Health

7 best carbs to eat when you're trying to lose weight

If you've been avoiding carbs like the plague while trying to lose weight, it's time to stop.

Carbohydrates are essential for energy - they get broken down into glucose before being absorbed by your body, and glucose helps to fuel your activities.

The trick is to eat nutrient-packed, starchy carbs, instead of just loading up on simple sugars like chocolates or pastries.

Here is a list of carbs you can eat to complement your weight-loss efforts while maintaining a balanced and healthy diet.

BARLEY

There are so many ways to prepare barley. This yummy grain can be used in drinks, desserts, soups and in mains.

Various studies have shown that eating diets high in whole grains and fibre helps to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Barley has both, but choose hulled barley over pearled barley as it is the most nutritious.

WHOLE-GRAIN PASTA

Swap out your regular pasta for whole-grain varieties instead. It tastes just as good, but is full of fibre and minerals.

A higher intake of whole grains is associated with a reduced risk of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease too.

QUINOA

Seven best carbs to eat even when you're trying to lose weight
Quinoa is gluten-free.PHOTO: RANG MAHAL

Naturally gluten-free, this is perfect for celiac sufferers.

It is also one of the rare plant-based foods that is considered a protein as it contains all nine essential amino acids. Quinoa is a good source of fibre, iron, magnesium and potassium as well.

OATMEAL

One of the biggest benefits of oatmeal is its ability to help lower bad (LDL) cholesterol levels.

A recent study published in the British Journal of Nutrition further reaffirms this as its researchers found that eating oats helps to reduce multiple markers of cardiovascular disease. Go for rolled oats or steel-cut oats to get the most benefits.

BROWN RICE

Seven best carbs to eat even when you're trying to lose weight
Brown rice has a lower glycaemic index.PHOTO: TNP FILE

Keep your blood sugar levels from spiking with brown rice instead of white rice. It will make a big difference to your diabetes and obesity risk as brown rice has a lower glycaemic index and takes longer to digest. The fibre will keep you fuller for longer.

SWEET POTATOES

These spuds are high in beta-carotene, vitamin A, fibre and potassium. A 100g serving helps you meet more than your daily vitamin A requirements.

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

Yes, these are considered carbs as well. Eat them in their pure form where possible, instead of blitzing them in a juice. That way, the fibre will fill you up and the sugar will take longer to hit your bloodstream.

This article first appeared in Shape.com.sg, the only women's health and fitness magazine in Singapore.

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