Article contributed by Jennifer Dawson [caption id="attachment_2847" align="alignleft" width="150"] Photo by Emiliano Vittoriosi on Unsplash[/caption]

Carbs have so often been seen as the bad guys, the ones to cut out of your diet if you want to lose some weight. But maybe it’s time to start loving carbs again. Proteins, carbs and fat, the three macronutrients that our bodies need, are all essential for good health. And it turns out that less is not necessarily better when it comes to carbs and weight loss. A recent study has found that to lose weight, quality is more important than quantity in a diet. Participants in the study who did away with refined, processed foods in favor of veggies and whole foods lost the most weight, low-carb and low-fat notwithstanding. So rather than cutting them out, it’s much wiser to include a variety of healthy carbs in your diet, alongside the other two macronutrients.

Resistant starch

The secret to working with carbs towards your weight goals is choosing the right ones. And the secret to picking the right carbs is ‘resistant starch.’ Most of the carbs we eat are starches, and among those, some of them resist digestion, passing on to the colon, where they are turned into energy. Studies have shown that a diet rich in resistant starch can help reduce hunger cravings, burn more fat, and give you more energy. Some great sources of resistant starch include oats, green bananas, beans, and raw potato starch.

When is a carb not a carb?

This is a trick question, of course; because a carb is always a carb. But sometimes it’s more than that. Several foods provide a combination of two macronutrients—carbs and protein. Oats are a good example. Cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and even fruits such as guavas and raspberries are also great sources of both carbs and protein, which makes them great ingredients for a smoothie before a workout. When you combine carbs and proteins in the same meal, you feel fuller and your blood sugar levels are healthier.

One size does not fit all when it comes to combining macros. With the help of a nutritionist, or even a macro calculator, you can figure out the ideal macronutrient ratios to suit your health and weight goals. Tracking your macros involves logging everything you eat, which can seem like quite a chore. But then again, it will serve as a great reminder to get all three groups of foods into your diet every day. And start loving your carbs again.