There’s one major diet myth that should be banned for an eternity: carbs do not cause obesity.
The truth of the matter is that there are two types of carbs and they have very little in common with one another. Sugary, processed foods not found completely in nature (think: cookies and doughnuts) are the types of unrefined carbohydrates that can spike blood sugar levels, mess with your metabolism, and cause weight gain.
But these four good carbs you can eat non-stop and still boost your metabolism for weight loss, according to nutritionists, are in a whole separate category of carb. And though it’s never a good idea to literally eat any one food non-stop, these will satisfy you, fill you with nutrients, and give you the energy you need to have an amazing, productive day.
Boasting all nine essential amino acids and packed with protein, fiber, and B vitamins, quinoa is the superfood (and a seed, rather than a grain) that you need in your life. Expect to benefit from a number of minerals and vitamins — including magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and iron — and to feel satisfied with just a small amount of this filling food. Add it to everything from salads to stews and soups.
Most of the criticism about bananas has to do with their sugar content, which is higher than a lot of other fruits, including berries and apples. But it’s important to consider all of the nutrients in a single fruit in order to weight its pros and cons — and bananas, with their outrageously amazing potassium, fiber, and mineral and vitamin content — are worth the extra few grams of sugar. Grab one before a run and get a boost of extra fuel.
Beans (like chickpeas) and legumes are one of the healthiest foods on the planet and an excellent source of plant-based protein, especially if you are a vegan or vegetarian. They are high in carbs — but much of that carb content is made up of fiber, which boosts your metabolism, makes your digestive system run properly, and helps you feel fuller faster and for longer.
The second fruit to top our carb list, oranges provide immune-boosting amounts of vitamin C, as well as fiber, folate, thiamine, and antioxidants. It’s always better to consume fruits like oranges as whole foods and not in beverages like smoothies, which tend to contain far more sugar than necessary.