Sugar, pasta, bread: Stay away!

Macro photograph of a pile of sugar (saccharose)

Image via Wikipedia

I recently received the following email from a new reader and thought I’d share what I wrote with everyone…

Hi Justin,

My friend forwarded me your blog link. I was wondering when you say to not eat sugar, are you talking refined/processed sugar or also things like bread, pasta, potatoes (carbs)? By the way, what is your take on baked potatoes? Awesome blog!

Hi B,
Thank you for the email, its a great question.
No matter what your fitness goal is always remember one thing; sugar is the enemy! Regardless of the form it comes in sugar is going to significantly hinder your dieting objectives. Yes, some sugars are worse than others. Naturally occurring sugars in fruit for example are definitely a healthier choice than say a bag of skittles, but if we really get down to it what are we trying to achieve by eating fruits in the first place? The answer is nutrition. So, if the same if not more nutrition can be attained elsewhere through things like veggies, SuperFood powders and berries(I know its still fruit but berriesare packed with micro-nutrients and have very little calories) then why ingest the extra 20 grams of sugar you’d get through fruits like apples, oranges, bananas etc…? Bottom line, refined sugars are to be avoided at all costs. Fruits should be eaten in moderation.
Breads, pasta, and rice are also dietary enemies with the sole purpose of wreaking havoc on you metabolism. Don’t be fooled by clever packaging that claims to be a healthy choice. The fact is that these forms of carbs are essentially processedand bleached of all their nutritional value. Even if its “organic whole wheat” remember that that’s only a less-bad option from regular white bread or pasta and not to be mistaken as a health food. Yes, it’ll have some fiber and a few nutrients in it, but again it goes back to my earlier statement about getting those same nutritional qualities elsewhere without all the baggage. Your main source of carbs should come in the form of raw nuts, organic beans, veggies, little fruit, and yes, on occasion a potato. Which is a much better alternative than any flower based carb or rice.
The unprocessed starch in potatoes is great for replenishing glucose stores after a workout, and for people acclimating to a low carb diet it can be a great alternative for getting trough bread/pasta withdraws. Potatoes also have a pretty decent amount of magnesium and potassium as well… But remember the goal is to wing ourselves from using carbs as our main energy source and to switch to burning fat as our fuel. We do this by consuming less carbs and more fats. So, although potatoes are a healthier option moderation is still the key.

Thanks again for the email!

To your health,

Justin Schollard

About Justin Schollard

Health and fitness professional. View all posts by Justin Schollard

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