You’ve probably read how grains are the enemy of weight loss plans, but take heart, there are some that are low in carbs. While some people on low carb diets may give up all grains, there are some, when eaten in moderation, that are good for you. These grains are higher in fiber. Fiber slows the absorption of carbs in your body, which results in fewer carbs being absorbed. Refined grains, which have been highly processed have not only many of the nutrients processed out, but also much of the fiber. White flour, white rice and the products made with those are examples.
Eat some oats for breakfast or as a snack.
Oats contain a lot of nutrients and is a good source of fiber, too. There are 8-grams of dietary fiber in just one cup and 21 grams of carbs your body can use. Oats also contain beta-glucan, which is a type of fiber shown to lower the bad cholesterol levels—LDL. Oats also have 34% of daily magnesium, 191% of daily manganese, 39% of daily thiamine and 42% of daily phosphorus. It also has significant amounts of copper, iron, zinc, folate and pantothenic acid.
Some grains aren’t considered grains but pseudocereal, which is made and used like grain.
When you consider carbs, you have to look at net carbs, those absorbed. The net carbs for a cup of quinoa is 34. Quinoa offers other benefits, too. Antioxidants and polyphenols are two that help protect the body from serious diseases and lower inflammation. Even better, quinoa is a source of complete protein, which is hard to find in a plant based diet. It has all the essential amino acids the body needs. It’s packed with insoluble fiber and has a high content of vitamins and minerals.
Go for other ancient grains.
Quinoa is one ancient grain that is good for low carb diets, but so is bulgar, millet, spelt, barley, All provide a good amount of fiber, so are lower in net carbs. Bulgar, for instance, has lots of iron, manganese, magnesium and B vitamins. Millet is another high fiber, low net carb grain that may be beneficial in preventing type 2 diabetes because of polyphenols and antioxidants. Spelt, also known as dinkel wheat, is associated with reducing the risk for heart disease, certain cancers and type 2 diabetes. It’s high in magnesium, niacin, zinc, and manganese. Like all other ancient grains, barley is high in fiber and lower in net carbs. It’s a good source of selenium, manganese, magnesium, zinc, and copper. Always choose hulled barley, not the more processed pearled barley.
- Enjoy wild rice with your meal. Wild rice is neither grain nor rice, but can be used instead of rice. It comes from a species of grasses and is often called Canadian rice.
- Have a snack of popcorn, it’s a low net carb whole grain. If you’re counting calories, make it lower in calories by air popping it. You can make your own microwave popcorn by using a paper lunch sack.
- Brown rice has lots of nutrients and a good amount of fiber. It provides benefits for heart health, prevention of type 2 diabetes and is naturally gluten free.
- Another ancient grain is teff. You may not have heard of teff. It’s grown primarily in Ethiopia. It’s naturally gluten free. You’ll find it as a whole grain or flour. It’s packed with nutrients and has a nutty flavor.
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