Five whole grains that’ll give your diet a great nutrient boost!

If you're considering a low-carb or even a no-carb diet, think again. Yes, certain types of carbohydrates are a no-no for a healthy diet but others are excellent and necessary additions to your daily menu.

Refined carbohydrates – like those found in white bread, biscuits, sugary cereals and other undeniably delicious foods – are okay in moderation but are linked to weight gain, heart disease and diabetes in the long run. Skip that white baguette and opt for a whole grain option instead, for a nutrient boost that'll leave you feeling satisfied.

Here are five of our favourites…

1. Bulgar
This grain is most commonly used in tabbouleh but it also works amazingly well in other salads and soups. It's a great alternative to white cous-cous or rice and is packed full of fibre and protein. One cup full of bulgar contains around 75% of your daily recommended intake of fibre. Handy!

2. Brown rice
The classic! When you choose white rice over brown, you're leaving three quarters of rice's nutrients behind – including essential antioxidants, magnesium and B Vitamins. So make an easy swap that'll do you the world of good.

3. Barley
Barley is a great side dish which also works well stirred through salads or stir-fries. Look for whole grain barley, not the processed 'pearl' variety, for an even more nourishing meal.

4. Quinoa
Technically quinoa is a seed, not a grain, but as it contains far more protein than any grain out there, we had to include it on this list. This South American superfood is hearty and nourishing with a great nutty taste. It can be used for just about anything – as a standard side dish, in porridge, or even in place of breadcrumbs for coating fish and chicken. Yum.

5. Freekeh
This Arabic wheat has a slightly bizarre name but there's no denying it's an amazing whole grain alternative! Freekeh is a very low-carb form of wheat that contains a whopping four times the fibre of brown rice. Looked for the cracked and toasted variety as it cooks and softens in half the time of the uncracked one.