A big part of your overall health is what you put in your body. Refined carbs have negative effects on your health and can put your weight loss goals out of reach. Here’s the skinny on refined carbs, the effects on your health, and ways to eliminate the bad carbs from your diet.

Good carbs vs. bad carbs

Not all carbs are created equal. Good carbohydrates are unprocessed and packed with natural fiber. Good carbs include fruit, beans, vegetables and whole grains.

Bad carbohydrates, also known as refined, processed or simple carbs, are extensively processed for a finer texture and longer shelf life. They are stripped of beneficial fiber, vitamins and minerals and are considered empty and unsatisfying calories. Bad carbs can include pastries, cereal and pizza dough made from white flour, white hamburger buns, soda, white rice, white bread, french fries and pasta.

How refined carbs affect your weight loss

There are many negative effects of eating bad carbs. Refined carbs have a high glycemic index which produces rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. These rapid spikes are followed by a drop in blood sugar, which leads to hunger and cravings. The consumption of refined carbs is linked to short-term satiety, overeating, increased belly fat, weight gain, increased BMI, an increased risk for obesity and a decrease in your basal metabolic rate. Excessive consumption of refined carbs also Increases your risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes and heart attacks and may cause inflammation in the body.

Dietary recommendations

Adults are recommended to get 45-65% of their calories from carbohydrates.

Here are easy ways to integrate good carbohydrates into your diet:

  • Fill your diet full of fruits and vegetables
  • Add whole grain rice and beans in soups and casseroles
  • Eat whole grain cereals such as whole grain bran flakes, shredded wheat or oatmeal
  • Make sandwiches using whole grain breads or whole wheat tortillas
  • Replace white rice with quinoa or brown rice
  • If a recipe calls for breadcrumbs, use oats or crushed whole wheat bran cereal instead
  • Replace noodles with vegetables like zucchini noodles

Good carbohydrates are an essential source of energy but refined carbs can not only sabotage your weight loss plan, but affect your long-term health in a negative way.