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Carbohydrates: 7 myths to dispel
Carbohydrates: 7 myths to dispel

Science has been studying the things we eat for some time, which is also why we are more informed about nutrition. Nonetheless, many myths related to our diet resist.

Organic or non-organic, white meats are leaner than red ones, if you want to get iron eat spinach, never discard the peel from fruit and so on.

For some time Dissapore has dedicated to false myths food items to debunk a heading: food in general, fish, chocolate, oysters, craft beer, nutrition and conservation.

Today we deal with carbohydrates, pasta, rice, flour, pizza, cereals, themes on which popular beliefs are wasted, especially on the web. But what are the main myths? Let's find out with the help of the book the Smart Food diet (Rizzoli, 357 pages, 16, 90 euros), the first Italian diet complete with a scientific trademark from the European Institute of Oncology in Milan.

# 1 - Nothing is more dietary than boiled rice

risotto, water
risotto, water

White rice can have a high glycemic index (the rate at which carbohydrates turn into glucose to be digested) because it causes a very rapid rise in blood sugar. Curiosity: to influence the index are the different types of cooking rice. And coincidentally, the glycemic peak occurs with rice boiled in a lot of water and then drained.

No, it's not a great diet gimmick as many claim. A solution to moderate the index is to add vegetables to the plate or eat them first, as an appetizer. They slow down the absorption of sugars.

Risotto causes a slower rise in circulating sugars.

Rice salad also has a lower glycemic index due to the starch that cooking has transformed into jelly: as it cools, it becomes more resistant to attack by digestive enzymes.

But the best choice is still another. Consume higher fiber varieties of rice, see the red rice, the Venus rice or versions integral And semi-integral.

# 2 - Anyone who wants to lose weight must cut out carbohydrates


Thinking of doing without carbohydrates from cereals and legumes, as well as fruit carbohydrates, is not a reasonable choice. Literally: in fact, glucose is the brain's only source of energy. It is the source of energy for the whole body, it is indispensable.

On the other hand, it is unthinkable to stuff yourself with pasta and loaves.

Carbohydrates of all kinds arrive in the intestine reduced to glucose molecules (sugar), without distinction between a plate of pasta, fruit or cake. On the way to the liver, some of the glucose is converted into a kind of sugar supply for our body, glycogen. However, if there is nothing left in the warehouse, the excess sugar turns into reserve adipose tissue.

Another part goes directly into the bloodstream and at that point the insulin, that is, the hormone produced by the pancreas that acts as a key to open cell doors for glucose. This mechanism keeps blood sugar constant.

However, if the cells are full, they reject the sugars, which remain in the blood. A second insulin intervention can do nothing, because at that point the glucose has already become reserve fat in the fat cells.

Apart from flab, if this happens regularly, there is an overproduction of insulin and inflammatory substances are created. It is the antechamber of diabetes, obesity and, even worse, cancer.

# 3 - The more the pasta is al dente, the less it makes you fat


As mentioned for rice, the glycemic index of carbohydrates changes a lot depending on the preparation.

Fortunately first rule well known by Italians: no overcooked pasta. With prolonged cooking, the starches become like a gel that is absorbed very quickly even in its sugar content, consequently the glycemic index is high.

Pasta al dente, on the other hand, has a more moderate effect on blood sugar. Precisely for this reason, even the beans must be cooked to perfection. In the cases of rice, barley or spelled, you can try to reduce the water: the more there is, the more the starch turns into a gel.

Things that lower the glycemic index: the risotto, that is, adding only the water useful for cooking, without then draining the product. Preparation adaptable to barley and spelled. The method of cooking the cous cous, which involves throwing the cereal when the water boils, turning off the heat and covering it with a lid. The cold salads of cereals and pasta, because starch becomes less available.

As we have already seen, starting with a vegetable dish allows you to introduce that little bit of fiber that slows down the absorption of sugars. And it is precisely the fibers that guarantee a lower glycemic index to all the integral versions of grains and pasta.

In the same way, in pizza or cakes it is better to replace, even partially, the refined flour with the wholemeal one.

# 4 - Eating pizza is good for you


It depends. From the seasoning, how much you eat, how it is prepared. With the right ingredients a pizza, even once a week, can replace a classic step.

- The right flour is wholemeal. We talk a lot about true pizza, forgetting that when it was invented, at the end of the nineteenth century, white flour did not exist at all.

- As the readers of Dissapore know well, mother yeast can be used instead of brewer's yeast, which allows slow leavening.

- Instead of sucrose, in short, sugar that facilitates leavening, you can grate a little apple.

- Don't overdo the salt.

- The oil must be extra virgin olive oil.

- The mozzarella, typical of Margherita, is excellent, but the cheeses should be eaten once a week. It can be varied by fishing from vegetables: from aubergines to mushrooms, from turnip greens to peppers.

- If the pizza is prepared with refined flour, it is advisable to eat a plate of vegetables first, so as to introduce fibers that can slow down the absorption of glucose.

And let's get to the quantity: those who want to lose weight should not eat pizza more than once a week.

# 5 - Whole grains are helpful in case of constipation

wholemeal pasta
wholemeal pasta

True. The parts of the food that are not digested remain in the large intestine for hours and hours. The result is the absorption of water and mineral salts such as calcium, and the evacuation of waste products. If the bowel movement is slow, the so-called lazy bowel, the water is reabsorbed in excessive quantities: it is the constipation.

A chronic problem for one in five Italians. There is the easy remedy at the pharmacy: laxatives and enemas. But constipation can be fought drinking and eating fiber. Both for the same reason: they water the intestines.

Let's remember to drink one and a half liters a day of water, tea and other drinks. And blessed be the insoluble fibers, those that give crunchy consistency to whole grains: they soak up water and form softer stools.

Fresh and dried plums are natural laxatives, especially for their sugar, sorbitol. It is almost not digested and goes straight into the intestine.

Physical exercise naturally increases the speed of gastrointestinal transit.

# 6 - Kamut is superior to other grains


THE ancient grains they have opened up a market niche. We like them because we consider them more natural, good and healthy.

The most successful is Kamut. It is a selection of the grain Khorasan, from the name of the Iranian region where it is still cultivated. The business is managed by a Montana company that markets pasta, bread sticks and snacks.

Organic but not suitable for celiacs because it contains gluten, Kamut has grains twice the size of common wheat, a slightly higher protein fraction and a higher cost, justified, if not by the nutritional intake, by the interesting flavor.

Too bad that most of the derivative products are made with refined flour, while the wholemeal version would be ideal.

# 7 - The best carbohydrates for breakfast

breakfast cereals
breakfast cereals

A slice of wholemeal bread, even with a little jam on top is excellent.

Puffed cereals are also good: rice, wheat, oats and spelled; flakes, to be consumed with fresh and dried fruit, seeds and your favorite milk.

The important thing is that have no added sugars and fats. They may have flakes, see some corn flakes, as well as puffed grains, sometimes caramelized.

To find out, we need to check the label on the package.

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