If you are highly active and benefit from a moderate or even high carbohydrate approach, try using the so-called ‘ancient grains’ such as quinoa, millet and amaranth instead of rice, oats and pasta. They are gluten-free and lower in allergens and are low-moderate on the glycaemic index (a measure of how quickly foods containing carbohydrates ‘spike’ blood-sugar levels) and they often have good levels of ‘resistant starches’ that aid the microbiome (in other words, they feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut). This means that typically they help to keep blood sugar levels more stable and don’t contribute to fat storage as much as highly processed carbs and sugars.
Gluten isn’t the ‘bogeyman’ that it has been made out to be, and many people tolerate it just fine… But there is still compelling evidence which suggests that if you have a gut disorder (like IBS, or the IBDs like Crohn’s Disease) or any of a range of autoimmune or inflammatory disorders, that you should avoid gluten. Because we have no requirement for gluten, it is an easy exercise to simply omit it for a while, see how you feel, and then reintroduce it, again noticing how you feel upon reintroduction. That way you’ll have a pretty good idea if you tolerate it or not.
Of course, total carbohydrate load is the most crucial factor for carbohydrate intake overall, and so, if you’re not carb tolerant, ANY type of grain may not be optimal for you, but if you are carb-tolerant, grains may be a useful addition to your diet, so long as they are the right ones. If you are at your goal weight or need additional carbohydrate to choose quinoa, millet or amaranth as options instead of the more common grains (such as wheat).
From Carb-Appropriate 101 by Cliff Harvey PhD
Carb-Appropriate 101 gives you 101 daily tips to help you achieve the energy, health & performance you deserve. It includes daily tips for nutrition, movement, exercise, meditation, mindfulness, sleep, stress-reduction, and more! These tips are some of the themes that Cliff has written and spoken about over his decades in practice, in ‘bite-sized’ mini-articles.
Read the book from cover-to-cover, applying a tip a day, or simply open the book to any page to find a valuable health and performance tip to help you feel and perform at your very best.