Carbs is not a dirty word—at least when it comes to the complex kind that help you get rid of fat and inches. The body uses these “good” carbohydrates to generate the energy needed to do everything from chase toddlers to run laps. What makes these carbs good? Since they haven’t been overly refined, they retain far more of their fiber and nutrients than simple, more processed carbs, like pastries or white breads. Here are 11 carb-tastic foods to help you lose weight:
- Dates– This fat-free, cholesterol-free fruit is worth making a date with. Try them in these Quinoa Protein Bars, which contain dates along with fellow carb superstar, quinoa.
- Cheese, low-fat– Cheese offers both complex carbs and filling protein. Just be sure to stick to proper portions; 1.5 ounces is equal to the size of 3 dominoes.Fruit, fresh or frozen– The rule of thumb for choosing fruit to eat is that it should look as much like the original fruit as possible. In other words, ditch the packaged roll-up and fruit snacks; reach for the real thing instead!
- Greek yogurt– It’s no secret that SkinnyMs. loves this variety of yogurt. It’s high in protein and nutrients, plus it’s a good source of good carbs. Make low-fat, or fat-free, plain yogurt part of the breakfast menu or enjoy it during a mid-afternoon munch. Top Greek yogurt with tasty fruits or nuts to boost the health (and yum) factor. For a low-calorie dessert that tastes as good as it looks, check our no-sugar added Skinny berry Parfait.
- Legumes– These foods are livin’ large when it comes to complex carbohydrates. The legume family includes a range of tasty options, from black beans and kidney beans to peas and peanuts. Choose dry beans, or go for packaged beans that have little added sodium and no added sugar. Check out these 5 favorite recipes containing high quality protein legumes. Savory Superfood Soup; Black Bean & Veggie Soup; Fiesta Chicken Soup; Southwestern Black Bean Casserole; Momma’s Roadhouse chili
- Quinoa– This superfood is also a super-carb. In fact, it’s known as a high-energy food because of its high carbohydrate content. This grain relative is ideal for meals any time of day, from breakfast to supper—so check out The New Quinoa E-Book for recipe ideas. Lose weight with these yummy quinoa recipes: Quinoa Skillet Supper; Quinoa & Vegetable Stir-Fry; Quinoa with Black Beans
- Raisins– These sweet treats make for a weight loss friendly snack or topping for cereal, oatmeal, and yogurt. Make this healthy carb part of your day with Flax and Apple Raisin Oatmeal.
- Sweet potatoes– They’re not just for Thanksgiving anymore. These taters are rich in vitamins B6, C, and D, plus they are yummy! Try them in these Sweet Potato Crunchies, perfect for topping salads and soups.
- Vegetables, fresh or frozen– Mom was right when she told you to eat your greens. Veggies of any color are ideal sources of the complex carbs that deliver fiber and muscle-building nutrients. As with fruit, choose whole vegetables over those that are overly processed or packaged with added salt and sugar.
- Whole grains– Ditch the white bread and white rice in favor of the good carbs found in oats, brown rice, or wild rice.
- Whole wheat pasta– These hearty pastas retain their nutrients and fiber, making them an easy but healthy food choice, especially for families with choosey kids. Feed the gang with this Slow Cooker Skinny Spaghetti.
Add weight loss friendly complex carbs to your menu tonight!