Eating too many refined carbs?

Updated: Oct 1, 2020


People talk about wanting to stop eating “sugar”, knowing it is not good for their health or their mental well-being. But did you know that all refined carbohydrates have the same effect on your body as “sugar” does?

Not all carbohydrates are the same. Many whole foods that are high in carbs are incredibly healthy and nutritious!

On the other hand, refined/simple carbs are not. Things like white flour, white bread, white rice, pastries, sodas, snacks, pasta, sweets, breakfast cereals, and added sugars.

When you eat those refined carbs, your body basically treats it like eating a spoonful of refined white sugar. How?

Refined carbs have been stripped of fiber, vitamins and minerals, making them digest quickly. This speedy digestion causes rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels, and only makes you feel full for a short time. This is followed by a drop in blood sugar…which leads to sugar cravings, fatigue, and overall hunger.

Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, have more nutrients and take longer for your body to digest, so they help fill you up and don't cause the same swings in blood sugars as simple carbs. A few examples of some complex carbs are: Oatmeal (old-fashioned or steel cut), sweet potatoes, fresh fruit/veggies, brown rice, whole GRAIN bread and pasta (not whole WHEAT), beans/lentils, quinoa, and barley.

Eating too many refined carbs can make you:


  • SLUGGISH: low energy around 3pm??

  • MOODY: blood sugar fluctuations make you irritable • Crave MORE sugar: your brain reacts the same way it does to alcohol and drugs – these carbs are addictive!

  • HUNGRY: low blood sugar makes you more hungry • And the cycle does not stop there: if you ignore the hunger and don’t eat, your blood sugar remains low until your next meal. At this time, your body produces ghrelin, a hormone that increases appetite, leading you to OVEREAT at your next meal.

PROTIP: When eating simple/refined carbs, make sure you eat them with a good amount of protein and fiber to try and slow down how quickly they convert to sugar in your blood stream. This helps lower your sugar cravings and keeps you feeling full, longer.