A recent study showed that eating a low-carb diet could help people lose more weight and cut heart risks better than a low-fat diet. But before you completely swear them off, keep in mind that we couldn't survive without carbohydrates.
They're essential fuel for our bodies -- and brains -- especially when participating in any kind of physical activity. But our bodies also need carbs to regulate mood and to keep our intestines moving. Plus, keep in mind that not all carbs are created equal. In fact, even on food labels, you'll see the total number of carbohydrates in a packaged food is broken down into different types, usually sugars and fiber.
Fiber's the good stuff: Often stripped from processed grains like white bread and white rice, it can help keep you full, lower cholesterol, prevent heart attacks and much, much more. Without fiber, refined grains lead to blood sugar swings that keep us craving more food. Whole, fiber-rich grains don't.
You'll want to watch out for sugar, but particularly added sugar. Fruits, some vegetables and even dairy products will contain some natural sugar, which is included in a food's total grams of sugar. To get a sense of how much added sugar is in a food, scan the ingredients labels, and stay away from anything with white sugar, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate or other names for added sugar among the first few ingredients.
Now more than ever, whole-grain versions of your favorite packaged foods exist on just about every grocery store shelf. But there are also some overlooked sources of carbs in their whole and natural states that you can easily add to your diet stat. Here are eight of our favorites.