Carbohydrates often get lots of bad PR, especially when it comes to weight loss. However, it is important to know that carbohydrates are not bad. In fact, eliminating any food group completely is not a healthy diet plan. Similarly, having too much of any food group – carbs, fats or proteins – is not healthy and will lead to weight gain. Our mind and body need carbs to function well.

However, there are some carbs that might be better than others. Here’s a list of carbs that you must include in your diet. There are some natural sources of carbs such as fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds and legumes. Sugar, starch and fiber are some of the most common forms of carbs.

How much carbs do we need?

The dietary guidelines for Americans recommend that carbs make up 45-64% of total daily calories. However, there are no such guidelines available for Indians. Your actual ideal carbs intake can depend on your gender, age, fitness goals, diet preferences, and so on.

Here’s how you can include healthy carbs in your diet.

Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables

Aim to get at least 3-4 servings of fruits in your diet. You can also add some nuts and dried fruits. Whole fruits and vegetables add fiber, water and bulk which help you feel fuller on fewer calories.

Choose whole grains

Opt for whole grains, instead of refined grains. They are rich in nutrients, Vitamin B. Refined grains are stripped of their nutrients when they are processed.

Low-fat dairy products

milk, cheese, yoghurt provide calcium and protein. However, pick low-fat options as they help limit calories and fats. Avoid products that have added sugar.

More legumes

Legumes such as beans, peas and lentils are nutritious foods to add to your diet. They are low in fat, high in folate, potassium, iron and magnesium. They are also a good source of protein and can be a healthy substitute to meat.

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First Published: Aug 28, 2018 09:32 IST

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