Healthier Carbohydrates: What Are They?

Healthier Carbohydrates: What Are They?


Carbohydrates often have a bad reputation, because their consumption is frequently associated with weight gain , type 2 diabetes , etc. While it is true that processed foods high in sugar , and refined grains in general are almost always deficient in important vitamins and minerals , many foods that are high in carbohydrates but rich in fiber and nutrients can boast significant beneficial properties for the body.

The most beneficial carbohydrates

  • Quinoa
  • Oats
  • Buckwheat
  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Blueberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Apples
  • Chickpeas
  • Red beans
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Beets

Quinoa, Oats and Buckwheat


A nutritious seed, today very popular with health conscious consumers. It is classified as a pseudocereal, which is a seed that is prepared and eaten like a grain. Cooked quinoa is 70% carbohydrates, and a good source of protein and fiber , many minerals and plant compounds. Eating quinoa, naturally gluten -free , and with a high satiating power , digests more easily, promotes healthy weight management , keeps blood sugar under control and helps the intestines .


Oats are a very healthy whole grain and an excellent source of many vitamins , minerals and antioxidants . Raw oats contain 70% carbohydrates. An 80-gram serving contains 54 grams of carbohydrates, including 8 grams of fiber, mainly the beta glucan of oats, and is the cereal with the highest protein content. Research suggests that eating oats may reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels , blood sugar levels , especially in people with type 2 diabetes .

Buckwheat _

Like quinoa, buckwheat is considered a pseudocereal. Despite its name, buckwheat is not related to wheat and is gluten-free . Raw buckwheat contains 75 grams of carbohydrates, while cooked buckwheat kernels contain approximately 19.9 grams of carbohydrates per 100-gram serving. It contains both protein and fiber, and is very nutritious. Rich in antioxidants, it is recommended for heart health and blood sugar regulation .

Healthier carbohydrate fruits


One large banana (136 grams) contains about 31 grams of carbohydrates, in the form of starches or sugars . They are also rich in potassium and vitamins B6 and C, and contain several beneficial plant compounds. Due to their high potassium content, bananas can help lower blood pressure and improve heart health. The less sugary ones are the more unripe ones, which also contain resistant starch and pectin , able to support the health of the gastrointestinal system.


Grapefruit is a citrus fruit with a sweet , sour and bitter taste. It contains about 8% carbohydrates and is rich in a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can improve heart health, improve blood sugar levels , cholesterol levels and even potentially slow the growth and spread of cancer cells .


Blueberries are a mine of antioxidants. They consist mostly of water, plus about 14.5 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams; they contain vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C , vitamin K , and manganese . Their consumption favors the contrast of harmful free radicals , and protects brain functions.


Oranges are composed mostly of water and consist of approximately 15.5 grams of carbohydrates per 100-gram serving. They are particularly rich in vitamin C, potassium and some B vitamins , contain citric acid , as well as several powerful plant compounds and antioxidants that protect heart health and help prevent kidney stones . They can also increase the absorption of iron from other foods , which is essential in iron deficiency anemia .


Apples contain about 14-16 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams, are a good source of vitamin C, antioxidants and fiber, and aid in better blood sugar management than other fruits.

Beets and Sweet Potatoes

Among the foods rich in carbohydrates that are most beneficial to health are beets , a purple root vegetable that stands out for its high carbohydrate content despite being a non-starchy vegetable. Raw and cooked beets contain about 10 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams, mostly from sugar and fiber. They are rich in inorganic nitrates , which are converted into nitric oxide , which can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of various cardiovascular diseases .

Sweet potatoes , likewise, are a good source of beneficial carbohydrates. 100 grams of sweet potatoes cooked in their skins contain about 20.7 grams of carbohydrates, which are made up of starch , sugar and fiber. They are also a rich source of vitamin A , vitamin C and potassium, they are rich in antioxidants, compounds that help neutralize harmful free radicals in cells to protect you from chronic disease

Legumes: red beans and chickpeas

Among the legumes that represent the category of beneficial carbohydrates we find red beans which contain about 21.5 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams, in the form of starches and fibers. This legume is also rich in proteins , vitamins, minerals and plant compounds. They are also rich in antioxidant compounds, including anthocyanins and isoflavones . They contribute to better blood sugar regulation and a reduced risk of colon cancer .

Cooked chickpeas contain 27.4 grams of carbohydrates per 100-gram serving , along with nearly 8 grams of fiber. They are also a good source of plant protein , vitamins and minerals, including iron , phosphorus and B vitamins. Their consumption is linked to improved heart and digestive health .



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