As much as most of us love our breads, rice, and pastas, they just aren't great for us.
But before we get started, this article isn't going to cite study after study as to why grains aren't inherently good for us and believe me, there is plenty of research out there to show it, but rather to offer up some alternatives to them.
And one of the main reasons, besides all of those listed here by Primal Blueprint founder Mark Sisson, is that they are for the most part, empty calories.
Sure that Panera panini tastes amazing, but the bread is pretty much worthless as far as nutritional quality is concerned. And that plate of spaghetti is delicious as well, but you'll find very little useful nutrients in there.
And because most of you are trying to lose fat, calories count. Of course quality is extremely important but the number of calories will ultimately determine whether you gain or lose weight.
So stuffing your face with a plateful of macaroni will tally those calories up real fast and is a quick way to overeat.
I've been a believer in the Primal Blueprint philosophy for a few years now and have personally had and seen tremendous success with it. If you haven't read it, I'd highly recommend it.
But is it for everyone? Absolutely not. As I've said dozens of times in the past, there is no best diet or approach to eating for everyone.
We all have different goals, tolerances, and lifestyles which all dictate different dietary needs. And the most important of all is this:
You need to be eating in the way that not only gives you the best results but is permanently sustainable.
You see, a "diet" implies a temporary solution. And eating healthy foods consistently is not temporary.
So if you're committed to getting fit and healthy, it makes sense to start eating like you actually give a shit about your body. And loading up on heavy breads and pastas is not the way to do that...
9 Primal Alternatives To Grains and Breads
- Spaghetti squash. Frequently used as an alternative to spaghetti pasta. Takes a little adjusting to the texture, but overall, it’s a good substitute.
- Sweet potatoes. These will save you when you are running low on carbs! Just add a little oil and seasoning and you’re good to go. White potatoes are a no-no on the Primal, but these and yams are allowed since they are technically tubers.
- Eggplant. An ingredient that takes on the flavor of any sauce you make but adds a pleasant substance and texture to the dish. Baked eggplant can serve as a great substitute for pizza crust or bread sticks with the right dipping sauce.
- Mushrooms. These can take on the role of buns or crusts. Cut up and added to hot vegetable dishes, mushrooms can offer the mild taste that you might crave from grains.
- Lettuce. Pretty commonly used for wraps in place of tortillas. Virtually no calories here.
- Coconut flour flatbread. More difficult to find and you’ll most likely need to make this yourself but much better for you than traditional breads. Here is a great recipe.
- Cauliflower. Use as a potato substitute or as a noodle substitute in lasagna. Mild flavor and has a similar texture to mashed potatoes. You can also try cauliflower rice as well.
- Grain free crackers. Gluten and dairy free. Something crunchy if you need it.
- Zucchini. A great substitute for noodles and can be used interchangeably with squash.
I'll be the first to admit that a bowl of noodles or some sourdough bread sounds much better than eating a bunch of zucchini, but it all comes down to making better choices.
We can continue to eat the typical American diet filled with processed carbs or we can start choosing healthier options like the ones listed above.
With a little creativity and some getting used to, these can become staples in your diet and will certainly help you slim down that waistline and become healthier.
Let me know in the comments which are your favorite and feel free to add any I missed.
And if you're ready to take on the Primal journey and see just what a difference it can make, take a look at our 90 day transformation program, The Fit Dad Blueprint. I've seen some amazing transformations happen in just a few short months so join us today!