The Diet Detective: 4 Healthy Recipes for Carb Lovers

We need carbs in our diet, but not the kinds of carbs you're probably thinking ­ not candy, cookies, chips and ice cream. The Carb Lovers Diet (Oxmoor House, 2010), a new book, by Health magazine Editor-In-Chief Ellen Kunes and Senior Food & Nutrition Editor Frances Largeman-Roth, RD, explains how the right kinds of carbs can actually help you lose weight. Their diet is based on the concept of eating foods that contain "resistant starch."

According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences, "Resistant starch comprises starch and starch degradation products not digested and absorbed in the small intestine of humans. Resistant starch consists of starch not physically accessible to digestive enzymes." Basically, resistant starch is not easily digested, and, therefore, it helps to keep you feeling full longer. Think about it. It makes sense that eating foods that fill up your belly but are not easily digested will fend off hunger more than foods (white bread, for example) that are digested quickly in the small intestine.

Some of the key foods that are considered resistant starches include legumes (beans, peas and lentils), regular and green bananas, barley, rye bread, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice and oatmeal.

The Carb Lovers Diet shows how adding resistant starch to your diet can help you lose and control your weight by making you feel fuller longer. Here are a few great resistant starch recipes pulled right from the pages of the book.

Banana & Almond Butter Toast

Prep: 5 minutes

Total time: 5 minutes

Makes: 1 serving

1 tablespoon almond butter

1 slice rye bread, toasted

1 banana, sliced

Spread almond butter on toast.

Top with banana slices.

Serving size: 1 slice calories 280; fat 11 g (sat 1 g, mono 7 g, poly 2.5 g); cholesterol 0 mg; protein 6 g; carbohydrate 44 g; sugars 16 g; fiber 5 g; resistant starch 5.6 g; sodium 260 mg

Barley Risotto Primavera

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes

Makes: 4 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 carrots, peeled and chopped (about 2/3 cup)

? cup finely chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

? teaspoon dried thyme

3 cups cooked quick-cooking barley

? cup white wine (optional)

1 ? to 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided

1 small zucchini, chopped (about 1 cup)

? red bell pepper, chopped (about ? cup)

? yellow bell pepper, chopped (about ? cup)

? teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 ? cups frozen peas

? cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrot and onion, and cook 4-5 minutes until onion begins to brown. Add garlic and thyme; cook 1 minute or until fragrant.

Reduce heat to medium; stir in barley and white wine (if using) or ? cup broth; cook 1 minute or until liquid is absorbed. Add zucchini, bell peppers and ? cup broth; cook 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed. Add another ? cup broth; cook until vegetables are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Add ? teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Stir in peas; remove from heat. Let stand 1-2 minutes or until peas are thawed but still bright green. Stir in Parmesan cheese just before serving.

Serving size: 1 ? cups calories 380; fat 14 g (sat 4 g, mono 5 g, poly 1 g); cholesterol 15 mg; protein 16 g; carbohydrate 50 g; sugars 5 g; fiber 9g; resistant starch 4.1 g; sodium 620 mg 

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