Refined foods are simple carbohydrates like white flour, sugar, pastries, white pasta, white bread, white rice, french fries, chips of any variety, cakes, cookies, soda and similar junk foods. These are all foods that have been taken from their natural state and transformed into something man-made that really is not "real" food.
Because refined foods have no fiber, they spike your blood sugar (which will cause insulin surges), stimulate your appetite, accelerates calories into body fat and leads you down the path of promoting diseases. As far as your body is concerned, when you eat refined foods it's the same as eating sugar right out of the box! Many people think they are eating a plant-based diet because they are eating foods that do not contain animal products. Eating refined foods are just as bad for your body as animal foods, and they should be eliminated from your diet. A plant-based diet is about eating NATURAL, whole plant foods. The health benefits of this diet will be greatly diminished if refined foods are not eliminated, (as will weight loss if that is your goal).
Food manufacturers spend BILLIONS of dollars trying to find ways to mix the right ingredients in order to keep you eating more and more of these bad foods. For example, scientists have found that chocolate reaches its point of "maximum irresistibility" with a mix of 50% sugar and 50% fat. But, they don't stop there. They have created "ingredient profiles" that are targeted right down to gender and age groups in order to make refined foods as addicting as possible. Doesn't this sound just like the tobacco companies? Remember, if people buy it, they will make it.
Statistics show that Americans now spend about 90% of their food budget on refined foods. Because the natural flavor of the food is destroyed, they are replaced with chemical additives. So, the "flavors" in these foods are nothing more than chemicals made in a lab. That breaks down to 90% of the money Americans shell out for food buys a chemistry-mix of fiber-less, processed "fake food" that has no real nutritional value whatsoever. We have not only LOST our taste for real food, but we've come to PREFER the taste of CHEMICALS!
Not to mention, not only are we eating all these refined foods, but 75% of all refined foods are now made using genetically engineered ingredients. This is a whole different can of worms!
Complex carbs are found in natural, whole foods, such as whole grains, vegetables and fruits. These are the GOOD carbohydrates that keep your blood sugar level on an even keel, promote health and keep you feeling fuller longer because they contain their natural fiber and all the nutrients that nature gave them. Always use WHOLE wheat pasta or WHOLE wheat bread because they have kept ALL their natural fiber and all the other nutrients all the way to the grocery store. Make sure the label says WHOLE wheat, not wheat flour. With grains, the first ingredient should ALWAYS have the word "whole" in it, sprouted or organic rolled oats. Don't let the words "hearty wheat", "stoned wheat" or "multi-grain" on the package fool you. This is just REFINED white flour. There is no difference between white flour and wheat flour except that wheat flour has some caramel coloring so it looks brown and sounds healthier, but it's the SAME AS WHITE FLOUR!
Plant fiber does so many miraculous things for your health, but one thing it does best is remove toxic substances from your body so you can flush them right out of you. Fiber can even remove heavy metals such as mercury, which you probably have in your body as a result of eating fish, or ate farm animals that were fed fishmeal. Fiber also removes cholesterol and binds to estrogen to help remove it from our body.
Think of plant fiber as a broom because it will CLEAN OUT our intestines and keep bad things from happening--like colon cancer. Not only do refined foods have no fiber, but animal products also have ZERO FIBER.
If you don't think you're eating much refined foods now, try this...refined foods come in a package, so every time you eat any refined food, keep the packaging it came in and put it in a bag. Do this for one week and at the end of the week look at the contents of the bag...you may be surprised.....