Cutting Carbs? Try These Healthy Alternatives!
By Kirsten Cowart
Secondary to red meat, the next major problem that you run into at barbecues is way too many carbs! Carbohydrates are in the buns, potato chips, tortilla chips, pasta salad, potato salad and so on. With family and friends coming over to celebrate this BBQ season, here is what you can do to have a great time and stay healthy too!
No one needs simple carbs in their diets. When you eat some simple carbs, it is then turned straight into sugar. This causes your blood sugar to skyrocket and then drop off a cliff.
You may feel full of energy for a little bit, only to be quickly followed up with feelings of sluggishness and fuzzy thinking. You may even feel the need to take a nap, because you crashed so low. Eating simple carbohydrates regularly can contribute to weight gain, metabolic syndrome, brain fog, diabetes and even cardiovascular disease.
Believe it or not, this doesn’t have you be your eating experience, even at a family barbecue. Here are 6 tips that can help you be selective and avoid the major carb pitfalls at your next BBQ, especially if you are not the host.
1. Skip The Bun – If you choose to have a burger, hot dog or sandwich, avoid the bun. Instead, try wrapping it in lettuce, sliced tomatoes or portabella mushrooms.
2. Choose Whole Grain – If you are going to have bread, make sure the first ingredient is Organic Whole Grain flour. “Enriched” and “white” are words you should avoid when buying bread altogether.
3. Skip Pasta, Potato Salad and Chips – If you can just avoid these foods, do. Anything deep fried will contain polyunsaturated fats that are harmful at high temperatures. If you do choose to eat these foods, just eat a few.
4. Avoid Fluffy Ingredients Like High Fructose Corn Syrup – If you are going to eat chips, pasta or potato salad, pick those with the least amount of ingredients possible. Basically, the longer the ingredient list, the more likely it is that it’s bad for you.
Always avoid high fructose corn syrup as an ingredient in your foods and also avoid fructose, sugar and any other low-quality sweeteners. There are many chips these days that only have salt, oil and potato as ingredients, so you can easily avoid the extra nonsense.
5. Try Home-Making The Side Dishes – Whenever you can, make the potato salads, pasta and even home made chips in your own kitchen. That way, you can look up healthy recipes and replace them with healthier flour, sugar alternatives and good ingredients (besides, who doesn’t love a home-cooked dish?).
6. Include Healthy Snacks – Add healthy snack options to the menu such as veggie trays, fruit salads, nuts and seeds. If you are bringing your own dish to the party, you can make sure there are healthy alternatives by bringing some of your own!
BBQ season doesn’t have to mean you give up on your goals. Instead, it gives you a wonderful chance to show more of your creative side while still having a good experience. What do you do to avoid carbs and eat healthy at barbecues? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below.
Kirsten Cowart is a writer and researcher that has worked in the spiritual, mental health and medical fields.Kirsten enjoys studying and experiencing the benefits of yoga, meditation, nutrition, herbalism, organic gardening and alternative health.She worked hard in 2014 losing over 40 lbs. and has since maintained a healthy lifestyle.Follow her to learn more about her journey on Twitter, Facebook & Youtube!
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