Calorie density of carbohydrates

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In addition to choosing carbohydrates on the basis of whether they are refined or natural, another criteria you should use for carbohydrate selection is calorie density. Eating more calories than your body can handle at once is the primary cause of fat storage. Therefore, it makes sense that you should choose foods with a low calorie density if you want to lose fat.

Refined carbohydrates are more likely to make you fat than natural carbohydrates. If all carbohydrates have four calories per gram, then how can this be? It's because refined carbohydrates contain more calories in the same volume of food than natural complex carbohydrates. (They're more calorie dense).

Because refined sugars are so highly processed, a lot of calories get packed into a small serving of food. The milling, grinding, bleaching and enriching of grains decreases their complexity and removes much of the nutritional content. The milling of grains into white flour also decreases the particle size while increasing the calorie density. In general, the smaller the particle size, the higher the calorie density and the quicker it is absorbed. Complex carbohydrates such as breads, pasta, bagels and cereal are processed, so they are metabolized more like simple carbohydrates than complex carbohydrates.

Processed complex carbohydrates may be used on this program, but only in moderation. Pasta is a prime example. With 270 calories per cup, pasta is very calorie-dense. You can include pasta on a fat reducing diet (preferably whole grain pasta), but if you do, watch those calories closely! Most people are more likely to have three cups of pasta than one - that's 810 calories, not even including what you put on it.

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