Natural vs refined The most important distinction you can ever make about carbohydrates

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So far you've learned the difference between simple and complex carbohydrates, starchy and fibrous complex carbohydrates and high GI and low GI carbohydrates. These are all significant factors, but the #1 most important distinction you can ever make about carbohydrates is the difference between natural and refined (or processed) carbohydrates.

The "ultimate test" for whether a carbohydrate is natural and unrefined is to ask, "Did this food come out of the ground or off the tree/plant this way?" If the answer is yes, then it's a natural, unrefined food.

The more a whole grain is refined and processed, the finer the particle size becomes. When a complex carbohydrate is refined, it literally loses its complexity and takes on the properties of a simple carbohydrate. Refined breads and grains made from white flour are processed in your body the same way as simple sugars. That's why anything made out of white flour is not recommended in this program (that includes white or enriched pastas, breads, pretzels, crackers and bagels).

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