Contrary to popular belief, you can still eat carbs if you’re on a diet. For people trying to lose weight, you should focus on eating healthy carbs, rather than cutting out all carbs completely.
Moderation in dieting is key. Technically, if you gorge yourself on fruits and vegetables, you can still gain weight. With that in mind, these healthy carbs are safe to incorporate into your diet, along with regular exercise, and they will actually help you lose weight.
Think about adding more “good” carbs to your diet in an effort to help reduce and prevent body fat. Also known as slow carbs, good carbs are rich in fiber — which keeps you fuller, longer — so they help give you long-lasting energy without causing spikes in your blood sugar or insulin levels.
5 Good Carbs To Incorporate Into Your Diet
1. Whole Grains
“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.” Always look for whole-grain varieties labeled as “100% whole grain” or “100% whole wheat.” If you’re unsure about something, check the ingredient list to verify that enriched, refined flour is not the first thing in it.
Breakfast is often where people on a diet fall off track and end up consuming unhealthy carbs. If you’re in the habit of eating bread, bagels, and cereals for breakfast, you’re going to want to swap out those foods with steel-cut oatmeal. Steel-cut oatmeal is high in fiber, has about 150-170 calories per ¼ cup, and is packed with 5-7g of protein. This healthy carb-filled breakfast will keep you full and fuel your energy for the rest of the day.
Quinoa is a superfood and should be substituted into your diet for other heavier carbs like pasta or rice. This grain reduces belly fat and takes inches off the waist because it’s absorbed into the bloodstream slower than “bad” carbs like white pasta. “Quinoa is one of the healthiest carbs,” said Jessica Rosen, a holistic health coach and founder of Raw Generation. It’s gluten-free, high in fiber, packed with antioxidants, and is full of nutrients like iron, zinc, and magnesium, and is a low-calorie protein, so eat up!
4. Sweet Potatoes
If you’re still eating regular potatoes, join the party and make the switch to sweet potatoes. “These slow carbs are versatile, naturally sweet and our bodies digest them slowly,” said Andrea Wise, a Chicago-based nutrition coach. Aside from their nutritional value, sweet potatoes are great because of how versatile they are. You really can’t go wrong with this good carb.
Many people don’t consider fruits as carbs but one medium banana has around 27 grams, alone! But before you freak out, fruits are considered healthy carbs and worth keeping in your weight loss diet. "Although they may not be the foods that immediately come to mind when planning a low-carb diet, fruits fit in,” said Rebecca Lewis, a dietician at HelloFresh. Fruits are nutrient dense and all-around good for your health. Berries have the highest amount of fiber and the lowest amount of sugar of all the fruits so make sure to snack on raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries, as opposed to other sweet snacks.