10 Top Healthy Carbs
This post, listing his opinion of the top 10 healthiest carbs, was submitted by Nestor Cabintoy from Manila, Philippines. I must say I agree with Nestor’s choices.
We tend to think of carbohydrates as “bad” for us but healthy carbohydrates can be some of the healthiest foods to eat. Let’s hear what Nestor has to say:
Top Ten Healthy Carbs
10.) Brown rice: The key here is brown, with the fiber husks in place. Rice allergies are rare and it digests readily without too much distress, bloating or gas. It is best for fat loss to keep serving sizes under 1 cup cooked or 1/4 cup dry weight.
9.) Steel cut whole oatmeal: Not the rolled oats you grew up eating, but maybe what your grandmother grew up eating. This is the whole oat with all valuable fiber and nutrients intact. It takes a bit longer to cook, but the nutty flavor and slower insulin response are worth it. As with brown rice, keep serving sizes under 1 cup cooked or 1/4 cup dry weight.
8.) Quinoa: Another high fiber, gluten-free cereal grain. Higher fiber and mineral content than the oats or rice for even better insulin control. If the taste doesn’t suit you at first, mix 1:1 with oatmeal until you get used to it. Once you are, you’ll be hooked and be eating more healthy carbs!
7.) Yams/sweet potatoes: These tubers are best prepared baked, in the skin. Not much more carbs than a regular russet of similar size, but more fiber, vitamins and minerals. I like them baked, then refrigerated cold and sprinkled with a little cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.
6.) Winter squashes: Butternut, pumpkin, spaghetti or acorn squash are all very nutritious and now can be found in markets year round in most places. Cut them in half, scoop out the seeds and bake them skin side up over a 1/4” of water. These are full of fiber, vitamins and minerals and a nice change of pace.
5.) Peas and Legumes: Most beans varieties and green peas fit the bill as healthy carbs. Choose from black, pinto, navy, kidney, white, red, chickpeas, garbanzo, etc. beans or green peas, as all of these are high fiber and very filling. Protein content, along with the fiber, fills you up without filling you out by keeping insulin response low. For best results, soak and cook slowly. As a snack, try hummus!
4.) Colorful fibrous veggies: Red, yellow and orange bell peppers, green beans, beets, yellow summer squash, zucchini, purple eggplant, carrots, parsnips, red and green chili peppers… the colors mean carotenoids, and plenty of mixed carotenoids means more antioxidant coverage. A wide variety of colorful vegetables in your diet will improve your health and make your skin glow. There is almost no downside to the amount of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and fiber (at low calories) they provide.
3.) Super fruits: Fruits are healthy carbs, full of fiber and enzymes, and with their quick digestion yet slow insulin response makes them ideal for an instant energy boost. But not all fruits are created equal and most don’t even make this list, but a select few make it almost to the top. Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, pomegranates, cranberries, and acai are amazing foods. You will feel the difference when you eat them versus other fruits. They are excellent when you are sick, or when you workout hard, for that extra level of protection. High antioxidant, phytonutrients, enzymes, fiber and vitamins at moderate calories give you a lot of bang for the buck. They also have cleansing alkalizing effects on you internally, which along with all the antioxidants, provides an enormous immunity boost and keeps your digestive system functioning properly.
2.) Leafy green vegetables: Kale, sea kelp, turnip greens, collard greens, mustard greens, beet greens, chlorella, wheat grass, endive, alfalfa sprouts, spring green lettuces, spirulina, and spinach are so low calories, yet so nutrient dense, they rank very high on my preferred carbohydrate list. Include these several meals a week and they will cover almost any base you missed. They’ve got minerals, phytonutrients, fiber and vitamins in high quantities. These also are alkalizing and cleansing, keeping your digestive system running at full capacity.
1.) Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, broccoli rabe, cauliflower, bok choy, napa cabbage, Chinese cabbage, green and purple cabbages are maybe not as high in micronutrients as the leafy green vegetables or super fruits, yet they contain DIM or Diindolymethane, a phytonutrient that acts as an estrogen disposal agent. Excess estrogen plagues almost anyone who is overweight or has practiced poor dietary habits for any amount of time. When you rid yourself of excess estrogen, you free up testosterone to do its job of building muscle at the expense of body fat. It is best to consume these incredible foods in large quantities. Try broccoli rabe or baby bok choy, sautéed in a little olive oil, with sea salt and garlic. Try mashed cauliflower in place of mashed potatoes, it’s terrific.
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