7 Carbs to Stay Away from ...

While I donโ€™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

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Aside from being bland and flimsy, white bread is (literally) bleachedโ€ฆ 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

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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 โ€œgoodโ€ carbs.

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Soda is, quite literally, my least favorite carbโ€ฆ and perhaps my one true dietary weakness. All of the carbs in soda are from sugar (or high fructose corn syrup), and weโ€™re not talking a โ€œfew calories.โ€ Weโ€™re talking a LOT of calories โ€” 240 calories per 8 ounce serving, to be exact. And by the way, most of us donโ€™t drink only 8 ounces. We drink closer to 20 ouncesโ€ฆ thatโ€™s almost three times the calories, a whopping 600 calories! So, soda is definitely a carb to avoid.

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This isnโ€™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 youโ€™re truly desperate and grasping for a reason to grab a quick gas station candy snack, go for Raisinettes (with raisins) or peanut M&Mโ€™s. Theyโ€™re not much better, but thereโ€™s a little wiggle room for rationalization.

5. Loaded Potatoes

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Potatoes themselves arenโ€™t necessarily carbs to stay away from, but all the stuff we load them with isnโ€™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

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Thereโ€™s really no difference between the sugar in sweets and the sugar in fruit, but itโ€™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 โ€” 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 fruitsโ€ฆ and make sure those fruits arenโ€™t OVER-ripe, which adds more sugar.

7. Baked Sweets!

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This shouldnโ€™t come as a surprise, but baked sweets, like cupcakes and cookies, are a double-whammy of carbs to stay away from โ€” sugar and processed flour. They donโ€™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 isnโ€™t a bad thing (especially from fresh fruit), and of course, thereโ€™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 โ€œbadโ€ carb to avoid that youโ€™d like to share? Please do!

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