Health

6 high-carb foods that will help your dieting efforts

When it comes to weight loss, many of us are quick to accuse carbohydrates of being the devil.

This has led to many fad diets where people attempt to eliminate carbs from their meals for fast results.

However, carbs are your body's primary fuel source and contribute to fat metabolism. That's why avoiding carbs does not necessarily help your waistline, especially if you're replacing them with foods that contain the same or higher amount of calories.

According to a study published in the journal Nutrients, overweight individuals who went on a high-carb diet for 16 weeks managed to reduce overall body weight and fat.

So it's time to stop being anti-carbs and focus on choosing the right ones that are healthy and can even help in your weight loss efforts.

Here are six high-carb foods that you can enjoy guilt-free - in moderation of course.

QUINOA

For people who can't do without white rice, try switching to quinoa.

Cooked quinoa that comes with a fluffy, slightly crunchy texture can be extremely appealing. Unlike white rice, quinoa has a low glycemic index.

This means that you will not experience the sharp rise and dip in blood glucose that result in an afternoon slump.

The high fibre and protein in quinoa will also help you build lean, calorie-burning muscles.

SWEET POTATO

This is a delicious carb that is sure to curb your sweet tooth or carb craving.

Despite its sweetness, it has little to no fat and is jam-packed with fibre.

Plus, there are so many ways to prepare them - roasting or grilling are some of the healthier methods.

If you need the occasional snack, making sweet potato chips using an air-fryer does the trick.

The high water and fibre content in sweet potato will fill you up and prevent you from overeating.

WHOLE GRAIN BREAD

You don't have to bid goodbye to bread because of your diet.

For your breakfast staple, simply opt for whole grain over white bread.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Research, 50 obese adults saw a decrease in body weight, waist circumference and percentage body fat when they incorporated whole grains into their diet.

OATMEAL

Oatmeal is a soluble fibre, filling up your stomach more quickly to prevent you from overindulging in other foods.

Its high fibre content will also rev up your metabolism over time.

AIR-POPPED POPCORN

Need a little pick-me-up at work?

Instead of reaching for those chips and cookies, nosh on this diet-friendly snack instead.

According to a study published in Nutrition, popcorn is a more satisfying snack than chips.

It also helps individuals manage their feelings of hunger and keep their body weight in check.

WHOLE WHEAT PASTA

Watching your waistline doesn't have to be all about salads and smoothies.

You can still enjoy this classic Italian staple - just opt for whole wheat pasta and limit your noodle portions to about half to one cup cooked to keep it low-calorie.

In a study published in the journal of Nutrition & Diabetes, pasta consumption was associated with lower BMI (body mass index) and abdominal fat.

Top your pasta off with lean meats and veggies and you'll get a delicious, satisfying meal.

This article first appeared in Shape (www.shape.com.sg)

Food & Drink