- I did a previous blog on what the many choices of the best grains and what their nutrition values are. Reading that blog is a great place to start; then hit the back button and come back here ;-), or read this one first and then check it out: http://lisakramerartlifestyle.blogspot.com/2011/01/food-facts-with-best-grains-to-include.html
First, why choose a diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits and Grain Products?Grain products and many vegetables and fruits are emphasized especially for their complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber. Foods rich in complex carbohydrates are: whole-grain breads, cereals, pastas, rices like brown, and legumes like beans or lentils, and starchy vegetables like potatoes, peas, Lima beans or corn. Great sources of fiber come from: the whole-grain products, legumes, fruits with their skins, edible seeds like sunflowers, nuts, vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, raw onions in salads, pumpkin, spinach, turnip greens, Kale's (any green leafy veggie), Brussels sprouts, parsnips, beets, okra, and broccoli. Dietary fiber is important for healthy bowel functioning and can reduce symptoms of chronic constipation, diverticular disease, and hemorrhoids.
As far as losing weight issues, high fiber food means you will stay full longer, as the body takes longer to digest the complex carbohydrates, keeping your blood sugar steady and hunger at bay. The opposite occurs whenever we consume simple carbs, like white bread products or simple sugars like donuts. The blood sugar drops as soon as these are quickly digested, leaving us craving and hungry. This is when we get upset with ourselves because it seems our judgment power of what to eat is no longer with us. Unrefined complex starches products are unlike the white flour products, they are not over-processed on their pathway into the grocery stores, to the point of taking all that is good out of them, they contain fiber, vitamins and minerals, especially zinc, vitamin B6, and folacin. Clients have avoided complex carbohydrates with the misconception that they are fattening. Owing their low fat content, they are also low in kilocalories. Studies that were done --beginning in 1989, showed that a diet high in complex carbohydrates were more slimming than a diet of comparable kilocalories high in fat or simple sugars (the body breaks down simple carbs into simple sugars). Foods containing complex carbs are usually being eaten with added fats or sugars. For example, sugar is usually added to cereal, and butter to bread or potatoes.
Another reason to eat well:
Additionally, foods rich in vitamins A and C may help lower the risk for cancers, again studies have shown this for some time now. Cruciferous vegetables help reduce cancer susceptibility. Good sources of vitamin A and C and cruciferous vegetables are: Acorn Squash, Apples, Apricots, Avocados (good fat too), Bananas, Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbages, Cantaloupe, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Collar Greens, Grapefruit, Lettuce, Kale, Kiwi Fruit, Kohlrabi, Oranges, Papaya, Peaches Prunes, Spinach, Strawberries, Sweet Potatoes, Swiss Chard, and Tomatoes.Barley:
I own many nutrition books from my dietary planning nurse days, so I looked it up. In regard to nutrition, barley sits right in the middle of the recommended grains; it’s minerals worth mentioning are Potassium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Manganese, and a bit, 13.5mcg, of Selenium (which is an important one for any with low thyroid issues). The vitamins it holds the most of are: Choline and Niacin. Barley holds 3.5g’s of protein per serving of 1 Cup. It holds 303mg’s of Omega 6 fatty acid, and 33mg of Omega 3 fatty acid, which is great. Calorie and Carb count are 193 calories, from which 175 calories are from good carb, 12.6 are from protein, and 5.8 are from good fat. Total carb is 44.3g with 6g of Fiber. Sugar is a low .4g and its glycemic load is 19. For obvious reasons, I’d also try some of the other grains mentioned in the Food Facts on Best Grains: (http://lisakramerartlifestyle.blogspot.com/2011/01/food-facts-with-best-grains-to-include.html ). J
Diet Ideas and Meal Planning in regard to Protein: I imagine if you are going off of meat for protein, your protein levels will level off very quickly; leaving you to eat a healthy vegetarian diet that considers its protein when planning meals. Otherwise, you will find yourself deficit in this important fuel. Even if you’re too high with protein in the urine now, after a month of very low protein intake, look into high protein grains, beans, nuts, tofu, milk and etc.;0) If you’re just cutting out red meat (which is what I usually do), then your protein count will be fine with the much healthier fish, chicken, turkey and fish options. Lol, yes, I mentioned fish twice, because ideally, we will eat it three times a week for those precious Omega’s. ;-)
Favorite Veggie recipes: Basically, grilled anything on the grill -with a bit of olive oil- and salt to taste is amazingly tasty and healthy: Eggplant, asparagus, fennel, zucchini/ green squashes, or red peppers to just name a few. I love to add the sweet fruit of cherry tomatoes to that list; combining several together can be a meal if you place it on a bed of grain like Amaranth or Farro. Or just grill a lemon and lime with the vegetables, cut in half for squeezing onto the grilled yummies. Serve with a Greek yogurt dip, or make a Greek dip --even better!
Veggie Meals Coming Up:
I will be taking photos coming up of the vegetarian meals that I like to make. Once my Spring-Summer garden is in full bloom (and it has begun nicely this year), I do a lot of cooking out of it. I have so much fun this time of yr! It will not be any trouble to just snap a few images as I make the dishes. –And, sharing even makes the cooking more fun. ;-)
I love to cook with produce straight out of the garden!
In the meantime:
- Good tips on natural foods that make you feel better:
- One of my fav recipes using Quinoa (one of the higher protein grains):
So, stay tuned in for the upcoming vegetarian meals;-)