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The Problem with Refined CarbohydratesWe know that carbohydrates are both healthy and unhealthy, and that a slight change in the structure of a carbohydrate can make it act like an enemy to the body. It is important to know which carbohydrates are good and which are bad carbs. Bad carbs, like refined flours and processed sugars, are bad because once they enter the bloodstream they immediately raise your body’s sugar levels. Once your body has an increase of sugar levels, your body chemistry immediately shifts and you begin to store fat instead of burning it off. Your body takes energy from the ample blood sugar and converts everything else to fat cells which will be stored under your skin until which time they are needed for energy reserves. The bad carbohydrates Refined carbohydrates include tasty foods like candy bars, sodas and sugary snacks, but also French fries, potato chips, white breads, pastas (that aren’t whole grain), white rice, cornmeal, and many other refined starches.
Bad carbohydrates do not need to be outright avoided. Like with most things in life, carbs in moderation will not cause you any harm. However, eating a lunch consisting of a thick-bun burger with fries and a soft drink is bad for you due to the amount of bad carbs involved. Learning to supplement—a bunless burger and a diet soda—is a great way to limit your intake of bad carbs. The good carbohydrates Good carbohydrates are, for all intents and purposes, basically the same thing as bad carbs. The difference comes in how they’re processed in the body. Because good carbs are so complex and aren’t refined, they take a lot longer to break down in the bloodstream. This means that good carbs will most likely be converted to energy or pass through you completely and will not be stored as fat. Complex carbs are great fuel for your body and provide stable blood sugar levels. Fruits and vegetables, beans and berries, nuts, legumes, whole wheat and grains are all examples of good carbohydrates. The human body never fully digests starches. This means that starches always lingers around in the body. When you put this into context with carbs, this means: bad carbs (simple) will be used quickly and what is left over will be stored as fat, whereas good carbs (complex) take longer to break down and your body optimizes usage of them.