4 Carbs that Are Actually Healthy and Slimming (We Promise!)

CN Digital Studio

by Lexi Petronis

Carbohydrates get a bad rap. We toss the bread from our sandwiches, avoid tortillas, and ignore rice--I'm as guilty of giving carbs the occasional cold shoulder as anyone. (Poor potatoes!)

But I just watched this short video--"Debunking the Diet: Is Carb a Four-Letter Word?" (it's part of a video series produced by Luna Bar)--and, for me, it provided a nice reminder that we all need a certain amount of good carbohydrates every day for our brains and bodies to...well, work, really. (And I especially love how the dietitian in the video says that we shouldn't call foods "good" and "bad"--let's eat whatever we want, it's all about moderation!)

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Of course, not all carbs are created equal. Cakes, doughnuts, sugary muffins, even some breads made with refined flours...they lack nutrients, and eating enough of them may raise your risk of developing diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

But there are plenty of carbs that are filled with protein, vitamins, and minerals--plus lots of fiber, which helps keep you feeling fuller, longer, which in turn helps curb cravings. Here are some favorites--plus tasty recipes that you should totally try.

Quinoa: The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations named the year 2013 "The International Year of the Quinoa," citing the fact the grain is filled with fiber, protein, antioxidants, and heart-healthy fats.

Yummy quinoa recipes: turkey quinoa meatloaf and quinoa taboulleh

Barley: not just for beer! It contains soluble fiber that helps keep your blood cholesterol levels healthy, plus it's super-filling.

Yummy barley recipe: warm barley with dried cherries

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Wheat berries: these whole, unprocessed kernels of wheat are awesome sources of iron, vitamin B, magnesium, zinc, and fiber.

Yummy wheat berry recipe: wheat berry-black bean chili

Bulgur: bulgur is cracked wheat that's been parboiled; you just steep it in water and you're good to go. It also adds plenty of protein and fiber to your diet.

Yummy bulgur recipe: bulgur with ginger and orange

What kinds of carbs do you avoid? And what are your favorites to eat?

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