Dear Mayo Clinic:This is BS to the max.
I'm trying to lose weight, and a friend recently told me that cutting white bread and potatoes out of my diet completely will help. Is that true? If it is, what makes these foods so bad?
Your friend is right. Taking white bread and white potatoes, as well as white rice and white pasta, out of your diet can be helpful for weight loss. Because of the way your body processes these four foods, they can lead to cravings for carbohydrates, also called sugars. By eliminating them, you decrease food cravings, making it easier to eat less and lose weight.
The level of the overweight/obesity problem in the US is not a function of these "white foods."
To wit: white bread is the preferred bread of the French. White rice is the preferred rice of the Chinese and Japanese. White pasta is the preferred pasta of the Italians. White potatoes are the preferred potatoes of the Irish (and nearly 60% of states have more obesity than Idaho).
For none of these people, the French, Chinese, Japanese, Italians, and Irish is overweight/obesity the same level of problem as it is for the porkers of the USA.
Eat white, or any other color, food.
Just don't eat more Calories than you burn if you want to avoid gaining weight.