What types of carbs should I eat?
I’ve spent quite a bit blog space over the last month sharing on carbs. And while we’ve established that carbs are not bad for you and not the enemy, it is also crucial to understand that not all carbs are created equal and thus not all help your body to run efficiently. In this blog, I want to spend some time high lighting what carbs are best in your nutrition to help your body be fueled appropriately and to utilize the carbs you are eating for the best effect on your overall health and for the best results.
I am a definite advocate for balance when it comes to nutrition but I am also proof that limiting gluten and most dairy is a great way to keep your body in peak condition. That being said, there are a vast array of “clean carbs” out there we should talk about so you feel like you have the tools you need when it comes to eating carbs.
A simple Google search on “what are the right carbs to eat” will yield quite a supply of results, and most are related to the kinds of carbs to eat to help you stay fit and slim. It is important to understand clean carbs are extremely important in your diet regularly. For more on that, check out my past blog post from last week that explains what carbs do in your body.
Before we jump in to my top clean carb recommendations, lets take a minute to understand the difference between complex and simple carbs and why we need to eat the right kind.
We know not all carbohydrates are created equally. Clean/complex carbs like fruits, and vegetables are from the earth clean carbs you should integrate into your diet. There are also clean starchy carbs as well. These are known as complex carbs— complex carbs are foods that have vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Complex carbs generally are slow absorbing — meaning the caloric energy is used more slowly and effectively than a simple carbohydrate.
On the flip side- simple carbs are broken down quickly by the body and used as energy. Simple carbohydrates are found naturally in foods such as fruits, milk, and milk products. They can also be found in processed foods and definitely in refined sugars (cookies, candy, sugar, syrups, etc.).
The best carbohydrates to eat……yep, complex carbs! So lets take a look at my favorites:
This is one of my favorites and can be cooked up as a hot side-dish or equally as delicious as the base for a cold salad. . Quinoa is a whole grain that has a simple and light flavor. A great benefit of eating quinoa is that it provides some fiber and also protein.
East to make delicious (adding berries or greek yogurt), oatmeal is a clean carb that is filing and healthy in many great ways. Rolled oats are high in slow-digesting, blood-sugar-friendly carbs. Oats are also full of fiber and low in fat. Did I mention oatmeal can be used as a base for great protein packed snacks. Try mixing up with a nut butter, some flax, chia, seeds and chocolate chips for a protein pick up any time of day!
Beans, Legumes are full carbs. Legumes you’ll be familiar with include alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, lentils, carob, soybeans, peanuts and more. These are dense in carbs- and have many nutrients and phytonutrients. Outside of non-starchy vegetables, legumes are one of the least glycemic carbs, because the starch is slowly absorbed.
4. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a root that have many health benefits and are a clean carb that can help you loose weight. Sweet potatoes contain almost twice as much fiber as other types of potatoes. Because they are so high in fiber fiber again, they are absorbed slower in the body.
Blueberries are high in antioxidants and and again are high in fiber and remember, fiber is a type of carbohydrate, that doesn’t turn into glucose. Blueberries are a very good source of vitamin K, and vitamin C.
Broccoli is comprised of complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber. Broccoli has a significant nutrition content as well. Broccoli is loaded with potassium, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin A and more. “Broccoli is rich in isothiocyanates, powerful phytochemicals that fight cancer by neutralizing carcinogens” (http://www.livestrong.com/
Bananas are a great source of vitamin B6, manganese, potassium, and fiber. A great fact that you may not know—unripe bananas are also a good source of slimming resistant starch. Bananas are a great “on their own snack”, they are the perfect base for smoothies and more! Bananas are a fantastic source of potassium and rich in vitamin B6 helping maintain healthy blood sugar levels,
Spinach contains complex carbs including sugar and fiber. Eat up and know you are getting a great haul of vitamins and low in fat and cholesterol. Spinach is loaded with nutrients but has a minimal amount of calories.
Friends, carbs are not the enemy and there are so many great carb options out there beyond those I’ve shared today. I hope you’ll start to trust that complex carbs are something that scare you less and that you’ll integrate more. For tips on when to eat carbs for best impact, I’d love to chat with you more one on one!
If you are wanting to take your health serious and drop a few pounds while EATING carbs, I would love for you to check out my virtual bootcamp for more info. Let's work together to reach your goals!