Carbs have been getting a bad rap for ages, blamed for bloat and excess poundage, while protein sports a halo for its lean-machine power.
And while it is true that refined carbs—found in the form of processed foods—can contribute to flab, the carbs from whole grains are a dietary must. “Protein is good for building muscles, but it’s impossible to train for an endurance event without eating carbs,” says Christine Gerbstadt, M.D., R.D., author of The Doctor’s Detox Diet. “You need the glycogen and the carbohydrates for energy to fuel your body through running, biking, swimming—whatever you are doing.”
Not only do whole grains keep you running strong, they’re filled with fiber, which can lower cholesterol, reduce heart disease risk, and stabilize blood sugar levels. So we asked Gerbstadt to concoct 10 super-simple ways to work them into your daily diet.