Oats are great carbohydrate superfoods. They are low in glycaemic index, so they help balance blood sugar. Therefore, they make an ideal food for diabetics or anyone with blood glucose issues. You can also buy gluten free oats if you cannot tolerate gluten. Oats contain both soluble and insoluble fibre. So, they are a great digestive aid. Studies show that eating oats on a regular basis can help reduce incidence of cardiovascular disease by as much as 15%. The soluble fibre (beta-glucans) forms a gel in the digestive system which helps remove toxins and LDL cholesterol. So, oats are a good food to recommend to people with high cholesterol or heart disease. Beta glucans also help with insulin production and can boost immunity too.
One of their main advantages is their availability, versatility and price. Oats are found in muesli and many breakfast cereals and bars. It is best to avoid those products which have a high sugar level.
Sweet potatoes make a great alternative to regular potatoes as they are lower in the glycaemic index, thus helping with blood sugar control. They also contain more nutrients. For example, because they yellow/orange in colour they contain good levels of beta carotene (Vitamin A).
Studies have shown that the best way to eat sweet potatoes to retain the most nutrients is to either steam or boil them and then add some oil to aid vitamin A absorption.
You can also bake sweet potatoes as you would normal potatoes and eat with fillings such as cheese, beans or tuna.
Sweet potato wedges are also quick and easy to cook. Just peel and slice the potatoes and then drizzle with a little olive oil before baking in a medium oven for about 10-20 minutes.
As they are so high in nutrients, unlike normal potatoes, sweet potatoes count towards your five a day vegetable serving.