High Carb Foods To Avoid

In today's hate speech, it's time to finally give high carb foods what they deserve: A red flag.

Instead of telling you why carbohydrates are bad, why not let a doctor tell you the truth:

"What are the biggest culprits of chronic inflammation? Quite simply, they are the overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils..."

I suggest you read his article if you like to know more. I don't know about you, but I really like doctors who admit their own mistakes of the past (advising on a low fat diet) and rather speak out the truth than hiding behind their egos. That's the integrity we expect from a physician.

So, with that being said, it will be quite easy for us to point out the "main culprits" that highly processed foods are.


High carb foods to avoid - the usual suspects



Image courtesy of Keerati / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Let's begin with the ones every low carb fanatic knows. If you are very new to the whole low carb concept, it's best you check out some of my other articles like Low Carb Or Low FatIs Low Carb Unhealthy? and Why Do We Need Carbs?

Noodles:

Oh yes, the lovely noodles. They come in so many variations. To be perfectly honest with you: Even I eat noodles sometimes. I'm not trying to be a moralist here. Remember what Dr. Lundell said above? He spoke of an excess of carbs. Now what you call an excess is really up to you. Most obese people would only consider "all you can eat" an excess at best.

What do noodles offer, though? I found a package of spaghetti in my kitchen just now. Let's see what it says:

Protein: 12%
Carbs: 71.8%
Fat: 1.9%
Vitamins: None
Minerals: None

Here are two things I would like to point out. One is, who wants to eat food that is so high in energy, but offers nothing but a little protein in return? There is nothing in there, no true value! The other thing is, can you imagine the amount of carbs you eat with just one serving of spaghetti? Compare the percentaged amount to Some Fruits With Little Sugar and you will find this quite astonishing. Or maybe it's better if I put this into the right perspective for you:

You have to eat more than 7 times as many fruits to get the same amount of carbs as a serving of spaghetti (spaghetti: 71.8% - fruits: 10% the most - 71.8:10=7.18 servings of fruits to catch up with one spaghetti serving).

To give you an even better image: Think of a plate of spaghetti (even without the tomato sauce!) and imagine seven other plates full of fruits. This is how much you'd have to eat to get this many carbs.

Honestly, this even shows that fruits aren't that bad after all. I mean, at least they are much better off than noodles. And fruits are already among the natural foods that are rather high in carbs. If you make the same calculation with vegetables, you might have to eat 14 plates, 20 plates, 50 plates to reach the amount of carbs that one serving of noodles has. And people still complain they don't know what to eat on a diet?

Fries:

I picked fries next because they are also heavily processed. Let us compare fries and potatoes. Potatoes are the natural source from which fries are made. I'm really curious about this comparison, and you?

Nutritional values
Potato
French fries
Fat
0.1 mg
15 g
Potassium
926 mg
700 mg
Calcium
20 mg
15 mg
Salt
2.7 mg
6 mg
Magnesium
21 mg
-
Manganese
147 mcg
-
Iron
434 mcg
-
Copper
91 mcg
-
Zinc
344 mcg
-
Chromium
2.5 mcg
-
Iodine
2.6 mcg
-
Selenium
1.5 mcg
-


As you can see, two undesired values went up considerably: Fat and salt. Many other values, mostly important minerals, went down to nothing at all.

There is an even bigger issue: Fries contain about a third or more (33%+) carbs. This alone is a reason to be concerned. What's even worse is that the combination of fat plus carbs equals weight gain. The carbs cause the pancreas to release insulin, and the insulin tries to lock the fat into the fat cells.

And one more thing: You don't just eat the fries alone, do you? You add ketchup, another carb bomb, or something else. Up to this point, even if you add fruits to the fries, it will always lead to more carbs and more fat being stored.

My personal conclusion on fries: They are so unhealthy that they even make potatoes look like saints. Avoid them.

Bread:

Now we move on to a rather cringeworthy entry to this list. The reason is that bread is a very commonly used food in our world, and it's also one of the most versatile. If cheese, cress and sauce are a topping, then bread is usually a bottoming (can you actually say that?).

