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White foods are foods that have been refined and processed, such as white flour, bread, buns, pasta, rice, cereal, sugar, salt, high-fructose corn syrup, crackers, cookies, pies etc.Many natural and unprocessed foods are white in color too, such as onions, white beans, potatoes, and cauliflower but these don’t fall under white foods because they are healthy. The difference between unhealthy and healthy white foods depends on how they are processed and their fiber content. Healthier alternatives to white foods such as brown rice instead of white rice are rich in fiber and antioxidants.Bad carbs make you fatUnhealthy white carbs or refined carbs/sugars are easily digested and absorbed by the bloodstream. This raises blood glucose levels and stimulates the production of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that converts the excess sugar to stored fat in the body and uses glucose as a prime source of energy. Furthermore, increased blood sugar and insulin levels trigger hunger and cravings within one to hours of eating. This increases your likelihood of overeating and consuming unhealthy food.In addition, refined carb products have very little nutritional value, some good examples include sweetened drinks such as candies, sodas, and packaged fruit juices.However, good carbs or complex carbohydrates are more filling and nutritionally rich as they are high in fiber and minerals and vitamins. Weight loss becomes much easier when you choose foods that are more filling as this prevents cravings and overeating.Eliminate sugarSugar is difficult to give up on. According to the American Heart Association, Americans consume an equivalent of 22 teaspoons of sugar from their food and drinks, particularly soda and candy. These calories can add up with time and cause major weight gain.Whether you have a sugary fruit juice or a piece of candy, most sugary foods provide little to no nutritional value to consumers. Moreover, consuming sugary food leads to more sweet cravings. Frequent consumption of sugar is linked to diabetes, obesity and heart disease in adults.How to consume less white carbsMake sure you always read the food labels on products before purchasing them. Check their sugar content and see if they are safe to consume if you’re trying to lose weight. Ideally, you should avoid foods containing any sugar or high-fructose corn syrup.When you’re purchasing bread, pasta and cereals always opt for products that are whole grain and not made with white flour. Whole grain products often consist of higher levels of fiber, which are more filling and prevent you from overeating.If you enjoy sugar and sweets, try natural sweeteners such as banana, mango and other fruits and honey. Go for raw cacao, unsweetened cocoa or dark chocolate without added sugar if you love chocolates – these can be added to yogurt and fruit too to make a healthy and nutritious dessert.Salt counts tooSalt, although not a white carb, is still white and most of us need to reduce it in our diet. Although you need a small amount of salt in your diet because it is an important electrolyte, many people are likely to consume too much of it.In addition, the saltiest foods are often the unhealthiest, such as fast food, cookies, chips, processed soups, canned products etc. Salted nuts and other products containing added salt should be avoided as much as possible too.Try your best to make your meals at home – this will give you control over the ingredients you add, including salt. Salt intake is not directly linked to fat storage in the body, however. What it does do is that it shows a higher number on the scale due to water retention. Salt holds water back in your body, which should otherwise be flushed out. Reduce salt intake and consumption of unhealthy white carbs for optimum weight loss.
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