Many dieters mistake carbs to be unhealthy and completely avoid eating it. Contrary to warped belief, carbohydrates are an important part of the diet, as they provide vital nutrients to our body. Carbs break down glucose molecules, which becomes the fuel for the body to function effectively all through the day. Thus, fitness freaks, pay close attention to consumption of carbs, as they provide sufficient energy for weight training and exhaustive workouts. Lack of carbs cause muscle loss, as energy from muscles is used up by the body.
There are two types of carbohydrates, namely, simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. The former is absorbed quickly by the body, while the latter takes time to digest. Healthy carbohydrates are complex ones, as they make you feel full easily and prevent you from overeating. The simple carbohydrates mostly contain processed sugar, which can be avoided by most of us.
Oatmeal is a rich source of carbohydrates. If breakfast is a meal in a hurry, then a quick bite of oatmeal cereal will give you the required energy for the day. But, if making the same cereal everyday, seems boring, grab a pack of low fat oatmeal cookies and munch on them while in transit. Eating oatmeal for breakfast is the perfect way of avoiding craving for fattening food. If having plain oatmeal and milk seems unpalatable, then add raisins, nuts, dried fruits and fresh fruits. All of these are also good sources of carbohydrates and fiber.
Dieters avoid rice adhering to a common belief that it is fattening. The fact is, removing starch while cooking rice, makes it low fat and a rich source of carbohydrates. Eat unpolished rice or brown rice to get your daily dose of good carbs. Add few taste makers, boiled chicken and fish to it to make the rice an appealing part of the meal. Having a bowl of rice on alternate days, is good enough to get the required carbohydrates.
Rigatoni, ziti, spaghetti, angel hair, macaroni, tagliatelle, pasta tubes or fettuccini, pick your favorite and treat yourself to a bowl of pasta. Pasta is a good source of essential carbohydrates. Cook them with vegetables and boiled meat. Sprinkle some aromatic herbs and fat free sauces to make your salads. Avoid adding cheese or mayonnaise in the pasta, so that it remains fat free and provides good amount of carbohydrates only.
Corn, artichokes, leeks and Brussels sprouts have high content of carbohydrates. For instance,1/2 cup of corn gives you 16g of carbohydrates. So a bowl of buttered corns with sprouts is not only a good evening snack, but a healthy one too. Additionally, most vegetables such as cabbage, cucumber, broccoli, asparagus, green leafy vegetables and starchy vegetables such as potatoes and peas are excellent sources of carbohydrates.
Bananas, oranges, pears, cantaloupes, dried apricots, all types of berries, avocado, kiwis and dates are good sources of carbohydrates. Have a bowl of fruits for breakfast or make them your snack, the choice is yours. Fruits are healthy and fat free. So eat as many as you want, without having to worry about putting any weight.
Nuts and Seeds
Post lunch snacks are an important part of your meals, as they prevent massive hunger pangs during dinner time. This way you eat less before you go to sleep. Munch on a handful of cashew nuts, almonds, walnuts, raisins, peanuts, hazelnuts, pistachios and Brazilian nuts for the 4 'o' clock snack. Nuts and seeds such as alfalfa seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds are excellent sources of mono-saturated fats, essential carbohydrates and fiber. They make you feel full very easily and regulate your digestive system.
Whole grains are unprocessed carbs which are high in fiber. As they are difficult to digest, they make you feel stuffed and prevent you from eating unnecessarily. Cereals, breads, pastas and crackers are rich sources of whole grains. Add these to your breakfast and watch your energy levels hike up for the rest of the day.
Consuming correct amount of carbohydrates maintains low glycemic index levels, reducing the risk of diabetes and other blood sugar related problems. Baked beans, bean sprouts, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, navy beans, soy beans and lima beans are best sources of good carbs which keep your body fit as a fiddle.
A diet that consists of right amount of carbohydrates can prevent fat accumulation. Dietary fiber is also an important part of your daily diet, as it helps in bringing about regulation of the bowel system. Cutting out carbs from your diet will help you lose weight fast, but it will make you weak and sluggish. Having a balanced diet combined with a fitness routine, which keeps your metabolism in check will aid weight loss in a healthy manner. Lastly, carbohydrates are essential nutrients for the body, without which the latter cannot function with regularity.