in body temperature.

Make sure not to lose more than two percent of your body weight in fluids during exercise, as it can reduce your strength and affect performance. If you exercise regularly, check your weight before and after a workout to keep track of water loss and be sure to replace those losses. For every pound of weight lost during exercise, replace with 2-3 cups of fluid (or 1 liter of fluid for every kilogram lost during exercise).

Nutrition and running style

Aside from understanding the importance of nutrients, it is also essential for new runners to learn the proper way to run. Running not just makes our bodies stronger; it also helps burn calories and fat, depending on the goal.

If you have little time and would like to burn calories and fat, you can do interval training, which alternates short work intervals (80-90 percent of maximum heart rate for 30-60 seconds) with rest periods (50 percent of maximum heart rate for 1-2 minutes). This helps improve circulation and enable the heart to pump blood and make it healthier while strengthening the muscles.

If your main aim is to burn fat, and you have some time, you can run slowly to raise your heart rate to 40-60 percent of your maximum, for at least 45-60 minutes.

Korakod Panich is a member of the Herbalife Nutrition Advisory Board.

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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Weekly Spotlight: Make the Perfect Spring Vegan Pasta Salad!

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Pasta salad is a wonderful spring meal, plus it’s a wonderful plant-based meal that can easily be veganized! It’s a meal that you can add any veggie that you want to, making it super versatile for this time of year. When spring produces like arugula, garlic and some herbs are hitting their peak season, you might have extra veggies on hand or are looking for a way to clear out some veggies from your fridge. Pasta salad is also easy to whip up, and you can either do a simple dressing or a more involved creamy dressing to top it.

Depending on your time and how you want to enjoy your pasta salad, this guide splits pasta salad recipes depending on their sauce base. The simple oil and garlic type dressings are lighter in flavor, allowing whatever you hand (veggies or herbs) to stand out in your final pasta salad. However, if you’re looking for a creamier and more hands-on homemade dressing, we’ve got you covered too! These are topped with a dressing that uses a base of tahini, tofu, or even hemp seeds to create a delicious creamy dressing. The last group focuses on taking a traditional pasta salad adding a twist, like a clever flavor or mixing up the base grain!

We also highly recommend downloading the Food Monster app — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest meatless, vegan, plant-based, and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help you get healthy! And, don’t forget to check out our Weekly Meal Plan Archives!

Are you ready to have a week full of delicious, high-protein, whole-food vegan food that leaves you nourished and content? Let’s get started!

This week, we’re bringing delicious pasta salad recipes that are fully vegan and plant-based!

Pasta Salads that Use a Mayo, Sour Cream, or Simple Oil Dressing:

Vegan Spring Pea and Arugula Pasta Salad

Source: Spring Pea and Arugula Pasta Salad

These quick pasta salads are great to throw together for the week! Their light dressing makes it excellent to eat on its own to get a variety of simple flavors and enjoy the fresher crunch of the veggies in these dishes.

Pasta Salads that Use a Tofu, Tahini, Homemade, or Cashew Based Dressing

Vegan Easy Vegetable Pasta Salad

Source: Easy Vegetable Pasta Salad

These creamy pasta salads are excellent to enjoy on their own, or if you’re looking to add even more veggies, you could enjoy these over a base of greens for an extra crunch of texture! There are so many ways to make a creamy pasta salad with vegan ingredients; you could use cashews, tofu, tahini, or even hemp hearts to get a creamy sauce.

Pasta Salads that Are a Twist on a Classic Dish:

Vegan Greek Pasta Salad with Tofu Feta

Source: Greek Pasta Salad with Tofu Feta

Cacio e Pepe as a pasta salad? Using orzo instead of pasta? There are so many ways to change up the flavors and inspiration you use for your pasta salads. If you’re looking for a way to enjoy a new way of eating pasta salad, this is your list right here!

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Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental well-being, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, good health other more! Unfortunately, dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer, and has many side effects.

For those interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend purchasing one of our many plant-based cookbooks or downloading the Food Monster app which has thousands of delicious recipes making it the largest vegan recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental other health benefits of a plant based diet.

Here are some resources to get you started:

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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Food Therapist Debunks Myths About Veganism

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Veganism is a lifestyle that is based on the ideology that humans should not exploit animals or the environment for their needs. Vegans refrain from utilizing any kind of animal products for food, clothing, or work, among other things, and they do not differentiate between any species as they consider all animals equal. Simply put, veganism is the practice of avoiding the use of any animal products—particularly in our diet—including meat, eggs, and dairy products.

