Carbohydrates are an essential component of the diet, and many high-carb foods offer excellent health benefits.
There has been a lot of negativity surrounding carbs in recent decades. However, they are one of the main nutrients that the body needs, along with protein and fats. Carbs are essential not only to survive and function properly but to thrive.
Although refined carbs are processed and generally offer little to no nutritional value, unprocessed and whole food sources of carbohydrate are usually nutritious and can be very healthful.
In this article, we take a look at 15 high-carb foods and consider what they can do for your health.
Adding these healthful, high-carb vegetables to a meal will boost its carbohydrate content:
1. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a delicious favorite to include in a range of meals.
Beetroots, or beets, are a sweet, purple root vegetable that people can eat either raw or cooked.
One cup of raw beets has
Corn is a popular vegetable that people can enjoy year-round as a side dish, on the cob, or in a salad.
A measure of
Grains and pseudograins, which are the seeds of broadleaf plants, are great sources of carbohydrates. Whole-grain varieties provide protein and fiber and offer plenty of additional healthful benefits.
Grains are versatile and can form the main part of many meals. Rather than eating white rice and white bread, people can incorporate the following healthful high-carb grains into their diet:
Quinoa is a nutritious pseudograin. It tastes similar to other types of grain, and people can prepare and eat it in the same way.
Quinoa is also rich in minerals, including magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus.
As quinoa is high in both fiber and protein, it may help people lose weight. A
5. Brown rice
Brown rice is a common side dish and a healthful alternative to white rice.
One cup of cooked brown rice has
This grain is also rich in
Oats are one of the most healthful and versatile whole grains. Different varieties are available, including rolled, steel cut, and quick oats.
A cup of old-fashioned rolled oats will provide
Research has shown that oats can benefit people’s
Fruits are an excellent source of healthful carbohydrates, particularly those below:
Bananas are widely available and make for a convenient snack.
One medium banana has
As a result of their potassium content, bananas are good for heart health and lowering blood pressure.
Apples are crunchy fruits that it is possible to buy year-round in grocery stores. They come in many varieties.
One medium apple contains
Mangos are a sweet tropical fruit.
One cup of chopped mangos has
Mangos are also high in vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber.
Try adding mango chunks to breakfast cereals or smoothies. Mango is also great eaten alone as a snack. They are ready to eat when they yield slightly to gentle pressure.
A range of healthful dried fruits can help people achieve their daily carbohydrate needs. People can try eating the following dried fruits alone as a snack or adding them to a trail mix or meal:
There are many varieties of date, and they are naturally sweet enough to be used as a sweet snack or dessert.
Raisins are dried grapes that work as a standalone snack or can add flavor and texture to cereal bars, salads, yogurts, or granola.
One cup of raisins packs in
Raisins are a good source of antioxidants too.
12. Goji berries
People refer to goji berries as a superfood due to their high antioxidant content.
One cup has
Pulses, such as beans and lentils, are high in carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. They are a great addition to any diet and can help people feel fuller for longer.
Try the following healthful, high-carb pulses:
13. Kidney beans
Kidney beans belong to the legume family. They are one of the most common beans to include in the diet.
One cup of kidney beans has
These beans also contain potassium and iron. The consumption of white or dark kidney beans may improve inflammation in the colon.
14. Garbanzo beans
Garbanzo beans, or chickpeas, are also legumes. They are the primary ingredient of hummus.
One cup contains
Garbanzo beans are rich in fiber and calcium. Study results suggest that they can improve heart health and digestion.
Lentils are popular high-protein legumes.
One cup of boiled lentils provides
Lentils are high in phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and folate.
For a healthful diet, people should limit or avoid refined carbohydrates with little or no nutritional content. High-carb foods that people should try to avoid include:
- sugary breakfast cereals
- white pasta
- white bread
- white rice
- cookies, muffins, and other baked products
- flavored and sweetened yogurt
- potato chips
- sugary juices
- foods and drinks with a high fructose corn syrup content
- foods and drinks high in refined sugar
- processed foods
When it comes to carbs, the rule of thumb is to select whole foods and avoid processed and refined carbohydrates.
Whole foods that are high in carbs generally offer lots of essential nutrients and health benefits for the body.
People with a specific health issue or concern should talk to their doctor or a registered dietitian to determine which high-carb foods are right for them.