Who doesn't love carbohydrates? Some of my favorite foods -- chocolate, bread and pasta -- are all carb heavy (mostly refined carbs, a known body baddie).
High-protein, low-carb diets have helped millions shed unwanted pounds, but I'll bet that the one thing those high protein weight losers craved once they could add them back to their food plan: carbohydrates (and I don't mean green beans or broccoli).
Last summer I wrote about Health magazine's newest book, "The CarbLovers Diet." "A carb packed food plan to lose weight?" I wrote. "You've got to be kidding."
My skepticism melted away when I learned about resistant starch (a unique carbohydrate and the key to the diet's success) and how it helps satisfy your appetite and keep it satisfied. That book topped The New York Times best-seller list for two months.
Resistant starch is a naturally occurring carbohydrate found in fruits, vegetables and beans that resists digestion just like insoluble dietary fiber. Both are carbohydrates that deliver few calories.
The resistant starch star: slightly green bananas (12.5 grams). Second on the list: ripe bananas (4.7 grams). In descending order: uncooked oatmeal (4.6), white beans (3.8), cooked lentils (3.4), cooked and cooled potatoes (3.2), cooked plantain (2.7), cooked and canned garbanzo beans (2.1) whole wheat cooked pasta (2) and cooked pearl barley (1.9).
No surprise that the new "The CarbLovers Diet Cookbook" ($29.95) plays to that top 10 and the 10 that follow to help us get the recommended 15 to 20 grams of resistant starch daily.
The authors, Ellen Kunes, Health magazine editor-in-chief, and registered dietitian Frances Largeman-Roth, don't limit their new book to 150 resistant starch-centered recipes. "The CarbLovers Diet Cookbook" contains a Seven-Day Kickstart Meal Plan listing all meals (and where to find the recipes) that they claim could lead to an initial six-pound weight loss. They follow that with a 21-Day Immersion Meal Plan to complete the first 28 days.
Each recipe lists complete nutrition information, including resistant starch (if any) and sugars. Most recipes are accompanied by a tantalizing color picture.
You'll find recipes for everything from breakfast to dessert including Eggs Benedict Florentine, Mexican Mole Chili, Chicken Cacciatore with Rigatoni, Bison Sliders with Guacamole, German Potato Salad, Layered Spicy Black Bean and cheddar Dip and Oatmeal Date Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Such star chefs as Guy Fieri and Wolfgang Puck also contributed their take on resistant starch-centered recipes with Spinach Tomato Pasta Shells and Barbecue Chicken Pizza, respectively.
There are many pluses to this book, but also two minuses: The type size and color make reading recipe instructions difficult in less-than-ideal light and nearly half of the dessert recipes don't contain resistant starch but do contain a boatload of sugar, a challenge for folks trying to lose weight or keep it off.
If you own a copy of "The CarbLovers Diet" and used it to lose weight and keep it off, you'll be thrilled to see this cookbook. If you're not on the diet, you'll still find plenty of pleasing recipes.
Try this recipe: Here's a recipe from "CarbLovers Diet Cookbook" to give you a taste of what you'll find within its pages.
• Don Mauer welcomes questions, comments and makeover requests. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org.