Myths about veganism

Additionally, there are countless myths, misconceptions, and assumptions about being vegan from all corners. We got Nidhi Nahata—Founder, Justbe Resto Cafe, Bangalore, and food therapist—to debunk a few common floating speculations.

1. Milk has a lot of calcium

Credit: iStock

There is an existing misconception that only cow milk contains calcium. So, what is the optimal source of calcium? Like plenty of other nutrients, calcium is readily available in a variety of plant-based foods that are better absorbed by the body than dairy. Think broccoli, cabbage, kale, almonds, chia, beans, pulses, leafy vegetables, and more. Therefore, even if you are not vegan, having a wide range of calcium sources in your diet can be a healthier option.

2. Animal protein is more important than plant protein

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

Incidentally, the animals that are consumed for so-called protein are fed on a plant based diet, which basically means that we are consuming the same and/or processed protein through dead tissues or extracted produce from an animal. For those on the lookout for plant-based protein sources, there are plenty of options like soya, lentils, pulses, broccoli, seaweed, peas, spinach, beans, brown rice, whole wheat bread and pasta, quinoa, peanuts, cashews, almonds , pistachios, walnuts, oats, and seitan tofu.

3. Vegans have B12 deficiency

Vegans, vegetarians, or non-vegetarians—all could have deficiency because of vitamin B12, which is a bacteria found in nature. The sources of vitamin B12 are commonly questioned in reference to being vegan, since the most common source is assumed to be animals and animal products. But the reality is that vegans can achieve the intake needed through reliable sources, such as supplements or fortified foods.

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

Vitamin B12 is produced by certain microorganisms and is processed while consuming cobalt from a plant base. However, our modern day agriculture prevents these nutrients to be transferred into our bodies through either sources-–animals or plants. Therefore, vegans, vegetarians, or non-vegetarians need to normally be given cobalt or B12 supplements to attain suitable levels regardless of their dietary preference.

4. Vegan lifestyle is very expensive

food item
Credit: iStock

The limited accessibility to vegan food and alternatives is one of the biggest restrictive misconnects prevalent in our society. The reality is that, similar to any diet, plant-based eating is only expensive if there are a lot of quick-to-eat processed foods, readymade meal preps, and products from vegan-specific brands. There are plenty of vegan foods and ingredients that are affordable in India, especially if the diet is centered around cheaper foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, lentils, beans, and several others. Good planning can make vegan diet more affordable than the ones that include animal products.

5. Pregnant women need milk and dairy

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

“You cannot be vegan when pregnant” is a common misconception for soon-to-be vegan parents. The basic fact is that pregnancy is a challenge for the body, no matter what diet you are on and usually requires additional nutrients. It is advised to be closer to iron and vitamin B12, which can be attained on a vegan diet as well. The tradition of milk being one of the most integral components of our diet has been prevalent for decades. We need to be mindful and bring logical reasoning in choosing food for soon-to-be parents as well as children.

6. Soy increases the chances of breast cancer

  7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

There is no convincing evidence that eating soy-based food increases the risk of breast cancer in humans. This misunderstanding, however, might arise from earlier studies conducted on rodents. Scientists of this study showed that when these animals received large amounts of soy-compounds called flavones, they showed likelihood to develop breast cancer.

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

A study published by the International Journal of Epidemiology, in February 2020, searched associations between soy intake and breast cancer risk by following 52,795 cancer-free women in the US for an average of 7.9 years. In the results, they found no substantial association between soy intake and breast cancer, but they did identify a link between dairy (milk) and breast cancer.

Soy as an ingredient is loaded with fiber and is a good source of protein, omega 3, and antioxidants. Research also suggests that soy has a good amount of protein which is well absorbed by the body, and the best way to consume it is in bean form, tofu, tempeh, and other such forms.

7. Veganism is a cult

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

Being compassionate and conscious can never be a cult. Veganism is a lifestyle that utilizes an ideology to bring people closer to their instincts. This means bringing us closer to eating what nature has designed and grown for us, rather than exploiting animals and other sentient beings.

Lead Image Credit: Alia Bhatt and Yami Gautam Dhar, Instagram

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