Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
19 Jun

Ten Awesome Carbs

Here are ten delicious, natural, smart carbohydrates we enjoy at the Sisson household. For comparison, I’ve included unhealthy but popular items that I think these smarter choices can replace. The flavor and texture components aren’t a perfect match by any stretch, but I think there’s enough similarity that you’ll find it painless to switch to the healthier selections.

10. Baked, buttered, and salted acorn squash instead of french fries

9. Butternut squash instead of spaghetti

This is Mindgraph’s Flickr Photo CC

8. Sweet potatoes instead of potatoes (amazingly, a much lower impact on blood sugar)

7. Grilled eggplant instead of breaded chicken

This is Moria’s Flickr Photo CC

6. Portabello mushrooms with soy sauce instead of hamburgers

5. Raw heart of palm instead of fried mozzarella sticks

This is Lana Stewart’s Flickr Photo CC

4. Tempeh with chili sauce instead of white rice with jug “teriyaki sauce”

3. Green peas with shredded parmesan and olive oil instead of macaroni ‘n cheese

This is Himachal’s Flickr Photo

2. Artichoke hearts baked with a bit of cheddar instead of fried chicken nuggets

1. Caprese salad instead of pizza

This is Avlxyz’s Flickr Photo CC

Further Reading:

My Carb Pyramid

More Top Ten Health Posts

Carbs Are Not the Devil

What are your favorite healthy alternatives to refined carbohydrates?

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Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I thought legumes were to be avoided? Aren’t peas legumes?

    Sandy Sommer, RKC wrote on October 12th, 2009
    • I’m curious about that myself. Peas are a separate genus from beans, but they are both legumes.

      Kelly wrote on February 12th, 2010
  2. Hi Mark,

    Should that be “butternut squash instead of spaghetti squash?”

    I mean, spaghetti, I knew. Avoiding spaghetti squash would be a bit of a bummer for me, though. 😉

    Sammy wrote on January 4th, 2010
  3. I see the mention of using soy sauce. I have recently read that soy is very bad. What do you think of soy?

    Lu Ann Cooke wrote on February 1st, 2010
  4. Fermented soy–soy sauce, miso, natto, tempeh–is generally considered much better than straight soy like tofu. Fermenting is the natural way people traditionally prepared soy foods. You can get a product called “Coconut Aminos” which is like soy sauce made from coconut if you are sensitive to soy.

    Kendra wrote on November 19th, 2010
  5. I have the same question. Just got the book and in reading noted one place peas listed as a legume in another place they are listed as a vegetable?
    What gives?

    Karen wrote on July 25th, 2011
  6. as far as carb & cheese bakes is concerned, cream & spinach is an AWESOME substitute for me. Just cook spinach with cheese & cream (can just use coconut cream if you don’t do dairy), pinch of salt, until it turns into a rich, gloopy, saucy mush…OM NOM NOM. If you fancy more of a lasagna mojo you can make a bechamel layer (cream, eggs, full-fat yoghurt, bit of almond/coconut flour?) and bake it till its all golden. OM NOM NOM NOM!!!

    Milla wrote on September 10th, 2011
  7. Posted this here ( too:

    Peas are “technically” seeds although classed botanically a fruit, it is still a legume. Their position on the Primal stage definitely needs clarification, although the primary difference (!) I see here is that they are eaten fresh, not reconstituded after drying.
    Definitely needs clarification.



    Luis wrote on October 28th, 2011
  8. butternut squash is sky high on the GI index I’m afraid

    clark russell wrote on November 9th, 2011
    • It’s actually medium and has a very low glycemic load.

      GI (vs Glucose) 51
      Standard Serve Size (g) 80
      Carbohydrate per Serve (g) 6
      Glycemic Load (GL) 3

      University of Sydney Glycemic Index

      theVault wrote on October 13th, 2012
  9. Avoid soy and legumes all together!

    Avi wrote on December 21st, 2011
  10. Is rice rich in carbohydrates? should i avoid rice as i have high cholestrol?

    Jayesh Tolia wrote on February 19th, 2012
    • YESSSSSSS! That is the basic of Primal eating

      Marie wrote on March 13th, 2012
  11. I bought both books Sisson one and “Primal Body and Primal Mind” by Gedgaudas. To start i think Sisson could be good because he is slowly guiding you out of the bad carbs and grains without being to harsh. Ex; soy, and some legumes. In another hand Gedgaudas is not wishy washy. She tells you what you are allowed and you go for it. I went cold turkey and I enjoy my life with no grains, no wine, no maybe & co… Lost my extra 10 pounds in 3 months and feel 100% better.

    Marie wrote on March 13th, 2012
  12. And by the way its very easy to cook for non primal if you are primal. Veggies, salad and meat for you and add rice or baked potato for them and once in a while “forget” about their starch and they wont even realised it. My husband lost 8 pounds without even realising that he was on my diet. I make some great veggies add tons of herbs and spices to flavour them and sometimes a touch of cream. He is not asking for his potatoes that night. What you need is imagination.

    Marie wrote on March 13th, 2012
  13. Still quite new at this. I am eating too many carbs and a bit too much fruit. However, I am getting there and losing weight slowly but consistently. Looking on the bright side, I have completely cut out bread, cakes, biscuits and other grain products.

    Nigel wrote on June 3rd, 2012
  14. I am extremely allergic to nuts, coconut, avacados ,fresh pineapple most melons== what am I to do? My HDL is high (80s) but cholestrol, LDL and Triglycerides are high. My weight is 180 at 5′ 1″

    Jeanne wrote on February 22nd, 2013

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