Explaining healthy carbs + 4 low-carb alternatives

January 24, 2024 (Last Updated: January 23, 2024)
low carbs

One of the scariest words? Carbs!

The idea that all carbs are bad news has been embedded into our minds. Carbs are often misunderstood and even vilified in certain diet trends. However, they’re an essential part of a balanced and healthy diet. But not all carbs are created equal!

We’re talking healthy carbohydrates!

Carbohydrates are seen as a primary source of energy for the body, supporting vital functions such as brain activity, muscle contractions, and overall cellular function. However, because not all carbohydrates are created equal, choosing the right types of carbs is crucial for maintaining optimal health.

Whole grains

  • Whole grains are a powerhouse of nutrients, including fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Examples include quinoa, brown rice, oats, and whole wheat.
  • These carbohydrates provide sustained energy and help regulate blood sugar levels.

Fruits and vegetables

    • Fruits and vegetables are rich in complex carbohydrates, fiber, and antioxidants.
    • They offer a wide range of essential nutrients and contribute to overall health.
    • Opt for a variety of colourful options to ensure a diverse nutrient intake.

However, with fruit, you need to be mindful of sugar content!

Legumes

    • Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are excellent sources of healthy carbohydrates.
    • They are high in fiber and protein, promoting a feeling of fullness and stabilizing blood sugar.

Going low carb? These are your healthy alternatives

Cauliflower rice

An excellent low-carb alternative to rice, cauliflower rice is versatile and easy to prepare. It is rich in vitamins and fiber, to be used in various dishes from stir-fries to casseroles.

Zucchini noodles

Replace your traditional pasta with zucchini noodles for a low-carb, nutrient-dense option. Zucchini or pumpkin noodles can be spiralized and paired with your favourite sauces and toppings. If these are not for you, you can try whole wheat pasta or egg noodles as well.

Sweet potato toast

Sweet potato is a great alternative to many foods now. Potato chips, pasta and even bread. Swap conventional bread for sweet potato slices for a nutrient-packed alternative.

Quinoa pasta

For all the gluten-free lovers, quinoa pasta is an excellent alternative. It provides a good source of protein and essential amino acids.

Achieving a balanced diet involves not only choosing healthy carbohydrates but also considering portion sizes to prevent overeating of a certain food group. It is important to pair a protein and healthy fats with your carbs for a balanced meal.

ALSO SEE: No carb mushroom pizza

No carb mushroom pizza

Written by Amy Steenkamp for Woman&Home.

Feature image: Pexels

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