By eating the right ratio and portions of healthy carbs, you are feeding your brain, boosting your metabolism and helping to banish belly fat along with your appetite for sugars.
Carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet. They are essential to the body for many functions, and vital to maintain energy throughout the day. Choosing healthy carbohydrates will keep your energy stable, and keep your body running as it should. The healthiest carbohydrates are those found in nature. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are always a healthier choice than anything that comes in a box, jar or can.
Vegetables are among the healthiest carbohydrates for several reasons. They contain fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Many vegetables are said to be cancer fighters, and will help ward off other diseases as well. Healthy vegetables include broccoli, spinach, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, asparagus, kale, zucchini, peppers and green beans. Organic is best to avoid pesticides.
Fruits are also a healthy carbohydrate choice. They contain fiber, vitamins, minerals and different antioxidants than those found in vegetables. Healthy fruit choices include berries, grapefruit, oranges, apples, pears, peaches and nectarines. Just watch how often you are eating the higher sugar fruits like banana, pineapple and kiwi.
Servings of Fruits and Vegetables
The U.S. government has taken the stance that individual servings will vary and they are now recommending people go by portion size (cups) and total caloric intake. For example, according to their calculations, a 40-year-old female who works out 30 to 60 minutes a day should consume 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables every day. Do not eat corn which is usually genetically modified and hard to digest.
Whole grains include barley, oats, quinoa, whole grain rice and any other grain that contains the bran, germ and endosperm of the grain. Whole grains contain all of the parts of the original grain without being processed. They are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and contain some antioxidants that are not found in fruits and vegetables.
Whole Grains in Processed Food
Whole grains are also found in many boxed cereals, whole wheat pastas and breads. The Whole Grains Council has a stamp claiming “100% Whole Grains” that is placed on a product that has been qualified by them. The product may not be the healthiest carbohydrate choice, however, due to the sugars, chemicals and other ingredients that are often added to processed food. When choosing processed carbohydrates, check the ingredient list and make sure everything in the list is recognizable as a natural substance and not a chemical word.
Beans and Lentils
Beans and lentils are some of the healthiest carbohydrate you can eat. They both contain large amounts of fiber, minerals and complex carbohydrates. They are low in fat and are easily added to soups, chili and many other main courses. Beans come in many varieties: navy, cannelini, kidney beans, chick peas and more. Beans and lentils can be purchased in bulk or canned. Organic being the best choice to avoid pesticides.