Today, I would like to address those issues by sharing one of my favorite simple, healthy, high carb low fat vegan meals that you can incorporate into your diet as you transition to a healthier lifestyle! Over the next few weeks I am going to be sharing more of these types of recipes, because I think it's important for people to see that you really don't have to give up EVERYTHING just to be healthy. All meals are budget-friendly and great if you are short on time because everything can be made the night before or left in your steamer/crock pot to be ready when you get home!
My top most cost effective starches that I recommend as a way to transition to a more plant-based or vegan lifestyle: (unlimited)
- Gluten-free pastas (corn/brown rice pasta)
My first easy transition meal is for baked french fries with homemade salt-free, refined sugar-free, and vinegar-free ketchup. Say what? Healthy fries? Hell yeah!!
The notion that starches (or fruit for that matter) make you fat is incredibly FALSE. In fact, it's a blatant lie. One that is pushed by the diet industry, specifically those advocating for high protein, low carb diets like the Atkins and Paleo diets. These are the same people that also say that fruit makes you obese and eating more than one slice of melon a day is "dangerous." Not very credible when you consider that fact that they advocate eating the majority of your calories from animal products, which any MD will tell you is the reverse of what you should be doing if you want to ward off heart disease at the very least! (If you want to learn more about the connection between high protein diets and disease please read Colin T. Campbell's books Whole, The China Study, and/or The Low-Carb Fraud)
And just in case you still don't believe me I'm going to drop some quality info bombs from Dr. John McDougall, MD and author of The Starch Solution:
"A widely held myth holds that sugars in starches are readily converted into fat, which is then stored visibly in our abdomen, hips, and buttocks. If you read the published research, you will see that there is no disagreement about this whatsoever among scientists, and that they say that THIS IS INCORRECT! After eating, we break down the complex carbohydrates in starchy foods into simple sugars. These sugars are absorbed into the bloodstream, where they are transported to trillions of cells throughout the body for energy. if you eat more carbohydrates than your body needs, you'll store up to 2 lbs of it invisibly in the muscles and liver in the form of glycogen. If you eat more carbohydrates than you can use (as your daily energy) and store (as glycogen), you'll burn the remainder off as body heat and through physical movement other than sports, such as walking to work, typing, yard work, and fidgeting.
Turning sugars into fats is a process called de novo lipogensis. Pigs and cows use this process to convert carbohydrates from grains and grasses into calorie-dense fats. That's what makes them so appealing as a food source. Bees do it, too, converting honey (simple carbohydrate) into wax (fatty acids and alcohols).
We humans, on the other hand, are very inefficient at converting carbohydrate to fat: we don't do it under normal conditions. (The cost for this conversion is 30 percent of calories consumed.) Subjects overfed large amounts of simple sugars under experimental lab rotary conditions, however, will convert a small amount of carbohydrate to fat. For example, both trim and obese women fed 50 percent more calories than they usually ate in a day, along with an extra 3 1/2 ounces (135 grams) of refined sugar, produced less than 4 grams of fat daily (less than 1/8 ounce). That's just 36 extra calories stored as fat per day. You'd have to overeat all of those extra calories and table sugar every day for nearly 4 months just to gain ONE pound of extra body fat." (Pages 112-116)
(Personal interjection: Water-weight from eating high sodium foods as well as eating cooked food and not drinking enough water throughout the day can and will manifest as what looks and feels like fat or weight gain. It's kind of like a David Copperfield illusion in that respect; it feels like it's there, but ultimately, it really isn't. Proper hydration is just as important as what you are and aren't eating!)
"The warning about carbohydrate turning to body fat is a myth and nothing more: In humans, even substantial quantities of refined and processed carbohydrates contribute only a trivial amount to body fat.
The same is not true of animal and vegetable fats, however. ... Fat is the Metabolic Dollar Saved for the Next Famine. After you eat dairy, meat, nuts, oils, and other high-fat foods, you absorb their fat from your intestine into the bloodstream. From there, it is transported to billions of adipose (fat) called for storage...The fat you eat is the fat you wear." (Pages 120-121)
(Dr. McDougall references several clinical studies in footnotes throughout these paragraphs which you can see for yourself in his book, as I have listed the pages for you.)
So why do people think starches make them fat? Well, the answer is simple really: because they cover those starches in FAT. It's not often where you see someone digging into a plain potato or french fries that haven't been fried not only in oil, but often oil plus animal fat. Corn with no butter? WHATTT?!
No, it's covered in butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon, what have you.
This is not to say that ALL fat is bad or that fat is evil and you should avoid it at all costs. Fat is a necessary part of a healthy lifestyle, but HIGH quantities of fat coming from animal sources are what cause people to run into problems. The type of fats you choose to eat are important and overall fat consumption should not exceed 15% (This does not apply to children or pregnant women who require more fat for brain development). The average person typically averages around 42% fat, including vegans and gourmet raw vegans eating lots of nut-based foods and 'cold-pressed oils!'
Here are some healthy fats that are excellent to eat in moderation:
- Young Thai Coconut Meat
- Hemp seeds
- Tahini, Sesame Seeds
- Chia Seeds
- Fresh cracked nuts (Nuts, in my opinion should be kept to a minimum. Once out of the shell they spoil easily, are lower in water content compared to fruity-fats like avos, coco meat, and durian -- and they are particularly difficult on digestion. They are perfectly suitable to eat in small quantities, but not something you should be consuming in large amounts on a daily basis. And if you do, it should be with greens in your salad as part of the last meal of the day as long as you are not eating cooked food during that meal. They should never be combined with fruits if you want to have effortless, smooth digestion!)
Don't forget to check out the new website, www.positivelyplantpowered.com where you can sign up for my email and Skype coaching packages, meal plans, and follow my Facebook page for daily updates!
Have a great day guys!