Carbs, also known as carbohydrates, refer to molecules that consist of hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon. There is a lot of controversy revolving around carbs and their dietary benefits. Most nutritionists and wellness enthusiasts recommend minimal or no intake of carbohydrates. This is to prevent effects such as an increase in weight. However, there are some crucial health benefits that carbs do offer. They are a significant source of energy and fiber, which aids in digestion. Carbs also keep cholesterol levels under control.
Nevertheless, not all carbs are healthy and safe carbs. A closer look into FODMap shows some adverse effects. Some are also easier to overeat since they are simple carbs. This leads to problems like obesity and high blood pressure. Thus, it is essential to take complex carbs, rich in fiber, which keep you fuller for longer. Some of the healthier carb options include the following…
4 Healthy Carbs You Should Add to Your Diet:
Oats are arguably the healthiest carbs. They are mostly made for breakfast and cooked by boiling them in water or milk. Oats are rich in minerals, fiber, antioxidants, protein, and healthy fats. The beta-glucan fiber in oats reduces the level of cholesterol in the body. This, in turn, reduces the risk of heart disease and inflammation of the arteries.
Oats are also very filling, which reduces the overall food intake. This is by promoting the production of the satiety hormone, thus reducing risks to diabetes.
Corn has several health benefits. Its high fiber content helps indigestion. Corn has numerous minerals such as magnesium, copper, iron, manganese, among others. It also contains antioxidants like lutein, zeaxanthin, and carotenoids, which aid in eye health. There are various ways of preparing corn. You could roast, boil, steam, grill, or microwave it,add it into salads, salsa, stews or eat it as it is. There is also a variety of corn. It could be white, yellow, cream, brown, orange, and even black.
Contrary to most people’s belief, potatoes are a healthy carb. The secret is in the quantity and the preparation method. Potatoes have a considerable amount of fiber, plant-based protein, vitamins, and some minerals. They also have a particular starch called resistant starch. According to research, this starch improves blood sugar control in the body by lessening insulin resistance. A small serving of potatoes goes a long way in improving your health.
Pumpkin tops the list of healthy starch. A cup of pumpkin mush has more potassium than a banana and more vitamin A than a similar kale amount. It also has beta-carotene, an essential antioxidant for the eyes and skin. This makes it an excellent option for low-calorie diets while trying to lose weight.
The above are just a few of the numerous healthy carbs. With carbs, the primary determinant of how healthy food is the portions. Most people tend to eat more than they need, which leads to a lot of stored fats. It is also more beneficial to go for unprocessed carbs. For example, eat boiled potatoes instead of French fries. Preparation methods matter a lot.
Want to read a few more healthy food posts on NYSF? Check out our tips for eating out healthy at restaurants, or these myths about healthy nutrition, or this post where we talk about where to find healthy fast food in New York.