Healthiest Carbs

Healthiest Carbs

When people hear “carbohydrate,” starchy or bread-like foods and desserts generally come to mind, the overly processed or refined kinds that lead to obesity and heart disease among other long-term health issues. However, many other food groups on the pyramid can offer the carbohydrates your body needs to get energized without the cost to your health.Healthiest Carbs in Fruits

Fruits are high in Vitamin C and low in cholesterol and fat. The fact that many fruits are also 90+% carbohydrates makes them one of the healthiest ways to get your daily dietary fiber. Specifically oranges, grapes, and bananas do even more for your body with their high levels of potassium, which studies indicate can decrease bone loss and reduce risk of kidney stones. The high water content of most fruits also keeps your body hydrated!

Healthiest Carbs in Vegetables

Vegetables are another category of healthier carbohydrates because they have no cholesterol, are low in fat, and include several necessary nutrients for good health, such as folic acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin E. The high levels of dietary fibre found in vegetables like onions and pumpkin has shown to reduce blood level cholesterol and may lower your risk of heart disease. Beans and chickpeas are also high in protein!

Healthiest Carbs in Dairy

While dairy products are often considered a dieting no-no, healthy dairy choices can be made in the form of low-fat or fat-free options for milk, cheese, and yogurt to get the calcium and Vitamin D required to keep bones strong. Non-fat fruity yogurt is specifically about 80% carbohydrates and also packed with protein and Vitamin B12. Skim milk, about 55% carbohydrates, is basic in nature and combats acid reflux and other problems with digestion.

Other Healthy Carbs

Not all traditional carbohydrates are bad! Whole grains, such as whole wheat pasta, barley, and quinoa can be both very filling and healthy carbs at the same time. Popcorn is the perfect whole grain to satisfy a snack craving in place of more refined carbohydrates, such as potato chips or French fries.

Foods That Are Carbs

Foods That Are Carbs

Nutritionists refer to carbohydrates as either simple or complex. Simple carbohydrates are found in foods that are high in certain types of sugars, and which tend to raise the blood sugar rapidly. Complex carbohydrates are metabolized more slowly and have less effect on blood sugar.In food science a food that contains starch is considered a complex carbohydrate, to include pasta, bread, and potatoes, whereas a food that contains sugar is considered to be a simple carbohydrate, to include jams, jellies, sugar, and desserts. Whether simple or complex, they are all foods that are carbs even though there is considerable overlap in these two groups, with some complex carbohydrates having more negative impact on blood sugar than some simple carbohydrates.

Starchy foods that are complex carbohydrates include whole grains of all kinds, as well as legumes and vegetables, including potatoes. Rice and quinoa are also whole grain foods that are considered healthy carbohydrates. These foods have a generally stabilizing influence on blood sugar levels in most people, and are good sources of various beneficial vitamins and minerals.

High sugar foods that are carbs include fruits, desserts made with sugar, grains, or fruit, and honey and molasses. These simple carbs raise blood sugar more quickly and even though fruits have vitamins and minerals they are considered simple carbohydrates because of their high sugar content.

Almost any food that is not a meat or a fat is classified as a carb. Even milk contains lactose, or milk sugar, but is considered a low carbohydrate food. There are no carbohydrates in meat or oils, and those who seek to reduce carbohydrate intake will chiefly live on a diet containing meats and fats.

Beans are a complex carbohydrate food. They digest slowly and have less effect on blood sugar readings and overall insulin load than even whole grains. They also contain protein, which is also known to moderate blood sugar spikes more than other foods that are carbs.