“What kind of carbs should I be eating?”
Navigating the carbohydrate waters of healthy eating can be challenging. Some will say it’s best to eliminate all carbs while others will say to include nutrient-dense carb sources. While both can have their place in a fat loss program, this post will focus on the latter.
One of the lamentations I hear a lot from clients is that they aren’t sure what kind of healthy carbohydrates they should be eating to support their workouts and/or take the place of eating bread, pasta, rice, etc. I like to recommend a high volume of colorful vegetables, and a moderate dose of fruits and starchy vegetables, especially on heavy training days.
Of those starches, the typically recommended variety are sweet potatoes, yams, butternut squash, and pumpkin. Another one that I’d recommend are plantains.
Used around the world as a culinary staple, green plantains are perfect for making homemade plantain chips or savory sides like tostones. You can make the healthier version of these staples in your own kitchen by using coconut oil or mac nut oil and decreasing the amount of oil typically used in restaurants.
Ripe plantains are perfect for mashing, baking (they make great pancakes), and even desserts. You can sweeten them with a little bit of raw honey, or add a little cinnamon and stevia. The point is, plantains are very versatile.
Eating a diet rich in protein, fruits and vegetables and low in grains, does not have to mean that you have to eat boring/tasteless foods. Start substituting all the nutrient-deficient foods (bread, pastas, rice) in your diet with starches like plantains and sweet potatoes. They’re a great accompaniment to any meal and can be prepared in a myriad of creative, delicious ways.
If you’re not lucky enough to find them at Whole Foods Market, Down To Earth, etc., search your local Latin market where they can typically be found.
(makes about 2 servings)
What you need:
- 1 green plantain
- 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil
- Sea salt
What you gotta do:
- Slice plantain very thinly (a mandoline is best for this)
- Heat coconut oil in a non-stick skillet over medium to medium high heat
- Add plantains to the skillet in a single layer, and flip with tongs after a minute or so
- Once fried, place on paper towels and immediately sprinkle with sea salt
- Serve as soon as possible as they do have a tendency to get soft
- Serve with guacamole, hummus or your favorite dip.