So, what are good carbs and should we be eating them?
We’re all about enjoying the benefits of a healthy, balanced lifestyle, and that means we need to pay attention to the food we eat. These days, however, there are so many conflicting food trends, meal plans and diets that, more often than not, we get super confused about what we should be eating, so we just end up reaching for another chocolate slab.
However, it seems that the adage “everything in moderation” is once again gaining momentum. We tend to agree, but over the past few years one food group in particular has received a seriously bad rap, making this a bit difficult.
Yes, the dreaded carbohydrate has been painted as the wicked witch of food groups, one that you should avoid at all costs. While some carbohydrates may not help you if you’re watching your waistline, there are good carbs that should form part of your diet. Not only do carbs have great nutritional and health benefits, but research has shown that including the right kinds of starchy food in your diet can lead to you consuming fewer kilojoules overall, which actually aids weight loss.
What are good carbs?
‘Good carbs’ or complex carbs are basically made up of complex sugars. The reason why we call them good carbs is because the more complex a carb is, the harder your body has to work to break them down.
What that means is they’ll keep you fuller for longer and they won’t raise your blood sugar levels as quickly as simple sugars or refined carbs.
With that in mind, here is a list of good carbs that you should be eating:
1. Sweet potatoes
These yummy root veg deserve their superfood status since they’re a great source of vitamins B and C, fibre, and even boost collagen production, which helps with those wrinkles. Their low glycaemic index means they’ll keep your blood sugar levels stable, making them a great choice for dinner.
Looking for sweet potato recipes? We’ve got loads:
- Sweet potato curry
- Stuffed sweet potato boats
- Sweet potato cake
- Sweet potato frittata
- Spicy orange roasted sweet potatoes
2. Brown rice
Since this variety of rice still has hull and bran in each grain, it is higher in fibre, and also is full of magnesium and potassium. It helps stabilise blood sugar levels and because it’s high in fibre and water and low in kilojoules, it can help reduce weight carried around the middle of the body.
3. Low GI and GL breads
Not only is this a super convenient addition to just about any meal, but low glycaemic index options are great because your body has to work harder to break them down, which means they release energy slowly and they have a low impact on blood sugar levels. We like the Blue Ribbon range. And if you’re worried that bread has too many carbs in it, here are 10 foods that have more carbs than a slice of bread.
This grain is oh-so low in kilojoules and even contains certain fibres and amino acids which boost weight loss. The added bonus it’s that it’s a very affordable grain, and is a great way to bulk up soups and stews, and increase their fibre content. Try this easy, budget-friendly recipe for chicken and barley soup.
5. Whole-wheat pasta
Who doesn’t love a delicious pasta, right? Well, whole-wheat pasta is bulkier than the regular, more refined version, meaning it will fill you up quicker, even if you eat less of it, and keep you full for longer… yip, no need for unwanted snacking. It’s also packed with fibre and protein… winning!