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Health Tips

Ready-to-use Carbohydrate Bites

Don’t ditch the fibre rich

If you are thinking about ditching fibre rich foods such as grain foods, legumes and fruits to manage your weight then think again. Yet another study highlights the importance of fibre rich carbohydrate foods for preventing weight gain. Over a five year period adults who ate more protein at the expense of fibre rich carbohydrate foods were 23% more likely to gain weight. To decrease your risk of weight gain in the long term enjoy fibre rich carbohydrate foods as part of a balanced diet such as whole grains, high fibre grain foods, legumes, fruits and vegetables.

Don’t ditch the fibre rich

The effect of the macronutrient composition of the usual diet on long term weight maintenance remains controversial. This study observed  373,803 subjects aged 25–70 years in 10 European countries (1992–2000) in the PANACEA project of the EPIC cohort. The association between weight change after 5 years of follow-up was assess and a key finding was that a higher proportion of energy from protein at the expense of carbohydrates was also positively associated with weight gain, especially when carbohydrates were rich in fibre. Compared to diets with no more than 14% of energy from protein, diets with more than 22% of energy from protein were associated with a 23–24% higher risk of becoming overweight or obese in normal weight and overweight subjects at baseline.

Feeling Bloated?

You’re not alone as around ⅔ of Australian women experience bloating. The great news is that digestive wellbeing can be improved simply by eating more foods containing insoluble fibre. Insoluble fibre comes from the structural parts of the plants, such as the bran layer of whole grains or the skin on fruit, vegetables and legumes. Research has shown that all it takes is a bowl of high bran breakfast cereal for two weeks to have significant improvements in bowel function and digestive feelings such as bloating. An added bonus is that with improved digestive health people also to report improvements in overall wellbeing, feeling more mentally alert, happy and energetic.

Millet a nutrition powerhouse

Before rice was widely eaten in Asia, it is thought that millet was the staple grain in this region. Millet is a whole grain rich in fibre, B group vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients such as antioxidants which help to protect against disease. You can find millet in your super market or health food store and it pairs well in many dishes similar to rice. To prepare a fluffy millet side dish toast 1 cup of millet for 4 – 6 minutes in a dry pan then add 2¼ cups boiling water, simmer for 15 minutes, until tender.

Meal idea: Indian Spiced Millet Pilaf

Beans hit back at low carb diets

While low carb diets are popular for weight loss, research has linked low carb eating patterns to anincreased risk of an early death. It’s thought that low carb diets restrict the body of essential nutrients which protect health and prevent disease, such as dietary fibre. Beans have huge potential for healthy weight loss as they are rich in fibre, nutrient dense, mostly low GI, a source of protein and affordable. A recent study confirmed beans belly busting potential finding that a bean rich diet was equally as effective as a low carb diet for weight loss, however unlike the low carb diet the bean rich approach to weight loss also resulted in improvement in heart health.

Beans hit back at low carb diets

Despite the significantly higher fibre content in the bean-rich diet, it was well tolerated. The authors concluded “a high-fibre bean-rich diet was as effective as a low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss although only the bean-rich diet lowered atherogenic lipids”. The results of this study are consistent with epidemiological studies showing bean consumption is negatively associated with adiposity. A diet rich in beans can be feasible and tolerable and is likely to reduce cardiovascular risk amongst obese individuals.

For practical tips on boosting your beans intake, check out our recently updated fact sheet Tips and tricks to enjoying legumes more often.