Avoiding the Bad Carbs in a Plant-Based Diet

By Marni Wasserman

In addition to making sure you consume complex carbohydrates as part of your balanced plant-based diet, you should avoid the two really bad carbohydrates entirely: refined sugars and flours and artificial sweeteners. They not only directly impact your blood-sugar levels by triggering sharp spikes and drops but are also “empty” in terms of nutrients and extremely addicting.

Refined sugar and flour are the most processed form of carbs you can consume, and unfortunately they’re everywhere. Refined sugars hide in plain sight, so you have to really be on your game! In addition to avoiding the obvious white granulated and powdered sugars, steer clear of ingredients like:

  • High-fructose corn syrup

  • Wheat flour

  • Enriched flour

  • Sugar

Artificial sweeteners are chemically made-up sugars that can work against you. They can trick your body into thinking you’re getting some form of sugar, but instead they make you crave more carbohydrates. Not to mention, they’re extremely toxic to your blood, liver, and nervous system. These include sucralose and aspartame, which are common in diet drinks and foods.