While you’re most likely aware that potato chips are not the epitome of a healthy snack, it might be interesting to find out which type of carbohydrate within them (and other ultra-processed junk foods) can lead to stomach fat. If you’re watching your weight and trying to eat healthier, experts say avoiding refined carbohydrates in particular is key.
We checked in with Dr. Hector Perez, MD, health expert and board-certified chief surgeon at Bariatric Journal to learn more about refined carbs found in popular potato chips, and exactly how they can deter your weight loss goals if eaten too often.
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Refined Carbs & Potato Chips
Refined carbohydrates can be a “significant contributor to visceral fat,” Perez explains. They can be “sneaky,” he adds, and sometimes, you “might not even realize that you’re eating too much of them.” This type of carbohydrate, he notes, serve you with “empty calories that provide little to no nutritional value.”
This can make you feel sluggish and weak, Perez points out, which “can lead to overeating later in the day.” Additionally, he stresses that consuming refined carbs can “spike your blood sugar levels, which will only make you full for a short period,” and can also cause you to crave more later in the day (leading to weight gain in your midsection and elsewhere). ). For this reason, he advises not to snack on potato chips, as even a tiny amount can “lead to more” without you noticing.
While they are almost always found in potato chips, other examples of refined carbs include “white bread, fried potatoes, white rice, pancakes, doughnuts, and cakes,” Perez warns. He adds that “breakfast foods, pastries, and fast food” also have a high level of refined carbs, and are ones to watch out for first when reevaluating your diet, and if your goal is to eat healthier.
Ultimately, apart from snacking on potato chips, Perez emphasizes that “eating refined carbs for breakfast is a surefire way to pack on the pounds over time.” To avoid this, he recommends focusing on your first meal of the day to set the tone for the rest of your meals.
“Choose a breakfast that contains whole grains, protein, and healthy fats,” he suggests. “This combination will help keep you full throughout the morning, and can help stave off cravings later in the day,” he continues.
Some good examples of this type of breakfast include “oatmeal with nuts and berries, eggs with avocado, or a smoothie made with Greek yogurt, almond milk, and spinach.” By making small changes like this to your diet, Perez concludes, “You can help prevent weight gain in your midsection and elsewhere over time.”