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Good Carbs for Weight Loss

by
author image Shannan Bergtholdt
Shannan Bergtholdt, a registered dietitian since 2003, has a Bachelor of Science in nutrition and a Master of Science in Education in exercise science and wellness. Her research in aerobic training and nutritional screening has been published in two peer-reviewed journals. Her mission is sharing practical ways to incorporate healthy eating into any lifestyle.
Good Carbs for Weight Loss
Weight loss comes from a balanced diet. Photo Credit Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Despite what you may have heard, not all carbohydrates, or carbs, are bad. It’s true that carbs can be found in processed foods lacking nutritional benefit. Carbs are also naturally found in nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, dairy, beans and grains. Good carbs from these nutrient-dense foods provide valuable vitamins and minerals and make up the foundation for a balanced weight-loss plan.

Grains

Good Carbs for Weight Loss
Whole grain bread. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Choose whole grains instead of highly processed grains. Processing grains removes many of the beneficial nutrients in the grain. Whole grains are minimally processed and have more of the naturally occurring nutrients making them a better choice for overall health. The fiber in whole grains contributes to the feeling of fullness between meals, which can assist with weight loss. To determine if a product contains whole grains, look for the word "whole" -- such as whole wheat -- in the product ingredients list.

Vegetables

Good Carbs for Weight Loss
Fresh vegetables. Photo Credit Viktor Fischer/iStock/Getty Images

All vegetables contain some carbohydrates. Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, corn and peas, have as many carbs per serving as grains, or approximately 15 grams per serving. Non-starchy vegetables, as the name suggests, have fewer grams of carbs than starchy vegetables, with 5 grams per serving. Both starchy and non-starchy vegetables provide valuable vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Vegetables are low in calories and when substituted for higher-calorie foods, can contribute to weight loss.

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Fruit

Good Carbs for Weight Loss
Fresh fruits have a lot of vitamins. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Fruits are nutrient-dense sources of carbs that are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Fruits have approximately 15 grams of carbs per serving. Fresh and frozen fruits are preferable selections for weight loss because they do not contain the added sugars found in canned fruit or fruit juice.

Beans

Good Carbs for Weight Loss
Assorted beans. Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Stockbyte/Getty Images

The high nutrient content in beans and peas classifies them as both a vegetable and protein food, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Beans have 15 grams of carbs per serving and are excellent sources of zinc, potassium and fiber. Beans make a good no-fat vegetarian protein source and can be incorporated into a variety of dishes.

Low-Fat Dairy

Good Carbs for Weight Loss
Low-fat dairy offers calcium and protein. Photo Credit Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images

Dairy foods, including milk, yogurt and cheese, provide calcium, potassium, protein and carbs. One serving of dairy has 15 grams of carbs, as many as grains and starchy vegetables. Low-fat dairy has same amount of carbs as full-fat dairy but fewer calories and fat per serving, making it a better selection for weight loss.

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References

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