7 Healthy Carbs To Help You Balance Your Weight Loss Journey

Over the last decade or so, we’ve been hit with this ongoing, and sometimes even subliminal message, that ‘carbs are bad’. That eating carbohydrates is what leads to weight gain and that by cutting them out of your life and loading up on protein is the solution to all your health goals. This belief is what catapulted things like the Atkins Diet and later the Keto Diet into the mainstream and it became more of a lifestyle choice than a health pursuit. But in reality, carbs aren’t the monstrous beast they’ve been made out to be. 

What Are Carbohydrates?

The first step towards understanding carbs is to figure out what they really are. Carbohydrates can be found in a variety of foods, both in the healthy and unhealthy ones. They show up in things like bread, legumes, dairy, potatoes, cookies, pasta and even in vegetables to some extent. These carbohydrates come in different forms, with sugars, fibres and starches being the most common.

Getting the right amount of carbohydrates in your diet plays a significant role because they are the most easily accessible source of glucose, which gets converted into energy to support bodily functions and physical activity. However, the quality of the carbohydrates matters. Some carbohydrate-rich foods are better for your health than others:

The healthiest sources of carbohydrates are whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans which are either unprocessed or minimally processed. They not only provide energy but also deliver essential vitamins, minerals, fibre, and various beneficial phytonutrients.

Here are 10 healthy carbs that you can add to your diet:

1. Oats

Every diet fad seems to include some amount of oats, and it's for a very good reason because oats are a classic example of healthy carbohydrates. They are rich in fibre and low in sugar, making them a really easy and accessible choice for a sustainable energy source. Oats also contain beta-glucans, which are beneficial for heart health and can help in maintaining stable blood sugar levels.

2. Quinoa

For people who love grains with every meal but are trying to wean off white rice, quinoa could do the trick. This pseudo-grain is a versatile carbohydrate that is also a complete protein source. It's packed with essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Additionally, quinoa is gluten-free, making it an excellent option for those with dietary restrictions.

3. Sweet Potatoes

Though they may not seem like it. Sweet potatoes are a delicious and nutritious source of carbohydrates. They are high in fibre, vitamins, and antioxidants. These root vegetables can help regulate blood sugar levels and contribute to a healthy digestive system.

4. Brown Rice

Unlike white rice, brown rice is a whole grain that retains its bran and germ layers. This means it's packed with fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Brown rice is an excellent source of energy and is a healthier alternative to its refined counterpart.

5. Legumes

Beans are a staple part of Indian cuisine and dal is almost an essential at most meals. So it’s lucky that legumes, such as lentils, chickpeas, and black beans, are a fantastic source of carbohydrates and protein. They are high in fibre and provide sustained energy while also being rich in essential nutrients. Additionally, they can aid in weight management.

6. Bulgar Wheat

If you’re a fan of more dense and earthy textures, try adding bulgar wheat to your diet. This whole grain is rich in fibre and various vitamins and minerals, low in fat and a versatile ingredient in salads, stews, and pilafs. Incorporating bulgar wheat into your diet can promote digestive health.

7. Millet

The absolute hero ingredient of the moment, the world is slowly becoming more aware of the massive potential in the tiny millet. Millets are a highly nutritious carbohydrate, they’re gluten-free and contain an array of vitamins and minerals. They’re also particularly rich in magnesium, which is vital for bone health and muscle function.