From Atkins and South Beach to today’s popular ketogenic diet, low-carb diets and products have been monopolizing the weight loss market for years.
Even those who do not choose to follow a restricted diet have heard these names, and they are one of the reasons carbohydrates have such a bad rap.
We are constantly being fed information about avoiding carbs because they are found in things like candy, sports drinks, and soda, but these are the simple carbs that cause spikes in blood sugar and contribute to weight gain.
Not all carbs are bad though, because not all carbs are the same. It depends on the type of carbohydrate and quantity.
Without carbs, our bodies miss out on key nutrients, including magnesium, calcium, B vitamins, and iron.
When to eat carbs for weight loss ?
If you have ever tried or researched a low carb diet or keto diet, then you know that experts recommend to take supplements because you are not getting what you would get from carbohydrates naturally to stay healthy.
Not to mention, the lack of fuel in the body from a low carb diet contributes to things like lethargy, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), headaches, weakness, dizziness, irritability, and inability to focus.
In one hand you need to balance your diet for weight loss, on the other hand you need carbs in certain quantity. It’s then better to keep healthy carbs in your daily diet than depending on supplements.
Not only do we need carbs for our dietary need, but some are actually very beneficial when it comes to losing weight, and here are a some of them.
What are healthy carbs for weight loss?
There are three different types of carbohydrates found in food, which are sugar, starch, and fiber. Fiber is a complex carb, meaning it is slower to digest.
One cup of cooked oats contains 4 grams of soluble fiber. Those who incorporate more fiber in their diet may find it easier to maintain weight or lose weight than those that do not.
Fiber also makes you feel full, it leaves less room or desire to eat refined (simple) carbohydrates or foods that are not as nutrient-dense.
One serving of acorn squash can provide one-third of your daily fiber needs. Not only that, it contains almost one third of your daily recommendation for vitamin C intake, which is a nutrient that helps build muscle and may even promote fat-burning if eaten prior to exercise.
We all need snacks in our lives, particularly ones we can enjoy without having to worry too much if we get a little carried away with mindless eating.
Luckily, popcorn is not only low in calories, but it is also a whole grain that is high in fiber, so it makes you feel fuller more quickly than you might expect.
Apples contain high amounts of water and fiber that are useful for weight loss. One medium-sized apple contains just over 4 grams of fiber and is under 100 calories.
The Pink Lady variety of apple, in particular, is said to contain the highest level of flavonoids, which is an antioxidant and fat-burning compound.
Sweet potatoes contain carotenoids, which are antioxidants that help control blood sugar levels by lowering insulin resistance.
The fiber and nutrients in sweet potatoes help prevent weight gain by burning fat, and the vitamin B6 in sweet potatoes will give you more energy to burn throughout your day and at the gym.
Sweet potatoes are not the only healthy potato. Regular potatoes that are cooked without all of the extra butter or toppings are actually quite healthy. Leaving the skin on provides an excellent source of fiber that will promote satiety.
Bananas contain around 36 grams of carbs, and while that may seem high relative to the size of this snack, the low glycemic index of bananas means that those carbs slowly release in your body, which not only prevents sugar crashes but can speed muscle recovery.
100 grams of barley contains 17 grams of soluble fiber that helps suppress the appetite by increasing feelings of fullness. Barley is a helpful food for stabilizing blood sugar and lowering cholesterol as well.
One cup of black beans has around 15 grams of both fiber and protein. The protein and folate in black beans promote muscle growth, while the copper in black beans strengthens tendons.
Black beans help boost weight loss because they contain both soluble and insoluble fiber to make you feel full.
Broccoli contains a phytonutrient called sulforaphane that helps in increasimg testosterone in our body, which prevents the buildup of body fat.
The vitamin C in broccoli can also lower cortisol levels, which is a stress hormone, and stress is connected to weight gain, overeating, and cravings.
Cauliflower is a water dense carb, so it promotes feelings of fullness while keeping calorie intake low. 100 grams of cauliflower contains just 25 calories and 2 grams of fiber.
Let’s face it; most of us need chocolate from time to time. Chocolate milk is a tasty and nutritious drink to have around at nighttime or even after workouts. It not just to satisfy your sweet tooth but to help you lose weight.
Because chocolate milk contains the right mix of carbs and protein, it can not only boost your metabolism but help you build the muscle necessary to torch calories and fat.
Grapefruits are not only low in calories, but some studies say the fruit may improve insulin sensitivity after eating.
Meaning, it can decrease blood sugar levels and, as a result, the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. One grapefruit contains around 26 carbohydrates and 2 grams of fiber.
Lentils are full of slow-digesting complex carbohydrates, which is already helpful for promoting weight loss. But they are also low in calories and fat and high in protein, making them a perfect snack for weight loss that is also gluten-free.
Whole Wheat Bread
Whether bread or pasta, whole wheat is always the better option when it comes to weight loss.
Two slices of whole wheat bread contain 4 grams of fiber that help you feel full and give your body nutrients, including zinc, magnesium, and B vitamins.
The great thing about quinoa is that, it is a complete protein. Meaning it provides the body with all nine essential amino acids, which have to be obtained from food.
For this reason, it is a perfect snack for building muscle. Quinoa is often called “the mother grain” because it is high in nutrients. One cup of quinoa has about 20 grams of carbs and 3 grams of fiber.
Spaghetti squash has gained popularity in recent years as a healthier alternative to pasta.
While it is still considered a starch, it is lower in calories than pasta. And, it is a healthy carbohydrate to eat for the nutrients and fiber it provides.
One cup of spaghetti squash contains just over 30 calories, 7 carbs, and 15 grams of fiber.
Tofu contains around 10 grams of protein per serving. It is relatively high, considering one serving is just 80 calories. Plus, it is vegan and vegetarian friendly.
Walnuts contain the optimal combination of fat, protein, and fiber. This is why eating just one handful can help you to feel full.
Not only that, but walnuts, along with cashews and pecans, can also prevent type 2 diabetes and obesity because they help control blood glucose levels and build resistance for insulin.
One cup of yogurt can have a substantial impact on weight loss and gut health by giving your body healthy bacteria and probiotics.
Yogurt also contains something called linoleic acid, which is a special fat that may reduce body fat. Just be mindful to avoid the artificially sweetened and flavored yogurts or ones that contain extra sugar.
Plain Greek yogurt is always a good go-to when it comes to selecting a healthy yogurt.