Then, there is the whole “good carb” v. “bad carb” thing that gets so confusing we decide we are better off just not eating them at all.
Well, both ways of thinking are unhealthy. It is not healthy to disregard or limit an entire food group from our diet regardless of what we’ve been lead to believe! Eating carbs is not a scary thing. We need them for energy. If you have been playing the avoiding game because you just aren’t sure what to eat and are afraid of eating the “bad” carb then here’s a handy little list of NINE perfectly healthy and delicious carbs to put into your diet. These will leave you feeling energized, full and not deprived. We all know what happens if we feel deprived . . . .
1/2 cup cooked pearl barley: 97 calories, 22g carbs, 3g fiber
Swedish research suggests barley can fight hunger by raising blood sugar levels more slowly than sweets which helps avoid the sugar spike and crash.
2. Green Peas
1/2 cup cooked: 67 calories, 12.5g carbs, 4.5g fiber
A half-cup of peas provides 12 percent of your recommended daily intake of zinc. Zinc helps reduce hunger by increasing levels of leptin, the hormone that tells your brain when your stomach is full.
3. Whole-Wheat Pasta
2 ounces dry: 198 calories, 43g carbs, 5g fiber
The key here is to keep portions between 100-200 calories. A recent study showed that a higher intake of whole grains was associated with a lower BMI and less abdominal fat.
4. Acorn Squash
1 cup cubed and baked: 115 calories, 30g carbs, 9g fiber
This is the perfect time of year for acorn squash and it is LOADED with fiber.
5. Whole-Wheat Bread
2 slices Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Bread: 160 calories, 30g carbs, 8g fiber
You really have to watch the labels here because a lot of folks market their products as “whole grain” but only have a small percentage from whole grains. Make sure it says 100 percent whole grain and has about 80 calories per slice.
1/2 cup canned low-sodium black beans: 109 calories, 20g carbs, 8g fiber
We love beans in our family. A can of black beans is the simplest and best side I can think of! Who can’t open a can of black beans? These are great sources of protein and iron, too.
7. Air-Popped Popcorn
3 cups air-popped popcorn: 93 calories, 19g carbs, 3.5g fiber
Air popped popcorn always makes me think of my law school days. I had a classmate that never showed up for class without a big bag of air popped popcorn. While the crunch was pretty annoying I have to give her a gold star for picking a great healthy snack! According to a study in Nutrition Journal, popcorn not only provides more short-term satiety compared to the fried taters, it also reduces feelings of hunger for those looking to manage body weight and watch their calories. And, 3 cups of air-popped kernels equals the same amount of calories as only 9 potato chips!
1/2 cup dry: 153 calories, 27g carbs, 4g fiber
This is definitely the time of year when I begin to bring out the oatmeal. There is nothing that is more comforting and sticks to you longer than a good bowl of oatmeal. It is full of soluble fiber which has been shown to help reduce the deep belly fat the surrounds the vital organs and is linked with diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
1/2 cup cooked: 111 calories, 20g carbs, 2.5g fiber
One of my personal favorites! And I have finally converted my family to this perfect, complete protein! I’ve written about all the benefits of quinoa before, but in case you missed out, quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids—which are necessary to build lean, calorie-burning muscle—without any saturated fats often found in animal protein. It is great added to a salad at lunchtime to help you stay full longer and keep you from snacking later in the afternoon.
There you have it – 9 Carbs to eat, enjoy and know you are adding to a healthy diet. No fears from these carbs!
Enjoy your Day!