Weight loss on your mind? Then incorporating complex carbohydrates into your diet can surely help you in achieving your goal. If you eat the right carbohydrates then you can surely lose weight and it will also help in maintaining a healthy weight.
What you have to do is avoid eating simple carbohydrates and eat more complex carbohydrates to lose weight. Complex carbohydrates offer fiber, minerals, vitamins, and energy for your body. Most importantly, it helps you feel full longer.
People have ample reasons for shunning carbohydrates. Most carbs are high in sugar and refined grains that could mess up your diet and often leave you unsatisfied.
Understand the meaning of complex carbohydrates:
Before we discuss which are the best complex carbohydrates to eat for weight loss you need to understand the meaning of complex carbohydrates. Carbohydrates belong to the category of macronutrients and they are the main source of energy in our diet.
Complex carbohydrates are beneficial for health because they are rich in fibres and nutrients. Most importantly, they are low in glycemic index. Complex carbohydrates, to put it in simple words, boost the metabolism for weight loss.
Carbohydrates can be divided into 3 categories and these are as follows:
- Complex carbohydrates that are starches:
These contain a long chain of sugar molecules and our body has to break these molecules to get energy. Our body takes a longer time to digest the complex carbohydrates and hence they keep your stomach full for a longer time. As compared to simple carbs these complex carbohydrates are less processed but you will find that there are processed complex carbohydrates like bread made from whole grains.
Quinoa, brown rice, oats and other whole grains are examples of complex carbs. Processed products which are made from whole grains like pasta, bread, cereals etc are also complex carbs. Legumes, lentils, and starchy vegetables like corn, sweet potato and potatoes are all examples of complex carbs.
- Simple carbohydrates that is sugar
These are also called fast-acting carbs and they mainly include sugars. Simple carbs are found in fruits and vegetables. They are also present in refined and processed foods like baked food products like cake. Simple, refined carbs get digested fast and hence they increase the blood glucose levels fast and you end up craving more carbs.
- Dietary fibre:
This long chain sugar molecule cannot be digested by the body. Foods that contain complex carbs also contain fibre. That is fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains contain complex carbs and dietary fibre.
Why is complex carb a healthier option as compared to simple carbs?
You surely want to know why you are asked to eat the best complex carbohydrates to eat for weight loss. You must be interested in knowing what makes these complex carbs a better option as compared to simple carbs.
Refined simple carbs which get digested quickly do not contain vitamins and minerals. But complex carbs contain these vitamins and minerals that are needed for maintaining a healthy body.
Our body takes a longer time to burn the complex carbs and this means that unlike simple carbs in the case of complex carbs your body has to make use of more energy to digest the complex carbs.
Which complex carbs do you need to include in your daily diet?
Now that you know how important complex carbs are for your body the next thing that we need to check is which complex carbs you must consume.
Quinoa is a powerhouse of different nutrients that are essential for our body. As compared to other grains this complex carb contains more proteins. It also contains unsaturated fats which are useful for maintaining a healthy heart. This is also a rich source of B vitamins and fibre. Quinoa has a mild flavour as compared to some other whole grains. If you are following a gluten-free and plant-based diet then you have to include Quinoa in your diet chart.
Though Quinoa is a rich source of protein it is still a complex carb that also contains fibre. Quinoa is a great breakfast option and making it is also very easy. You have to just boil Quinoa in water and then add fruits and nuts and a dash of yoghurt and your healthy and yummy breakfast is ready.
- Black Bean:
This black legume is a rich source of anthocyanin which is an antioxidant and this antioxidant is good for the cardiovascular system. It helps protect the cardiovascular system from disease. These black beans are a rich source of proteins and fibre. If you are thinking of buying canned black beans then make sure that you choose one that has low sodium content.
Soak and boil the black beans and next sauté the onions and tomato in a bit of oil. Add a bit of ginger, garlic and jalapenos and then add the black beans and mix well. Have it hot and you can rest assured that it tastes simply great.
- Whole wheat bread:
Always have whole wheat bread and never go for bread made from refined grains. This is because whole wheat bread contains bran, germ and endosperm. The refined grains do not have the germ and the bran. Make sure that the loaf bag that you pick mentions 100% whole wheat. Ensure that the bread is not a blend of whole wheat and white wheat and it must also not have a large amount of fructose corn syrup.
All that you have to do is toast a slice of bread and top it with your black bean mixture and enjoy your wholesome, healthy and tasty meal.
Oatmeal is one of the best sources of complex carbs and it also contains fibre which is good for the heart. Oatmeal also contains proteins and it helps to keep hunger pangs at bay. Oatmeal contains a soluble fibre called beta-glucan. By digestion, this beta glucan forms a gel-like substance and it slows down the release of glucose in the bloodstream. It is also helpful in reducing insulin resistance. It is also useful for a healthy metabolism.
