The 5 Healthy Carbs You Should Be Eating!
Having a balanced diet is a key factor in shaping your healthy eating habits because your body needs a little bit of everything to be in the best shape possible. You never want to completely eliminate something from your diet because it will also make you feel left out and less motivated to continue building your healthy habits. So when I hear that women, especially in their 30s and 40s, eliminate carbohydrates out of their diets to loose weight, I get upset. I believe in eating healthy carbs that have loads of dietary fiber and amazing vitamins and nutrients perfect for reaching your weight loss goals! So, here are some of my favorite carbs that I cook with and eat everyday!
1. Whole-Wheat Flour
Yes it has gluten but that’s not always a bad thing! Some whole grains have gluten but both the ones that have gluten and are gluten free have amazing health benefits including weight loss, so don’t ignore them completely. Anytime you can, you should replace regular white flour, especially if it’s bleached, with whole-wheat flour.
Whole-wheat flour doesn’t go through the heavy processing that white flour goes through, so it’s naturally healthier and maintains much more nutrients. Like most grains in this list, whole-wheat is packed with fiber. In fact compared to white flour, whole-wheat has five times the amount of fiber allowing you to reach your daily dietary fiber intake and helping shed that waistline.
Besides its benefits for weight loss, whole-wheat is also full of vitamins in the B-complex including folate and vitamins B-1, B-3, and B-5. Many manufacturers will actually add these vitamins in white flour to enrich the flour after it has been processed, but why go through all the trouble when you can just use whole-wheat! Next time your in the grocery store try getting 100% whole-wheat bread and spaghetti or better yet make it at home!
Sometimes I hear people say that a vegan diet doesn’t have enough protein, so I used to get worried when my son would go vegan for a month every year. Of course that was until I discovered quinoa about six years ago. Unlike most plant-based proteins quinoa has all nine essential amino acids, which makes it a complete protein. So next time you hear someone complain that vegan diets are mostly full of carbs and no protein make them a healthy quinoa salad.
Quinoa is such a great superfood that I could write endlessly about all its great health benefits. It is packed with tons of fiber, more so than most grains, it has iron, which is great for blood health, it has an antioxidant called manganese, and its filled with vitamins and minerals like B-2.
I think the best part about quinoa, apart from its amazing health benefits, is how many different ways you can use this wonderful ingredient. You can eat it as is or spice things up by making different salads including my favorite beetroot salad. You can also make patties with lentils and bake in the oven as a delicious post workout meal. So next time get creative with quinoa and enjoy all the amazing benefits.
3. Brown Rice
Like whole-wheat brown rice hasn’t gone through excessive processing like white rice has, allowing it to store more nutrients and to a large extent more flavor. One of my healthy eating tips to form strong habits is to switch from white to brown rice. I especially recommend brown rice to anyone trying to loose weight because of how low it is on the glycemic index and how rich it is in fiber.
Apart from fiber helping in weight loss the manganese found in brown rice is perfect with its fat digesting abilities. This is one carb that you should eat more of if your looking to loose weight. Brown rice is also great for regulating your healthy cholesterol levels and the magnesium helps regulate blood pressure in the body.
The only benefit white rice has over brown rice is its longer shelf time but only because it has been stripped of so much bran, fiber, protein, and micronutrients. So if you want that “wholeness” in rice go for brown next time your in the grocery store.
I love, love, love buckwheat! My mother used to always make her six girls buckwheat for dinner and we would eat the entire pan. Her recipe was so simple and delicious but like quinoa there are so many amazing things you can do with buckwheat including making it into salads and patties.
Don’t be fooled by the name, buckwheat is actually neither a grain nor is it wheat it’s actually an amazing seed. Buckwheat is packed with protein and fiber. It has 12 different amino acids and it’s an easily digestible protein, making it perfect for vegans and vegetarians. Like brown rice, buckwheat is low on the glycemic index and has tons of fiber, which makes it a perfect diet food. It’s also gluten free and has great vitamins and minerals like zinc, iron, magnesium, and vitamin B, which help in muscle growth and recovery as well as fight against stress.
I try to make buckwheat at least once a week. I love the smell of just regular buckwheat with some olive oil and freshly ground black pepper. It takes me back to my childhood.
This one is a no brainer. If I don’t have oatmeal with fresh or dried fruits in the morning, it’s probably not going to be a good day, for me or for anyone that has to deal with me! Oats are like the coffee of the food world but better because of all the great health benefits.
Like most carbs oats are high in fiber, I’m starting to sound like a broken record but seriously don’t cut out carbs if your trying to loose weight. Oats are energy packed and help you feel full so they make the perfect breakfast ingredient. They are also a great source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals including manganese, iron, zinc, and vitamins in the B-complex. Side note, oats are really good for skin health, which is probably why they are found in so many natural and organic soap bars.
I like to workout right after I have my morning oats because they digest quickly and I don’t feel bloated at the gym. Of course you can also make homemade granola bars with rolled oats and have those after the gym to build and repair your body!
The age-old argument against carbohydrates has to stop! It is an essential part of anyone’s diet and should not be eliminated. Carbs are what give us the energy to go on with the day. It’s all about making the right choices and building healthy eating habits. When it comes to simple sugars and unhealthy carbs like morning cereals and sweets like ice cream you should avoid those. However, healthy carbs like those in this list are perfect for weight loss, building muscle, and maintaining a strong body while developing healthy habits.