Our previous section talked about the least discussed proteins for the lunch box and this time, we take up the overrated carbohydrates.
Universal Carbohydrates: They constitute about 45-65% of our daily calories. Carbs are the body’s primary energy source and they also prevent the body from using protein as an energy source. They are all essentially sugars our body coverts to glucose (blood sugar) which is stored for energy. The dietary fiber in the carbs contribute to the overall health of the colon and regulate blood sugar levels.
Complex Carbohydrates: There has always been a debate whether carbs are actually good or not but most opinions agreed on complex carbs being good and simple carbs being bad. So, the good carbs or the complex ones are better as our bodies work harder to digest them and releasing energy over longer time but the simple carbs are digested quickly and the energy not used immediately gets converted into fat.
Keep it high fibre: Carbs are not just bread and pasta but also, juices, desserts, fruits and vegetables. The good carbs help you feel full with fewer calories and naturally stimulate your metabolism. The good sources are whole grains, green vegetables, fresh fruits and legumes such as quinoa, oatmeal, beans, macadamia nuts, brown rice, amaranth, buckwheat, yams, and avocados. They also help you control your weight.
Swap for good: Pizza, candies, cookies, soft drinks, refined honey, doughnuts, sugared cereals, ice cream and milk chocolates fall in the bad carbs category and thus only leave you feeling tired and hungry instead of good carbs that control your appetite and delay hunger. Swap your granola for steel-cut oats, bagel for whole grain toast, regular whole milk fruit yogurt for nonfat plain greek yogurt with fresh fruit, bacon or sausage for egg whites, fruit juice for berries, and smoothie for a banana. These are all great breakfast staples that can always be sprinkled with some ground flax seed, chia seed or berries for that extra morning boost.
Eat your fruit, don’t drink it. Choose carbs in their natural state instead of processed, sweetened, and packaged food forms. Be friends with rainbow salads, sprouts, whole grain toasts, steamed vegetables and fresh fruits for your power packed lunch box.
Let “Out of sight, Out of mind” be your strategy. Don’t keep that cupboard of your dreams full with packet of chips, instant noodles, cookie boxes, crackers or even granola bars. That will not only benefit just your kids but you too. Have a good time eating!