Carbs have a bad reputation these days, but the anti-carb propaganda can be wildly inaccurate.
Sure, processed, bleached carbs (like any other processed food) are really bad for you and even many whole wheat products are too processed to actually be good for you, but there are actually many healthy high carb foods that are perfectly fine to consume as part of a balanced diet.
Pick up some of these high carb, high nutrient foods today:
Quinoa is a highly nutritional seed that has recently gained a lot of popularity in the health food community. It is packed with 21.3 percent carbs, but it is also an excellent source of protein and fibre. It’s also been linked to improved blood sugar control.
Even better, you can do just about anything with quinoa. Eat it in salad, use it as a wheat replacement or sprinkle a little handful onto your food and reap the health rewards.
Instant oatmeal might not be very healthy, but raw oats are among the healthiest foods on the planet, probably the healthiest whole grain out there. Oats have 66 percent carbs, but 11 percent of that is fibre, an important tool for keeping your digestive system in motion. They also contain a huge range of nutrients and minerals. Oats are also incredibly filling.
If you want to make your oats a little bit sweeter, add honey and cinnamon towards the end of the cooking process.
Buckwheat is actually not related to wheat in any way and is an excellent alternative for people who are gluten free. Raw buckwheat has 71.5 percent carbs but cooked buckwheat groats contain 20 percent carbs.
It also contains high amounts of protein and fibre as well as a wider range of minerals and antioxidants than most other grains. These minerals have been linked to better blood sugar control and better long term heart health.
Bananas are actually about 23 percent carbs, mostly in the form of starches and sugars, but they are still one of the most popular fruits for a reason. Bananas contain tons of minerals including potassium. They also have lots of important vitamins, most notably vitamin B6 and C.
Eating more bananas can improve your digestive system and help regulate your blood pressure. They also provide a great boost of energy thanks to their combination of carbs, sugars and potassium.
- Sweet potatoes
It’s been proven that you can survive on a diet of potatoes and milk (doesn’t sound too fun!), and sweet potatoes are actually way better for you. They still contain 18-21 percent carbs, but they’re incredibly rich in vitamins A and C as well as potassium and antioxidants.
Containing about 8-10 percent carbs, beetroots are definitely on the lower end of the high carb food spectrum, but they are incredibly healthy. Most of the carbohydrates are fibre. Beets are also packed with nutrients, minerals and antioxidants.
Beets also contain a number of healthy plant compounds and inorganic nitrates, which have been proven to help regulate blood pressure and increase physical performance during a workout.
The best part is that beets are so healthy that you only need to add a small amount into your diet to reap the rewards.
Oranges are some of the healthiest fruits in the world. They might contain 11.8 percent carbs, but they’re also an excellent source of fibre, vitamin C, potassium and some B-vitamins. They also contain a number of potent antioxidants.
Oranges can also help you lose weight because they are mostly water. A couple oranges will fill you up fast, filling your stomach and giving your body plenty of nutrients.
Blueberries have a pretty high concentration of carbs for fruit—14.5 percent–but they are also jam packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese. They contain so many nutrients and antioxidants that many health food experts have started calling them a superfood.
Incorporating more blueberries into your diet can lower your risk of many different diseases and reduce the visible effects of aging.
Chickpeas have 27.4 percent carbs, but 8 percent of these carbs are actually fibre. They’re also high in protein as well as a number of B vitamins, iron and phosphorous.
A diet high in chickpeas has been proven to reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your digestive health. There is some evidence to suggest that eating chickpeas can even reduce your risk of cancer.
- Kidney beans
Cooked kidney beans have 22.8 percent carbs, mostly starches and fibre. They also contain a large amount of plant based protein as well as many vitamins and minerals. And if all that’s not enough, kidney beans are also rich in antioxidants, including anthocyanins and isoflavones.
Kidney beans can help regulate your digestive system, improve your blood sugar control and reduce your risk for a whole host of diseases, especially heart disease.
It might sound crazy—you always think of grapefruit as being mostly water—but grapefruit actually has a pretty high carb percentage of 10 percent. Grapefruit also contains many different vitamins, minerals and plant based compounds proven to improve health.
Eating grapefruit regularly can help you lose weight, flush toxins out of your body, reduce insulin resistance and reduce your risk for many heart related diseases.
High carb doesn’t mean unhealthy. Some of the healthiest foods in the world have a carb percentage of more than 10 percent. Whilst certain types of foods can upset the stomach in some individuals, the way to find out what works best for you is to try new things, see how you feel with and without them. As you go along you’ll learn which foods your body reacts well to vs those to avoid.