Carbohydrates are almost never referred to in a positive way. Most people will advise you to stay away from carbs if you want to lose weight. However, carbs are not that bad and are not the real reason why people become obese. The reason why people may gain weight due to carbohydrates is that not all carbs are made equal.
The two types of Carbohydrates
The first type of carbohydrates are the simple carbs. These are most commonly found in highly processed foods like white bread, burger buns or even white rice. They are quick-digesting carbs which provide you energy instantly. As a result, you use up that energy pretty fast and you feel hungry again soon after. This results in the person usually overeating and hence, weight gain. Moreover, highly processed foods aren’t good for you and most of the simple carb food sources such as junk food contain a lot of calories as well.
The only time simple carbs are acceptable is when they come from natural sources. These sources include vegetables, fruits etc. This is because vegetables and fruits also have a lot of fiber in them. The fiber helps in keeping your body full for longer and thus, avoids overeating.
The second type of carbohydrates is complex carbs. These are commonly found in whole foods such as brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, bran bread etc. Foods containing complex carbs have a lot of fiber in them, which means that these foods tend to keep you full longer, thus reducing food cravings. Moreover, complex carbs release energy slowly, on a more consistent basis so you don’t feel hungry as soon as you would with simple carbs. Complex carbs have also been known to reduce the glycemic index, and actually benefits those with type-2 diabetes.
Therefore, carbohydrates aren’t bad for you. In fact, they actually come with a lot of health benefits and can help you lose weight as well. Here are some of the best high-carb foods for weight loss:
Oats are perhaps one of the healthiest and most nutritionally balanced foods out there. Using oats to prepare oatmeal results in a meal which has a high number of carbs, a moderate amount of protein and a decent amount of nutrients. It contains a lot of antioxidants and vitamins as well making it an all-around good meal.
Oats also help with regulating blood sugar levels and helping patients with type-2 diabetes. They’re most commonly used as a breakfast meal due to its high carb and decent protein content. You have to start off the day well to really get things going, and oatmeal is really good at that. The only complaint people have with oats is their bland taste.
However, you need to customize it in order to fit your needs. It’s not a compulsion to eat oatmeal as it is. You can mix it with your favorite fruits, a bit of honey or whatever you like as long as it fits the healthy requirement. Personally, I eat my oatmeal with a bit of honey, it makes it really tasty. Honey is a natural source of sugar, so I’m able to avoid the highly processed and healthy sugars as well this way.
Arguably the most popular fruit in the world, the banana earns its reputation. It is an essential part of many people’s pre-workout meals due to its carbohydrate and sugar contents. It acts as a natural source of sugar which is much healthier than processed sugars.
One myth many people also associate with diabetes and weight loss, in general, is that sugar is also bad for you. Do you know that your body requires a certain amount of sugar daily to function properly? Therefore, it’s not something to miss, you just need to be wary of the unhealthy choices you make. Bananas are not only a good source of carbs and sugar, but they also have an adequate amount of Vitamin C and Vitamin B6.
Bananas are also high in potassium and are known to reduce blood pressure and improve heart health. To top it all off, it’s a great source of fiber and energy and it can be used in almost any recipe as a flavor booster. Eat at least two bananas every day, preferably before a workout to maximize your energy levels.
Although we are advised to stay away from potatoes (french fries!), the sweet potato is a good substitute. The nutritious potato contains a fair amount of carbs, sugar, and fiber. Sweet potatoes are also a great source of vitamins such as provitamin A (from beta-carotene), vitamin C. They also contain potassium.
A lot of people, including myself love to eat potatoes or things made from potatoes such as french fries. Although we usually can’t eat french fries in a weight loss regime, sweet potatoes make it possible to do just that. Just chop up a sweet potato, put it in an air fryer and you’re able to enjoy french fries without feeling guilty! Therefore, sweet potatoes are really good, not just for their nutrition point of view but due to their taste as well.
“An Apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Why is that? It’s because the Apple is indeed a nutritionally-rich fruit with a great sweet taste. Apples come in all shapes and sizes, and all of them have a decent amount of carbs. The fruit is versatile when it comes to its nutritional content. It’s a source of many vitamins and minerals, mainly vitamin C, antioxidants and Iron.
Apples also help regulate blood sugar levels and can even help diabetes patients. Moreover, Apples are a great counter to diseases such as Dengue fever. Blood platelet levels plummet for dengue fever patients, and Apples, through their iron content are able to fight the disease. Apart from their nutritional value, they also taste really sweet and can be used in combination with many dishes. If you don’t like Apple, you can drink the juice without losing any of its nutritional benefits.
Slowly rising in popularity, quinoa is a highly nutritious seed which is prepared and eaten like a grain. The ‘pseudocereal’ contains a decent amount of carbs, but it’s not just a high-carb food. What makes it so good is that it also contains a moderate amount of protein and high amounts of fiber.
Quinoa is rich in minerals and other nutrients such as vitamins and it is also beneficial for people looking to regulate their blood sugar. Due to its decent protein and fiber content, it’s also a very good food for weight loss. Like fiber, protein also helps in keeping you full, so when both nutrients are part of quinoa, it results in a powerful recipe for weight loss.
Moreover, quinoa does not contain any gluten. There has been a great rise in demand for gluten-free products across the world either due to people being sensitive to gluten or people avoiding gluten food in general. Quinoa acts as a great gluten-free food and a great alternative for those looking for one.