Build A Stronger, Healthier Body.
Improving your health can be easy if you steadily make small, simple changes. Small changes performed consistently over time make a huge impact on your health. Furthermore, this positive effect ripples into all aspects of your life. Minor substitutions in the way we eat are a great way to improve health – as well as lose weight. This article addresses foods that are big sources of empty calories and harmful fats.
Salads are healthy, right? They are piled high with crisp greens and brightly colored vegetables – which we then smother with unhealthy salad dressings. Most salad dressings are made with unhealthy fats and loaded with sugar. Unhealthy fats include soybean, corn, sunflower seed, safflower, cottonseed, and peanut oils. These highly-processed vegetable oils increase pain and inflammation in your body and increase the risk of developing heart disease and cancer. They also make you feel tired and unmotivated. A simple substitution for regular salad dressing is to make your own with your favorite combination of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and spices such as garlic powder, oregano, basil, turmeric, ginger, crushed red pepper, or any other spice that you love. Make up a single-sized serving with a tablespoon of olive oil and try different spices with every salad.
Candy and salty snacks are another source of needless empty calories that add up quickly to turn into pounds gained over the course of a year. Furthermore, the sugar and simple carbohydrates wreak havoc with your blood sugar and cause your energy levels to crash. They also increase your risk of developing diabetes and other chronic diseases. It’s perfectly normal and healthy to have a mid-morning or afternoon snack. A great substitution for candy or chips is a piece of fresh fruit, a small handful of raw nuts, or a couple pieces of dark chocolate. These healthy snacks are not only lower in calories, but they also provide the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that your body craves.
Soft drinks are a huge source of empty calories. Soft drinks include colas and other sodas, fruit-flavored beverages, and energy drinks. Soft drinks are full of unnecessary sugar and diet soft drinks contain artificial sweeteners and other chemicals that can increase pain sensitivity as well as cause headaches and muscle aches and pains. Furthermore, recent studies show that people who drink diet soft drinks actually consume more calories throughout the day compared to people who drink regular soft drinks because diet soft drinks cause blood sugar fluctuations that increase hunger cravings. Healthy substitutions for soft drinks include water, herbal teas, or sparkling water garnished with a slice of fresh orange, lemon, or lime. Many people react strongly and are quite disgusted at the thought of drinking plain water. This is because their taste buds have become warped and desensitized by drinking too many sweet drinks. Give it a few weeks – your taste buds will adapt and water will taste delicious again. Your health is worth it.
Many people use peanut butter as a source of protein. Unfortunately, regular peanut butters are loaded with added sugar and “natural” peanut butters still contain high amounts of unhealthy fat. The type of fat naturally found in peanuts increases pain, inflammation, and your risk of developing heart disease and cancer. Furthermore, peanuts are not actually nuts – they are legumes. Being legumes, they contain a substance called lectin that contributes to digestive disorders and other problems throughout the body. It is best to avoid peanuts altogether. Substitute peanut butter with nut butters like cashew or almond butter. These nut butters provide healthy fats along with vitamins and minerals while still providing protein.
Which of these small changes will you make? What is your motivating factor? Give this some thought because a deeper desire provides the foundation for lasting success. Consider the greatest health concern you are facing right now: is it a chronic disease; being overweight; constant pain, stiffness, and fatigue; or ending up with the same health problems as your parents? Now is the time to take control of your health. You are the only one who can. This life is yours to create, one step at a time.
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Call us today to begin your journey from pain to a stronger, healthier you.