So hopefully you read part 1 about how you should erase the soda and replace with water. Not to mention erasing the fried foods and replacing with grilled. I called these the low hanging fruits of nutrition because it’s the easy stuff. Anyone can do it and it is not supposed to be that hard. I want to continue that conversation so we can get healthier.
So what should we Erase/Replace next?
Erase the processed foods. Why? Well, there is a laundry list. Let’s begin, shall we?
- Trans Fat is the worst fat ever. Remember our talk about fried foods? Well this fat likes to creep into other processed foods as well. However, it sometimes likes to hide in disguise under the name “partially hydrogenated,” “hydrogenated,” or “fractionated.” Oh and remember that on the ingredient list, the sooner the name appears, the more of that ingredient is in the “food.” Yeah, I used those quotations on purpose.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup is also about the worst sugar you can digest, and not just because it’s a crappy form of sugar. It can singlehandedly raise your chance of heart disease, diabetes and can even encourage overeating! That’s crazy! More on sugar later…
- Sodium levels are insane in processed foods. Now salt is healthy, but not that much salt. Read those labels and be afraid, very afraid. Herbs are expensive and salt is cheap, which is why it is used to enhance the flavor of a frozen meal that will probably still be “edible” in 2050.
Check out livestrong.com for more on processed foods!
Replace with real food. What do I mean by real food? I’m not specifically talking about organic food, even though it’s great. I’m talking about single ingredients that you can pronounce and when you buy something that has an ingredient list, make sure it’s five ingredients or less.
I once read that if you stay on the outside edges of the grocery store, you are more likely to buy healthier items. Don’t walk down those aisles, it’s not worth it. Those processed foods have little to no nutritional value while fruit, vegetables, beef, chicken, milk, eggs and even rice are full of vitamins and minerals. Everything you eat either makes you healthier, or sicker. Remember, there is no Switzerland when it comes to food.
Erase all that sugar! Okay, most people know that sugar isn’t healthy. Snickers are widely accepted as delicious and incredibly fattening. You might think it’s just because snickers have 250 calories in a bar or 170 in four miniatures! It’s also because of how sugar works in your body. There are lots of types of sugars like glucose, fructose, sucrose, dextrose, and lactose! Basically, everything that ends in “ose” (Read more at this great blog nerdfitness.com).
So when you eat sugar, either from the snickers or the entire box of chocolate covered strawberries, your body can do two things with that glucose in your blood stream. Use it for energy or convert to fat, known as triglycerides.
This is where insulin comes into play. When your body detects sugar in the blood stream your pancreas releases the hormone insulin. Then it attaches to the glucose and takes it to your muscles and converts it to glycogen or takes the glucose to fat cells…those nasty triglycerides again.
The part that really stinks is when you bombard your body with a ton of sugar, your body sends out a lot of insulin and it doesn’t always get the balance right. So your body might release too much insulin so now your blood sugar drops drastically and you crash. In fact, you crash so hard you want more sugar for energy! Thus starts a vicious cycle.
Replace the sugar. Hopefully you have already replaced the soda with water. Those sugary snacks can be replaced with healthy nuts like almonds, walnuts, and brazil nuts. If you are craving something sweet check out this banana ice cream recipe. The point is actually not to replace all the sugar with other things but to lower your overall intake. Some sugar isn’t going to kill you, but let’s be honest, you are probably eating too much and you don’t even realize it.
There is a bit of theme running throughout this post. Living healthier means eating real foods with real nutrients. You have to start taking your nutrition into your own hands. There is no reason you can’t live a long healthy life. I can’t time travel but maybe if I make healthier choices, I will extend my time on this earth. Seems like a goal worthy of a human.
Until Next Time!
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