5 things you should replace in your diet for a healthier body
10 July 2017
Those who are serious about achieving a healthier body this year need to think about replacing certain unhealthy culprits in their diet with much better food stuff. Here we’ve listed some of the things you should definitely aim to cut back on (or cut out completely) if you want to lose weight and feel great.
- Refined carbohydrates
It’s likely that a lot of your favourite foods will fall under the umbrella of ‘refined carbohydrates’ but, unfortunately, they have been proven to be the cause of the majority of chronic diseases in Western civilisation. Refined carbohydrates are rapidly absorbed into our blood, causing high spikes in our blood sugar and insulin levels. Excessive consumption of this type of food can, therefore, increase fat mass and thus body weight, lowering your overall metabolic rate. Popular refined carbohydrates include white bread, pasta and rice, fizzy drinks, crisps and baked goods.
- Trans fats
Artificial trans fats occur when oil goes through a process called hydrogenation. Essentially, this hardens the oil and is often used for frying or as one of the main ingredients of processed foods. Trans fats are bad for you because they lead to high cholesterol levels in the blood, one of the main causes of health conditions such as heart disease and strokes. Lowering your intake of these is easy. Try and include more low-fat or fat-free dairy products in your diet, eat fewer fried foods and avoid any product that lists hydrogenated fat or oil in its ingredients.
- Artificial sweeteners
You may think that you’re taking care of your diet by choosing to use artificial sweeteners instead of sugar, but regular consumption has been strongly linked to diseases including metabolic syndrome, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Some of the most common foods and drinks that include artificial sweeteners include things like alcohol, breakfast cereal, diet fizzy drinks, yoghurt and even chewing gum!
- Seed and vegetable oils
Certain foods are often portrayed as healthy foods when in fact they are unnatural for our bodies to consume. Seed and vegetable oils, for example, were not around until very recently. They contain a high amount of omega-6 fatty acids which we do need, but only to a certain extent. Eating too much omega-6 and too little omega-3 has found to be one of the biggest causes of a lot of modern health problems such as cardiovascular disease, systemic inflammation and even cancer. Ditch your seed and vegetable oils and instead get omega-3 from fatty fish or with a daily cod liver oil supplement.
- Processed foods
It’s no secret that processed foods are low in nutrients and high in artificial chemicals and other unhealthy ingredients. Eating processed foods too often can lead to rapid weight gain, meaning you’re at greater risk of potentially fatal health problems. When it comes to processed food, the general rule is – avoid them! Not sure if it’s processed? If the ingredients list contains more than five things that you don’t understand, it’s not real food.