Bread, Pasta, Potatoes, Pastries, Why Not?
Have you ever heard about the 4 evil starches? You know, the myth that says bread, pasta, potatoes, and pastries make us gain weight? If you believe in it, I hope this article will convince you not to!
· Bread: Bread itself does not contain a lot of calories, but all the fat toppings we eat with it do: butter, margarine, garlic butter, olive oil, cream cheese, etc. In fact, a slice of bread contains the same amount of calories as an apple, around 80!
· Pasta: Alfredo, three cheese, cream, wine, vegetable oil sauce… The sauces we serve with pasta are often responsible for the high caloric content of pasta dishes. Also, the servings we are used to devour are generally very big: one plate of pasta can contain up to 6 servings of Canada’s Food Guide grain products category, almost all of our daily requirement!
· Potatoes: Potatoes are composed of almost 75% water, the rest being mainly carbs with a little protein. In fact, a little potato contains as much calories as 15 ml (1 tablespoon) of butter, which is the quantity many of us are used to add on our oven-baked potatoes!
· Pastries: Eaten in large quantities, pastries will definitely make you gain weight. In addition to not being very nutritious, they contain large quantities of saturated and trans fats.
When hesitating to eat one of these foods for fear of gaining weight, think about these 4 rules:
· Size: For each meal, limit yourself to 2 servings of grain products: for example, 250 ml (1 cup) of bread, pasta, or potatoes. If 250 ml of pasta doesn’t seem like much, add a lot of vegetables as well as some protein, like chicken or legumes. This way, your bowl will seem full.
· Whole grains: By choosing whole wheat bread and pasta instead of refined, you will get more fiber, which will keep you filled long after your meal.
· Topping: Limit fat toppings such as butter, margarine, sour cream, and oil. On the other hand, eat more of the ones made from vegetables, herbs, or yogurt.
· Treats: Reduce the frequency and size of your treats (cakes, pies, Viennese pastries, and croissants). However, nothing stops you from giving in to your sweet tooth from time to time!
Still not convinced? Know that even if the French and Italians eat a lot of bread and pasta, their body mass index (BMI) is one of the lowest in Europe!
By Vanessa Martin