Among people who are trying to eat more healthfully, it’s pretty common knowledge that sugar, processed foods and alcohol can interfere with your attempts to lose weight and regain your health. But did you know that some of the following foods can also be problematic:
Artificial Sweeteners – counter to what most people assume, artificial sweeteners are not a smart alternative to sugar. They can cause increased production of insulin which actually contributes to hunger. Two good alternative to try are stevia and coconut palm sugar. Stevia is an herb that is many times sweeter than table sugar but has no calories and won’t cause a dramatic rise in your blood sugar. Coconut palm sugar resembles brown sugar. It’s made from the sap of coconut palms. It raises blood sugar only half as much as table sugar and it contains some nutritional minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium and zinc. It’s not a health food, but it’s certainly a better choice than artificial sweeteners or table sugar.
Grains, such as wheat, corn and soy. Eating grains can cause a major spike in insulin, which, as we said above, results in hunger. In addition, most grains today are found in processed foods that have had the majority of nutrients processed right out of them. Even if you don’t need a gluten-free diet, lowering the amount of grains in your dietary intake can help improve your cholesterol and blood pressure, reduce inflammation in the body and help you lose weight.
Dairy is another category of food that you may have been led to believe is healthy for you, but it could be interfering with your body’s attempt to heal. Dairy foods are among the most aggravating to your system. With dairy intake, your body produces phlegm. Ultimately, phlegm in the body is another source of inflammation and brings with it a host of symptoms like fatigue and digestive distress. And inflammation ultimately leads to weight gain and the diseases associated with it.
It’s not necessary to do anything drastic to test how your body reacts to these foods. Just remove them from your meals for a few weeks and see how you feel. Do you have more energy? Is weight loss easier? You can always add them back in if you notice no change. But you may find that you feel a whole lot better eating more fruits, vegetables, protein and healthy fats and less dairy, grains and artificial sweeteners!
Rebeca Espinoza writes about health, fitness and weight loss for Spatz Medical, makers of the Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon. You can find her on Google+ or at firstname.lastname@example.org.