Refined grains include white rice, white bread, regular white pasta, and other foods that have been made with white flour (also called enriched wheat flour or all-purpose flour), including many cookies, cakes, breakfast cereals, crackers, and snack foods.

The type of carbohydrates you eat makes a big difference in the way you metabolize food and in the amount of energy you have. Refined grains are quickly digested into simple sugars and absorbed into your bloodstream; this can cause blood-sugar levels to spike and then quickly crash. These rapid swings in blood sugar can drain your energy and leave you feeling moody and tired. On the other hand, high-quality carbohydrates such as whole grains are rich in fiber, which helps temper blood sugars by slowing the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream after meals. They provide  that will keep you fueled for hours. That’s why it’s best to choose high-quality carbohydrates — which include whole grains as well as vegetables, fruits, beans, and legumes — instead of poor-quality carbohydrates, like refined grains, whenever possible.

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