Sources of healthy carbs are vital to your health. You may be wary of carbs because many people believe they lead to weight gain. The truth is that carbs are your body’s main source of energy, so skimping on them can leave you fatigued and lethargic. If you’re worried about gaining weight, the best thing to do is to be sure you’re burning more calories than you’re taking in. The following sources of healthy carbs also load you up with other vital nutrients, including iron and fiber.
Surprise! Popcorn is one the most unknown sources of healthy carbs. Popcorn is considered a whole grain, so it can help boost your intake when you choose it for a snack. The trick is to opt for air-popped kernels and stay away from anything swimming in butter or loaded with sugar. My advice is to make your own popcorn at home and season it simply with a bit of salt or some chili powder. Parmesan cheese is another great option. Enjoy popcorn for a snack and you can feel good about eating carbs!
2. Brown Rice
Brown rice takes a bit longer to cook than white, but the payoff is a boost to your healthy carb intake. The reason brown rice is a better pick than white is because it isn’t stripped of all the nutrients that make it healthy, so you get more of the nutrients that make grains a healthy party of your diet. Brown rice is great for serving with stir-fry and makes a great addition to burritos and enchiladas too.
3. Whole Wheat Pasta
I know it’s hard to turn down a delicious bowl of pasta, but the white versions can spike your blood sugar, which results in a crash a few hours later. That’s no fun, as I’m sure you know. If you still need to satisfy a pasta craving, go for whole-wheat versions. The taste isn’t too much different and with your favorite tomato or vegetable sauce on top, you probably won’t even know the difference.
Quinoa is a trendy new healthy carb food that you probably see all over the place. Not only is it a great source of nutrients, but it is also super versatile so you can use in a lot of ways. Try it in place of rice or pasta to make salad or pilaf. You can make a yummy treat by using quinoa in place of rice for rice pudding. Toss quinoa into soups and salads for a fun new texture and a unique flavor you won’t find anywhere else.
Beans are a great source of healthy carbs and are low on the glycemic index. That means they won’t elevate your blood sugar, but will give you long lasting energy that won’t cost you a lot in the calorie department. Beans are a great substitute for meat in burgers, soup and chili. They also make a great ingredient for making delicious tacos, burritos and enchiladas.
Oatmeal is super easy to prepare and makes a filling and nutritious breakfast that gives you a good dose of healthy carbs. The great thing about oatmeal is that it has a pretty mild taste, so you can mix in loads of other great things to make it taste just the way you want it to. Try berries, peaches, mango, honey, raisins or some brown sugar. Oatmeal is great in the morning, but in a pinch it works for a quick and healthy dinner too.
7. Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are your best source of healthy carbs because they are also low in fat and calories and absolutely loaded with other nutrients. That includes vitamins A and C, iron, fiber, potassium and many more. Add fruits and vegetables to all your meals and getting enough carbs for energy will be effortless.
Do you eat carbs? I try for the good kind and limit the bad, although I do give in to a donut craving now and then. Are you happy to learn that carbs can be a healthy part of your meal plan?