Has the term 'healthy carbs' got your brain in a twist? If you've been wondering what healthy carbs are and what foods are rich in them, keep reading.
If you are one of those incredibly health-conscious folks, the slightest mention of carbs can get you all riled up. We get it, we’re the same too. But hear us out. Studies in recent years have suggested that not all carbs are 'bad'. Carbs constitute one of the essential parts of your daily meal intake. All you need to focus on is consuming the right sort of carbs.
In this blog post, we will be discussing everything there is to know about healthy carbs.
What are healthy carbs?
To answer the question 'what are healthy carbs', we first need to know what carbs are in themselves. Carbs, or carbohydrates, are a type of nutrient present in food. Upon digestion, these nutrients turn into sugar in the body to give us the energy we need to perform tasks. Carbs are essential for the maintenance of our energy levels. However, too many carbs can lead to weight gain and even harm our health. The most common sources of carbs are grains, milk, fruits, vegetables, and sugar.
As mentioned earlier, ALL carbs break down into glucose upon digestion to provide energy. However, not all carbs are worth consuming. The best sorts of carbs to consume are complex carbohydrates, aka 'healthy carbs', as opposed to simple carbohydrates, aka 'unhealthy carbs'.
This brings us to the question: which foods are rich in healthy carbs, and which are rich in unhealthy carbs? The best sources for the former are all sorts of unprocessed food items. This includes whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. They are rich in healthy carbs and several vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. On the flip side, processed foods like pasta, sweetened drinks, and baked goods are all rich in simple carbohydrates. They carry zero nutritional value and health benefits. They are nothing but ‘empty’ calories. It is advised that they should be consumed in moderation, and if possible, make a choice to avoid them altogether.
Foods rich in healthy carbs that you should include in your diet
There are plenty of food items out there that are rich in healthy carbs and can be easily fitted into your diet. These foods can help with weight loss and even for muscle gain. These are the foods to have for all the weight-watchers and fitness enthusiasts out there.Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are one of the most popular and loved root vegetables. Not only are they sweet and comforting, but they are also incredibly nutritious. They are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. What's more, sweet potatoes are also an excellent source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are essential to neutralize free radicals in the body and help prevent chronic diseases and cell damage.
Quinoa, a favorite in the health-conscious community, is a seed that is packed with healthy carbs. As much as it would come as a surprise, quinoa isn't a grain. This is why it is known as a pseudocereal: a seed eaten like a grain. Along with being a rich source of healthy carbs, quinoa is also abundant in fiber and protein. This makes quinoa one of the best sources of high protein carbs. Quinoa is also a great gluten-free alternative for individuals who follow a gluten-free diet. Moreover quinoa is a very filling food due to its slow digestion process. Including it in your diet can promote weight loss and help with weight management.
Monkeys or humans, bananas are a popular favorite among both species alike. Bananas are among the best high-carb fruits, rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and many incredibly beneficial plant compounds. The rich potassium content in bananas is also super helpful in lowering high blood pressure levels.
Belonging to the legume family, kidney beans are a popular vegan alternative for animal protein. They are a rich source of healthy carbs and diverse plant compounds, vitamins, and minerals. Like many of the other foods listed here, they also contain antioxidants - anthocyanins and isoflavones - which help neutralize free radicals and keep you healthy.
Food for your thoughts
People unnecessarily demonize carbs. We understand that most of these incorrect notions come from a lack of proper knowledge. Now that you know that not all carbs are bad, what are you waiting for? Go, stack up on all the healthy alternatives!