White foods

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Rule #8: Ditch the Whites
Why and how to avoid two major dietary saboteurs.

White Flour
The milling process strips the grains of most of their nutrition. The result: "White flour digests in your body rapidly, which makes blood sugar spike," says Foodist author Rose. (Cue the almost inevitable crash.) "It should be a supplement to your diet, not the main event." Try more-nutritious flours, like almond, coconut, and chickpea. One easy way to start: Substitute white whole wheat flour for 1/3 cup (or more) of the white flour in recipes.

White Sugar
Research suggests that sugar can be addictive. And it's a sneaky ingredient added to processed foods that don't even taste sweet, like bread and pasta sauce. Reach for organic honey or maple syrup instead; they're less refined and offer small amounts of antioxidants. (Still, aim for no more than 24 grams of added sugar per day.) Steer clear of foods with sugar listed among the first three ingredients—and that includes agave nectar, evaporated cane juice, malt syrup, and anything ending in "-ose." ("There are 1,001 code names!" warns Rose.)