I'm coming back after a two week break with 7 Bad Carbs for Your Body. On October 1st, I launched the 10LB Club. Dozens of new people are well on their to shedding a few pounds and getting fit. A couple questions I've gotten so far have to do with the type of carbohydrates a person should eat to stay healthy and/or lose weight. Good questions! After all, not all carbohydrates are created equal.

Carbs are not inherently bad for us...that is not until we start tweaking, refining and generally bastardizing everything that was once good about carbohydrate-rich food. Take sweet potatoes, for instance. I think sweet potatoes are pretty healthy. Store bought sweet potato chips, on the other hand, are not. Grapes are pretty good, but dehydrated grapes (aka raisins) covered in a yogurt coating are anything but healthy. Below you'll find a list of my top 7 "bad carbs," what makes them bad, and what you can eat instead.

How can I get  involved with the 10LB Club? Another good question! You're more than welcome join anytime! I'd love to work with you. The Club is open to anyone with the desire to get healthy!

The Bad Carb List

You'll notice that I listed the amount of added sugar some products contain. This is an important thing to pay attention to when reading food labels. The American Heart Association has set up a few guidelines for us to follow when it comes to maximum daily sugar intake, listed as follows:

  • Men = 9 teaspoons
  • Women = 6 teaspoons
  • Children = 3 teaspoons

raisins1. Dried Fruit

Dehydrated cranberries, raisins, papaya, cherries and just about any other dried fruit is a straight shot of sugar for your body. In small amounts, a few pieces of dried fruit on top of a salad or in a trail mix can add a nice splash of flavor, but grabbing a handful or two throughout the day can add far more sugar-loaded calories than you realize. In fact, some dried fruits have fats and sugars added to them to make them sweeter! Keep in mind, anytime a fruit is dehydrated, the sugar content increases significantly.

Food for thought:

  • Just 1/4 cup of Ocean Spray Craisins Dried Cranberries contain 7 teaspoons of sugar 
  • And 1/4 cup of Neslte Raisinets contain just under 7 teaspoons of sugar

Eat this instead:

  • A cup of fresh berries + a square of dark chocolate
  • Chopped up apple + 1 tbsp almond nut butter

Yogurt Container2. Commercial Fruit Flavored Yogurt

I'm putting this type of yogurt in the carbohydrate category mainly because the amount of sugar in low fat or fat free yogurts is through the roof. And if it's not sugar, it's some other crappy sweetener, like sucralose, ace-K or aspartame that potentially wrecks our metabolism.

Food for thought:

  • 1 container of Chobani Blueberry Non Fat Yogurt contains 5 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1 container of Yoplait Original (99% Fat Free) Strawberry Yogurt contains  over 6 teaspoons of sugar

Eat this instead:

  • 1 cup of plain yogurt + stevia + cinnamon + fresh berries
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese + 1 tbsp pineapple chunks

Breakfast toast


3. Pasta & Bread

Most breads and pastas are highly processed products made from enriched flour. While the word "enriched" may sound pleasant, it really means the main ingredient, flour, has been stripped of all its nutrients. Many breads and pastas are also high in a naturally occurring compound called phytic acid, which leaches onto valuable minerals in our body and pulls them out. Needless to say, an excessive amount is less-than-desireable. Sprouted grains (such as a brand called Ezekiel), on the other hand, are an exception. Sprouting reduces the phytic acid, making it somewhat (but not entirely) healthier.

Food for thought:

  • The wheat we eat today, as opposed to 60 years ago, is hybridized and contains a toxin called sodium azide.
  • Today's wheat contains significantly more gluten than it did back in the day, making it very difficult for some people to digest.

Eat this instead:

  • Sprouted grains
  • Non-glutenous grains (rice, quinoa)

Energy bar

4. Energy Bars

They give us energy or help our workouts, right? Not necessarily. In fact, some energy bars have right around the same amount of sugar as a Snickers bar (just over 6 teaspoons). So should you eat it? That's up to you. More often than not, energy bars are highly refined, cleverly packaged foods with very little nutritive value.

Food for thought:

  • One Balance Bar has over 4 teaspoons of sugar
  • One Clif Bar has over 5 teaspoons of sugar

Eat this instead:

  • 1 Slice of sprouted grain bread + nut butter + honey
  • 1 Sliced banana + cinnamon + chopped walnuts

Sweetcorn can

5. Corn

Yes, it's a vegetable, but it's not what it used to be. Today's corn is not only largely genetically modified, but also loaded with pesticides and often times at the heart and soul of food sensitivities. When it comes to avoiding corn, remember you should also avoid all food that have corn byproducts in them, including high fructose corn syrup.

Food for thought:

  • It's estimated that Americans consume 1/4 of their calories from corn byproducts, specifically high fructose corn syrup
  • The 97 million crops of corn produced this year in the United States are not only genetically modified, but sprayed heavily with pesticides to kill off pests resistant to Monsanto's Bt seed.

Eat this instead:

Fitness woman getting sports drink

6. Juices, Sodas and Sport Drinks

It doesn't matter how healthy they may sound, juices, sodas and sports drinks are bad news for your body. We all know this, but do you know how much sugar each of these contains?

Food for thought:

  • One 20 oz bottle of Gatorade contains 7 1/2 teaspoons of sugar
  • One cup of OJ contains 5 teaspoons of sugar
  • One 12 oz can of Coke contains 8 teaspoons of sugar

Drink this instead:

  • Sparkling water + a splash of fresh juice
  • Iced herbal teas
  • Water, straight up

Breakfast Cereal_granola

7. Breakfast Cereal

Breakfast cereal is the evil genius of morning routines. It's rare, if not impossible, to find a cereal that is good. A vast majority of cereals boast heart health benefits or weight loss properties. There is absolutely nothing more magic about boxed cereal than any other processed or refined food - no matter what the label says. What's more, the servings per container are small and often not a true marker of what a person will consume.

Food for thought:

  • 3/4 cup of Honey Bunches of Oats contains over 4 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1/2 cup o Quaker Natural Granola contains nearly 5 teaspoons of sugar

Eat this instead:

  • Old fashioned oats + 1 tbsp nut butter +cinnamon + berries
  • Berry smoothie made with coconut milk + 1 cup berries + honey + freshly ground flax seed

I just launched my new program, The 10 Pound Club. Want more information on that? Here you go!

Traci is a nationally recognized health and fitness expert who has been featured on The TODAY Show and Dr. Oz. Traci is available for corporate speaking events and wellness coaching, as well as private training. Contact Traci here.