Carbohydrates have recently been in the limelight for some very wrong reasons. With them being touted as the culprits in weight gain, a lot of people have started adhering to low or no-carb diets. However, in this process you tend to lose out even the most important nutrients for your body, and put yourself in trouble. Half knowledge is worse than no knowledge at all, and to clarify this, here we talk about carbohydrates that can actually aid the process of fat burning and make the process easier for you. Take a look into the best fat-burning carbs enlisted here. But first, let’s see what carbohydrates do for our bodies.
What Do Carbohydrates Do for our Bodies?
There are a lot of functions of carbohydrates in the body, but the most important one is to provide energy to it. Yes, in the absence of sufficient carbohydrates, the body turns to fat and protein as an energy source. On the other hand, an excess of carbohydrates is stored as fat in the body. This is why all the hype about carbs being unhealthy began in the first place. To understand what contributes as unhealthy carbohydrates, let’s understand the types of carbohydrates.
There are two types of carbohydrates, i.e. simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are what we get from eating refined foods such as white pasta, white bread, white rice, and products made from refined flour, such as bagels, donuts, pastries, cakes, sugary drinks, etc. All these provide an instant rush to the body so that it feel energized, but they burn out quickly and leave you feeling tired, sleepy and hungry again. That makes you reach out for more of these goodies, and that is how you put on weight.
Complex carbohydrates or unrefined carbohydrates on the other hand provide slow releasing energy as they take longer to digest due to the high fiber content in them. These can be found in whole grain foods such as oatmeal, barley, wheat bran, brown rice, wheat pasta, and some fruits and vegetables. It is these carbohydrates, which when consumed in the right amount can actually aid the process of fat burning and still have you feel energized.
Best Carbs for Fat-burning
With an understanding of healthy carbohydrates, here’s a list of foods that will aid you in the weight loss process.
Oatmeal tops the list of fat-burning carbs for one simple reason. It is highly fibrous, keeps you fuller for longer, and has the ability to restore lost energy levels even from grave illnesses. A bowl of oatmeal a day prepared in skimmed milk, topped with a teaspoon of chopped almonds and cinnamon can do wonders for your body. It is the healthiest breakfast possible. Another variety of oats that are now popular are steel cut oats and are known to be more fibrous than rolled oats. If you can get your hands on these, they can also be easily enjoyed. Avoid putting sugar or artificial sweeteners in the oats. Use a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup for one bowl of oats to sweeten it.
Brown rice is what white rice is before it is processed. It takes longer to cook but contains all the necessary nutrients that rice as a whole grain is meant to provide to the body. With its ability to keep you full and provide the energy required by you, brown rice has become extremely popular and is used to create delicious and healthy risotto, or simply enjoyed with a bowl of lightly stir fried vegetables.
Vegetables such as yams or sweet potatoes are wonderful starchy vegetables that serve as carbohydrates that burn fat. Even white potatoes are healthy when eaten in small amounts, baked or boiled, with the skin. Other carbohydrate rich vegetables that are great for you include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy other green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, collard greens, and lettuce. Enjoy these steamed, in salads, or lightly stir fried. Also include in these zucchini, bell peppers, green beans, and winter squashes.
Only consume whole fruits and not the juices, as this leads to a loss of a whole lot of nutrients that your body requires. Healthy fruits that provide carbohydrates and that will help burn fat include berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, and raspberries), pomegranate, apples, and bananas (only one a day). You can also include fruits rich in vitamin C along with these that aid fat burning, such as grapefruit, sweet lime, and oranges. Have at least 3 portions of these fruits daily for best results.
While legumes are better known as protein sources, these are also wonderful sources of healthy carbohydrates. These include peas, pinto beans, black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, all legumes that have a high amount of fiber and will keep you filled up for long.
These are some of the best fat-burning carbs you should include in your diet, along with foods that will help you develop and consume a balanced meal. Don’t admonish carbohydrates as unhealthy. They can do wonders for your body when consumed in the right manner from the right sources.