Posted on June 6th, 2011 by Julie Rodrigues
Diet fads are nothing new. In the 1990s, fat was why we were not all the epitomes of healthy bodies. Food packaging proudly displayed labels indicating the product inside was fat-free. After years of the fat stigma, many were surprised to find out that certain fats, such as mono- and poly-unsaturated fats, are not only good for us but are essential for life. Then, we eagerly pointed fingers at “evil” carbohydrates. Millions picked up the Atkins Diet book and gladly ate bacon and steak.
Dr. Atkins was on the right track to focus on protein, but he overshot it a bit. Protein is excellent fuel for the body, but we still need good, or complex carbohydrates. Everyone from children to the elderly should have a high protein diet since our bodies need it, but do not produce it. Because of all of its benefits, protein is the key part of an optimal diet.
What is an Optimal Diet?
Optimal nutrition means you eat what is good for your body. All the foods you consume should fuel your body completely and be natural. After all, we are living organisms. We can eat carbohydrates and we can eat fats, they just have to be the right kinds. An optimal diet is holistic, which means no white flour and no sugar. Both of these ingredients are refined and are linked to diabetes and other diseases.
Refined sugar messes up our levels and white flour is just plain silly. The food industry takes a perfect whole wheat kernel, process it, bleaches it then adds a flurry of chemicals. Whole wheat sustains our bodies with complex (good) carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. The best sources for complex carbs are:
- Brown rice
- Leafy green vegetables
Each of these are optimal foods because they do not spike blood sugar. They are slowly broken down and absorbed. Essentially, they have a low glycemic index.
Why Low Glycemic Index Foods Are Best
The glycemic index ranks foods based on their effect on blood glucose (sugar) levels. The lower the G.I., the smaller it impacts our blood sugar. This helps control and even cure diabetes since it will improve the body’s sensitivity towards insulin. Low GI foods fill us for longer and help us eat less. Want to know more? Utilize a glycemic food list such as this one from the South Beach Diet Plan. Start avoiding foods that hurting your health and watch as the pounds melt off.
Refined flour and sugar have a very high glycemic index. They don’t provide all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals your body needs and they can eventually lead to diabetes and other health problems such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. When not burned, they are stored as fatty deposits that weigh our bodies down.
Do you have cellulite? The best solution is to cut sugar now, eat well and exercise.
Your diet plan should include compact, nutrient-dense ingredients. Stay away from simple carbohydrates found in processed foods. If it comes from a factory, it’s probably not good for you. Though they may be tasty, they make you gain weight and won’t fill you at all. These are what experts call empty calories because they burn quickly, get stored as fat and provide no beneficial nutrients. Foods with a low glycemic index are the opposite. They are optimal calories.
Trust us, you feel much better, fuller and more vivacious when you enjoy foods that have many beneficial nutrients per calorie as possible. The optimal diet is the best way to eat!
Does all this talk about sugar have you wondering about fruits? Fruits have naturally occurring sugars. They are not refined. Our bodies burn quickly but also maintain balance. It’s perfectly OK to snack on fruits during moving day since they are convenient and tasty, but aim to get a lot of veggies too.
Here are easy ways to cut refined sugar and white flour:
- Switch to whole wheat. Whole wheat bread and pasta taste good and are more beneficial.
- Always read ingredient labels. You may think that a certain food is healthy but watch out! Companies can add unnecessary ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup (a refined sugar) or hydrogenated oils in an otherwise perfect food. MovingCost.com doesn’t understand why they do this. For example, some apple sauces contain high fructose corn syrup, but apples are already sweet! Make sure the ingredients are simple: Apple sauce should include apples and water. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is fine, too.
- If you’re a coffee fanatic, try it black. There’s a big debate about coffee, which is full of powerful antioxidants. Add sugar, and it brings up calories and lowers the positive effects. Add artificial sweetener, and you’re adding more risks. Why not try black coffee, or just add a splash of non-fat milk or low sugar soy milk to make it a little lighter. Non-diary creamer can have some terrible ingredients, such as hydrogenated oils.
At the grocery store, search for high protein and low carb foods. These wholesome and nutritious choices will have you on the right track! If you aren’t digging them, just keep trying. You’ll start craving quinoa before you know it. Don’t purchase anything with refined carbohydrates. Eventually, you won’t even think about them.
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This entry was posted on Monday, June 6th, 2011 at 8:55 am and is filed under Learning Center. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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