If you're trying to improve your health by watching the number of calories you're eating over the quality of calories, you are not alone.
With so many brands labeled "healthy", "low-fat" or listed as "only this many calories" they must have your health in mind right? But what are these seemingly "innocent" foods really doing to your metabolism? Are they actually making you fat?
For so many women, refined foods have become a common substitute for good nutrition. Whether we reach for these foods out of convenience or calorie content, we are paying a price.
When too many of our calories are coming from poor-quality foods and we aren't getting enough important nutrients from high-quality foods, a nutrient gap is created.
These foods rob us of our nourishment and have a negative impact on hormone health in the following ways:
They trigger insulin which over time can lead us to become insulin resistant
They deplete essential minerals that are vital for healthy bones, teeth and tissues and speeds up our aging
They deplete vitamins that are required for proper detoxification of toxins
They make us tired because of the stress they put on the adrenals
They cause us to store fat around our midsection because of their influence on cortisol
They hinder elimination as they destroy beneficial bacteria in the gut and deplete the nutrients required for a healthy gut lining such as zinc and vitamin A
They deplete magnesium which contributes to inflammation, chocolate cravings, menstrual cramps, heart palpitations, anxiety and migraines
They are acidic and excess acid interferes with how well our hormones perform
Calories don't tell you anything about the quality of the foods or how they are metabolized. When our diets are centered around real, whole and unprocessed foods we are supporting our bodies with the nutrients required for detoxification and elimination while reducing the harmful effects of stress on the body. This is what we want!
If you find it difficult to make time to prepare and cook real foods there are some options to consider:
Take a multivitamin derived from whole-food concentrates
If you eat take-out, make sure more that half of the meal is veggie heavy
If you have time for smoothies, add seeds and dark leafy vegetables like kale and broccoli to them
Drink green tea, as its loaded with anti-oxidants
Take a good-quality probiotic containing acidophilus to help maintain good gut flora
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and adding lemon juice can help alkalinize the body
Eat protein and fat with your meals to help reduce insulin spikes
If you reach for processed cereals for breakfast, add seeds to it like hemp or chia for a dose of fat, and berries for gut-healthy fiber
We are a chronically stressed society, and it can be challenging to make healthy food choices with our busy schedules. Avoiding processed foods will not only help eliminate added stress but adding more living foods to our diets can help us better cope with our daily lives by helping our bodies function better.