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Think Beyond the Bun: Getting Away from White Flour

 

Everybody’s talking about it — gluten-free, low-carb diets. Most experts agree that unless you have a medical condition like Celiac disease, there’s no need to completely remove bread or other starches from your diet. However, not all carbs are created equal, and there’s popular consensus that simple (white) starches are not our friends.

What’s Wrong with White Flour?

Refined white flour contains practically no vitamins and minerals and has added ingredients, like high-fructose corn syrup and preservatives. Even the “enriched” versions can’t compare to their whole-grain counterparts. Our bodies burn up simple, white starches quickly, which makes our blood sugar levels spike — just like sugar. Too much white flour can lead to things like diabetes, obesity, inflammation and other health problems.

How Can I Reduce White Flour Intake and Still Enjoy My Food?

What would life be like without pizza, burgers and cake? As someone who grew up on a high-carb diet, I have to say, “No fun at all!”  Luckily, we’ve got tons of alternatives to choose from that help us keep the flavors and textures we love, without sacrificing our health in the process. And even better news, because of the high demand for lower-carb or healthier-carb options, you can even find convenient, prepacked alternatives.

White Flour Alternatives for Cooking/Baking

If you cook or bake at home, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of dishes call for flour. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to white flour alternatives. Whole wheat, brown rice, coconut … the types of flour are endless. When using white flour substitutes, you usually need to combine multiple flours and use different amounts to get a similar texture and taste. A simple google search will lead you to all the answers you need to make the right swap.

Tasty Food Swaps to Limit Simple Carbs

To keep variety in your diet, you need to get creative about how to ease out the simple carbs and load up on the good stuff. We’ve got some suggestions to get you started.

Pasta Alternatives

  • Spaghetti squash
  • Zucchini, beet or yellow squash noodles
  • Soba noodles (“nutty” tasting noodle, loaded with fiber and protein)
  • Shirataki noodles, also called “Miracle Noodles” (made of konjac yams)
  • Black bean, green lentil, red lentil pasta

Tortilla / Pizza Crust Alternatives

Sandwich Bread / Burger Bun Alternatives

Bruschetta Alternatives

Potato / Fries Alternatives

Mac and Cheese Alternatives

White Rice Alternatives

  • Cauliflower rice
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Couscous
  • Barley
  • Farro (a type of hulled wheat)
  • Freekeh (wheat harvested while young and green)

Want to dish nutrition with a registered dietitian? Give us a call!

 

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