Refined Carbohydrates, labeled “bad” carbohydrates, contribute to weight gain and obesity in both adults and children. The refined carbs contribute to weight gain because they cause fluctuations in blood sugar, leading to craving more refined carbs and fatigue. Refined carbohydrates include white bread, pastries, white rice and sugary snacks such as sodas and candy. Many of these carbohydrates are also empty calories, such as candies, soda and chips, and are most likely high in fat and sugar. Here are three risks of eating too many refined carbohydrates.
1. High Glycemic Index (GI)
Foods that contain refined carbohydrates have a high glycemic index, which causes a quick rise and fall in blood sugar after eating. This leads to cravings for more refined carbohydrates and weight gain. It also leads to spikes in blood glucose. However, your body performs best when your blood sugar levels are kept constant. If your blood sugar drops too low, you will experience increased hunger and low energy. These are two things you do not want to happen if you’re trying to maintain or lose weight. Therefore, you should only eat refined carbohydrates in moderation. Choosing foods that have a low GI will help keep blood sugar levels constant, which will help with better, and healthier, weight loss results.
2. Empty Calories
Refined carbohydrates such as candy, soda, chips, pastries and white bread are empty calories because they give the body little, if any, nutrition. Eating these types of foods provides the body with loads of calories and leaves you feeling even more hungry and fatigued. Your body needs nutritious foods to work properly and if you’re not getting the proper nutrients, this can lead to weight gain. In extreme cases, it can also lead to other conditions, such as depression. If you have no energy, you can easily lack interest in physical activities, which ultimately leads to weight gain and obesity.
3. High in Fat and Sugar
Many of the refined carbohydrates such as cakes and pastries are high in sugar. Others such as chips, French fries and sandwiches are made with fattening ingredients. These foods being high in fat and sugar only adds to the problem of obesity and trouble maintaining a healthy weight. Many people eat fast foods because of busy lifestyles. These fast food meals are a combination of empty calories, refined carbs, and high in fat and sugar—which is, of course, a terrible combination for anyone wanting to lose weight.
Refined carbohydrates are fine in moderation. However, to avoid the risk of obesity, you have to get your carbohydrates from fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. These good carbohydrates give your body energy because they provide vitamins, minerals and fiber. Nutritious carbohydrates have a low GI, reduce blood glucose spikes, give you important nutrients, and are naturally low in calories and fat. Combining complex carbohydrates with lean proteins and low fat products can help you maintain a healthy weight.