'I'm a nutritionist and you can lose weight by avoiding three refined carbohydrates - it could be a significant help'

Woman measuring waist / Woman eating pasta

Britons can lose weight by ditching three popular foods

Anna Barry

By Anna Barry

Published: 21/03/2024

- 20:55

Updated: 21/03/2024

- 21:05

Britons hoping to lose weight should swap white bread, pasta and rice for their wholegrain counterparts

Maintaining a healthy diet is essential if you want to slim down. According to a nutritionist, cutting out certain foods can be very helpful for seeing results.

The expert advised people trying to lose weight to avoid refined white bread, white pasta and white rice.

Alison Cullen exclusively told GB News: "Reducing the carbohydrate content of your diet can be a significant help, with levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin falling with lower carb intake.

"Refined carbohydrates in particular are unhelpful in that they provide calories without any positive nutritional content. Avoid white bread, white pasta, and white rice."

White rice

'Refined carbohydrates are unhelpful in that they provide calories without any positive nutritional content'


But this doesn't mean ditching the food group altogether. The nutritionist advised: "Use the wholegrain versions for better satiety and higher nutrient profile."

The experts at Holland & Barrett explained what makes a carbohydrate refined. They said: "Refined carbohydrates, also known as ‘simple’ carbs, refer to sugars (e.g. glucose, fructose, sucrose) or anything made from grains that have had the fibrous wheatgerm and bran removed from them.

"Grains that have been refined are so refined that all of their goodness - all of the vitamins and minerals they naturally contain - are lost during the refining process."

As for whether refined carbs are "bad", the experts said that "regular consumption of refined carbs can lead to weight gain". A major reason for this is that refined carbs don't make the body feel full, so you'll be more likely to reach for snacks - and potentially unhealthy ones - throughout the day.

What's more, swapping complex carbs for refined ones means saying goodbye to nutritious properties such as high-fibre content.

They added that refined carbs cause blood sugar spikes, which causes the body to produce a lot of insulin, which allows glucose to enter your body’s cells and be used as energy.

This process is vital, but if the body overproduces insulin, it can lead to insulin resistance, which may contribute to developing Type 2 diabetes.

The nutritionist continued: "Refined sugar and added salt are some of the most ‘triggering’ food constituents in terms of cravings.

"Replace sweeties and chocolates with moderate quantities of dried fruit and nuts, and toast pumpkin and sunflower seeds to nibble instead of crisps."

The expert advised that while what you eat is crucial, when you eat is also key. She said: "Food timing is almost as important as food type, as early loading has been shown to support better weight balance.


Sandwiches made with white bread

'Regular consumption of refined carbs can lead to weight gain'


"The ideal time for people to eat the largest meal of the day is eight hours before dim light melatonin onset."

Dim light melatonin onset is determined as the point in time where melatonin levels rise above a set threshold, which usually occurs two or three hours before the habitual onset of nocturnal sleep. Melatonin is a hormone that helps to control how and when you sleep.

The expert concluded: "So, if you start to feel tired around 9 pm you should eat your largest meal at 1pm. Eating within a shorter ‘window’ is also useful, so having (a light) dinner as early as possible in the evening will gently contribute to weight loss."

Middle-aged men are a particular group that struggle with weight gain. According to an expert, men in their 40s, 50s and 60s can lose belly fat with a 10-minute daily habit, with no dieting required.

You may like