In my nutrition clinic, I often spend time talking about the basic principles food and health. People are often confused about terms such as protein, they wonder about the various types of fat and they often get confused about the issue of carbohydrates and sugars. These basic principles are actually the key to healthy eating and so let’s talk a little about carbohydrates.
When we talk about carbohydrates, we are basically talking about sugars and starches. These provide the body with something essential for daily activity… energy. Most importantly, they provide the brain with the energy it needs to keep functioning.
However, the type of carbohydrates that we consume can make a massive impact on health. If we choose simple carbohydrates (i.e. it takes the body a very short time to break them down) we can get a sugar rush fairly quickly but then we tend to crash really quickly. These carbs come in the form of sweets, chocolate, white breads, muffins, fruit etc. This yo-yoing of energy during the day has been linked to weight gain, heart disease and Diabetes.
So what we ideally want is a more complex type of carbohydrate, i.e. ones that take the body a longer time to break down. Complex or slow release carbohydrates generally tend to be found in beans and lentils, nuts and seeds and whole grains and vegetables.
Its simple to switch: choose a good brown bread (i.e. one that looks brown!) rather than a white, cook with brown rice rather than white, choose porridge or muesli rather than the cereal box.
- 200g brown wholemeal
- 100g plain white
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon bread soda
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1/2 pint buttermilk (or rice, oat, soya milk with a dash of lemon juice)
- Preheat conventional oven to 200oc
- Mix all dry ingredients in bowl and make a well in centre. Pour all of the milk in. With one hand, stir in a full circle, starting in the centre and working out, until all flour is incorporated. Be gentle!
- The dough should be soft but not too wet and sticky. Turn out on to well floured surface.
- Flatten gently with a rolling pin to 2 inches thick and cut into triangles or use a scone cutter. Use a pastry brush to lightly cover with a little milk. Place on a floured oven tray and bake for 20 mins.