Can we finally settle it once and for all? Despite what many trendy diets and fitness “experts” might have you believe, carbs are not the enemy when it comes to losing weight.
One report from researchers at Harvard published in The New England Journal of Medicine, which examined how small changes in behaviors like sleep habits, TV-watching, exercising and eating habits can effect long-term weight gain, found that what we eat is one of the most important factors when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight.
And, as part of the results they were able to identify and rank specific foods that play a role in helping us lose weight. Can you guess what the second food item (right behind vegetables) on that list was?
Whole grains, like oats and brown rice, which yes, you guessed it, are carbohydrate-rich foods.
What’s more, a separate study from Harvard that analyzed the diets of more than 27,000 people over eight years found that people who ate more whole grains weighed about 2.5 pounds less compared to those who only consumed refined grain foods (like white bread and flour tortillas).
Plus, as Stephen Adele, fitness author and owner of Colorado-based iSatori nutritional products recently explained to BodyBuidling.com, maintaining a low-carb diet over a long period of time may hinder your body’s ability to build and maintain lean muscle mass, which is counterintuitive to weight loss because muscle mass requires more energy to be maintained, which slightly increases the rate of your metabolism.
Not to mention, carbohydrates are the body’s go-to macronutrient for fuel.
And this is especially true if you’re working out on a regular basis.
So, when it comes to healthy eating habits and weight loss, reducing your carb intake likely isn’t the answer, but rather choosing smarter, more nutritious carbohydrate sources. Particularly, those that are high in fiber and protein.
From whole grains to fresh fruit, here are just a few examples of the healthiest carbs that meet that mark, and yes, can actually help you reach your weight loss goals.
Although you may not have heard about it yet, this gluten-free, off-the-grid whole grain is starting to gain popularity. For example the creators of Cabo Chips use it as a main ingredient in many of their back-to-basics, healthy whole grain chips. Traditionally, in Ethiopia teff is used to make a spongy flatbread called injera, but it can also be used to make porridge or used as a hearty topping for salads or added to soups. A one-cup (cooked) serving packs: 50g of carbs, 10g fiber and 10g protein.
Rye is a high-protein, high-fiber whole grain, but even in its refined form retains a large portion of its nutrients. A 1/3-cup (55g) serving packs: 38g carbs, 8g fiber and 8g protein.