Switching Up Your Grains For Weight Loss

October 11, 2011 By: consultant 4 Comments

A healthy diet consists of 50-65% of grains. At least half of those grains should be whole grains. Switching to just whole grains may seem intimidating at first. To gradually get used to the flavorful taste of whole grains, start out by mixing what you normally like with whole grains. For example, mix 3/4 of a serving of regular pasta and 1/4 of a serving of whole wheat pasta. Then gradually mix 1/2 of a serving of regular pasta with 1/2 of a serving of whole wheat pasta. Soon enough you will be at a whole serving of whole grains!

What exactly is a whole grain? A whole grain consists of the bran, germ, and endosperm.
Whole Grain

The bran, or the outer shell is high in fiber. The germ is a polyunsaturated fat, in simple terms a healthy fat, and also full of vitamins. The Endosperm is the starchy component. White grains are processed and the germ and the bran are stripped away which also strips away the good nutrients from the bran and germ.

Many people automatically think of whole grains as whole wheat flour, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice. There are so many more whole grains out there to try like amaranth, barley, couscous, kamut, millet, oats, quinoa, rice, rye, spelt, teff, wheat, and wheat berries. Try incorporating more types of grain into your weight loss diet for a healthy lifestyle.

A type of couscous, Israeli couscous, which is sometimes called pearl couscous, are small, round, pasta-like granules made from semolina and wheat flour.

Other grains are typically dried and packaged and then rehydrated when cooked. Israeli couscous is toasted instead. It gives a distinct nutty flavor and a sturdier composition which makes is such a versatile grain that can stand up to any type of sauce, soup, or salad.

Israeli couscous has great nutritional benefits. A 1/2 cup of cooked Israeli couscous is 88 kcal, 3g protein, 18g carbohydrates, 0.1g fat, and 2g fiber.

Israeli Couscous Salad with Shrimp

Israeli Couscous Salad with Shrimp

Israeli Couscous Salad with Shrimp

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup Israeli couscous
5 tablespoons of olive oil
6 ounces of shrimp, grilled
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, seeded and diced
2 lemons, juice
A large bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
Salt and freshly grounded pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  Bring the chicken stock to a boil. Pour over the couscous in a bowl and leave to sit or 10 minutes.

2.  Place 5 shrimp on a skewer. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with minced garlic. Grill over high heat until fully cooked.

3.  When the couscous has absorbed the chicken broth, add the olive oil and lemon juice. and break up any lumps that may have formed with a fork. This will give a lighter texture to the salad.

4.  Peel the cucumber and cut lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and dice. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Add the cucumbers and tomatoes to the couscous.

5.  Stir in the chopped cilantro and season with salt and pepper. Add more lemon juice as needed.

6.  Let the couscous salad marinate together for at least 20 minutes for flavors to enhance.

7.  Serve with grilled shrimp.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 279 kcal
Total Fat: 17.5 g
Total Carbohydrate: 19.9 g
Dietary fiber: 2 g
Protein: 11 g

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