Carbs anyone can -- and should -- get behind

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Carbohydrates often get a bad rap, especially when it comes to dieting. But a lot of carbs are great for giving you energy, and keeping your weight down.

It's a simple rule - just think complex!

Carbs are made of up fiber, starch and sugars.

Simple carbs are primarily sugars, good for quick sources of energy since they are rapidly digested. But they can also let you down quickly and pack on extra weight. Think white and brown sugars, syrups, honey, syrups, cookies, and other baked goods, as well as sodas and fruit juices.

Complex carbohydrates pack more nutrients than simple carbs. They are higher in fiber and digest more slowly. They are more filling, which means they're good for weight control. They can also guard against diseases like Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular problems. So eat more of these.

1. Grains:

Choose less processed, whole grains such as whole-wheat pasta and breads, oats, corn and brown rice.

2. Fiber-rich fruits:
Like apples, berries, and bananas. Avoid canned fruit, since they usually contain added syrup.

3. Fiber-rich vegetables:
Eat more veggies, especially leafy greens, broccoli, and carrots. The more color on your plate, the better.

4. Beans and nuts of all varieties:
Choosing the right carbs can take practice. Read the labels. And make healthier choices that will give you more energy and protect you from long-term problems.

Check out these other health-related tips:

Get fit with ABC13 anchor Erik Barajas' Healthy Breakfast
Oblique exercise to give you the abs you've always wanted
Six reasons to eat more bananas
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