Many of us know that we may not eat the healthiest food 100% of the time, but do you know what that unhealthy eating is doing to your body in the long run? You may frequent places like McDonald’s and enjoy a soda on the daily but your body is suffering with every meal. We know about the dangers of smoking and alcohol, and how they age your body, but what about sugar or fats? I’m going to explain the facts about three foods that are robbing your body, and that will give back and get you back on the road to healthy.
It’s getting more and more clear that sugar is like a drug to us. We crave it, we need it, and some of us can’t get enough of it. When sugar enters your body it causes inflammation as well as prevents collagen repair. This spells swelling and damage for your body, and doesn’t bode well for preventing wrinkles. On top of that it seems like sugar is everywhere, from the obvious desserts and beverages to condiments and fat-free alternatives. Save yourself now and cut out the sugar. It will be hard at first but it can be done. Substitute with Stevia, maple syrup, or Blackstrap molasses if need be, but change your patterns sooner rather than later.
Things like cheese and milk are very hard for the human body to digest, which leads to inflammation throughout. Many people have a hard time with dairy even if they haven’t been diagnosed with lactose intolerance. So many people enjoy their dairy that this is a tough area to reduce or remove completely from the diet. A good example of a dairy free life is my friend’s. She used to get strep throat really frequently, but after she gave up dairy she felt a lot less congested and has been strep throat free. Not sure you can give it up completely? Try going without for three weeks and see how you feel when you add it back in.
Refined oils and trans fats
We know all about trans fats and how they’ve been removed from packaged food, but refined oils are another to watch out for. Oils like canola, peanut, or soybean have been highly processed to have a long shelf life. This process creates a substance that is unfamiliar to our bodies. Even 1 tablespoon of the stuff can cause a lot of inflammation. Switch to avocado or olive oil for low cooking temperatures and coconut oil for high temperatures.
Raw veggies and greens
Adding raw foods to your diet will help provide your body with more enzymes necessary for breaking down food. Having a cup of raw veggies before every meal is a great way to get added fiber and nutrients. Popular options include cucumber, celery, red pepper, and a green smoothie.
Greens are one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, providing not only nutrients but also high fiber and low calories to your diet. Chances are you’ll stop eating and feel full way before you’ve overdone yourself so have as many as you like! Some favorites include spinach and kale but there is a variety out there, all make great options.
We know trans fats are unhealthy, but what are some better options? There are some fats that are highly inflammatory, so make sure whatever your choice is it has a good EFA ratio, something around 3:1 (Omega 3 to Omega 6). The most readily available options include chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, avocados, and walnuts. Chia seeds and the like can be added to things like oatmeal and smoothies. Fat is used in the tissue repair process so be sure to get a decent about if you exercise frequently.
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