If I could choose only one source of complex carbs, it would be oats! What makes them so great? Despite, they contain mostly starch, oats have a decent balance of carbs, protein and healthy fats. They have low glycemic index because the combo of protein and fats makes the carbohydrates absorb slowly.
2. Sweet potatoes
Right next to oats, sweet potatoes are my second choice for a carbohydrate source. They have nice flavour, low amount of calories and are full of nutrients and antioxidants such as beta- carotene. Potatoes have high glycemic index, which means they are digested relatively fast. What most people don't know is that when you eat potatoes in combination with other foods, the glycemic index of the whole meal is much lower. Combine potatoes with vegetables, chicken breast, lean red meat or fish for slower digestion.
3. Brown rice
The slow boiled brown rice is the best choice amongst the many types of rice. White rice is a processed version of the brown rice. When you are on a very strict diet and your goal is fat loss, eat slow boiled brown rice for best results.
4. 100% whole-grain bread and whole-grain products
5. Green fibrous vegetables (brocoli, green beans, asparagus, lettuce, etc.)
Fibrous vegetables are great for a burning fat program. Green vegetables barely contain any calories. It is almost impossible to overeat them. Eat them as much as you want. The combination of green vegetables and protein is one of the best for losing fat.
6. Milk and dairy products
Dairy products are a whole food category made up of food such as milk, cheese, yogurt, curd and cottage cheese. Dairy products contain both carbohydrates (lactose) and protein (whey and casein). The protein found in dairy products is a high quality one and contains all esential amino acids. For example, you could eat skimmed cottage cheese as a protein source instead of meat. Other option is to mix a scoop of whey protein powder with yogurt.
7. Lean chicken breast (or turkey breast)
Eggs are another great high-quality protein source. There are hundreds of ways to cook eggs so use your imagination: you can eat them in an omelet, scrambled, fried (in a non-sticking pan), hard boiled or soft boiled.
9. Fish and sea food
Sea food is what most people do not eat enough of. Using different types of fish and shellfish as a protein source, you could add a bit of variety to your nutrition. The most nutritious fishes you could use are salmon, sardine tuna, cod, mackerel, trout, sea wolf, perch, etc. Most fishes have very little amount of fats and are high in protein. Others like salmon, sardine, mackerel, and trout are high in heart-friendly omega-3 fats.
10. Lean red meat
Many bodybuilders think red meat helps build muscle and probably there is truth in this statement. Red meat is rich in protein, B12, iron and creatine. The problem with most steaks of red meat is the high-fat profile they have. Despite that, not all types of red meat are the same. It is a mistake to generalize all the red meat as a "no-do" due to high fat profile. If you choose the red meat and your servings carefully, it could be a great addition to your meal plan.