What are unrefined carbohydrates?

Elizabeth Casparro, MPH,RD
Nutrition & Dietetics

Unrefined carbohydrates, also known as "whole," are when the carbohydrate food is in its natural or unprocessed state and is not striped of certain nutrients. This is most often in reference to grain products. When grains become refined, they are striped of the bran (fiber), germ (fat and vitamins) and husk (tough outer layer). Afterwards, it only has the endosperm (the starch) which has more taste appeal for most people, but supplies little nutrients. Some great unrefined grains to have in your diet include whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole grain barley, and oatmeal. 

Unrefined carbohydrates refer to those carbohydrates that are in their natural state. Unrefined sugars are found in fruits and vegetables. Unrefined grains (also called whole grains) retain the bran and germ of the natural grain, providing healthful fiber, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.