Everyone knows that losing weight means you have to ditch unhealthy carbs like white bread and pastas–but that doesn’t mean that every carb is off limits! In fact, fitness experts say that there are plenty of healthy carbs out there that can help boost your metabolism and give you the energy you need to burn calories and lose weight. But, this is only the case if you eat complex carbs and grains that haven’t been stripped of their nutrients and are high in protein and fiber.
Need help figuring out which carbs are good for you and your waistline? Keep scrolling to find five of the healthiest carbs you can have on a diet without feeling guilty:
Steel-cut oatmeal is high in fiber, has about 150-170 calories per ¼ cup, and is packed with 5-7g of protein, making it a healthy breakfast to start your day with. "Having foods that are high in protein and fiber in the morning are great for weight loss because they keep your blood sugar steady throughout the day," explains New York-based nutritionist Regina Fazzini. "I always tell my patients to have a bowl of steel-cut oats to top it with blueberries, seeds, and nuts to get a little energy boost."
Whole Grain Bread
Swapping white bread for whole grain bread when you want a sandwich or a piece of toast will help you lose weight. This is because it's loaded with fiber! “Fiber helps to boost metabolism,” said Brooke Zigler, a registered dietician in Austin, Texas. “Your body has a tough time digesting high fiber foods which means you burn calories while trying to get the job done.”
Make sure you choose “100% whole grain” or “100% whole wheat" varieties to ensure that you're getting the nutrients your body needs!
“Quinoa is one of the healthiest carbs,” says Jessica Rosen, a holistic health coach and founder of Raw Generation. "Unlike most high-carbohydrate grains, quinoa sustains the appetite without skyrocketing blood glucose levels. It actually lowers blood glucose levels which is significant for healthy weight loss because excess glucose gets stored as fat in the body.”
"Although they may not be the foods that immediately come to mind when planning a low-carb diet, fruits fit in,” says Rebecca Lewis, a dietician at HelloFresh, who notes that it's best to snack on berries like blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries because they're high in fiber and contain good-for-you antioxidants.
Not a fan of berries? Lewis says that melons like watermelon and honeydew are low in carbs!