Five Carbs You Shouldn’t Remove From Your Diet

Five Carbs You Shouldn’t Remove From Your Diet
Image: Getty

Carbohydrates (or ‘carbs’ for short) are being unfairly blamed for Australia’s rising obesity levels. Because sugar is a carb, it might seem like a good idea to eliminate all carbs from your diet. In reality, carbs contain key nutrients that the human body requires to function properly. Here are five dietitian-approved carbs that most people should definitely stick with.

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It’s time to stop treating ‘carb’ like a dirty word. While it’s true that low-carb diets such as Keto, Atkins and Whole 30 can result in rapid weight loss, it potentially comes at the expense of your inner health. Vitamins and nutrients that our brains and bodies need – including magnesium, calcium and potassium – are a lot harder to come by outside of a carb-inclusive diet.

Business Insider recently spoke to Sara Seidelmann, a cardiologist and nutrition researcher at Brigham and Women’s Hospital about the reality of healthy carbs. Here are five carbohydrates that have been given her tick of approval.

Whole grains

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Unlike processed grains, whole grains have outer shells of bran and germ that provide protein and fibre, which help keep you full.

Eating whole grains also lowers your chances of suffering a stroke, helps regulate blood pressure, and reduces your risk of developing diabetes, according to the Cleveland Clinic. To incorporate more whole grains into your diet, look for breads and pastas that are “100% whole wheat” or “100% whole grain.” Remember, wheat flour is only about 25% whole wheat.

Also remember that whole grains aren’t limited to wheat, oats, and brown rice. Try some high-fibre barley, crunchy quinoa,Ethiopian teff, or wild rice.

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Pulses (peas, lentils, and beans)

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Pulses are excellent sources of healthy, slow-digesting carbs packed with fibre, vitamins, minerals, protein and phytochemicals. The phytochemicals in plants that give them colour and flavour are great cancer-fighters too, since they decrease inflammation in the body and help repair our DNA.

Green peas, for example, are filled with bone-protecting potassium and belly-satisfying protein. They are also sweet and rich in folate, which is critical for cells to grow and function properly. Aside from the green kind, there are also chickpeas, which are used to make hummus.

Sweet potato (in moderation)

Five Carbs You Shouldn’t Remove From Your DietImage: Getty Images

Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamins A, B6, and C. It’s best not to overdo it on the sweet orange roots because they have a high glycemic index, which will temporarily spike blood sugar. But a bit of cooked sweet potato mixed into a salad or roasted as a side dish is a good dinner choice.


Five Carbs You Shouldn’t Remove From Your DietImage: Getty Images

Squash, which can be added to soups, roasted, or blended into casseroles, is a rich wonder-food. Many types contain some natural sugar, but they’re also high in eye-protecting lutein. Squash also packs enough protein and fibre to keep you full for a while, while providing magnesium and potassium for bone health.

Some fruits

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Fruits like bananas and apples are often banned on low-carb diets since they’re carb-heavy and contain natural sugars. But eating a bit of fruit isn’t bad for you, especially when you consume it whole instead of blending it into a smoothie or juice. Eating an apple with its fibrous skin on instead of peeling it will deliver about double the fibre, 25% more potassium, and 40% more vitamin A.

In conclusion, eliminating carbs from your diet entirely isn’t advisable unless you have been instructed to do so by a medical professional. (To regulate blood pressure or blood sugar levels, for example.)

Otherwise, if you want to lose weight, you’re better off moniterng your kilojoule intake via a balanced diet that includes healthy carbs with plenty of plant-based, whole foods.

This story has been updated since its original publication.

[Via Business Insider]


  • I ate bananas instead of pizzas and other alternatives and was amazed that bananas are dismissed as an option by some people when I am struggling temptation to eat my favourite fruit instead of fast food and it’s a bit discouraging to feel undermined by a perceived pecking order in fruit.
    In the end I win by showing a weight loss but I could have used the support rather than be lectured on food choices in fruit. I had previously thought ANY fruit is better than fast food.

  • They left out honey, the ultimate carbohydrate. Not only does it not spike blood sugar but it regulates it. Do a little research and look up the HYMN Cycle (Honey-Melatonin Cycle) and The Hibernation Diet, which also recommends fruit. It’s not so much a ‘diet’ as a way to ensure your body and brain are topped up with glycogen throughout the day.

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