4 Anti-Inflammatory Carbs You Can Eat This Week to Lose Weight Until Spring
This post has been updated to include more expert opinions since it was originally published.
If you want to lose weight by spring, all you have to do is add more carbs to your diet (no one said). The truth about carbs is more complicated than you probably think – they’re certainly not all bad, and if you choose the right types of carbs, they can actually help you lose weight and reduce stomach inflammation. Chronic inflammation is responsible for a host of health problems, including everything from obesity and diabetes to cardiovascular disease, fatty liver disease and cancer. There are several causes of inflammation in the body that include lifestyle factors such as drinking too much alcohol and not getting enough exercise. But one of the more common reasons for inflammation to occur is through dietary choices.
The link between certain carbohydrates and inflammation doesn’t mean you have to throw them in the towel. Making good choices that include unrefined carbohydrates rich in protein and fiber are ways to curb inflammation and aid weight loss. Edibel Quintero, MD and medical consultant at HealthInsider, says Dr. We reached out to Lisa Richards, Carrie Lam, MD, nutritionist and creator of The Candida Diet, Trista Best, a registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements, and Advanced Specialist Janet Verney. Intestinal Health Course moderator at the Integrative Nutrition Institute and founder of ROOTS2Wellness. Here are the four anti-inflammatory carbohydrates they recommend including in your diet for weight loss: sweet potatoes, black bean, brown riceAnd blood oranges. Find out more below!
Unlike their starchy white potato cousins, sweet potatoes are a carbohydrate incredibly rich in protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals like vitamins A and B-6. “Sweet potatoes can be described as slow carbohydrates that are abundant in them. [fiber]nutrients and antioxidants,” says Quintero. “It’s also an excellent choice for people with insulin resistance, as it helps stabilize blood sugar levels.”
While more processed or simple carbohydrates break down quickly and offer only a short burst of energy, sweet potatoes can help maintain your insulin levels so your blood sugar doesn’t drop as quickly. “The spike in your blood sugar levels ends in an even bigger drop, which causes exhaustion and fatigue,” explains Lam.
Black beans—and really whole beans—are rich in protein, potassium, iron, magnesium, and other nutrients and are relatively low in calories and fat. The high carb counts are mostly made up of filling fibers that will keep you full for hours.
Best says adding black beans to your diet can provide more essential nutrients for your body to absorb throughout the day. Black beans, “pack a ton of nutrients into any meal, which is helpful when trying to get enough protein with a plant-based diet, as well as working to reduce your grocery budget.” He adds that the fiber content of these beans will keep you full and full for a long time after a meal, and is beneficial for nurturing the good bacteria of the gut, binding and expelling toxins and waste from your body, and even helps lower cholesterol and body weight. “
Given how much negative attention has been given to white rice, a food that can raise glucose levels, it’s tempting to avoid all rice. But many dishes are made 100 percent better with a piece of rice that provides bite and texture. The solution is simple: replace your white rice with brown rice and get added fiber, protein and B vitamins.
“Whole grains like oats and brown rice are an excellent source of fiber that supports the good bacteria in our gut and is healthy for the heart. These starchy carbohydrates give us the great energy we need to keep going all day.” Verney says.
Don’t forget the fruit aisle as you craft your shopping list and try to add better carbs. Instead of buying or whipping up fancy juices and smoothies with added sugar, some of the best carbs around are natural, whole fruits. For example, a blood orange contains fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin B-6 and does not raise sugar levels like store-bought orange juice.
“Blood oranges are rich in important nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, and antioxidants,” says Richards. These antioxidants are known to be beneficial for your overall health and “help prevent chronic diseases common in the West, such as cancer, heart disease, and obesity. [Vitamin A] It supports immune function, is essential for eye health, and may reduce the risk of acne and some cancers,” says Richards.
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