The big question is, what is a processed food? Processed foods and refined carbs are everywhere. They're in our cupboards, fridges, and even on restaurant tables. But what are they? And more importantly, how can we improve our health with the knowledge of these refined carbs.
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Refined carbs are a type of processed food. They're made by stripping away the outer layer of a whole grain kernel, removing many of the nutrients in the process. This leaves only the starchy endosperm, which is then ground into flour. This flour makes bread, pasta, cereals, and other processed foods.
While refined carbs may be convenient and tasty, they're not particularly good for our health. Here are four ways that eating too many refined carbs can impact our health.
What Are Refined Carbs?
Refined carbs can spike blood sugar levels.
All carbohydrates turn into sugar in the body. But how quickly this happens depends on the type of carb you're eating. Refined carbs are absorbed very quickly, which causes a rapid rise in blood sugar levels. This leads to feelings of hunger and fatigue and cravings for more sugary foods.
Refined carbs can promote weight gain.
When blood sugar levels rise quickly, the body produces insulin to bring them down again. Insulin is a hormone that helps store energy in the form of fat. As a result, eating refined carbs can cause weight gain and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Refined carbs can contribute to inflammation.
Inflammation is a natural response by the body to protect itself from infection and injury. Chronic inflammation can lead to health problems like heart disease and cancer. Eating refined carbs can contribute to inflammation, as we discussed how they cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels, which triggers the release of inflammatory chemicals.
Refined carbs can worsen heart health.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and, unfortunately, eating refined carbs can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This is because they can contribute to inflammation and increase levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides. All of these are risk factors for heart disease.
Eating too many refined carbs can hurt our health. They can cause weight gain, inflammation, and even worsen heart health. So, it's important to limit how much we eat. Instead of processed foods, focus on eating whole, unprocessed foods like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. These are packed with nutrients and will help keep you healthy!
What are some ways you cut down on eating refined carbs? Tell us in a comment!
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"Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God."
Hebrews 13:16 (ESV)