Between the Pinterest boards full of protein diets, the endless weight loss tips we see online and the countless low-carb diet foods we see in the grocery store, it’s getting more difficult to determine what we should and shouldn’t be eating. VarCity HQ did a little leg work for you and scoured the internet for the common themes we saw from nutritionists throughout the internet.
Below is VarCity’s Part 4 of our top 10 list of nutrition rules that almost all experts agree with:
7. Refined Carbohydrates Are Bad for You
There are a lot of differing opinions about carbs and fat. Some think fat is the root of all evil, while others believe carbs are the key players in obesity and other chronic diseases.
But what pretty much everyone agrees on is that refined carbohydrates are not as healthy as unrefined carbohydrates.
Unrefined carbs are basically whole foods that are rich in carbs. These include whole-grain cereals, beans, vegetables and fruits. Refined carbs, on the other hand, are sugar and refined flour.
Whole foods contain numerous beneficial nutrients and antioxidants. However, when high-carb foods such as grains are processed, the most nutritious parts are stripped off. What is left are massive amounts of easily digestible starch.
Those who base their diets on refined carbs may be lacking in fiber and many other healthy nutrients. As a result, they are at an increased risk of chronic disease. Eating refined carbs will also cause rapid spikes in blood sugar. While high blood sugar levels are unhealthy for all people, they are a much greater concern in people with diabetes.
It is clear that whole grains and unrefined carbohydrates are a lot healthier than their refined, processed counterparts.
Refined carbohydrates like processed grains are unhealthy. They are lacking in nutrients and eating them may lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin, which can cause all sorts of problems down the line.
8. Supplements Can Never Fully Replace Real Foods
"Nutritionism" is the idea that foods are nothing more than the sum of their individual nutrients. But it’s also a trap that many nutrition enthusiasts tend to fall into.
Nuts, for example, aren't just shells loaded with polyunsaturated fat. In the same way, fruits aren't just watery bags of sugar. These are real foods with a massive variety of trace nutrients.
The vitamins and minerals, the ones you can also get from a cheap multivitamin, are just a small part of the total amount of nutrients in foods. Therefore, supplements cannot match the variety of nutrients you get from real foods.
However, many supplements can be beneficial, especially those that contain nutrients that are generally lacking in the diet, like vitamin D. But no amount of supplements will ever make up for a bad diet. Not a chance.
It is much more important to eat real, nutritious foods than to count on supplements to provide the nutrients you need.