Carbohydrates get a very bad reputation for being unhealthy, but the fact is that there are good carbs in the world that you simply shouldn’t do without if you want a balanced diet. From beets and bananas to whole grains and chickpeas, these good carbohydrate sources are also packed with fibre and other nutrients. Read on to know more.
Think about carbohydrates and most of us immediately conjure up images of starchy rice or fried potatoes or even gluggy khichdi, mostly thanks to the bad reputation that carbs get for being unhealthy. Over the decades, excessive carbohydrate consumption has been linked to weight gain and obesity, not to mention diabetes and other metabolic disorders. But did you know that like most things in the world, there is also a good side to carbs?
According to Harvard School of Public Health, assuming all carbs are unhealthy on face value is a big mistake most people make. After all, carbohydrates are also nutrients our bodies need to function properly. What matters more is the type of carbohydrate you choose, because some carbs are definitely better than others. Some carbs are so beneficial that even two bowlfuls of them will do you more good than harm.
Wondering which carbs these are? Here’s a whole list of some fabulous foods which are packed with the best carbohydrates in the world.
Video credit: YouTube/Food Wishes
One large banana has around 31 grams of carbs, and in ripe bananas, this is more in the form of natural sugars that dissolve easily. This apart, bananas are loaded with potassium, vitamin B6 and C, and plenty of antioxidants that not only help lower blood pressure but also improve heart health.
While most flours end up losing a lot of their fibre content—which is a type of carbohydrate too—whole grains have much higher levels of dietary fibre. What’s more, whole grains are also loaded with plant proteins, minerals and plenty of beneficial antioxidants. So, load up on quinoa, bajra and millets.
There’s good reason behind the proverb ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’. Sweet, crisp and tart, apples of all colours are loaded with dietary fibre and natural sugars, along with some vitamins (especially vitamin C) and antioxidants. Good for the heart and diabetes management, you should load up on more apples.
A part of the legume family, chickpeas are celebrated by vegetarians and vegans alike for being a great source of plant proteins. But what many don’t know is that chickpeas are also a great source of healthy carbs. Every 100 grams of chickpeas contain 27.4 grams of carbs and 8 grams of dietary fibre, making that bowl of chole the best carb you can have today.
Sweet, sour and slightly bitter, grapefruit is a summer fruit that is loaded with good carbs, and a whole lot of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. From improving heart health to preventing kidney stones, from lowering cholesterol to slowing the spread of cancer, grapefruit is credited with a lot of health benefits that make it a must-have.
Vibrant in colour, sweet in taste, beetroots are loaded with carbohydrates, but the good kind. 100 grams of beetroots contain 10 grams of carbs, which are basically in the form of dietary fibre and natural sugar. Primarily a winter vegetable, beets are also rich in vitamins, minerals and inorganic nitrates that help lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of diseases. So, load up on as many beet dishes as you can.
Also read: The Low-Carb Diet
While potatoes get derided for being bad carbs, sweet potatoes are celebrated as the opposite. 100 grams of mashed sweet potatoes contain 20.7 grams of carbs. Equal parts starch, sugar and fibre, the carbs in sweet potatoes are known to help you rather than harm you. Plus, these root veggies are also packed with vitamins and minerals.
Another member of the legume family and celebrated in India in the form of rajma, kidney beans are not just loaded with protein. 100 grams of kidney beans contain 21.5 grams of carbs, primarily from starch and dietary fibre. Also rich in vitamins and minerals, kidney beans contain antioxidants that help in blood sugar regulation and reduce the risk of cancer.
Everybody loves oranges because they are loaded with vitamin C and are great for skin health. But 100 grams of oranges also contain 15.5 grams of carbs, making it a good source of the nutrient too. Along with that, oranges are loaded with potassium, B vitamins and plenty of beneficial antioxidants. From preventing kidney stones to anemia, the benefits of eating oranges are plenty.
Most vegetables are loaded with healthy carbs, but green beans stand out among them because they also pack a protein punch. 100 grams of cooked green beans contain 7 grams of carbohydrates, which are mostly in the form of dietary fibre. From aiding digestion to improving bowel movements, there are simply too many benefits of eating green beans.