So just cook the oatmeal and add chia seeds to it and enjoy your healthy breakfast.
- Whole grain pasta:
Never opt for regular pasta which has been stripped of its nutrients. Instead always choose whole grain pasta which is rich in complex carbs, proteins and fibre. Here is one tip that you need to keep in mind. Cook the pasta and then let it cool. This cooling will turn the starch into resistant starch which gets digested slowly and so you feel full for a longer time.
These days you can get pasta which is made from quinoa, chickpeas, black beans etc. To the cooked pasta, you can add some flaxseeds to make it all the healthier.
Legumes contain complex carbs, vitamins, minerals and fibre. There are studies that when one has a diet that is less in calories and rich in legumes then the chances of losing weight. It has also been found that legumes can help in reducing bad cholesterol and it also helps in maintaining systolic blood pressure. You must include different types of legumes in your diet like lentils, peas, chickpeas etc in your daily diet.
You can make soup using different lentils or you can add peas to the pasta or you can simply boil the peas and add a dash of salt and lemon juice and enjoy it as a snack.
- Acorn Squash:
Acorn Squash is a vegetable that has a large quantity of blood sugar-regulating soluble fibre. It also contains magnesium which is useful against diabetes and it is also a rich source of vitamin C. Some studies suggest that it may also be useful in improving the fat-burning effects of exercise.
Remove the seeds and add cinnamon and maple syrup and then bake using a bit of butter. This can turn out to be a really yummy side dish.
If you are fed up with having wheat every day and want another healthy complex carb option then turn to barley. This whole grain is rich in fibre and it also contains many different vitamins and minerals. It has the B vitamin which can enhance your mood. It has selenium which can boost immunity. Barley also contains manganese which is useful in building bones.
Barley is one of the best complex carbohydrates to eat for weight loss and it also helps in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and it reduces hunger pangs. You can boil barley and have it with lentil soup.
This is also known as Khorasan wheat and along with complex carbohydrates, it also contains proteins and fibre. It also contains cytokines which help in fighting inflammation and this can help in preventing weight gain.
You can try Kamut spaghetti or you can simply boil the grain and have it with some veggies.
- Sweet potato:
This source of complex carb contains viscous soluble fibre. It makes your stomach full fast and keeps hunger pangs away for a long time. It contains resistant starch which is a type of non-digestible fermentable fibre which has many health benefits.
You can boil the sweet potato or you can even bake it and have it for breakfast or as a side dish for lunch or dinner.
This whole grain can be a substitute for rice and it is rich in proteins and fibre. It is a nutritious gluten-free food which is very tasty. You can make use of buckwheat flour to make pancakes or waffles or you can also try making flatbread from buckwheat flour. You can also have this grain as a morning cereal.
- Cruciferous vegetables:
This includes vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and brussels sprouts. These veggies are rich in fibre and are low in calories and they help to keep you full for a longer time. Therefore, for weight management, you must include these veggies.
You can have raw cabbage, and cauliflower as a salad or you can boil and have these veggies. You can even add it to soups and pasta.
Are complex carbs good for you?
It is recommended to make complex carbohydrates a part of a healthy balanced diet. The more complex the carbohydrate you take, the better it is. Complex carbs give numerous health benefits like lifting the mood, and weight loss and also help in controlling cholesterol levels.
If you’re looking to shed unwanted weight; you do not need to fast or sacrifice all your favourite items. Yes, it’s true: You can lose weight eating carbs too; but only if you eat the right ones. What is meant by the right ones? We mean complex carbs.
How do complex carbohydrates affect the body?
Complex carbohydrates increase blood glucose levels and produce a more lasting advancement in energy. The principal function of carbohydrates is to give the body energy. Complex carbohydrates can do this more successfully. Considering the type of food containing the carbohydrate is significant.
Starches called complex carbohydrates: Why?
Complex carbohydrates, too known as polysaccharides. These are starches shaped by longer saccharide chains, which means they need a longer time to break down.
Improve your health
Complex carbohydrates can be useful in weight management. Therefore, if you are scheduling a weight loss regime make sure that you take in complex carbohydrates in your diet. You can check with your dietician to get a better idea about which complex carb sources you must include in the diet.
Complex carbs are the out-and-out opposite of fattening. Instead, they’re nourishing and deliver vital nutrients to our bodies. Keeping you satisfied for extended periods will aid in dropping sugar intake, which may be harmful to blood sugar levels.
Hence, complex carbs give a win-win situation for anyone who chooses them over simple carbs. Along with the food you also need to focus on leading an active life and exercising regularly to shed the extra pounds. It is important to consult a professional to plan the diet
Let yummy complex carbs be a part of your regular diet!