What I'm trying to say is: Many tasty meals require bread most of the time, whether they are healthy or not. Even if we like tomatoes, cheese, fish, salad and meat, many of these foods go really well with bread. And I'm not talking about bread alone, also about pizza dough, for example.

So perhaps you are really wondering at this point: Is the author of this article going to destroy my hopes that I can eat bread? Well, again I have to be honest: I also eat bread sometimes. And I do like pizza.

The truth is that bread is also one of the culprits for diseases. But you should look back in history and acknowledge that without bread, most of the people in the western world might not even be here today. Bread used to be an emergency food source, and as long as people were poor and couldn't afford much other than bread, I also don't think they suffered from obesity.

Bread can become a problem, but that's mainly the case if you eat a lot of junk food. Bread is also a reason why you won't lose weight. But to put things in a long term perspective, if you have a weight you are content with, and you keep that weight and eat healthy, then I suppose you can have your sandwich or pizza once in a while. But remember: It's a taboo for low carb weight loss.

Sugar treats:

Many chocolates, ice creams, cookies, sweets and candies you will see in stores will be sugar bombs. They might even be worse than noodles and fries because of the high amount of simple sugars. The sweeter something tastes, the faster the sugar goes into your blood stream. This will cause Extreme Sugar Cravings that can lead to more and more addiction and problems.

There is not one single product I can exclude here, it's the whole sugar industry that is flawed. The best way to stay away from high carb sugars is to make your own treats at home. There are even ways to prepare chocolate with less than 5% carbs, as is shown in this chocolate mousse recipe.


More foods to be careful with - the unusual suspects



Wholemeal products:

Several years ago, when I knew as little about diets as most people, I decided to lose weight by eating wholemeal noodles instead of ordinary ones. What I noticed was that the nutritional values seemed to be the same. Both types of noodles I compared had the exact same amount of carbs. I was irritated. Then I thought to myself: "Well, no idea how this works, but people always say that you should eat wholemeal".

That's how I learned that being naive doesn't help you lose weight. And neither does listening to the mainstream of so-called experts, as seen in women's magazines, on TV and even among politicians (who, by the way, often don't look very slim).

Even if the composition of carbs is different (more slow carbs than sugars), it still doesn't help to lose weight. Sure, you will have less sugar cravings, but you will still get your carbs. And then how does that help you to lose weight? It won't.

Potatoes:

I've mentioned them before when talking about fries, and you will remember that I called them saints compared to fries. This is true, and it's also true in respect to how much you can allow yourself to eat. A potato is, after all, a real vegetable, coming straight from mother nature.

On the other hand, it's a vegetable that can easily compete with fruits when it comes to the carbs included. When people say "eat more vegetables" for you to lose weight, they may or may not mean potatoes. But in reality, if your only change in your lifestyle is to eat your steak with potatoes than with fries, that alone may not make a big difference. Especially when trying to lose weight, it is best to ban the potato from your diet altogether - at least temporarily. The good news is: You can get all the healthy things that the potato has from other vegetables.

Rice:

White rice in raw state has 80% carbs. That is a big number. Almost none of these are straight sugars, so you can at least feel at ease in some way. Rice is a typical staple food that will keep your stomach filled and doesn't cause that much of a craving. There is even a good number of people who say that rice is okay because Asians Are So Slim, and they eat a lot of rice.

But here I have to say "but". But Asians also have totally different eating habits. They usually don't drink soft drinks, they usually eat their rice with seafood and fish instead of processed instant meals with thick sauces. And they are in many other ways different.

Rice, like potatoes, is a food you should skip when trying to lose weight. It doesn't fit into the whole low carb concept and will totally block your diet. If you enjoy rice as an already healthy person, then just imitate the Asian way of eating rice. Look no further than Okinawa (okay, that is probably already looking very far) to see how people can get away with eating rice and still having a high life expectancy.

