By Mariam Nihal
First things first, not all carbs are bad, as long as you focus on healthy carbohydrates.
All you need to do is be aware and make healthy swaps. It is time to get creative and try new recipes to make sure you get a good nutritional balance. Healthy carbs include whole grains, fiber-rich foods, fruits, vegetables, legumes and low-fat dairy products.
A low carb plan not only helps control your weight but has various other benefits such as controlling blood sugar. Here are a few things you need to keep in mind.
Cut out the sugar- you need to do it. If you can’t, at least use sugar substitutes like stevia and xylitol. Seek ways that will help eliminate or at least reduce your sugar intake.
Get rid of snacks- We are talking about the worst kinds. Get rid of the junk in your kitchen. Don’t even save that cookie for an emergency because that is all you are going to want to have. Get rid of crisps, cookies, chocolates and the entire junk that does not belong in your body.
Buy new groceries- Go ahead and replace the bad carbs with healthy ones. Replace your flour-based products with whole rye, barley sweets and potato crisps can be traded for those made with kale and quinoa. Stock up on healthy nuts that can help get rid of cravings. Get creative.
Avoid the white-starchy food items like white bread, rice, pasta and potatoes. Switch to quinoa, whole-grain, bulgur, whole rye, barley, wild rice and buckwheat. Seek out local healthy alternatives instead of stocking up on quick-buys.
Choose your fruits- try and avoid the sweet ones. Especially as snacks, avoid mangoes and pineapple- stick to berries, apples and pears. Make healthier choices.
Soups are easy-to-make, satiating and cheap. You don’t have to wait till Ramadan to get back into the habit. Keep your stash ready so when you are feeling hungry you can easily make it or even use frozen portions you set aside for different meal times. Of course the key is to have healthy, clear soup, which does not have a lot of starch.
Eat more healthy fats and oils: Use olive, coconut or rapeseed oil for cooking. It only makes sense to switch to healthier options when cooking healthy meals. We know that oil makes anything taste better but it also helps and improves the absorption of vitamins.