A lot of us have this idea of carbs being on a naughty foods list, but it’s not that simple. Registered dietitian nutritionist Nancy Z. Farrell explains that we have a tendency to group foods into a good or bad column, but nutrition is more complex than that. And we need carbs for energy for brain power and to fuel our muscles, we just need the right kind of carbs. These are the healthy ones dietitians want us to add to our grocery lists.
Potatoes - They have a bad rap, but Farrell points out they’re actually full of vitamin C, potassium, and they’re a good source of protein. Leave the skin on and you’ll get fiber too. To cook them the healthiest way, keep it simple and just bake them whole or roast them.
Whole grains - Oats, barley, and even air-popped popcorn are great whole grain choices. People avoid grains because they’re afraid of gaining weight, but the less processed they are, the better they are for us.
Legumes - Some skip chickpeas, lentils, and black beans because they’re high in carbs, but they’re also a great source of protein and fiber, so do keep eating them.
Super sweet fruits like bananas, melons, and grapes - Just because they have sugar in them doesn’t mean they’re bad for you. Instead of worrying about which fruit to avoid because of the sugar, just enjoy the recommended 1½ to 2 servings a day and be careful of smoothies, which can sneak a lot of sugar in.
Starchy vegetables like corn and peas - Corn has fiber and peas have protein, so don’t be scared to put them on your plate.