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Adding healthy carbs to your diet

9NEWS nutritionist Kristin Kirkpatrick suggests some healthy upgraded carbs options that can be added to your diet.

DENVER — Low carb is in, but for so many of my patients, staying on it long-term can be out. That’s why, for many of my patients, I focus not on low carb but rather “upgraded” carbs. The approach tends to be better aligned with long-term sustainability and success. Here are some ways to do it.

Start following a net carb pattern which utilizes a calculation to see how many carbs you actually digest. You can do this by subtracting fiber (a component that is not digestible by the body) by total carbohydrates. Find out more here

Next, when you do have carbs, have options with high quality protein attached. Protein (like fat) is hard to digest, which means that you’ll be fuller, longer.


Instead of whole wheat bread, try sprouted grain bread.

  • The sprouting process increases protein and fiber meaning less digestible total carbohydrates.

Instead of white potatoes, try sweet potatoes with skin

  • The skins provide insoluble fiber and the overall increase in nutrient density (based on the colorful hue) increases fullness.

Instead of wraps or buns, try egg wraps, cauliflower buns or cheese taco shells

  • There are so many new options on the market to utilize a vegetable or protein instead of a grain to wrap everything from sandwiches to tacos.  None of these alternative options have carbs!

Instead of whole grain pasta, consider bean-based pasta

  • Bean based pastas average about 15g of fiber and 20g of protein, beating out any other pasta alternative on the market.

Instead of pretzels or chips, opt for popcorn

  • Much higher amount of fiber. Popcorn was recently found in one study to be one of the highest antioxidant grains on the earth.

Instead of crackers, go with grain free seed and/or nut crackers

  • A few brands on the market contain only seeds, nuts, or small amounts of nut flour, bringing the carbohydrate count to an insignificant number.

Instead of pizza with white crust, opt for a broccoli, cauliflower crust, or protein crusts

  • There’s no reason to indulge and feel guilty with a pizza you buy at the store anymore. Several stores sell both cauliflower and broccoli crusts as well as crusts that are low carb and high protein blend.

Instead of brown rice, try quinoa

  • Quinoa beats brown rice for its high protein, and lower carb content.

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