May Contain Nuts- Why Carbs are not the Enemy

Today its eggs, yesterday it was carbohydrates, tomorrow it will be something else. Food is not the enemy. Many diets vilify particular foods and create clear “do” and “don’t” eat groups. Like children, being told you cannot have something makes you want it more. You then feel you have “cheated” on your diet. You feel ashamed, crappy, and you think you have failed.

You have not failed, your diet did.

You would never take a pain killer for a headache and when it does not work think “Boy, my brain sucks, the pain didn’t go away like it was supposed to.” No. You think “Guess that painkiller wasn’t strong enough for my headache”. You don’t blame yourself for not ridding your headache- you blame the painkiller. Yet when our diets fail, we always blame ourselves.

It really isn’t you-it’s them.

The bodies preferred source of fuel is glucose-commonly derived from carbohydrates. The body can function on other things such as ketones or fatty acids, however, its preference is for glucose. Just like protein and fat, our body only needs a certain amount to do its job and going above that will result in extra being stored in the body-this is when being mindful of how much carbs are coming in is beneficial.

Overeating in the carbohydrate category is super easy-it’s where all the good stuff falls: chips, cookies, muffins, chocolate, loaves, pies, croissants, tarts, pasta, bread, the things we eat a whole bowl of and not even realize.

Be honest, we have all been there.

Carbohydrates also come from fruit, some vegetables, milk, cheese, yogurt. Analyze where your daily carbohydrates are coming from. If they are mostly from a box then maybe it’s worth cutting back in that department and including more natural sources of carbs. The same can be said for protein and fats, we always want to include the highest quality proteins and fats we can tolerate in our diet while still maintaining a good quality of life.

A recently published study has put eggs back in the spotlight. The media has sensationalized the findings and eggs are back in the “don’t” eat list. While there are foods we should consume more and less often, eating a balanced diet, while not overeating in any one area, is still the ideal “diet”. This includes a burger and beer on a hot summers day, or popcorn when watching a movie. Let’s face it, who wants to skip dessert on their birthday. Not this dietitian!

Black Bean Burger

Ingredients

  • 2 (14 ounce) cans black beans, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper(1/2 of a pepper)
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion(1/2 of a large onion)
  • garlic cloves, minced (about 1 Tablespoon)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs or oat flour
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons ketchup, mayo,or BBQ sauce
  • pinch saltpepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Spread beans evenly onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until slightly dried out.
  2. Meanwhile, sauté olive oil, chopped pepper, onion, and garlic over medium heat until peppers and onions are soft, about 5-6 minutes. Gently blot some of the moisture out. Place in a large bowl or in a food processor with the remaining ingredients. Stir or pulse everything together, then add the black beans. Mash with a fork or pulse the mixture, leaving some larger chunks of beans.
  3. Form into patties– about 1/3 cup of mixture in each.
  4. To bake: Place patties on a lined baking sheet and bake at 375°F (191°C) for place patties on baking sheet, and bake 10 minutes on each side. To grill: Place patties on aluminum foil and grill 8 minutes on each side.
  5. Serve with your favorite toppings.

Notes

  1. Make ahead tip: Cooked or uncooked black bean burgers freeze wonderfully! Stack between parchment paper in a freezer container or zipped-top bag. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat to your liking or, if uncooked, cook according to instructions.   If desired, you can skip thawing and reheat/cook from frozen for an extra couple minutes.

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