Is there really a difference between refined and unrefined carbohydrates?

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    Andre M.

    Is there really a difference between refined carbohydrates and unrefined carbohydrates? What change occur when carbs are “refined”?


    Refined carbohydrates are occasionally called “white foods”. Refining is the procedure for removing nutrients, fiber and water from organic grains. It will help enhance shelf life and to improve flavor. Sadly, these foods aren’t really healthy.

    The sugars in foods that are processed can cause glucose levels in blood to spike. This often leads to signs of irritability, increased appetite and fatigue.

    Eating processed carbs may also result in nutritional inadequacy.

    Natural whole grains like oats, wheat and barley have significant nutrients and high fiber content. Fiber is essential because it helps to stabilize glucose levels in the body and impedes the absorption of sugar from carbohydrates.

    Fruits and vegetables are great sources of unrefined carbohydrates. Although fruits are full of simple sugars, they are a great source of minerals and vitamins, and most include a great quantity of fiber.

    Vegetables are excellent sources of unrefined, complex carbohydrates. Some vegetables have this type of high fiber content they’re considered “negative calorie” foods. The human body will burn off more calories digesting these foods in relation to the number of calories they comprise.

    Make sure you eat lentils, beans and other legumes. They are an excellent supply of unrefined, complex carbohydrates that is also full of protein and dietary fiber. Filling up on these high fiber carbohydrates can give you the ability to control your hunger pangs, while supplying the body with much needed nourishment.


    This topic (refined carbohydrates vs unrefined carbohydrates) is very controversial.

    Consuming large amount of calories make you fat.

    The big debate is how your body breaks down the source of those calories.

    Refined carbohydrates screw with your sugar levels can contribute to all kinds of health issues – obesity, fast ageing, diabetes, heart diseases.

    Some claim that the real problem with obesity stems from refined carbohydrates rather than foods with high fat content. Some nutritionists claim that any carbohydrates cause problems with your weight (search for “Atkins diet plan” to learn more about this theory).

    Most folks agree that moderation is the secret of being lean.

    If your diet consists of a bunch of processed carbohydrates (a.k.a. junk food) and you have difficulties getting slim, you should reduce your intake of junk food.

    Whole foods are nearly always going to be “better for you” than processed junk foods that are high in refined carbs.

    While I have to lose weight, I cut out processed carbohydrates as much as possible.


    1 year after I stopped eating bread and pasta, my weight dropped from 85 to 65 kg.

    In one year my weight dropped by 20 kg without restricting the amount of food that I eat.

    I eat vegetables, meat, fish, eggs. Also, I eat fruits, olives, nuts, honey.

    When I eat meat and fish, I eat them steamed, not fried. Also, I do not eat fried eggs. I eat them boiled.

    I have restricted the consumption of food with high sugar content. I do not drink “natural” fruit juices (especially with added sugars) and carbonated drinks. Instead, I drink water.

    I stopped eating sunflower oil. Instead, I am eating olive oil (without heat treatment, because when heated are lost valuable substances*).

    When a person is thirsty, he has to drink clean water. Not dirty water (water containing sugar, colorings, flavorings and other substances).

    * Santos C, Cruz R, Cunha S, Casal S. Effect of cooking on olive oil quality attributes.

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