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精製碳水化合物的害處
Harm of refined carbohydrates

Not all carbohydrates are the same. Many whole foods rich in carbohydrates are very healthy and nutritious. On the other hand, refined or simple carbohydrates remove most of the nutrients and fiber. Eating refined carbohydrates is associated with a dramatic increase in the risk of many diseases, including obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Almost every nutrition expert agrees that refined carbohydrates should be restricted. However, they are still the main source of carbohydrates in the diets of many countries .

This article explains what refined carbohydrates are and why they are bad for your health.

Refined carbohydrates are also called simple carbohydrates or processed carbohydrates.

There are two main types:

  • Sugar: refined sugar and processed sugar, such as sucrose (table sugar), high fructose corn syrup and agave syrup .
  • Refined grains: These grains have removed the fibrous and nutrient-rich parts. The largest source is white flour made from refined wheat .

Refined carbohydrates have almost all fiber , vitamins and minerals removed . Therefore, they can be regarded as "empty" calories.

They are also quickly digested and have a high glycemic index. This means that they cause a rapid rise in blood sugar and insulin levels after meals.

Eating foods with high glycemic index is associated with increased risk of overeating and many diseases (1 trusted source, 2 trusted sources).

Unfortunately, sugar and refined grains account for a large proportion of total carbohydrate intake in many countries/regions (3 trusted sources, 4 trusted sources, 5 trusted sources).

The main dietary sources of refined carbohydrates are white flour, white bread, white rice , pastries, soda, snacks, pasta, sweets, breakfast cereals and added sugar .

They are also added to various processed foods.

Bottom line:

Refined carbohydrates mainly include sugar and processed grains. They are empty calories and cause blood sugar and insulin levels to rise rapidly .

Whole grains are high in dietary fiber (6 trusted sources).

They consist of three main parts (7 trusted sources, 8 trusted sources):

  1. Bran: The hard outer layer contains fiber, minerals and antioxidants.
  2. Germ: A nutrient-rich core that contains carbohydrates, fats, proteins , vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and plant compounds.
  3. Endosperm: the middle layer, which mainly contains carbohydrates and a small amount of protein.
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Bran and germ are the most nutritious parts of whole grains .

They contain large amounts of many nutrients, such as fiber, vitamin B, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and selenium.

In the refining process, the bran and germ and all the nutrients they contain are removed (9 trusted sources).

This leaves almost no fiber, vitamins or minerals in the refined grains. The only thing left is fast-digested starch and a small amount of protein.

That being said, some manufacturers add synthetic vitamins to their products to compensate for the loss of certain nutrients.

For a long time, whether synthetic vitamins are as good as natural vitamins. However, most people will agree that getting nutrients from whole foods is always the best option (10 trusted sources).

High-refined carbohydrate diets also tend to have lower fiber content. A low-fiber diet is associated with an increased risk of diseases such as heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, and various digestive diseases (11 trusted sources, 12 trusted sources, 13 trusted sources).

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