Snowflake wrote: I always buy the grainiest bread I can find, either burgen or helgas mixed grain. I am also wondering, what is the REAL difference between brown and white rice and pasta?
Brown rice and other wholegrains still have the bran layer on them, whereas with white rice and processed grains have both the hull and bran removed. Wholegrain products such as wholegrain pasta are made from the original wholegrain so the bran attached to the grain would now be a part of the product.
You can see the layers of bran on a grain of rice in the following diagram:
This has two effects on how we digest them. Firstly bran cannot be broken down and absorbed by the body so it provides roughage in the form of insoluble fibre (more about fibre here
). This prevents constipation and has also been shown to lower cholesterol. The second effect on digestion is that the added bran means the food is digested at a slower rate. Not only does this mean it keeps you fuller for longer, it also means that sugar is released into the blood at a more constant rate. A slow release of blood sugar prevents 'sugar spikes' or 'sugar rushes' which see you full of energy for half an hour after eating a processed grain such as white bread, but craving carbs again soon after. The slow release of sugars in wholegrains mean you have a constant energy source for a few hours after eating.
If you absolutely love carbs have you considered the low GI diet? It rates foods containing carbs depending on how quickly they release sugar into the blood, or their Glycaemic Index. They are supposed to keep you fuller longer. I've been including a lot more low GI carbs in my diet and I've found it does take away a lot of the urge to snack. My mum lost a heap of weight following low GI strictly.
You have to also look at the fat content, though. Adding fat to carbs slows digestion, so for instance potato chips technically have a lower GI than baked potatoes. And I wouldn't recommend potato chips as a weight-loss food!
Here is a link to a site that has a lot more information about low GI
. And here is the list of low GI foods
on that site.