While I don’t agree with the Atkins diet for a multitude of reasons, there are, I admit, plenty of carbs to stay away from. Not all of them are bad, but there are certainly a few carbs to avoid! So what are these evil little carbs, and why should you delete them from your diet? Keep reading. Here are 7 carbs to stay away from, recognizably presented as the foods we eat them in.
1. White Bread
Aside from being bland and flimsy, white bread is (literally) bleached… and during the refining process, the flour used to make white bread is also stripped of most of its nutrients, making it one of the carbs to stay away from, for sure! Yes, some of the nutrients are added back with chemicals, but really, most of the calories in white bread come from empty carbs, like sugar (high fructose corn syrup), not fiber (like the carbs in whole grain bread).
2. White Rice
White rice, unlike its whole grain counterparts (brown, red, or blue rice), is another carb to stay away from. Like white bread, the most of the calories in white rice that come from carbs are simple starches, quickly processed and not even very filling. Rather than indulging in this plain, white rice, switch to brown rice, which is tastier and which contains “good” carbs.
Soda is, quite literally, my least favorite carb… and perhaps my one true dietary weakness. All of the carbs in soda are from sugar (or high fructose corn syrup), and we’re not talking a “few calories.” We’re talking a LOT of calories — 240 calories per 8 ounce serving, to be exact. And by the way, most of us don’t drink only 8 ounces. We drink closer to 20 ounces… that’s almost three times the calories, a whopping 600 calories! So, soda is definitely a carb to avoid.
This isn’t really a surprise is it? Most candies are filled with carbs from sugar, without, like soda, any redeeming nutrients. There are exceptions: a small bit of dark chocolate contains valuable anti-oxidants. And if you’re truly desperate and grasping for a reason to grab a quick gas station candy snack, go for Raisinettes (with raisins) or peanut M&M’s. They’re not much better, but there’s a little wiggle room for rationalization.
5. Loaded Potatoes
Potatoes themselves aren’t necessarily carbs to stay away from, but all the stuff we load them with isn’t a good idea at all! Bacon? Sour Cream? Cheese? All of these are loaded with fat, which has turned this healthy plain baked potato into a carb to avoid. A better bet? A sweet potato. Without brown sugar. Or marshmallows.
6. Too Much Fruit
There’s really no difference between the sugar in sweets and the sugar in fruit, but it’s generally considered a good idea to eat fruit rather than sweets because fruits contain so many GOOD things, like antioxidants and fiber (also a carb) and such. Balance is best — of the 5 servings of fresh fruits and veggies the USDA recommends we eat every day, aim for only 1 or 2 of them to be fruits… and make sure those fruits aren’t OVER-ripe, which adds more sugar.
7. Baked Sweets!
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but baked sweets, like cupcakes and cookies, are a double-whammy of carbs to stay away from — sugar and processed flour. They don’t contain much in the way of good carbs, like fiber. That is, of course, unless you choose whole grain baked goods with bits of fruit, to give them fiber and a healthy dose of not-as-bad sugars.
With so many carbs to stay away from, what carbs can you eat? A little natural sugar isn’t a bad thing (especially from fresh fruit), and of course, there’s ultra-marvelous fiber. Both of these are carbs you can indulge in (fiber) and enjoy with moderation (sugar). Which of these shocked you, and which was old news? Do you have another “bad” carb to avoid that you’d like to share? Please do!