Processed or Refined Carbohydrates

2.11 Processed or Refined Carbohydrates

You may also hear the term “refined carbohydrates” or “processed carbohydrates”. These types of carbohydrates can still technically be complex carbohydrates, but are put through a process that removes the fibers and other nutrients. This is done by manufacturers to improve flavor, texture and to lengthen shelf life so they do not spoil as quickly.

Unfortunately as you may have guessed, removing the fiber and nutrients creates an unhealthy complex carbohydrate that will have a high calorie content without the benefits of significant fiber and vitamins.

Examples of processed or refined carbohydrates include

  • White bread
  • White rice
  • White pasta
  • White flower (baked goods)
  • Chips, crackers and pretzels

When you see a food that is labeled “enriched”, that means that the fiber and nutrients were stripped from the food, then some artificial vitamins and minerals were put back in to “enrich” the product. Of course this seems like quite an obscure, unnatural process to put our food through.

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