If you’re trying to eat healthily, you may have heard that you should avoid refined carbs. But what are they, and why are they bad for you?
Let's quickly review the effects of eating too many refined foods, so we instead opt for more natural, whole foods.
Refined carbs are processed carbohydrates that have been stripped of their natural nutrients and fiber. This includes white flour, white sugar, and other refined sugars.
Because they lack fiber, these carbs quickly spike blood sugar levels, leading to cravings and weight gain. They can also cause inflammation in the body and contribute to diabetes and heart disease.
Low-carbohydrate diets are all the rage these days and for good reason.
Low-carb diets are effective for weight loss, and they are a good way to reduce inflammation in the body.
Carbs are an important part of a healthy diet, but it's important to choose the right ones.
Good carb groups include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which are packed with nutrients and fiber.
A carbohydrate is a type of macronutrient. Carbohydrates are essential to the body as they are the main source of energy.
The body breaks down carbohydrates into sugar, which is then used for energy or stored in the liver and muscles for later use.
When sugar is consumed in excess, it can overload the system and cause problems such as weight gain and type 2 diabetes.
Insulin is a hormone that helps the body to use sugar for energy. When there is too much sugar in the bloodstream, insulin helps to move it into the cells where it can be used.
However, not all carbs are created equal. Refined carbs such as white flour, white sugar, and other refined sugars are bad for you because they lack fiber and spike blood sugar levels.
They can also cause inflammation in the body and contribute to diabetes and heart disease.
It's important to get fiber from a variety of sources, as each type of fiber has its own unique benefits.
Most American diets lack fiber and other essential nutrients, which can lead to health problems.
Fiber is essential for good health, and it's important to get it from a variety of sources.
There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance that helps to regulate blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol.
Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and helps to move food through the digestive system. It is an important source of dietary fiber, which can help with weight loss, digestion, and heart health.
Both soluble and insoluble fibers are found in plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Whole grains also contain both types of fiber.
It's best to eat a variety of plant-based foods to get the most benefit from all the different sources of fiber they offer.
When it comes to glucose, it's important to be aware of how other foods can affect blood sugar levels.
For example, it is known that eating about 100 grams of carbohydrates from white bread will raise blood sugar levels more than eating the same amount of carbohydrates from brown rice.
This is because whole grains contain more fiber and other nutrients that slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.
High glycemic food such as white bread, white rice, and other refined sugars quickly spike blood sugar levels, leading to weight gain and other health problems.
What about table sugar (sucrose)? The conversion of sucrose into glucose is fast and will also raise blood sugar levels.
Avoid Refined Carbs
The best way to keep your health is to avoid refined carbs (or eat considerably less of them), and eat whole grains.
Many people also believe that the effects of exercise can help to offset the negative effects of eating too many refined foods.
How Do You Avoid Refined Carbs?
There are a few ways that you can avoid low-quality carbs:
- Read food labels carefully and avoid products that contain refined flour, sugar, or other sweeteners.
- Choose whole grain bread, pasta, and cereals instead of their refined counterparts.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables.
- Cook meals from scratch using whole, unprocessed ingredients.
- Limit your intake of processed and packaged foods.
- Avoid sugary drinks, such as soda, juices, and sports drinks.
- Drink water instead of sugary beverages.
Are Potatoes Refined Carbs?
Potatoes are a type of starchy vegetable that contain complex carbohydrates. They are generally considered to be healthy, but some people believe that potatoes are a type of refined carbohydrate.
This is because potatoes can be processed into products such as French fries and potato chips, which are high in unhealthy fats and calories.
Additionally, potatoes have a high glycemic index, which means that they can cause blood sugar levels to spike.
While potatoes are a healthy food when eaten in moderation, it's important to be aware of how they can affect your health.
If you're concerned about the effects of potatoes on your health, you may want to limit your intake or choose other types of starchy vegetables, such as sweet potatoes or winter squash.
What Is The Healthiest Carb?
There is no one “healthiest” carb, but complex carbs are generally considered to be healthier than simple carbs.
This is because complex carbs are broken down more slowly and have a lower glycemic index, which means they don't cause blood sugar levels to spike as much as simple carbs.
Complex carbs are found in whole grain bread and cereals, legumes, starchy vegetables, and other unprocessed foods.
They are an important source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Simple carbs are found in processed foods such as cookies, cakes, candy, and sugary drinks.
While both complex and simple carbs provide energy, complex carbs are a better choice for most people. This is because they offer more health benefits and help to keep you feeling full longer.