Do you want to lose weight? In that case, “it is important to clarify that no food is slimming by itself,” warns María de la Peña Lozano, psychologist and nutritionist from the Blanca García-Orea team at Clínicas Segura. However, there are some ( like this one) that can help us during the process. It is better to maintain a healthy diet than to go on a diet, of course, and in this sense, we make this observation: there is a legume that, taken as a drink in the morning, helps us to space out meals and avoid snacking between meals. The aforementioned specialist gives us all the keys.
It is the carob, of which Spain is the world’s leading producer. “The interesting thing about the carob is, in fact, its satiating properties and its sweet taste, which make it a very versatile food, and therefore, a good substitute for those who choose a more natural diet (and thus avoid ultra-processed foods). such as milk chocolate, industrial pastries, or cocoa with sugar). It is also suitable for coeliacs and those intolerant to gluten since it does not contain gluten”.
Although it has been shown that foods with a high protein content are the ones that keep us full for longer, this is not the case with carob, which only contains 0.7 g of protein per 100 g, according to this expert. However, “there is another factor that influences the feeling of satiety, and that is the amount of dietary fiber. In the case of this legume, the amount of fiber is high, about 40 g for every 100 g of the carob”. And the fiber also has an enormous capacity to satisfy the appetite.
“Fiber has the quality of slowing down the emptying of the stomach and increasing digestion time. This is the reason why carob keeps us satiated for longer than other foods.” As we said at the beginning, this helps us space out meals, avoid snacking between meals, and, as a consequence, “regulate blood glucose and lose weight ”, explains this nutritionist.
When and how to take carob
“Taking into account its properties, it is a good idea to start the day by combining a carob and vegetable milk drink with some buckwheat toast. If we add a source of protein such as an egg, cheese, Serrano ham, a high-quality turkey or chicken cold cut —without additives— we will have the perfect breakfast that will keep us more than satisfied until lunchtime”, suggests De La Peña.
As for the preparation of this drink, it is very simple: “It is enough to dissolve two tablespoons of carob powder in a cup of water, milk, or vegetable drink. You can add vanilla extract or cinnamon to give it a different touch and serve it hot or cold.” She considers it a perfect substitute for cocoa. On the other hand, “powdered carob can also be used as another flour”; it can be used in biscuits, cookies, and other sweets, also suitable for celiacs and people with non-celiac gluten intolerance.
According to this expert from Clínicas Segura, the carob drink is appropriate “when we want to put aside ultra-processed foods but still want to have something sweet.” However, “its sugar content is also quite high, so it should not be abused.” That is why we commented on the possibility of including it, “as one more element, within a healthy diet in which we space out food intake by at least 4 hours, so that our body asks us for less and less sweet”. In her opinion, “this will be a sign that our body is properly regulating glucose levels.”
How to enhance the effects of carob
María de la Peña Lonazo gives us a trick to avoid increasing its caloric value when consumed as a drink: “Choose a plant-based milk with no added sugar, such as almond milk: it is low in carbohydrates and also provides some protein, so it enhances its satiating effect”. We can also get this protein intake “by adding chia seeds or a small spoonful of 100% almond cream”, recommends this psychologist and nutritionist.
Anyway, miracles don’t exist. In this sense, the nutritionist Laura Jorge insists that the carob drink “could be part of the set of changing habits and eating a healthy diet, which is what is needed to lose weight.”