Let’s sort out what refined carbs actually are. On the Internet you can find theories that refined carbs are those that came out after a certain product processing. But this is not a complete definition. Or maybe some websites suggest a list of foods that contain carbs but without providing any explanation.
I’d like to point out that although the concept “refined carbs” is very common, it doesn’t exist in science.
The refining process, i.e. cleaning something from extraneous elements, is usually made artificially using certain kind of processing. But in the case of refined carbs, everything looks different. All carbs consist of so-called saccharides.
And if there is one saccharide then it is a simple carbohydrate. Technically it is understood that this one saccharide was purified from the others, so it is also called refined. So simple carbs are refined, and they are not always obtained as a result of artificial human food processing, but may be already present in many sweet fruits, vegetables and other plants.
Therefore, it is better to look for information not about the refined carbs, but about the simple ones. In such a way, you will be able to learn more about carbs and find a list of products with refined carbs.
Refined carbs in food
Still, most refined carbs are found in foods with sugar or its substitutes. Industrial sugar itself is not a simple carbohydrate since it consists of sucrose – a complex carbohydrate, which is formed of two simple sugars (glucose and fructose), and when swallowed quickly breaks into them.
I must emphasize that many manufacturers add sugar (previously mentioned sucrose) and fructose, made especially for those suffering from diabetes, to their products, which in turn causes great harm.
But the most harmful food is that with synthetic substitutes that are not even carbs.
Carbs: useful or harmful?
We all know that carbs are one of the most important components in the human diet. To get a right amount of energy you need a sufficiently large amount of carbs.
Carbs are divided into two main categories:
- Simple carbs – also known as harmful carbs;
- Complex carbs – also referred to as useful carbs.
These two types have a completely different effect on the human body.
Here’s one notable example from my personal life. A few years ago, I gave up refined sugar with an aim to lose weight. No matter how hard it was back at that time, I completely eliminated it from my diet. Initially, I had some minor sugar cravings, but it was nothing I couldn’t handle.
About a week after I gave up refined sugar, I started feeling improvements in the overall state of my body. Moreover, I started seeing improvements in my appearances: my skin looked more fresh and my hair looked great.
But what surprised me the most if how great I felt on the inside. Back when I was consuming refined sugar, I used to have bloating from time to time. But it was gone with the elimination of sugar from the diet. And it goes without saying that without sugar in the diet, it was much easier to lose weight and maintain good shape.
What is the harm of refined carbs?
Simple carbs (refined) are quickly absorbed by the body and give it a lot of energy in the short term. Unfortunately, a large percentage of carbs causes a certain stress in the human body. Primarily, the refined carbs carry a very small amount of useful and natural substances, minerals, fibers and other nutrients needed by the body. When eating products containing refined carbs, a large amount of sugar goes directly into the blood causing a sharp sugar hike, which is a very harmful process.
Refined carbs provide a lot of energy, but the speed of their absorption leads to a huge part of calories being converted to fat and stored in the human body. The use of refined carbs in large quantities leads to diabetes, obesity, and problems with metabolism.
Damage from refined carbs is not immediately noticeable, and thus it’s quite difficult for the average consumer to assess its impact on the body in future.
What about complex carbs?
Complex carbs, on the other hand, carry large amounts of minerals and vitamins necessary for the human body.
If you replace simple carbs, such as sugar-containing products, with fruit and vegetables, your body will be less exhausted and less prone to obesity. Although these fruits and vegetables also contain fructose (refined carbs) but due to vegetable fibers they are absorbed differently, without causing such harm.
Moreover, complex carbs are digested longer, so after eating them you don’t feel hunger for a longer period of time.
Despite causing disorders in the Krebs cycle, refined carbs also lead to other dysfunctions in the body. I would like to draw your attention to one such problem that becomes obvious to most people after they go on a strict whole diet.
Surprisingly, these people suddenly start feeling irresistible sweet cravings and (or) immune response to the refined carbs contained in the food. In both cases, the body has a hard time when refined carbs are not eaten.
Believe it or not, once you switch to strict whole diet and stops eating refined carbs, you begin suffering from withdrawal syndrome and painful sugar cravings, and on average it lasts for three and a half days. The sugar withdrawal goes the same way as when abstaining from any other addictive substance whether it is tobacco, drugs or alcohol.
From a medical point of view, drug addiction is a state when withdrawal from a particular substance gives birth to painful symptoms. Therefore, if you start feeling a withdrawal syndrome when quitting refined carbs, it is a sign of addiction.
The mechanism that causes such a painful craving is still not really understood. However, it is known that certain genetically-hormonal characteristics make a person more or less susceptible to any kind of addiction.
Allergy (immune response)
When you stop eating refined carbs, in addition to the withdrawal symptoms, you can observe another unpleasant phenomenon that is a fundamental immunological mechanism very similar to usual allergic reaction (which is sometimes called hypersensitivity). This is how it happens.
If when you stop eating refined products, you decide to eat a certain amount of refined carbs at least once during the first six months, it will almost certainly provoke an immune response and re-sensitization. Most people that consume tons of refined carbs have this allergic reaction every time they consume them, but the poor fellows even don’t even realize it.
After all, they consume refined carbs almost continuously, and therefore they have almost a permanent reaction to them. Because of this, they lose the ability to perceive their body’s natural signals: as a result, their sensitivity decreases.
But once you get rid of refined carbs from your diet, you will get the signals that your body sends. If you don’t re-sensitize your body, in six months almost all of your immune responses will disappear. Do you remember Tetanus vaccine that you did when you were a kid? Boosters are done in the next six months after the first injection to sensitize the immune system and thereby resurrect its memory.
Similarly, the consumption of any refined carbs during the first six months when transiting to a strict whole diet again, will once again set in motion a triggering immune mechanism that will operate every time you eat refined carbs. In some cases, the immune system resensitization happens as a symptomatic response.
I don’t know exactly why in a week or a few months after a clever body has completely cleared of refined carbs, symptomatic reaction may acquire such intensity. However, this phenomenon has been observed in clinical practice for decades – ever since the strict whole diet has started being used as a therapeutic agent.
List of products containing refined carbohydrates
Refined carbs are found in foods such as:
- Sugar (don’t try to substitute sugar with Sucralose Splenda)
- Refined sunflower oil (it’s better to choose Canola Oil or Olive Oil)
- Refined flour
Ready-to-eat foods high in refined carbs.
- Butter pastry (sweet or not sweet)
- Boxed juices (including sugar-free juices, but containing fructose)
- Jams and marmalades (including sugar-free ones, but containing fructose)
- Honey with a high sugar content
- Ice cream
Strict diet pros
As soon as you go on a strict diet, one or both of these factors (sweet craving and immune response), whether you want it or not, will manifest itself in its glory. Since their symptoms are very similar, it is difficult to determine which factor manifests itself.
But even though I don’t have all the answers, I am absolutely certain that most people have experienced similar reactions. But another thing is more important: no matter how this particular reaction manifested itself, the transition to a whole strict diet will put it an end once and for all.
That is why the strict whole diet is such a wonderful remedy. After six months, most people have no reaction at all. Now when you know what are the benefits of whole food, I can tell you how to go on the whole strict diet and observe it. I recommend it to everyone who is really willing to heal to begin with a strict diet. You can make concessions only after at least six months and when you feel much better. By the way, 3 Delicious Gluten Free Sugar Free Recipes will help you with your strict diet.