Here I go, jumping up on my soap box again. But as regular readers know, I HATE REFINED CARBS. I think the reason why is that, while most people consider candy and chocolate a "treat" and know that it is not nutritious, people go along eating tons of white bread, white rice and white pasta and think it's healthy. Really, it has nothing good in it and is actually harmful to your health.
A great article in the latest edition of the Nutrition Action Newsletter points out that refined carbohydrates can increase trigycerides and lower HDL (good) cholesterol. White rice has also been found to raise the risk of diabetes. In contrast, whole grains lower the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Whole grains keep you regular, because of their fibre, and contain a multitude of vitamins and minerals.
So PLEASE, do yourself a favour and avoid the refined carbs! There are so many whole grain breads, cereals, and pastas available. Just be sure to READ EVERY LABEL!!! Just because something says "multigrain" or even "whole grain" on the cover, doesn't mean it is actually 100% whole grain. It often just contains "some" whole grains. ONLY buy products that are 100% whole grain.
When a label says a product is made with "wheat flour" this does not mean whole grain flour, it simply means it is made with flour made from wheat, rather than rice, corn, spelt or some other type of grain.
Be aware that most restaurants, particularly chains, do not offer whole grain products. Even the "whole grain" blueberry muffin at Tim Hortons is made from mostly white flour. The solution? Eat out as seldom as possible. Restaurants load their food with salt, sugar and fats anyways, so experts recommend no more than 1-2 restaurant meals per week. You'll also save yourself a bunch of cash!!
In other nutrition news, while a previous study found a link between grapefruit consumption and breast cancer, two follow-up studies did not confirm these results. I am thrilled as I gave up eating grapefruits after the first study came out in 2007. I wouldn't normally be so concerned about one research study, however, it was based on a sample of 46,000 women. But the two follow-ups were even bigger, with 77,000 and 115,000 women. So unless it interferes with any medication you may be taking, bring on the grapefruits!!!
By the way - if you are interested in receiving the Nutrition Action Newsletter, published by the Centre for Science in the Public Interest, I think it's like $25 for a one year subscription. They have both Canadian and American editions. Check it out at: http://www.cspinet.org/canada/