New Healthy Carbs to Try in 2015


For 2015, resolve to focus on the foods to include, not foods to restrict!

Wake Up from your Bant!

Not all carbs are created equal or evil. The idea that all carbs are bad probably comes from the fact that our portion sizes are too big and often choose refined sources such as white breads, croissants, pastries, chips and desserts. We 100 percent agree that these aren’t good for us, and the best would be to avoid them.

So what makes carbs healthy? And which carbs are good choices?

Carbs are a major source of fibre, phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals helping every cell in our body to function.

  • Fibre helps reduce cholesterol, stabilise your blood sugar, keep you fuller for longer  and also prevent certain types of cancer particularly colon cancer.
  •  Phytochemicals are beneficial nutrients only found in plant foods (e.g. antioxidants, flavenoids, carotenoids) and this can help reduce your risk of disease.

Keep the balance in the way you eat. Any form of extremism is difficult to sustain, probably not good for us or the environment.

Cutting out a food group, whether it’s carbs, fats or protein isn’t necessary and leaves you missing out on certain essential nutrients.

But with that said it’s important to have a look at portion sizes and not go carb crazy. What this means is that at a main meal, include a carb portion not bigger than 1 fist full.

Carbs can be found in many healthy foods such as:

  • Whole grains like seeded breads, rye, spelt
    • Excellent source of fibre
  • Starchy veg such as peas, mielies, sweet potato, and butternut
    • Good sources of carotenoids
  • Dairy
    • A great source of calcium
  • Fruit
    • Provides vitamins and minerals

The first healthy eating principle is to include variety in your food choices. Make your plate colorful by using different salad and veggie options. It’s been proven that this leads to feeling more satisfied after eating.

Some options for healthy carbs you can try out this year:

Teff: A whole grain traditionally eaten in Ethiopia. Delicious mild nutty flavour.

  • Gluten Free
  • Rich in Calcium, protein, fibre, iron, vitamin B1
  • How to use: Substitute for flour e.g. in pancakes. Cook as a side dish or cereal
  • Try out his recipe

Quinoa: South American grain.

  • Gluten free, low GI
  • Source of protein, fibre, iron, B vitamins, phosphorous, potassium and zinc
  • Try out these recipes: Breakfast and Salad

Sweet potatoes, butternut and beetroot: starchy vegetables

  • High fibre, high in antioxidants (vitamins A and C), calcium, potassium
  • Try this recipe

Legumes: Beans , Lentils and Chickpeas

  • low GI
  • Source of protein, fibre, folate, potassium, iron and magnesium
  • Affordable and can make your meals go further, try adding them to lean mince
  • Try this recipe

Barley: rich nutty flavour

  • Source of fibre, selenium, magnesium, copper, chromium, phosphorus, vitamin B1 and B3
  • Great addition to soups, use as a side dish.


  • Gluten free
  • Complete protein, including lysine, antioxidants,  source of iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium and potassium
  • How to cook: use a ratio of 1:3 amaranth to liquid, try with coconut milk, almond milk for a breakfast dish or with water for a savory meal, cook on medium heat till liquid is absorbed.
  • Try this recipe


Has the Banting or Paleo diet got you a bit confused? Can I ever eat carbs again? Why not book a consultation with a Dietitian, contact Munchwize, Dietitians in Cape Town.