There are four types of carbohydrates--monosaccharide, disaccharides, cellulose and polysaccharides. The fourth type, polysaccharides, is what’s known as a slow-digesting carb. Polysaccharide carbohydrates are starchy carbs that are found in hundreds, if not thousands, of vegetables, grains and legumes. Slow-digesting carbs will help you feel full for longer. They are also beneficial for athletes to consume before a workout to fuel their body, giving the muscles energy.
Old fashioned, steel cut oatmeal is a healthy, fibrous food that contains a high amount of slow-digesting carbs, says Fitness Magazine. Steel cut oatmeal is very different from the common instant oatmeal sold in boxes of individual packets. Instant oatmeal has been highly processed, removing many of the slow-digesting carbs. However, steel cut oatmeal is full of complex carbohydrates that take longer for your body to digest, so you feel full for an extended period of time after eating a bowl of old fashioned oatmeal.
According to Maggie Greenwood-Robinson, author of "Good Carbs vs. Bad Carbs," sweet potatoes are a complex carb that provides a slow spike to your blood sugar over an extended period of time. While regular potatoes contain slow-digesting carbohydrates as well, sweet potatoes contain more of them. As an added benefit, a sweet potato can help satisfy a sweet craving because they are, as the name implies, naturally sweet in flavor. A sweet potato can be cooked in the microwave, baked in the oven or even grilled.
Brown rice is a mildly nutty flavored, slightly chewier and much healthier alternative to white rice, says Maggie Greenwood-Robinson. Brown rice is packed with slow-digesting carbohydrates, providing a long lasting feeling of being full. Brown rice can be eaten as a side with meat or vegetable dishes, added to soup or even used to make a sweet rice ball dessert.
Black beans and other legumes have a high amount of slow-digesting carbs, according to Maggie Greenwood-Robinson. Black beans are slowly digested in the body and are not only full of polysaccharides but also contain very high amounts of fiber, further slowing digestion. Both dry and canned black beans are readily available for purchase to be used in soups, salads and to be eaten as side dishes with meats and vegetables.
- Fitness Magazine: Slow Carbs
- "Good Carbs vs. Bad Carbs"; Maggie Greenwood-Robinson; 2004