A slice of pizza here, a bowl of white pasta there. These indulgences are made of refined carbs, meaning they are heavily processed and nutrient deficient. Your body quickly burns up these foods, causing blood sugar to spike and quickly crash, leaving you with low glucose levels. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirms this, finding that a high-glycemic meal (one that is quickly digested, absorbed, and metabolized) decreases glucose, increases hunger, and stimulates parts of the brain associated with reward and craving in comparison to a low-glycemic meal. So when you eat refined carbs, you crave even more carbs due to the quick changes in glucose levels that they create. This explains why you quickly feel hungry after eating a bagel for breakfast. What’s more is that it can turn into an endless cycle without more complex, nutrient-dense carbs in your diet.
The Solution: Eat fewer processed foods, and opt for whole grains and healthy carbs found in legumes, fruits, and dairy products.