Grains 101 – Add These Important Starchy Carbs To Your Diet

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I am going to introduce you to some healthy wheat alternatives! You never have to settle with only breads, cereals and crackers for your grains. All of these items are made from corn, wheat or rice. Although brown rice and oats are wonderful sources of nutrient dense whole foods and are great to add to your diet, they can become very boring foods to eat every single day.

With the rise in awareness of health issues related to wheat allergies, people are seeking alternatives to their normal carbohydrate choices like pasta and bread. The great thing is that these grains are also higher in protein than wheat and better for those people who are looking to remain fit and trim yet still be able to enjoy a few of these starchy carbohydrate dishes.

Different Types of Healthy Grains
One of my absolute favorites is quinoa. Not only does this grain cook in only 15 minutes but it has a mild nutty taste and a nice firm texture. Quinoa is smaller than rice grains, usually comes organic and is very affordable. If you are looking for a higher protein grain that is safe to use while on a fat loss diet plan then this is the one for you. You will find yourself looking forward to your meals just because of this light and tasty grain. A great way to have quinoa is to bake it with roasted garlic after it is cooked. Bake it for a very short period and just enough to infuse the garlic flavor into the grain without drying out the grain itself.

Millet is a common bird treat and seed but it is not only for the birds! This grain is another superfood with diet friendly nutrients and a wonderfully nutty taste. When millet is ground, this grain is ideal for making different breads.

Amaranth gives us both a seed and plant which are all edible. The seed has a nutty taste and is commonly ground down to use as flour. When using amaranth as a pasta, you will barely notice the difference from regular pasta as it holds the same firmness and characteristics. This grain also holds a higher level of protein content than other common grains. It’s very easy to cook just like rice and this grain adds to the variety of your daily food choices.

Kamut is very close to wheat yet larger with a higher protein content. Egyptologists claim that the meaning of “kamut” equates to “soul of the earth”. I think all the grains covered here are definitely earth’s gifts to us. Vegetarians can achieve their protein requirements with the addition of these higher protein grains. Kamut is both tasty and healthy but it does not have a very high fiber content so I like to mix it with other grains!

Spelt is yet another species of ancient wheat. I love spelt pasta because it’s so much heartier and healthier at the same time. It’s also much better for those who are looking to stay lean yet enjoy some pasta each week without blowing their diet!

Whichever type of grain you choose, you really cannot go wrong as they are an essential part of a healthy diet. Carbs are needed but it’s the specific choice and the amount of carbohydrate which makes all the difference!

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About Author

Linda Cusmano

Linda is a national level fitness and figure pro who dabbles in bodybuilding competitions, obstacle and strength challenges along with fitness model competitions. She is a triple certified elite personal trainer and the owner of Body Rush Personal Training. See my profile page for more information!

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