Welcome to a transformative journey toward vitality and well-being! In a world where health is wealth, our guide to the “Top 10 Healthy Carb Foods” is your exclusive key to unlocking boundless energy and vitality. Nourish your body with the best nature has to offer as we unveil a carefully curated list of nutrient-rich, delicious, and SEO-optimized carbohydrate sources. Say goodbye to the misconceptions surrounding carbs and join us in discovering a new paradigm of wellness. Get ready to supercharge your nutrition, top the search results, and embrace a lifestyle that celebrates both health and flavor. Your path to vitality starts here!
Table of Contents
What Are Carbohydrates?
For optimal operation, your body needs enough macronutrients, which you must consume. Additionally, the body favors using healthy carb foods as its main fuel source out of the three macronutrients: protein, fat, and carbs. It can certainly use fat and protein as fuel, but it does so far less effectively than when it relies mostly on carbohydrates.
Many meals, such as handmade whole-grain bread and the little heart-shaped candies you enjoy on Valentine’s Day, include carbohydrates. Not all carbohydrates will benefit your health in the same manner, even though they will all provide your body with the ingredients it needs to produce energy.
One common way to distinguish carbs is to look for those that primarily consist of elements from whole foods or those that have undergone processing and refinement; many contain a combination of both. You should consume the majority of your carbohydrates from whole foods (sometimes called “complex carbohydrates”) as they are generally higher in fiber and other nutrients than from refined sources. These better-for-you carbohydrates include whole grains, steamed fruit, and legumes.
Refined carbohydrates (sometimes referred to as “simple carbohydrates”) are typically made up primarily of sugar and/or white flour. Consuming excessive amounts of these carbs might cause a blood sugar increase, and they frequently don’t provide much in the way of nourishment. Refined carbohydrates include things like soda, cookies, candies, and white bread. These are not regarded as the best options for carbohydrates, even if any foods can be included in a diet as long as they are consumed in moderation.
How to Eat Carbs and Maintain a Healthy Diet
In spite of what many fad diets claim, if you want to maintain your health, you need to incorporate carbohydrates in your diet. Actually, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020–2025, most Americans should get between 45% and 65% of their daily calories from carbs. Thus, if your daily calorie intake is 2,000, your daily carbohydrate intake should be between 900 and 1,300 calories. This corresponds to between 225 and 325 grams of carbs per day. Almost not a low-carb diet.
To reach your quota, though, you don’t have to scarf down a dozen glazed donuts or a gallon of sweet tea. Selecting nutritious carbohydrates is critical for promoting satiety in your body, regular bowel movements, blood sugar regulation, and lowered risk of certain diseases.
The Dietary Guidelines provide some direction when making decisions about carbs:
- Grains: Whole grains and fortified grains are important components of a healthy diet. Therefore, whole grains should make up at least half of the grain options, with the remainder coming from enriched sources. In general, individuals should strive for 6 ounces or equivalents of grains per day.
- Fruit: Fruit is high in essential nutrients and should be consumed in two portions each day. Fruit can be eaten raw or cooked, as long as it is free of added sugar, salt, or other additives. It can also be enjoyed frozen or dried.
- Vegetables: Vegetables should make up 2½ cups of your daily intake. Although the majority of a diet should consist of nonstarchy vegetables, starchy vegetables, beans, peas, and lentils should also play a significant role in a well-balanced diet.
- Dairy: The recommendations suggest eating three dairy cup equivalents each day. Even though not all dairy products are high in carbs, lactose, which is present in milk and yogurt, makes them classified as carbohydrates.
- Foods with Added Sugars: Limiting foods and drinks with added sugars that are high in calories is recommended. Cakes, drinks, candies, and other sweet delights fall under this category.
The Best 10 Healthy Carb Foods
Technically speaking, this fashionable side is a seed rather than a grain. But like many other grains, it’s categorized as such since it’s eaten as a side dish or as the foundation for grain bowls.
Quinoa has naturally occurring carbs, satiating fiber, and healthful antioxidants. Try this grain in our Slow-Cooker Black Bean & Quinoa Bowl or our Chickpea & Quinoa Bowl with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce.
A hearty cup of cozy oatmeal in the morning might provide you with a satisfying approach to meeting your daily carbohydrate needs. Naturally occurring soluble and insoluble fiber, as well as carbs, promote numerous aspects of our health in oats.
Among the fibers present in oats, beta-glucan holds significant importance. A 2021 review published in the journal Foods stated that it has demonstrated anti-diabetes and cholesterol-lowering benefits. There are many different ways to incorporate oats into your diet, such as in rhubarb oat muffins or apple cinnamon overnight oats.
