7 high carb, low fat foods
All 3 macro-nutrients (carbohydrates, protein and fat) are needed for numerous bodily processes, so in general it is important to include sufficient amounts of each in your diet. In some cases however, you may want to reduce your fat intake and increase your carbohydrate intake. In this article I will list out foods that are high in carbs and low in fat.
1. Brown rice
A cup of cooked brown rice has 45 g of carbohydrate, 2 g of fat and 5 g of protein, making it a great source of carbs. Together with this, it also has some vital nutrients such as manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and selenium.
White rice also provides approximately the same number of carbs that brown rice does, however it is generally recommended that you eat brown rice whenever possible.
This is because it is far less processed and retains all parts of the grain, including the bran, germ and endosperm. It also contains much more fiber, has less of a dramatic effect on blood sugar levels and is a better source of vitamins & minerals.
Aim to eat rice together with plenty of vegetables and a lean protein source such as chicken, fish or eggs.
Another excellent source of carbs are oats. A cup of cooked oats (in water) has 32 g of carbs, 4 g of fat and 6 g of protein. Oats are gluten-free and like brown rice provide the body with some vital nutrients.
Oats contain a soluble fiber called beta-glucan which combines with water to form a thick gel that moves slowly through the digestive system. This helps to keep you feeling satisfied for longer periods of time. Beta-glucan is also effective at reducing cholesterol levels.
Steel cut oats are the least processed and the best kind to eat, but rolled oats are also a good option. The most important thing to keep in mind is to try and buy oats that don’t have sugar added to them. Instant oats tend to be high in sugar, so their intake should be minimized. To reap the most benefits from oats, cook them from scratch at home and then add cinnamon, fruit, honey and nuts to enhance their flavour.
Quinoa is a seed that is prepared and eaten like a grain. It is a very nutritious food, with a cup of cooked quinoa containing 39 g of carbs (5 g fiber), 4 g of fat and 8 g of protein.
It also contains the compounds kaempferol and quercetin, which are antioxidants that that can help to reduce inflammation in the body and reduce damage caused by free radicals.
Quinoa is a great food for everyone but especially for vegans & vegetarians because it is a complete protein. This means that it provides the body with all 9 essential amino acids that it is unable to produce on its own.
Quinoa is easy to prepare and include in the diet. There are plenty of healthy & delicious quinoa based recipes available on the web that you can enjoy for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Lentils have been a big part of Indian & Middle Eastern diets for thousands of years, but are enjoyed worldwide today. Like quinoa, they are a high protein food and are commonly eaten by vegans & vegetarians.
A cup of cooked lentils has 50 g of carbs (16 g fiber), 1 g of fat and 18 g of protein. Their high fiber and protein content makes them very filling.
Lentils come in a variety of colours including green, orange & black. All are highly nutritious, being packed full of B vitamins, iron, copper, potassium, phosphorus and manganese.
The consumption of lentils can improve digestive health, protect the heart, assist with blood sugar level management and help you to lose weight.
Beans come in different shapes, sizes and colours. Some examples include black turtle, garbanzo, adzuki and kidney beans. Each has its own unique flavour, but they are all high in carbs and low in fat. A cup of cooked kidney beans for example has 40 g of carbs, 1 g of fat and 15 g of protein.
Beans are filling and contain large amounts of vitamins & minerals, which is why they are considered to be highly nutritious. Unfortunately, they do also contain substances known as anti-nutrients and can cause food poisoning if not prepared correctly.
This does not mean they should be avoided; if you enjoy eating beans, continue doing so. Before consuming them however, soak them overnight and cook them in boiling water for at least 10 minutes to ensure that they are safe to eat.
With the exception of avocados and olives, most fruits generally contain large amounts of carbohydrate and only small amounts of fat. As an example, a large banana (136 g) contains 31 g of carbohydrate and almost no fat. Grapes, pears, mangoes, kiwifruit, blueberries, guavas, apples and oranges also have similar characteristics.
Dried fruits such as raisins, dates and prunes are also high in carbs. 50 raisins have 21 g of carbs and 0 g of fat. That being said, it is important to eat dried fruits in moderation because they are high in both calories and sugar.
As a guideline, you should aim to eat around 2 servings of fruit per day. If you lead an active lifestyle, you can increase your intake further. Even though fruit juice is also high in carbs and low in fat, eating solid fruit is considered to be the better option.
7. Starchy vegetables
Sweet potatoes, ordinary potatoes and parsnips are examples of starch vegetables that are low in fat but high in carbs. A medium sized baked sweet potato has 24 g of carbs, 0 g of fat and 2 g of protein.
Other vegetables such as beets, onions and kale are not as rich in carbs as starchy ones, but they do still contain significant amounts. It is generally advised that you should aim to eat at least 3 servings of veggies per day.
They are low in calories, bursting with nutrients and are very versatile. Aim to eat a wide variety, including starchy root vegetables, leafy greens and fruit vegetables.