“Carbs are bad for you.”
“Carbohydrates make you gain weight.”
“Carbs will make put fat around your belly.”
Have you heard these things before?! Let’s get one thing straight…. carbohydrates are not the enemy! The problem is that a high carb diet might also be a high calorie diet, which will lead to weight gain and belly fat.
I love carbs. Bread, fruit, grains, etc. I LOVE them. The right carbs and healthy carbs can actually keep you satisfied throughout the day and give you energy. I use carbs for energy throughout the day, but also energy during my workouts!
So what are my favorite healthy carb choices? Here are some of my go-tos.
Fruit. Fruit gets a bad wrap for being high in sugar. Yes, sugar is not good for you, but there is a difference between fructose (natural sugars found in fruits) and added sugars. Fruit is loaded with vitamins and minerals and should be incorporated into any clean eating diet.
I pretty much eat a banana or half a banana every single day. Apples are also a huge part of my diet. Other fruits that I try to incorporate include oranges, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc. During the summer months, mangos and pineapples are more available as well.
Whole Wheat Breads. I try to keep a variety of whole wheat bread options at our house. Whole wheat bagels, whole wheat English muffins, whole wheat bread and even Ezekiel bread can be found at any given time. Since I don’t go through all of it in a week I keep most of it in the freezer. Pop a slice of bread in the microwave for 12-15 seconds and it’ll defrost enough to toast or to make a sandwich. Easy peasy!
Grains. Some of my favorite grains to keep on hand are quinoa and brown rice. We usually keep several different types such as regular, quick cooking and even those Ready-to-Serve cups that take 60 seconds to heat up and eat.
We do keep other grains in our pantry including brown jasmine rice, millet, couscous and farro. Occasionally we’ll switch up the grain we want to eat with a certain dish.
Make sure to check out Staple Food Items: Healthy Grains to learn more about my favorite healthy whole grains.
Whole Wheat Pasta. Occasionally I just want a nice bowl of warm pasta. For nights like that I keep a variety of whole wheat noodles on hand including spaghetti, rotini and penne. It is quick to cook and you can use a variety of sauces to make a healthy dinner.
Again, carbohydrates are not a bad food. Some people do better on a low carb diet, while others (like me) do better with a variety of healthy carbs in their diet. Carbs can provide nutrients and fiber, but they supply the body and mind with energy to get you through the day.
Before completely omitting carbs from your diet, try incorporating some of these mentioned.
What are your favorite healthy carbs?