Even though carbohydrates are the food group that cause our blood sugars to go up, there is nothing wrong with eating them. We as dietitians would never tell our patients to stop eating carbs. What is important to pay attention to is the type and amount of carbohydrates. The carbohydrates that should be chosen most often are ones that we refer to as LOW GLYCEMIC.
Low glycemic carbohydrates are less processed and high in fibre. Looking at the difference between a slice of white bread and a slice of multigrain bread is a good way to demonstrate the difference between high and low glycemic index foods. White bread has zero fibre in it and has been very heavily processed. Multigrain bread is higher in fibre and not as processed. Because fibre does not break down into sugar, yet the body tries to break it down, the rise in blood sugar is a lot less than if there was no fibre in the food. Therefore, one’s blood sugar would rise faster and higher after eating white bread than after eating multigrain bread.
Some low glycemic index foods are surprising. Sweet potatoes, rye, sour dough and pumpernickel breads are all low glycemic index. One food group that most people are surprised to learn about is breakfast cereals. Most breakfast cereals are high glycemic index because they have been so heavily processed, even if they have fibre in them like Cheerios and Bran Flakes. Breakfast cereal in general is not a great choice for breakfast as they will most likely cause someone’s blood sugars to rise high and quickly. But, if you love breakfast cereal we recommend adding All Bran buds to at least increase the fibre and therefore help slow down the rise of blood sugar.
Adding lower carb and/or higher fibre foods to main dishes can help with one’s post meal blood sugars. Adding extra vegetables to pasta and rice dishes means you still feel and taste like you are eating pasta and rice, but in fact eating more vegetables. See 2 recipes below that are lower carb but high in taste!
- 1 large head cauliflower
- 3 tablespoons olive or coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or half as much table salt)
1. Use a large knife to cut the cauliflower into quarters, then cut the hard core out of each quarter (the leaves will come off with it) and discard it. Use your hands to break the quarters up into florets that are around an inch or two across. (If this is your first time prepping cauliflower, see this article for an easy-to-follow video.)
2. In three batches, put the florets in a food processor or blender fitted with a steel blade, and pulse until the pieces are around the size of a grain of rice. Some will be more like couscous, and some will be slightly larger, and all of it is fine! Dump the riced cauliflower into a large bowl as you finish each batch. If you notice some stray large pieces, you can leave them, eat them, or pop them back in the food processor—your call!
3. Heat the oil in a wide pan over high heat. When it is hot, add all the cauliflower and cook, stirring occasionally at first, until it is just turning golden on the edges, and as tender as you like it. This will take 5 to 10 minutes. At first it will get very steamy and damp, and then it will start to dry out and you will need to stir it more.
4. Season the cauliflower with the salt. Taste it and add more if it needs it, then serve.
Veggie Filled Meat Sauce on Zucchini Noodles
- 8 ounces 90% lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped carrot
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 8 – ounce cans no-salt-added tomato sauce
- 1 14 1/2 – ounce can no salt added diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, drained
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 medium zucchini (about 10 ounces each) – you can buy zucchini noodles at Metro or other grocery stores
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 8 – ounce package fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 3 tablespoons finely shredded Parmesan cheese
- For meat sauce, in a large nonstick skillet cook the first 5 ingredients (through garlic) over medium heat until meat is browned and vegetables are tender, breaking up meat as it cooks. Drain well.
- Stir in next 7 ingredients (through crushed red pepper). Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes or until desired consistency, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, using a vegetable spiralizer, julienne cutter, or mandoline, cut zucchini into long, thin noodles.* Coat a very large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes or until liquid has evaporated. Add zucchini and cook 2 to 3 minutes more or until just crisp tender. Drain vegetable mixture in a colander.
- Serve meat sauce over squash mixture. Sprinkle with cheese.
- Use a vegetable peeler to cut zucchini lengthwise into long, thin ribbons. If desired, cut the zucchini noodles or ribbons into shorter lengths with kitchen scissors to make them easier to serve.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Servings Per Recipe: 6
PER SERVING: 158 cal., 5 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 26 mg chol., 334 mg sodium, 18 g carb. (9 g fiber, 12 g sugars), 13 g pro.