One food group that had an unfairly bad rap in 2015 and deserves a second chance is carbohydrates. We tell you which are the HEALTHY carbs that you need to include in your diet …

Although some carbohydrates received crumby reviews in 2015, research from the University of Surrey in the UK shows that incorporating the right kinds of starchy foods into your diet is consistent with consuming fewer calories and, as a result, achieving sustainable weight loss.

In fact, the vitamins and minerals as well as filling fibre found in carbohydrates might just be the answer to staving off energy dips and unnecessary snacking, staying alert during the work day and maintaining a healthy weight.

Leading nutritional experts suggest it’s the excessive consumption of refined, fatty carbohydrates like chips and oily crackers that are more likely to contribute towards weight gain. The right kinds of carbohydrates, however, can actually assist in keeping off the extra kilos, by increasing the resting metabolic rate (RMR) of the body, which in turn burns more calories.

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Leading nutritional experts suggest it’s the excessive consumption of refined, fatty carbohydrates like chips and oily crackers that are more likely to contribute towards weight gain

Good carbohydrates are also affordable, versatile and easy to prepare

If you’d like to introduce more wholesome carbohydrates into your meals while following a healthy eating plan, here’s a round-up of the top five carbohydrates for weight loss:

1. Wholewheat pasta

This versatile ingredient is high in fibre for digestive health. It’s bulkier than white pasta, which makes it super-filling so you don’t have to eat as much and you’ll stay fuller for longer after eating.

This means you won’t snack in between meals. One serving (one cup) also has around 23% of your required daily fibre intake and 16% of the required daily protein intake.

2. Low GI and Low GL bread

With our fast-paced, high-energy lifestyles, there’s a reason bread is the go-to carbohydrate of choice – it’s nutritious, requires little preparation and is quick to eat.

Choose loaves that have low GI for slow-release energy and low GL for low impact on blood sugar levels. Also opt for bread that’s high in fibre for digestive health, like Blue Ribbon Low GI Brown Bread, Blue Ribbon Low GI Crushed Wheat Brown Bread or Blue Ribbon Low GI White Bread.

3. Sweet potatoes

These little gems have quickly risen to superfood status and for good reason. They’re a great source of vitamin B, vitamin C and fibre. They’re also linked to boosted collagen production, which helps fight the signs of aging.

4. Brown rice

A healthier version of the white equivalent, brown rice still has the hull and bran on each rice grain, which is what gives it more fibre.

It’s rich in magnesium and potassium, and works to keep blood sugar levels stable.

Brown rice has also been linked to a reduction in weight carried around the middle of the body, because it’s low in calories, but has a high fibre and water content

Brown rice has also been linked to a reduction in weight carried around the middle of the body, because it’s low in calories, but has a high fibre and water content.

5. Barley

This ancient grain is very low in calories, and contains fibre and amino acids which help boost weight loss. Barley is super affordable and a great way to bulk up soups and stews (and increase its fibre content).