Carb Confusion? What the research says
Who did the research?
The recent Australian research done by Monash Uni on nearly 10,000 women with an average age of 52. They followed them for 15 years and watched what they ate and how many of these women developed and died from cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Why did they do the research?
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women and most of the research, and therefore, recommendations have been based on research done on men. So, it is great to see more specific research being done that considers the unique issues that apply to women. Also, up to now the dietary suggestions for avoiding CVD have been to follow a low-fat diet.
And what did they find?
The researchers reported on 3 interesting results from their research. They found that women who ate a diet that provided around 41 to 44% of their daily intake of food from carbohydrate sources where less likely to develop CVD. The results also showed that the total dietary fat intake, and intake of saturated fat in particular, in these women’s diets did not have an effect of the development of and death from CVD. And further, the women who ate a diet that was higher in carbohydrates and saturated fat were less likely to develop other conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes.
That’s great now what should I do?
Before you run off and think, ‘great I can eat lots of pastries and chocolate!’ a word of caution. Heart Foundation Manager, Food and Nutrition, Eithne Cahill, cautioned that “not all carbohydrates are created equal.” She continued “We know that quality carbohydrate foods such as vegetables and whole grains – including whole grain bread, cereals, and pasta – are beneficial for heart health, whereas poor quality carbohydrates such as white bread, biscuits, cakes, and pastries can increase risk,”.
What does my day look like on a plate?
As above the ‘good carbs’ or the foods that women should be trying to eat 40% of the time are whole grains like oats, quinoa, amaranth and brown or basmati rice. The other rich sources of ‘good carbs’ are fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds and good ole legumes.
Breakfast can be a chia seed pudding or overnight oats topped with 2 to 3 tablespoons of (coconut or dairy) yogurt and ¼ cup of low glycemic index fruits like berries and a handful of nuts and seeds.
Lunch can be a Vegetable frittata with added tomato, spinach, feta and herbs alongside 1 to 2 cups of leafy green salad and balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing.
Dinner can be a Vegetable tofu curry with 1 cup of steamed brown rice or a palm size of salmon with 1 to 2 cups of steamed vegetable and a miso dressing.
Snacks can be apple slices with your favourite nut butter or hummus and veggies sticks.
Other ‘good carb’ ideas can be found on the recipe page, have a look at the fibre suggestions.