Carbohydrates are an essential part of a healthy diet, yet it’s important to know that not all of them are created equally.
The dietary guidelines suggest that we should get about half of our calories from carbohydrates.
On the other hand, some claim that carbs can cause obesity and type 2 diabetes, and that most people should be avoiding them.
Here are some of the good and bad carbs to help you make the right choices.
Selecting the right carbs is important for a healthy body. The best carbohydrates come from natural sources and not from a box. They include nutrient-dense foods like whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
Juice is one of the worst beverages you can drink on a low-carb diet.
Although it provides some nutrients, fruit juice is very high in fast-digesting carbs that cause your blood sugar to increase quite quickly, which in end leads you to back to square on, hungry…
For instance, 12 ounces / 350 ml of apple juice has about 48 grams of carbs. This is even more than soda, which has 39 grams.
Vegetable juice is still in the safe zone, as it does not contain nearly as much carbs as its fruit counterparts, a 12-ounce / 350 ml serving still has 16 grams of carbs
Choose juices that contain 100 percent fruit juice to decrease your intake of added sugars and other additives.
Int the end, drinking juice can lead to increased hunger and food intake later in the day. Try and limit or avoided, especially on a low-carb diet.
Yogurt is a tasty and versatile. Although plain yogurt is fairly low in carbs, many people tend go for their favourites such as fruit-flavored, sweetened low-fat or nonfat yogurt.
Sweetened yogurt often contains as many carbs as a dessert.
However, opting for plain Greek yogurt, would be a better choice, with less grams of carbs. If you don’t enjoy the taste of plain yogurt, top it up with blackberries or raspberries.
Pasta is an inexpensive staple but very high in carbs.
On a low-carb diet, eating spaghetti or other types of pasta isn’t a good idea unless you consume a very small portion, which isn’t realistic for most people.
If you’re craving pasta but don’t want to go over your carb limit, try making spiralized vegetables or shirataki noodles instead.
In the end, both regular and whole-wheat pasta are high in carbs but Spiralized vegetables or shirataki noodles offer healthy low-carb alternatives.
It is advisable to consume a diet rich in fresh fruits. A high intake of fruits and vegetables are linked to a lower risk of cancer and heart disease.
However, believe it or not, many fruits are high in carbs and may not be suitable for low-carb diets.
While some are considered healthy, some fruits do not make it to the list of foods that help you lose weight efficiently, simply because they are excessively high in sugar, or have a high calorie count. These are the highest on the list:
- Dry fruits such as raisins
Berries are lower in sugar and higher in fiber than other fruits. Therefore, small amounts around 1/2 cup or 50 grams, can be enjoyed even on a low-carb diet.
Don’t get me wrong, these fruits are super-healthy, but it is something you cannot have in excess.
Milk is an excellent source of several nutrients, including calcium, potassium, and several B vitamins. But as you guessed, it’s also fairly high in carbs.
Don’t worry coffee lovers, if you’re only using a tablespoon or two (15–30 ml) in coffee once a day, you may be able to include small amounts of milk in your low-carb diet.
Still, cream or half-and-half are better options if you consume coffee more frequently, since these contain minimal carbs.
If you enjoy drinking milk or use it to make smoothies, try using unsweetened almond or coconut milk instead.
Quinoa is a nutritious seed that has become popular when it comes to weight loss and general wellness. This powerhouse grain contains nearly twice as much fiber as its peers(e.g brown rice).
Though quinoa technically isn’t a grain, it’s still considered a whole-grain food.
Quinoa is higher in fiber than many whole-grain foods. Fibers are also important for weight loss, promoting decreased calorie intake by increasing feelings of fullness and improving gut health
Oats may be the healthiest whole grain food on the planet. They are a great source of many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Oats has also been shown to lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Eating oats may also lower blood sugar levels, especially in people with type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, oats are very filling and may help you lose weight.
This fat-free root vegetable may have several health benefits, such as improved blood sugar regulation and vitamin A levels.
They’re lower on the Glycemic Index than white potatoes, which means they’re less likely to cause a blood sugar spike, so a plus to your metabolism which works more efficiently.
Try not to peel them. Many of the powerful nutrients in both sweet potatoes and white potatoes are in the skin.
Beetroot provides a wide range of possible health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure, improving digestion, and lowering the risk of diabetes.
Eaten boiled, baked, steamed, or fried, beetroots are a healthful addition to most diets and lately been gaining popularity as a superfood.
Raw and cooked beets contain about 8–10% carbs, mainly from sugar and fiber.
People can get these benefits from consuming whole beetroots or their juice. Beet juice is also a popular choice and is often used to enhance physical performance during endurance exercises.
Chickpeas are part of the legume family, which includes beans, peas, and lentils. They can prevent you from overeating and help keep your weight in check.
Chickpeas contain many vitamins and minerals, including iron, phosphorus and B-vitamins. They also linked to benefits for heart and digestive health as well as cancer prevention.
They’re affordable and easy to find at most grocery stores. You can include them in various dishes, and they make an excellent meat alternative in vegetarian and vegan meals.
Furthermore, chickpeas are delicious and certainly worth including in your diet if you want to reap their health benefits.
It is is a myth that carbs are unhealthy. The truth is that some of the world’s healthiest foods are high in carbohydrates.
When following a low-carb diet, it’s important to choose foods that are highly nutritious but low in carbs.
Some foods should be minimized while others avoided altogether. Your choices depend in part on your personal carb tolerance.
If you are naturally lean and/or highly physically active, then you may even function much better by implementing more carbs in your diet. Different strokes for different folks.