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8 Good Carb Options to Eat

Update Date: Oct 20, 2014 03:01 PM EDT

Diets and nutritionists have repeatedly encouraged people to give up on certain carbs, such as white rice and bread or adopt a low-carb meal plan. Even though these carbs might not be particularly healthy for the body, it does not mean that all carbs are bad for you. Carbs are essential for the body since they act as fuel for both the body and the mind. Here are eight carb options that you can and should eat:

1. Beans

Beans are a great carb option because they are packed with fiber and protein, which can keep the body satisfied and full for a longer period of time. On top of these health benefits, beans are low in sugar. A 2007 study reported by WebMD found that people who ate beans were more likely to weigh less than people who did not.

2. Squash

Squash, which is currently in season, is another great source of carbs. One serving of cooked butternut squash contains 22 grams of carbs with more than six grams being fiber. Butternut squash, in particular, is also low in sugar. In addition, many different kinds of squash have carotenoids, which have been linked to combatting diseases.

3. Oatmeal

A bowl of hot oatmeal with fresh fruits is a great breakfast option. Oatmeal, which is a carb, has good levels of fiber that can help with weight control. Oatmeal can also boost heart health. However, avoid adding too many toppings to keep the sugar and calorie content low.

4. Popcorn

If you want to snack, you are better off sticking to popcorn. Popcorn is a whole grain that is low in calories. Stick to the air-popped version to avoid consuming too much fat and sodium.

5. Quinoa

Over the past few years, quinoa has received a lot of attention for being a power food. Quinoa is extremely healthy because it is a complete protein, which means that it has all nine essential amino acids that the body needs but does not produce on its own. Quinoa is also packed with fiber.

6. Sweet Potatoes

All kinds of potatoes, with the skin on, are a great source of fiber. However, if you had to pick one type of potato to eat, you are better off with the sweet potato, which is loaded with carotenoids, vitamin C, protein and potassium.

7. Bananas

Even though you might not group bananas under carbs, they are a rich source of energy due to the high levels of natural sugar. Bananas also have good levels of fiber, potassium and vitamin B6.

8. Berries

Almost all kinds of berries are packed with fiber as well as antioxidants. On top of these benefits, berries are low in calories and have been linked to preventing cognitive decline.

When it comes to eating, in general, remember to consume in moderation no matter how healthy something is.

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