The idea behind eating clean is focusing on the healthiest foods in each category.
That means fresh vegetables and fruits, healthy proteins and fats, and whole grains.
When it comes to the carbohydrates in your diet, stick to healthy ones. That means whole grains over refined grains and sugar.
Knowing how to distinguish between “good” nutritious carbs and “bad” carbs is as simple as learning the difference between empty carbs and “whole” carbs. If you are serious about clean eating you need to be serious about the carbs you eat.
Choosing the right ones and avoiding the bad ones makes a BIG difference.
Use these tips to help you choose and shop for clean-eating carbohydrates.
Quinoa is a nutritious seed that has become incredibly popular in the natural health community.
Cooked quinoa is 21.3% carbs, making it a high-carb food. However, it is also a good source of protein and fiber.
It does not contain any gluten, making it a popular alternative to wheat for those on a gluten-free diet, is also very filling since it is relatively high in fiber and protein. For this reason, it may aid in weight loss
Oats may be the healthiest whole grain food on the planet.
Raw oats contain 66% carbs, nearly 11% of which is fiber. They are particularly high in a powerful soluble fiber called oat beta-glucan.
Research suggests that oats may reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels and may help you lose weight.
Buckwheat is very nutritious, containing both protein and fiber. It also has more minerals and antioxidants than most grains.
Additionally, it may be particularly beneficial for heart health and blood sugar control, especially in people with diabetes.
Sweet potatoes are a delicious, nutritious tuber. They are very rich in antioxidants and may help reduce oxidative damage, lowering the risk of several diseases.
Studies have shown that blueberries safeguard your body from oxidative damage. They may also improve memory in older adults.
Even bread that doesn't taste sweet or salty can have surprising amounts of added sugars and salt. Check the labels and choose brands that contain no more than 200 mg of sodium per slice and have no sugars in the ingredient list. In-store bakeries aren't necessarily any better than packaged brands-check those ingredients and labels too.
Whole-wheat pasta is rich in good-for-practically-everything fiber. But don't confuse it with enriched wheat-flour pasta, which is made from refined wheat flour that's been stripped of the nutritious bran and germ but had vitamins and minerals added back. Look for "whole-grain flour" as the first ingredient.
It is a myth that carbs are unhealthy.
The truth is that some of the world's healthiest foods are high in carbohydrates.
Although they should not be eaten in large amounts if you're on a low-carb diet, carbs can be important nutrient sources.
While refined carbs may be unhealthy in high amounts, whole food sources of carbs are very healthy.