If you want to add extra vitamins, try to use unprocessed rice. It still has the outer skin attached. Or you can try brown rice. My tip: Don't buy too much of it. You may not like it. It's still worth a try.

Cereals:

The dilemma about cereals is: Some contain lots of sugars and taste sweet, others are more moderate, and they generally contain a lot of fiber, which is good.

But then, on the other hand, there are the carbs again. My personal piece of advice: When trying to lose weight, go without cereals for some months. There is no harm if you eat enough vegetables for the fiber. You can even mix weat bran into a protein shake for some really good fiber once a day.

Dried fruits:

Fruits, as we mentioned, already have more sugar than most vegetables. Even more drastic are dried fruits. This is another trap I fell for when I first tried to lose weight. I ate dates, because I thought that they were at least natural foods and better than chocolate. But 75% carbs, 63% of them pure sugars, that's just staggering.

Stay away from dried fruits. Perhaps you will like them, but they will most likely create cravings that, sooner or later, only chocolate and other high-energy foods will be able to satisfy. When trying to lose weight, dried fruits are completely out of the question.

Juice, soft drinks and milk:

Many, many, many people make this mistake. They monitor everything they eat, count all the calories, and then forget that drinking can easily amount to half the calorie intake in a day. Again, I would like to start out with my own mistakes. During my futile attempts of losing weight the way everyone suggests, I did a lot of jogging, then rewarded myself with grape juice afterwards. Grape juice has many healthy properties.

The only problem: Too much sugar! This does not help you lose weight. So, drinking the wrong things is one of the 20 Most Common Reasons For Not Losing Weight.

What's the difference between juice and soft drinks? Juice contains many useful vitamins and minerals at a very, very high price: Too much sugar. Soft drinks contain nothing of value for the same price. It's a bad deal.

You can have juice if you don't want to lose weight. I recommend that you use a vitamin pill that dissolves in water, then add one quarter of juice to the glass. It will taste like a carbonated beverage and have only 1/4th of the sugar.

If you are trying to lose weight, stay away from sweet beverages. You are doing yourself a favour. You can still choose between these drinks:


  • A glass of water with a dissolving vitamin pill (very refreshing)
  • Tea and coffee for good taste
  • Mineral water (perhaps with some ice tea for further refreshment)
  • Ice tea without sugar
  • Protein shakes that are not too sweet (careful with the milk)


Yes, even milk itself can be dangerous. Use it sparingly. Check the packaging for more information, and you might be in for a surprise. At least milk delivers protein.

Hidden sugars

The last one on this list is the nasty, hidden one. Sugars can easily hide anywhere. One example: ready-made meals and instant meals. The people who manufacture and distribute these products are not interested in your health. They are interested in revenue and profit. So they will try to make their meals not only easy and quick to prepare, but also superior in terms of taste. This is not only done with added salt, but also with hidden sugar, for example flour. Even soups or sauces can have flour in them. It binds the sauces, thickens in terms of consistency... and in terms of weight. Make your own food.

Especially white sauces, even salad dressing can have sugar. The easiest rule to follow: If it tastes too good to be true, beware of the danger.


What in the world is there left to eat?



I hope you are not too deeply depressed by disillusions right now. The good thing is, there is still a whole wide world of wonderful meals to eat. The first thing you should do is check the food facts. Learn what A Good Low Carb Diet can do for you, then internalize which foods you can eat.

Do you have to give up carbs for good? No. But most of the risks that carbs have will be present depending on how much risk you want to allow. By eating half the carbs, you will reduce your risk of getting a carb-related disease (diabetes, heart attack) by half. And it goes on like that. The question is always: How much risk are you willing to take, and how healthy do you think you are? If you feel that you are taking good care of yourself, go ahead and enjoy carbs as a rare treat. I can't deny that I do the same.

To give you a good idea of what is yet to come when you consider starting a low carb diet: All kinds of meat and fish, butter, cheese, tomatoes, spinach and many many more tasty foods await you. Some of my favorite meals, even before becoming aware of the low carb principle, are already low carb by nature. It's time you discover them and learn to live without high carb foods.
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