Not all carbohydrates are created equal. Processed carbs, like added sugars and refined products such as juice, are unhealthy says nutrition scientist Kevin Klatt, as they have little to no nutritive value and get released into the bloodstream too quickly. Natural carbs, on the contrary, are healthy, as they are a vital energy source and are full of fiber. When consumed in adequate amounts, these help improve gut health and ensure sustained energy once combined with starch and sugar.
Needless to say, people must increase their intake of good carbs and reduce bad carbs consumption. To help in that regard, below are five sources for healthy carbs that should be part of anyone’s diet.
Whole grains are among the best sources of good carbs, as they have sufficient amounts of starch, a type of carbohydrate that the body breaks down into energy. They are also high in B vitamins, iron, and magnesium, which are crucial in new cell formation, oxygen transport, and immune system improvement. As a bonus, whole grains such as quinoa and oats are extremely easy to prepare, so much that one can just put a few scoops into a modern rice cooker and let it do the rest. A Cuckoo rice cooker is particularly helpful given its advanced tech, like intelligent cooking technology that “remembers” ideal settings for the food being cooked frequently. It is multifunctional, too, which means it can be used to prepare numerous dishes.
Vegetables are also good sources of healthy carbs because like whole grains, they have high nutritive content to go along with their high-carb count. Some of the best in this case, according to WebMD recommendations, are broccoli, which contain 7 grams (g) of carbs per 100 g, and carrots, which contain 10 g of carbs per 100 g, sweet potatoes (20 g per 100 g), Brussel sprouts (9 g per 100 g), and beets (16 g per 100 g). That said, investing in a food steamer like Ovente’s Three-Tier Electric Steamer is strongly advised, as steaming veggies keeps most of their essential nutrients in and does not require the use of oil. In this way, one gets most of the health benefits of eating vegetables.
Fruits are generally an excellent source of good carbs, but red ones, like red apples (14 g per 100 g) and cranberries (82 g of carbs per 100 g), are particularly healthy. As the previous post “Red Fruits and Vegetables” points out, such fruits are high in antioxidants, which can boost one’s immunity and slow down cell deterioration. They mostly have high fiber content as well, which means they can help enhance intestinal health. It helps, too, that there is no need for any special preparations to eat red fruits. They just need to be thoroughly washed and they are good to eat!
Kidney Beans and Chickpeas
Kidney beans and chickpeas, as noted in a Healthline article on high-carb foods, contain 22.8% and 27.4% carbs, respectively. Both part of the legume family, kidney beans and chickpeas also have lots of other nutrients, with the former high in starch, fiber, and protein and the latter having decent amounts of iron, phosphorus, and B-vitamins. Kidney beans are also linked to better blood sugar control and reduced risk of colon cancer, while chickpeas are linked to enhanced heart and digestive health, as well as the prevention of some cancers. Just a word of caution: Kidney beans must be properly cooked, as raw or improperly kicked kidney beans are toxic!
Last but not least is nuts. Yes, nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, and macadamia are a good source of healthy carbs, as a serving can yield as much as 21 g of good carbs. Nuts also contain lots of fiber (making them good for gut health) and are rich in substances that are good for heart health, like omega-3 fatty acids, plant sterols, and L-arginine. That said, nuts have some fat content, which means they are best eaten in moderation.
It is time to drop the notion that carbs are bad for the health. As the above foods show, carbs can be all sorts of healthy—and tasty, too! Suffice to say, everyone needs to include them in their diet, so they can get the right amounts of good carbs every day.