"The more refined one is, the more unhappy" - that was the Russian author Anton Chekhov's view of the world. And more than 100 years after he penned that observation, nutritional scientists are shouting it from the rooftops: Eating refined carbohydrates not only fuels depression and some cancers (prostate and breast, for example), it lowers the quality of your life - and shortens it.
Researchers looked at data from the PURE study to evaluate the association between intakes of refined grains, whole grains and white rice with cardiovascular disease, total mortality, blood lipids and blood pressure. Their results published in the BMJ found that eating around 12 ounces of refined grains a day (seven servings) was associated with a 27% higher risk of death and a 33% higher risk of serious cardiovascular events and higher blood pressure compared with folks who had the lowest intake of refined grains - about 1.7 ounces or what's in 6 ounces of pasta. (White rice wasn't heart-damaging.)
How easy is it to eat 12 ounces of refined carbs in a day? That's what's in a large serving of McDonald's fries, four slices of hearty white bread, a cup of sugared cereal, one baked potato, two scoops of chocolate ice cream and three Oreos.
Luckily, it's easy - and tasty - to dodge the refined carb bullet too. Opt for natural sugars in fruits, 100% whole grains, lots of high-fiber veggies and no ultraprocessed foods. Then you can enjoy the happiness that comes from a lack of refinement!
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit www.sharecare.com.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.