Weight Loss Strategies - Dont Eat Bad Carbohydrates

by : Kalvin C. Chinyere, M.D.

Carbohydrates are the foundation of diets world wide. Most of your calories come from carbohydrates. Some nutrition plans "demonize" carbohydrates. They blame carbs for the obesity epidemic. Carbs have been falsely accused. While some carbs are "bad" for you, there are just as many that are "good" for you. To lose weight and keep it off you should eat more "good" carbs than "bad". The "bad" carbohydrates are sugars, fruit juices, dried fruits, refined grains, and baked goods.

Added Sugars

Carbohydrates are made from sugar molecules, so you cannot and should not avoid them. However, you should avoid adding sugars to your foods and eating foods with sugars added to them. Sugar molecules by themselves function mainly to provide energy to your body. Eating too much sugar will only cause you to gain weight.

The sugars typically added to foods are sucrose (table sugar), high-fructose corn syrup, fructose, dextrose (glucose), maltose, and maltodextrin. These sugars have no nutritional benefit. In moderation, your body will use them for energy, but in excess they will cause insulin spikes and weight gain.

You will get plenty of energy from vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans. There is no need to add sugars to anything you are preparing, or eat anything prepared by adding sugars.

Fruit Juices

Simply drinking the juice of a fruit eliminates many of the nutritional benefits of the fruit. The fiber in fruits keeps you satiated and prevents insulin spikes. Fruit juices do not have this fiber. Most fruit juices also have added sugars and you already know why those are bad. Limit your fruit juice consumption. If you do drink fruit juices, drink 100% unsweetened fruit juices.

Dried Fruits

The dehydration process used to create dried fruits, removes some of the nutrients from the fruits. The water removed also makes the fruit less filling. The dehydration process increases the glycemic index of the fruit. Some dehydrated fruits are also sprinkled with added sugars. Limit your dried fruit consumption. If you do eat dried fruits, eat unsweetened dried fruits.

Refined Grains

Refining grains eliminates all the benefits of eating whole grains. Refining the grains removes nutrients and increases the glycemic index. A good rule of thumb is: Stay away from white foods: white bread, white flour, white pasta, white potatoes, and white sugar.

Baked Goods

Baked goods, such as cookies and cakes, are typically made from white flour, white sugar, and trans fats. Enough said. If you eat baked goods, eat those made with whole wheat flour, Splenda, and healthy fats.

There are good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates. However, in order to lose weight and keep it off, stay away from the bad ones. These are your sugars, fruit juices, dried fruits, refined grains, and baked goods.