Carbs That Can Help You Lose Weight

“I am not supposed to eat carbs when I am trying to lose weight.”… I hear this often. But nothing is further from the truth when you are trying to lose weight, live longer and reduce your risk of getting Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and regulate your blood glucose and cholesterol.

“Good carbs,” such as whole grains, have healing powers. They are also high in dietary fibers, which make your feel full faster and keep you satisfied longer. As a result, you may eat fewer unhealthy foods and even lose some weight.

Even if eating whole grains doesn’t actually make you lose weight, studies have shown that it can help you reduce body fat and lead to a healthier distribution of that fat. Specifically, eating whole grains can leave you with less belly fat — what scientists kindly call “central adiposity” — which increases your risk of diabetes and other chronic illnesses.

Dietary guidelines for Americans call for six servings of gains daily, with half of them being whole grains. Adults need about 25 to 35 grams of fiber daily, and whole grains contain two types — soluble and insoluble — which are both beneficial to your health.

There are over a dozen whole grains out there today. Some of the most popular and my favorites are:

  1. Barley: Look for hulled or hull-less barley, which takes 40 minutes to 1 hour to cook. It has a nutty flavor, is similar in color to brown rice and makes a good side dish.
  2. Brown rice: A much healthier substitute to white rice, it can be used in all the same ways. Pre-cooked brown rice has the same nutrients as long grains and cooks in 10 minutes.
  3. Bulgar wheat: A small grain, bulgar wheat’s fine size makes it great for adding to soups, stews and stir-fry. It also comes parboiled, so it doesn’t take as long to cook as some of other whole grains.
  4. Farro: My favorite, farro, is making a trendy comeback. You often see it on restaurant menus in place or rice or risotto. It too can be added to soups and stews or used in a cold salad or a warmer vegetable dish to make it more flavorful and filling. I often use it in place of pasta.
  5. Quinoa: This ancient grain cooks in about 15 minutes and goes with about anything. Add a side of quinoa to your breakfast in lieu of grits. Coat chicken tenders with quinoa instead of bread crumbs. Use it as a healthy side dish at lunch or dinner, or even as a midday snack mixed with berries and nuts … yum!

Ready to take to start improving your diet? Head over to my calendar to schedule your complementary healthy-habits assessment.

Lisa Burbage

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