Carbs – The Good and Bad
When it comes to dieting and weight loss, carbs remain one of the most highly debated topics out there. Some say to cut them out altogether, while others simply emphasize the importance of a whole foods approach.
My own thoughts? You need carbs for a lot of reasons, whether it’s energy production or brain functioning. In fact, you even need them to properly digest protein and recover from your workouts.
That said, it’s important to keep in mind what a carbohydrate is. It’s a pretty big nutritional category, and what people often forget is that carbs include a lot more than breads, pastas, and rice. In fact, even fruits and vegetables are carbohydrates.
So what does that mean for dieting?
First off, it means that eliminating carbs or reducing carbs is a pretty misleading approach, since you actually want to increase your intake of healthy carbs like fruits and vegetables. More importantly though, it means that you have a lot of options if you make the wise decision to remove processed and refined carbohydrates from your diet.
Today, I’m offering up a selection of healthy carbs that are great on any weight loss diet – and will actually boost your metabolism along the way.
7 Healthy Carbs to Boost Metabolism
Without a doubt, quinoa is your first choice when it comes to healthy carb alternatives. High in fiber and protein, this carb is technically a seed. It’s easy to cook, filling, and super versatile, so make sure you stock up today.
Tip: Check out my 3 Healthy Quinoa Breakfast Recipes for some cool ideas.
Barley is really high in fiber, and research shows that it helps keep your blood glucose levels more balanced than a lot of other carbs. It can easily be cooked as a side dish like rice or made into a summer salad.
Tip: Start with pearled barley if you’re new to the stuff.
Peas are pretty low in calories, and are great at sustaining energy long-term and keep you feeling full. They’re also high in zinc, which has been shown to boost certain hormones that ward off hunger.
Tip: Go for frozen peas instead of the canned ones, and skip the sodium.
Chick peas (also known as garbanzo beans) are probably #1 on my personal list of healthy carbs. They’re super versatile and really filling. You can easily turn them into a filling snack like hummus, heat them up in a saucy dish, or add them to a salad.
Tip: If you’re new to chick peas or want to try a new recipe, check out my Super Healthy Chickpea Salad Recipe here.
Squash is super high in fiber, and acorn squash is one of the most fiber-rich varieties around. When halved and roasted, this can make for one delicious side dish and is an easy replacement for starchy potatoes.
Tip: Try halving it and roasting it face-up with a sprinkle of brown sugar.
Another great vegetarian option, black beans are super filling and can really make for a hearty dish. In addition to fiber, these little guys come packed full of protein to fill you up even more.
Tip: Keep some of the canned ones on hand, but go organic if you can.
The last one on my list of metabolism-boosting carbs is chia seeds. These little guys won’t fill your plate, but they’re a great one to add to dishes whenever you can. Not only are they a healthy, fiber-rich carb, but they’re also full of protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids to help you burn more fat.
Tip: Try these Nutiva Organic Chia Seeds on a salad or in a smoothie for a metabolism boost.
And when in doubt…
When in doubt, go for fruits and veggies whenever you can. In addition to the high fiber content, you’re also getting some serious vitamins and minerals to support a healthy lifestyle!
Have any questions or feedback about the Best Carbs for Weight Loss? Please leave a comment below…