Refined Carbohydrates

Refined carbohydrates do not occur in nature. They owe their existence to human processing. The fundamental reason why many authorities warn against consuming them is because they are not natural.

Humans and proto-humans have existed for several million years. Processed carbohydrates have only existed since the Agricultural Revolution about ten thousand years ago.

Consequently, our bodies are not well adapted to consuming them.

Grains are the paradigmatic refined carbohydrates. Do you eat grass? Unless you were starving, probably never. All grains like wheat, rice, and corn are hybridized grasses! That is why they are difficult for humans to digest.

Similarly, many modern fruits and products made from them like fruit juice and jam do not exist in nature either. Except for organic berries, it may be wise to avoid consuming them if you are interested in healthy eating.

Plants like sugar cane, beets and corn can be processed into sugars that are added to sweeten many manufactured foods.

These were not known to your ancestors



Except for hard-to-get honey, which is processed by bees, your successful ancestors prior to the Agricultural Revolution never ate refined carbohydrates.

Despite the harshness of their uncivilized lives, it may surprise you to learn that they were healthier than we are!

They did not suffer from the diseases of civilization such as obesity, heart disease, dental caries, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.

So, except on your weekly cheat day, we recommend not eating foods that are nothing like what your successful ancestors from 20,000 years ago could have eaten.


These include all refined carbohydrates such as:

Wheat and all products containing wheat such as breads, pasta, pastries, crumpets, bagels, buns, pretzels, doughnuts, cakes, cookies, pies, biscuits, rolls, muffins, croissants, pizza, wraps, anything made from wheat flour, breadcrumbs, dumplings, and breakfast cereals.

Rice and all products containing rice such as rice cakes, anything made from rice flour, and breakfast cereals.

Corn and all products containing corn such as corn on the cob, tacos, corn chips, corn flour, anything made from corn flour, cornflour starch, and breakfast cereals.

Anything made with sugars or other grains such as candy; sweets; toffee; jams; jellies; breakfast bars; protein bars; soft drinks; diet soft drinks; energy drinks; cordials; or processed meats such as cold cuts, sausages, or hot dogs that have added sugars or carbohydrate fillers,

Anything fried in batter or breadcrumbs, or deep-fried such as potato chips, are also refined or processed foods.

One of the best ways to promote good health and lasting weight loss is to eat only foods found in nature. The less processed, the better.

Here's a simple rule: on most days, consume 25 or fewer grams of carbohydrates from all sources. Following this one rule will make a huge difference.

Why?



Well, if you consume refined carbohyrates as well as fats and proteins, your body will tend to burn the carbs and store the dietary fat as body fat. This is a sugar burning metabolism. When digested, all carbs become sugar.

To switch to a fat burning metabolism, limit your carb consumption on most days (as well as, if necessary, your calorie consumption as well).

However, achieving lasting weight loss is not that simple. If you do limit carb consumption to 25 or fewer grams daily, after about a week your leptin level will be reduced by half. This will signal your body that you are starving; your metabolism will slow and your fat burning will be reduced.

All it takes to continue fat burning is one or two cheat meals on a weekly cheat day. Consume plenty of carbs as well as fats and calories for those meals. Yes, pizza or pasta or cookies are fine occasionally!

However, even then, stop eating when your hunger disappears. Do not keep eating until you feel full or stuffed.

Also, if you are diabetic or don't have the permission of your physician in advance, a cheat day could be counter-productive.

If you limit your consumption in this way, you can not only continue to eat them, but you can continue to reduce your percentage of body fat as well!

Our recommended reading list for this topic


Here are some initial reading suggestions:

  • Bradford's Compulsive Overeating Help
  • Cordain's The Paleo Diet Cookbook
  • Solom and the Eades's The Low-Carb Comfort Food Cookbook





› Refined Carbohydrates

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