The bulk of carbohydrate foods consumed today are highly refined and processed. Most of it is simple sugar, but not just table sugar; corn syrup, sweet drinks and different types of candy. Usually, the nutrients and fiber have also been stripped away. Not all carbohydrates are bad for you, but the following are classed as being the worst of the worst…
1. Pastries. While pastries serve as a tasty treat; cakes, muffins, donuts, and even bagels can cause significant blood sugar issues. These refined carbohydrates can cause a sudden spike. As the blood sugar in our body rises, the pancreas starts to make insulin to help the cells absorb the blood sugar. However, when we consume an excessive amount of refined carbs, we can become insensitive to insulin and it can become less effective at lowering blood sugar levels leading to Type 2 diabetes.
It is best to avoid pastries as they are super high in sugar. If you miss your favorite sweet treat, once in a while enjoy a treat made at home using stevia and this should help curb any craving! You can also make a low-sugar chocolate “milkshake” using full-fat unsweetened coconut milk, raw cacao powder, and a half of a frozen banana. This may do just the trick to satisfy your sweet tooth craving.
2. Bread. Bread, especially white bread can cause a spike and then a crash in blood sugar. Bread is also notorious for containing high fructose corn syrup which can increase your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. It is best to avoid bread and choose healthier options like gluten-free wraps made with cassava or almond flour. You can also use lettuce leaves in place of bread when making sandwiches to help prevent blood sugar imbalances.
3. Packaged Snacks. Packaged snacks tend to be very high in refined carbohydrates. Foods like crackers, cookies, and even granola bars contain loads of added sugar. Instead of choosing packaged snacks, choose whole foods like nuts, seeds, a half of an avocado, paired with a piece of fresh fruit.
4. Frozen Meals. Not only are frozen meals known for containing excessive amounts of salt, but they are also made with refined carbs like white pasta or white rice. Skip the freezer meals, and do your best to make as much of your food as you can! This way, you know exactly what goes into what you are eating.
5. Cereal. Breakfast cereal often contains high levels of added sugar. Instead of cereal, choose a whole grain option like rolled oats paired with a healthy fat such as almond butter to help stabilize your blood sugar.
Refined carbs can be detrimental to our overall health and can make balancing blood sugar levels challenging. Instead of refined options, try adding in some of the healthy swaps instead. You would be surprised at how much better you feel both physically and mentally with stabilized blood sugar!