Not all carbs are the same.
Many whole foods that are high in carbs are incredibly healthy and nutritious.
On the other hand, refined or simple carbs have had most of the nutrients and fiber removed.
Eating refined carbs is linked to drastically increased risk of many diseases, including obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Almost every nutrition expert agrees that refined carbs should be limited.
However, they are still the main source of dietary carbs in many countries.
This article explains what refined carbs are, and why they are bad for your health.
What Are Refined Carbs?
Refined carbs are also known as simple carbs or processed carbs.
There are two main types:
- Sugars: Refined and processed sugars, such as sucrose (table sugar), high fructose corn syrup and agave syrup.
- Refined grains: These are grains that have had the fibrous and nutritious parts removed. The biggest source is white flour made from refined wheat.
Refined carbs have been stripped of almost all fiber, vitamins and minerals. For this reason, they can be considered as “empty” calories.
They are also digested quickly, and have a high glycemic index. This means that they lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels after meals.
The main dietary sources of refined carbs are white flour, white bread, white rice, pastries, sodas, snacks, pasta, sweets, breakfast cereals and added sugars.
They are also added to all sorts of processed foods.
Bottom Line: Refined carbs include mostly sugars and processed grains. They are empty calories and lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels.
Refined Grains Are Much Lower in Fiber and Micronutrients
Whole grains are very high in dietary fiber (6).
- Bran: The hard outer layer, containing fiber, minerals and antioxidants.
- Germ: The nutrient-rich core, containing carbs, fat, protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and plant compounds.
- Endosperm: The middle layer, containing mostly carbs and small amounts of protein.
(Image from SkinnyChef).
The bran and germ are the most nutritious parts of whole grains.
They contain high amounts of many nutrients, such as fiber, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and selenium.
During the refining process, the bran and germ are removed, along with all the nutrients they contain (9).
This leaves almost no fiber, vitamins or minerals in the refined grains. The only thing left is rapidly digested starch with small amounts of protein.
That being said, some producers enrich their products with synthetic vitamins to make up for some of the loss in nutrients.
Diets high in refined carbs also tend to be low in fiber. Low-fiber diets have been linked with an increased risk of diseases like heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer and various digestive problems (11, 12, 13).
Bottom Line: When grains are refined, almost all the fiber, vitamins and minerals are removed from them. Some producers enrich their products with synthetic vitamins after processing.
Refined Carbs Can Drive Overeating and Increase the Risk of Obesity
Because they are low in fiber and digested quickly, eating refined carbs can cause major swings in blood sugar levels. This can contribute to overeating (16).
This is because foods high on the glycemic index promote short-term fullness, lasting about one hour. On the other hand, foods that are low on the glycemic index promote a sustained feeling of fullness, which lasts about two to three hours (2, 17).
These signals make you crave more food, and are known to cause overeating (16).
Bottom Line: Refined carbs cause rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels, and only make you feel full for a short time. This is followed by a drop in blood sugar, hunger and cravings.
Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy, right? However…
Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this true story…
Refined Carbs May Increase the Risk of Heart Disease and Type 2 Diabetes
Heart disease is incredibly common, and currently the world’s biggest killer.
Type 2 diabetes is another very common disease, affecting about 300 million people worldwide.
The study also showed that people who ate the most refined carbs were two to three times more likely to get heart disease, compared to those who ate the least.
Bottom Line: Refined carbs may increase blood triglycerides, blood sugar levels and cause insulin resistance. All of these are major risk factors for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Not All Carbs Are Bad
Eating a lot of refined carbs can have many negative health effects. However, not all carbs are bad.
Some carbohydrate-rich, whole foods are extremely healthy. These are great sources of fiber, vitamins, minerals and various beneficial plant compounds.
Unless you are following a carb-restricted diet, there is absolutely NO reason to avoid these foods just because they contain carbs.
Here is a list of 12 high-carb foods that are incredibly healthy.
Bottom Line: Whole foods that contain carbs tend to be incredibly healthy. These include vegetables, fruits, legumes, root vegetables and whole grains.
Take Home Message
For optimal health (and weight), try to get the majority of your carbs from whole, single ingredient foods.
If a food comes with a long list of ingredients, it is probably not a healthy carb source.
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Do You Know Your Body’s Most Important Weight Loss Secret?
By J. Davis III
Tags: HEALING | HEALTHY FATS | REMEDIES
Recently, Doctor of Naturopathy, weight-loss expert and best-selling Amazon author Liz Swann Miller, creator of the Red Smoothie Detox Factor, revealed 2 of the secrets to easy, steady weight loss. Secrets the big food corporations do their best to hide from us.
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You probably know most of us eat too much processed food. What you may not know is that it’s full of toxic chemicals and substandard, dirt-cheap ingredients designed to make you eat more…and force you to gain weight.
Here’s how it works...
“That stuff is just a lot of calories your body can’t use,” Liz told me, “Some are poison. And all these foods are stripped of the anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that help your body detox. The result? Your body expends huge amounts of calories to eliminate some toxins—the rest, it stores in your fat to protect you. This is why most people are hungry all the time. They’re not getting energy they need.”
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Natural Diabetes Treatment Works Better Than Prescription Drugs *PROOF*
By Richard Neal
Tags: HEALING | REMEDIES | PREVENTION
According the latest statistics, diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes in the United States is reaching epidemic levels:
Total: 29.1 million people or 9.3% of the population have diabetes.
Diagnosed: 21.0 million people.
Undiagnosed: 8.1 million people (27.8% of people with diabetes are undiagnosed).
Source: CDC Website
Drugs Treat Symptoms, Not Disease
Pharmaceutical companies have been trying to shut these doctors down simply for revealing the truth about diabetes.
Scientific studies have proven that type 2 diabetes can be reversed naturally - but this information has been hidden and suppressed for decades.
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In 3 Weeks, 71% Type 2 Diabetics Were Taken off ALL Medication
96% of patients were able to stop all insulin injections and 81% achieved complete relief of painful neuropathy.
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Blood sugar normalizes... neuropathy pain goes away...
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#1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat
By J. Davis III
Tags: HEALING | PREVENTION
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat.
This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
P.S. Make sure you check out the next page to get to know the 10 simple moves that will bring vitality back into your life!
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