Add these healthy carbs to your diet!
When people hear the word “carb,” they usually think of bread, pasta, or potato chips. Most carbohydrates have gotten a bad reputation due to the myth that they make you fat. Contrary to popular belief, not all carbs are bad for you! Your body actually needs carbohydrates to function properly. Here are a few healthy carbs to add to your diet.
When you’re craving those tasty carbohydrates, say no to mashed potatoes, and yes to sweet potatoes! Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamin A, fiber, and potassium. A medium-sized sweet potato is only around 114 calories, whereas a regular potato has over 160 calories. These tasty spuds are rich in complex carbohydrates and simple starches. In other words, they are a natural way to get your source of carbs. Sweet potatoes are also extremely versatile. Try them mashed, roasted, or baked!
If you’re looking for a healthy carb to keep you full, try eating more beans. Beans are a great source of protein, which will help curb those nighttime cravings. Just 1 cup of pinto beans provides about 41 grams of protein. Beans not only keep you full, but they can also help improve your heart health. According to the American Heart Association, eating beans may improve your cholesterol, which can aid in preventing heart disease. Try buying dry beans rather than canned ones. Canned beans have a higher salt content and preservatives that you want to avoid.
Chia seeds, native to Mexico and Guatemala, are a hot topic on the health food scene. Don’t be fooled by their size, 1 ounce of chia seeds is filled with 11 grams of fiber, which is 40% of your recommended daily intake, and 4 grams of protein. These tiny seeds are also packed with calcium, which is a fundamental role in bone strength. Just 1 ounce contains 17% of your daily value of calcium. Because chia seeds are so rich in antioxidants, which aid in skin repair, they are also linked to helping prevent skin aging. These crunchy seeds can be sprinkled on just about anything to give you a healthy boost.
Whole grain bread
Many people believe that all bread is off-limits when it comes to carbs. This, however, is false. When choosing bread, look for labels that say “100 percent whole grain.” White bread is made with wheat flour, but it does not have as many nutrients as whole grain bread. 100 percent whole-grain bread is packed with protein, fiber, and vitamin B-6. According to the American Society for Nutrition, whole grains can aid in reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. The key to eating bread is portion control. Try making an open-faced sandwich with one slice of whole-grain bread, tomatoes, and oven-baked turkey. This is a healthier alternative to a regular sandwich with two slices of white bread. Plus the protein in the whole grain bread will keep you full for longer!
Native to South America, quinoa is a whole grain that is available in over 100 varieties. Quinoa can be red, white, or black. One cup of this superfood contains 21% of your recommended daily fiber intake. Quinoa is also packed with protein, which will help keep you full for longer. It’s not only filled with antioxidants and potassium, but quinoa also contains 13% of your recommended carbohydrate intake, making it a healthy way to consume your carbs. Quinoa is great paired with fish, chicken, or vegetables. Try adding a bit of lemon juice and red onion to liven up the flavors.
Post contributed by Natalie Cassidy: An avid health and fitness enthusiast. Natalie enjoys creating new healthy recipes and hitting the gym as often as possible. She believes that a healthy lifestyle leads to a happy lifestyle.