Whether you’re about to celebrate your milestone 40th birthday or are well into your forties, you might have noticed your body changes with age. Thanks to hormonal fluctuations and a slower metabolism, it can be tricky to eat the same foods you might have enjoyed in your twenties and thirties–like pizza and beer at 2 a.m.–and maintain or lose weight.
There’s no doubt you’ve heard about the downside of eating too many carbs--including that these sugar-filled foods can actually increase inflammation in the body that contributes to sickness and disease. But the carbs in question are processed and include not-so-healthy foods like pastries, cakes, white bread, and even white rice, which should be eaten in moderation because it can spike sugar and insulin levels.
To get the most out of your carb intake, stick to anti-inflammatory unprocessed carbs. Here are four examples of healthy carbs that give you energy and tons of health benefits:
swap pasta for barleyThere are times when you want the bite you can only get from pasta, which is a food that, unfortunately, falls under the processed white flour category. If you need a little texture in your soups and salads, and you’ll benefit from a number of health benefits that include fiber to keep your digestive system healthy, beta-glucans that lower cholesterol, and magnesium.
There’s no better way to start your day than with a bowl of healthy oatmeal. We recommend adding a few blueberries and nuts and to give your metabolism a real boost!
High-fiber oatmeal is good for your heart and can prevent certain illnesses like diabetes and cancer. It also helps you feel fuller faster and for longer periods of time, which is great if you are trying to watch your weight or lose weight.
3. Brown Rice
You’re not the only one who can’t imagine enjoying Chinese or Japanese cuisine without a bowl of rice. Substitute white rice with brown rice and you’ll control blood sugar levels, which reduces inflammation in the body. Brown rice is a whole grain food that contains plenty of fiber and reduces cholesterol levels in your body, making it the ultimate heart-healthy carb.
No list of carbs would be complete without a snack option. While it’s true that most tasty carbs fall under the dessert banner and include cookies and cakes, a 100 percent whole grain option like popcorn is the perfect alternative. Popcorn has fiber, antioxidants, and is low in calories. Keep oil, butter, and salt to a minimum (or cut those ingredients out completely) and you’ve truly got yourself one healthy and satisfying carb snack option.
There’s no need to cut carbs out completely. By making a few easy substitutions and including whole grain, high-fiber carbs into your diet, you’ll feel full and satisfied while helping your body block inflammation. Sounds like a win-win all around!