Strawberries, being naturally sweet and low in calories, are an excellent fruit to help satisfy your sweet appetite. Choosing this fruit over candy, which frequently has additional sugars, will give your body natural carbohydrates without any added sugar, as well as nutrients like potassium, folate, and fiber, and advantageous antioxidants. Having said that, we completely understand that sometimes all you need is some actual sweets.
4. Black Beans
In addition to having 20 grams of carbs per ½ cup serving, beans are an excellent healthy carbohydrate option since they also include fiber and protein, which promote satiety. Darker beans, such as black and red kidney, have been shown in a 2021 study published in Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases to maintain healthy blood pressure and reduce LDL “bad” cholesterol concentrations after meals.
Combining two of our favorite carbs into one delicious, convenient weekday dish is our Black Bean-Quinoa Bowl.
Although pasta is considered a refined carbohydrate, its fiber and protein content, together with the absence of added sugar or salt, make it a viable option for a healthy diet. Just remember to eat in moderation and pair the pasta with healthy fats, veggies, lean proteins, and other nutrient-dense ingredients.
Unlike many other refined grains that might trigger a blood sugar increase, the protein structure in pasta digests more slowly, making it a special kind of refined grain. Furthermore, a 2019 study that was published in the BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health found that postmenopausal women who consume more pasta—just over three servings per week—have a lower risk of heart disease and stroke. Additionally, a 2020 study that was published in Frontiers in Nutrition discovered that diets that include pasta are linked to higher-quality diets than diets that do not.
In addition to being a great source of carbohydrates, lentils are also a great source of protein and fiber. These tiny legumes are also a natural source of several other essential elements, including iron, magnesium, and vitamin B6. Try our Shorbet Ads (Egyptian Lentil Soup) for a hearty, delicious lentil dish.
Few things compare to the satisfaction of an ice-cold glass of milk. And since protein, essential vitamins, and minerals like calcium and magnesium are naturally found in milk, a glass of this traditional beverage is among the healthiest ways to get carbs.
Remember that many flavored milk have additional sugars, which can cause a blood sugar increase and give empty calories when selecting your milk. When it comes to adding milk to your diet, classic white milk is your best option. Soymilk is a close second because both have comparable nutritional profiles. Although they frequently have far fewer calories, other milk substitutes like almond milk and oat milk nevertheless contain minerals like calcium and vitamin D.
While it’s consumed all over the world, sorghum is a major staple in areas of Africa and Australia. It’s an ancient grain. Similar to quinoa, sorghum is a naturally high-fiber and antioxidant food that works well as a side dish or a soup ingredient. Pop raw sorghum like you would popcorn kernels for a tasty take on a traditional snack that won’t get stuck in your teeth.
Any fruit, including pears, can be a convenient portable supply of carbohydrates that eliminates the need to estimate serving quantities. Consuming fruits like pears provides your body with fiber, vitamins, and minerals in addition to an increase in natural carbohydrates.
Try the Roasted Pears with Brie and pistachios for a little variation if you’re looking for something more than just a piece of basic fruit.
10. Sweet Potatoes
Unbelievably, as long as they aren’t fried or overly loaded with added sugar, salt, or other things that should be kept to a minimum, potatoes may be a terrific complement to any diet. Sweet potatoes are a great source of beta-carotene, which helps maintain a strong immune system.
It’s easy to find ways to incorporate this amazing potato into your nutritious diet, from Sloppy Joe-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes to Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries.
The Bottom Line
In terms of nutrition, carbs are not as bad as many people would have you believe. Having said that, your health and happiness can be greatly impacted by the kind of carbs you select. To maintain your energy and mood, choose complex healthy carb foods that are high in nutrients and fiber and consume them throughout the day.
what is the healthiest carb to eat?
However, the quality of the carbohydrates is crucial; certain foods high in carbs are better than others: The healthiest sources of carbs are whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and minimally processed whole grains. These foods provide essential nutrients including fiber, vitamins, and minerals, as well as a variety of other phytonutrients.
Is rice a healthy carb?
You’ll Feel More Energized. “Carbohydrates, one of the three major macronutrients we need to consume daily, are found in rice, a healthy, nutrient-dense grain,” adds Ehsani, adding that the other two components of this potent trio are fat and protein.
How can I speed up my fat loss?
Your ability to burn fat can be increased by incorporating a brief burst of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) into your morning routine. Short bursts of intensive activity are interspersed with rest intervals to form HIIT. This type of exercise speeds up calorie burning, boosts metabolism, and reduces belly fat.
How to lose weight in 7 days?
You can lose weight in 7 days by consuming fewer processed meals and extra sugars. Increasing your intake of fiber-rich foods and lots of water may also be beneficial. Nevertheless, a variety of factors affect weight loss, so it’s advisable to aim for a slower, more sustainable weight loss of 0.5–2 pounds each week.