This past weekend, I made yummy oatmeal pancakes for overnight guests. The recipe is from Laurel’s Kitchen, an old cookbook from hippie days. The pancakes not only contain a good dose of old-fashioned oats, the recipe also calls for whole wheat flour, making a pancake that’s definitely not the fluffy stuff of pancake houses. But they’re really good – in fact, the only pancakes we eat at my house anymore. Even though they’re chock full of fiber and other healthy ingredients, these pancakes are even occasionally allowed to grace the plate of my son (the epitome of a picky eater — one of which every nutritionist should have to parent).
The reason I’m making such a deal out of these pancakes, however, is that my female houseguest initially said she’d only have half a pancake. Being the eternal weight watcher that she is, her reason, of course, was that – eek! – pancakes are full of carbohydrates!!! Never mind the type of carbohydrate. With all the fuss in the past few years, carbohydrate-rich whole foods have been painted with the same black brush as their more refined cousins. Because of all the misinformation in high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet books about insulin resistance and carbohydrates, all carbohydrates have become forbidden fruit.
But the advice to avoid carbohydrates may actually rank up there as one of the most misguided pieces of advice we could follow. Look at it like this: If we want to keep struggling with our weight, we need to keep trying to cut out as many carbohydrate-rich foods as possible. If we want to have energy, feel well, enjoy eating and be able to follow a healthy eating plan that can help us achieve permanent healthy weights, we need to be sure to include a healthy amount of whole grain breads and cereals, beans, brown rice, and other whole grain foods in most of our meals. And an occasional refined carbohydrate choice can add a lot to healthy eating, too.