Carbohydrates, the often-maligned macronutrient, are essential for our body. But it's crucial to choose the right ones. Instead of eliminating them, integrate quality carbs that not only fuel your body but also play an instrumental role in weight and fat loss. Here are the top carb sources, listed simply, that deserve a spot in your nutrition plan.
1. Sweet Potatoes
Benefits: They're fiber-rich, aiding in digestion and promoting a feeling of fullness. Purple sweet potatoes are antioxidant powerhouses, containing anthocyanins and Vitamin E, which combat free radicals.
Usage: Roast, steam, or mash. Toss in salads or use in soups. They're versatile and can even be used in desserts.
My Personal Usage: I roast them and keep them stored in the fridge for meal prep. I pair them with higher fat meats, grass-fed pasture raised beef, roasts, etc…
2. Golden Potatoes
Benefits: When eaten cold, they morph into a resistant starch, which acts as a prebiotic, fueling beneficial gut bacteria and stabilizing blood sugar levels.
Usage: Peel, boil, or pressure cook, then cool. Enjoy in cold salads or just as a side dish.
My Personal Usage: I peel, boil, dice and sauté in onions, garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper and BACON FAT! They work great as a side dish because a little bit goes a long way!
3. Wild Blueberries
Benefits: Rich in anthocyanins, they enhance cognitive function and memory. Their polyphenols foster a healthy gut environment.
Usage: Fresh in salads, blended in smoothies, or as a natural sweetener in desserts.
My Personal Usage: I mainly eat these during breakfast, about ½ cup.
Benefits: Packed with antioxidants and fiber, they can aid in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation. They also produce ketones, potentially aiding in weight loss.
Usage: Eat fresh, add to yogurts, or sprinkle over oatmeal.
My Personal Usage: I eat these with breakfast, about ½ cup
Benefits: High in vitamins A, C, and B6. Its glycogen content aids hydration, making it an excellent post-exercise treat.
Usage: Fresh slices, juice, or integrated into fruit salads.
My Personal Usage: This is my pre-workout fuel. I eat 2 small to medium slices.
Benefits: Extremely high in soluble fiber, they regulate blood sugar levels and support gut health. They're also a protein-rich legume.
Usage: Turn into hummus, toss in salads, or use chickpea flour in recipes.
My Personal Usage: I make a roasted Garlic hummus with these,
7. Butternut Squash
Benefits: A lower starch alternative to potatoes, it's high in vitamins A and C. The fiber content aids digestion.
Usage: Roast, turn into soups, or cube and add to salads.
My Personal Usage: I typically add these to dinner, as a side; I cube them up and toss them in Olive Oil or Grass-Fed butter, then roast them off with some minced Garlic, Real Salt and Pepper.
Benefits: Rich in betalain, they support heart health and vasodilation. Athletes swear by beet juice for enhancing performance. This has to do with Nitric Oxide production, giving you a “pump” when working out!
Usage: Roast, juice, or grate raw into salads.
My Personal Usage: I use these as pre-workout fuel, at times, or I add them on salads.
9. Wild Rice
Benefits: Beyond being a carb source, it's abundant in protein, fiber, and essential minerals. It's also known to be heart-healthy.
Usage: Use as a base in salads, bowls, or as a side.
My Personal Usage: I do 1-2 cups (measured cooked)
Benefits: Its antioxidant-rich composition can aid in combating inflammation. Trehalose in honey can help lower fasting glucose levels.
Usage: Drizzle over pancakes, in tea, or use as a natural sweetener in recipes.
My Personal Usage: I use this as a sweetener in my BBQ sauces, intra-workout when my sugar levels are low, and I put about 2 tsp in 20oz of warm water with herbal tea.
Not all carbs are created equal and it is less about avoidance and more about choices! If you're unsure, remember: whole foods, minimal processing, and listening to expert advice always pave the path to optimal health.
For comprehensive nutritional coaching, delve deeper into the science and strategy of nutrition with me, Coach Wine, by emailing me at FMFMark@gmail.com. Let's embark on a journey of transformation together.
For more insights, visit www.FunctionalMuscleFitness.com. Your best self awaits!