In recent weeks, foods of all kinds have flown off the shelves at grocery stores as Americans stocked up to weather the coronavirus pandemic. But sales of “comfort foods” like potato chips, pretzels, pancake mix and cookies have seen a particularly dramatic surge. That may not be surprising: They are cheap, satisfying and shelf stable.
But Dr. David A. Kessler, a former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, has a simple message for people who want to keep their metabolic health and weight in check when temptation is just a few steps from their work space: Try to avoid eating foods that contain what he calls “fast carbs,” such as refined grains, starches, corn and sugar.
These foods, like bagels, bread, breakfast cereals, juices, tortilla chips and anything made with processed flour, tend to be highly processed and devoid of fiber. They are rapidly absorbed and converted to glucose in the body, causing blood sugar and insulin levels to spike and preventing the release of hormones that quench hunger.
Over time, researchers have found, this pattern of eating can wreak havoc on metabolic health, leading to weight gain and increasing the risk of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease ….