9 carbohydrates that will actually help you lose weight

Tired of reading about fad diets that tell you to pile on the protein and cut the carbs? Well here’s how you can have your grains without the gain.

Thanks to the popularity of low-carb diets such as Atkins and South Beach, calorie counting and following a weight-loss plan has meant taking grain foods such as bread, rice, pasta, crackers, barley and semolina off the shopping list.

[Read more: Carbs - are they really that bad for you?]

But the good news is, there’s no evidence that wheat is more likely to cause weight gain than any other food. Anything can be fattening if you overindulge and consume more calories than you burn.

So which carbs can help you lose weight? Give these a go...

1. Brown rice


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Love rice? Pass on white and choose brown, which is naturally low in salt and high in minerals and fibre.

2. Porridge

A bowl of porridge - aka rolled oats - at breakfast is a fast track for high fibre, reducing the risk of heart disease, lowering cholesterol, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

3. Muesli


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Packed with goodness, a bowl of muesli is fibre and protein-driven and the rolled oats, dried fruits and nuts are rich in vitamins and minerals.

4. Barley

There’s more to barley than vegetable soup, and pearl barley will boost your energy levels, cut those hunger pangs and maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

5. Millet

Going gluten-free? Try making something with millet, an Asian grain that’s rich in iron, B vitamins and calcium. With a mild corn flavour, it can go the distance from a breakfast cereal to a wholegrain side dish at dinner.

6. Bulgur

Bulgur, a wholegrain common in Middle Eastern cuisine, is low in fat and packed with fibre and minerals. With a light, nutty flavour and chewy texture, it tastes great in summer salads.

[Read more: Want better skin? The easy smoothie recipe to sort your complexion]

7. Cornmeal

A staple in Southern cooking, whole cornmeal is a good source of magnesium, selenium and thiamine, and this versatile carb makes delicious corn muffins and corn bread in the warm up to BBQ season and anything in between.

8. Granola

A box of granola breakfast cereal may be laden with sugar, but find a recipe with a zero sugar dosage and you can happily spoon healthy fats, protein and energy-boosting, complex carbs.

9. Teff

A small grain that’s grown in Africa, the health benefits of teff are tenfold and this gluten-free grain that’s high in iron makes a terrific alternative for anyone on a gluten-free diet. Traditionally used to make Ethiopian sourdough bread, try this superfood whole, boiled, baked or steamed.

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