Complete List Of High Carb Foods You Must Include In Your Diet
Carbohydrates often get the bad rap of causing obesity, diabetes, and heart disorders. That is probably because when you think of carbs, images of cakes, sugar, and processed white grains often come to mind.
However, it is unfair to think that all carbs are as bad and unhealthy as you believe. Picking your carb sources from this list of high carb foods under the category of “complex” carbohydrates will lead to a more balanced and healthy diet.
Simple vs. Complex Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates fall into one of these two categories: simple and complex. Simple carbs are carbohydrates made up of a single molecule or two; hence, they are easier to process, digest, and used by the body.
Since simple carbs like cakes and chocolates are known to provide blank calories, you’ll feel energized and almost full after consuming them. However, overindulgence with simple carbs often leads to obesity and diabetes.
Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, are made of three or more molecules. It will take more time to break down complex carbs, which in return, slows down the discharge of glucose into your blood as well as minimize the storage of fat.
Complex carbohydrates like quinoa, bananas, and oatmeal give the body more energy which can be used for a longer period.
The Importance of Carbohydrates
Between the two, complex carbohydrates are the healthier and better option. You might want to enjoy some form of simple carbs from time to time, but you need to watch how much you consume, or else run the risk of gaining more pounds and get afflicted with diabetes, and other diseases.
Consuming the right kind and amount of carbohydrates is important for a balanced diet. Carbohydrates are converted into the energy source that the body needs for physical activities and optimal performance of the organs. The consuming of the inadequate amount of carbohydrates can lead to weakness and fatigue.
Consider the following high carb foods and make it a habit to include them into your daily diet.
Quinoa contains around 21 percent of carbs when cooked, but it’s also an excellent source of protein and dietary fiber. Studies show that consuming quinoa helps reduce the risks of colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.
People who consume too many unhealthy foods and simple carbs are at risk of these diseases, but consuming quinoa helps counter and bring their risks down.
Quinoa also scores high in Satiating Efficiency Index (SEI) than rice and wheat sources and is an excellent source of dietary fiber for people hoping to reduce weight. Quinoa makes you feel fuller for a longer period and aids in appetite control.
Oats are one of the best and healthiest grains which contain a good source of dietary supplement. The specific fiber in oats is called beta-glucan which has been found by studies to be helpful in reducing LDL or bad cholesterol in the body. As a result, consuming oats can also be good for your heart.
Oats are also a great source of soluble fiber which can help curb hunger and appetite. It’s also been found that oats help reduce blood sugar levels and are best for people with diabetes.
Many people think of banana as a common fruit, but it’s actually a good source of complex carbs. Apart from the 23 percent of carbs, bananas also contain potassium, starches, and pectin which help promote a healthy heart and digestive track.
Pectin, in particular, is a helpful enzyme that aids in digestion, remove toxins from the intestines and help prevent stomach cancer.
Grapefruit is the by-product of cross-breeding an orange and pomelo. Grapefruit has a combination of sour and bitter taste, but its mighty pulp contains essential vitamins and minerals that will benefit the body.
For one, grapefruit has a low glycemic index which helps manage sugar levels. It is also rich in antioxidants and Vitamins A and C.
Grapefruit also aids in weight loss. Since it is naturally high in water content and fiber, it makes us feel satiated and less hungry over a long period. Consuming grapefruit is also an excellent way to keep us hydrated.
One of the most remarkable benefits of consuming grapefruit regularly is that it helps promote better heart health. According to a study, including grapefruit in diets of people who suffer from atherosclerosis can benefit from grapefruit’s ability to reduce triglycerides.
Additionally, grapefruit is an excellent source of choline, lycopene, and potassium which all contribute to a healthier heart.
5. Brown rice
Rice is a popularly-cultivated grain all over the world. However, among all the types of rice, brown rice carries the most health benefits.
First, brown rice is a good source of magnesium. Consuming whole grains packed with magnesium results to a more manageable blood pressure level and healthier arteries.
A study also shows that there’s a significant link between eating brown rice and reducing the amount of bad cholesterol in the body.
This is partly because of the fact that brown rice is rich in healthy fiber which aids in digestion. The healthier your digestion is, the more bad cholesterol is being removed from the blood stream.
Other benefits of consuming brown rice include healthier weight, decreased inflammation, and prevention of metabolic syndrome.
6. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are excellent sources of complex carbs, which when cooked can contain around 20 percent of carbohydrates. They are also packed with other essential nutrients like Vitamin A, B5, thiamin, carotenoids, and riboflavin.
One of the most notable properties sweet potatoes have is low glycemic index. Unlike other starchy foods and simple carbs which provide quick but short bursts of energy, sugar in sweet potatoes is slowly released when digested.
It gives you the energy you need over a sustained period of time without going through spikes in blood sugar. With that being said, sweet potatoes are ideal diet inclusions for people with diabetes.
Sweet potatoes also contain a decent amount of magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral linked to alleviating stress by relaxing your nerves, heart, and muscles. As a result, eating sweet potatoes will help you be calm and relaxed as well as avoid bouts of anxiety and depression.
Barley as a whole grain mimics most of the nutritional benefits that brown rice and quinoa have to offer. The soluble fiber in barley, for instance, helps bring down blood pressure levels. Fiber is also an important element in better digestive health and weight loss management.
Barley is also a good source of beta-glucan. According to a study, the beta-glucan in barley helps in managing insulin levels. Barley’s low glycemic index also aids in the reduction in blood sugar spikes.
Additionally, barley promotes improved satiety which aids in weight loss; lowers cholesterol levels, and helps decrease visceral fat.
Our bodies need a decent amount of carbohydrates to truly function to their optimum potential, and the amount and quality of carbohydrates have a lot to do with it. Even a low-carb diet needs some form and amount of carb in it.
Making the switch from simple carbs to complex carbs provides the body maximum health benefits, from managing weight to decreasing risks of lifestyle diseases.
What you need is to be committed to healthier eating. Ditch the regular greasy fries to oven-baked almost oil-less sweet potato fries. Eat oats, quinoa, and barley for breakfast instead of the sugar and calorie-laden bagels, and white bread sliced. It also wouldn’t hurt to have some banana smoothies regularly.
Taking note of the list of high carb foods boils down to feeding what is good for the body, and in this case, complex carbs win the game.