List of Carbs to Avoid for Weight Loss
By Nicole Campbell for Nitro Fitness
Carbohydrates are nutrients that provide most of the energy your body needs to perform work. They are used to form glucose, the body's main source of fuel. Once glucose is created, your body either stores it for later use or uses it immediately, making carbohydrates a dietary necessity. While carbohydrates are important, those known as simple carbohydrates, or "bad," carbohydrates are the ones dieters should avoid, dietitian Lynn Grieger explains on the iVillage website. Understanding what kinds of foods contain simple carbohydrates is an important step in avoiding them. It can also make sure that you don't miss out on the fiber and nutrients in complex, or "good," carbohydrates.
Bread can be difficult to avoid. It is used to start meals out at many restaurants, makes up at least half of the ingredients of a sandwich and it tastes good, too. You don't have to avoid bread altogether, however, because white bread is the main carb offender. Choose whole-grain bread instead --- it is packed with nutrients and fiber and falls into the good carbohydrate category, "Reader's Digest" reports on its website.
Ask for whole-wheat bread the next time you're out to eat. With the growing focus on low-carbohydrate diets and healthy eating, more and more restaurants and food manufacturers are creating whole-grain versions of popular foods, so there are more options than ever.
Fresh fruit is part of a healthy diet, but only in moderation. Low-carb dieters may want to avoid fruit, because it is generally rich in sugar and in bad carbohydrates as well. The University of California-Berkeley's Foundations of Wellness newsletter reports that the sugar in fruit is fructose, which has little to no advantages over sucrose, the kind of sugar found in candy and sweets. Fruit is packed with vitamins and antioxidants, which are good for your health. But for those on low-carbohydrate diets, there is very little difference between the carbs found in fruit and the sugar found in candy. Avoid fruit juice for the same reason --- it contains as much sugar as whole fruit, if not more.
Pasta is one of the more common sources of simple carbohydrates. Spaghetti, fettuccine, egg noodles --- whatever you call it, it is almost certainly high in simple carbohydrates and low in other nutrients. There are, however, whole-grain varieties of just about every style of pasta on the market, the Berkeley newsletter notes. Pick up the whole-grain version of your favorite to the taste of pasta dish without much of the worry about carbohydrates.
Plain sugar is all carbohydrates. Gram for gram, white sugar is 100 percent carbohydrates. Candy is made up of a large percentage of sugar and is high on the list of carb-loaded foods to avoid. Candy and sweets are very low in nutrients and fiber but are very high in calories, the Foundations of Wellness newsletter points out --- working against any sensible weight-loss diet.
The Mayo Clinic recommends that you make at least half of your daily grain choices whole grains. Choosing brown rice over white rice and whole-wheat pasta over traditional pasta is one way to do this. Whole grains are full of fiber, which is important for dieters. Fiber promotes regular bowel movements and can make you feel full for longer periods of time, discouraging you from overeating. Whole grains are also good sources of other nutrients, like potassium and selenium.
Nicole Campbell has been writing professionally since 2005. With an extensive medical background, a nursing degree, and interest in medical- and health-related writing as well as experience with various lifestyle topics, she prides herself on her conversational, active voice and ability to relate to the average reader.
Many low-carbohydrate diets claim to help dieters lose weight quickly, but it can be difficult, and dangerous, to cut out carbohydrates entirely. Understanding the difference between good and bad carbohydrates is the first and most important step in a successful low-carbohydrate diet. Consult your doctor before beginning any new diet.