It’s hard figuring out how to eat well. Every expert seems to have a different opinion on how we should eat and diets can quickly become too restrictive for long-term success. We know that we need plenty of protein, fruits, and veggies, but what are the things we should really try to avoid? Well, here’s the answer!
1. Soy: Soy can cause thyroid problems and deficiencies in many vitamins and minerals; it contains anti-thyroid agents and enzymes that block the absorption of many vitamins and minerals, depriving your body of nutrients. It also contains protease inhibitors. Protease enzymes break down protein into amino acids, which are used to maintain muscle tone and bone strength. Lacking these enzymes, and thus these amino acids, results in illnesses of the pancreas, as well as cancer. Studies have shown that soy can lead to hypothyroidism and autoimmune thyroid problems, like Hashimoto’s and Graves’ disease.
2. Diet soda: Many diet sodas contain sucralose, which is basically chlorinated table sugar. When ingested, chlorine lowers iodine levels in the body (which leads to hypothyroid-like symptoms) and it actually becomes toxic to the body when heated by the body’s digestive processes. Aspartame, another artificial sweetener found in many diet sodas, releases methanol into the body when heated up by metabolism and it is toxic to nervous tissue. In general, artificial sweeteners make it hard to lose weight because it’s a toxin that’s being pushed into the tissues and your body wants to hold on to fat in order to attempt to lower the concentration of that toxin inside your body.
3. Refined carbohydrates: This group includes flours, salts, and oils that have been processed, which removes nutrients. You may have heard these referred to as “empty carbs” or “empty calories”. They have a high glycemic index, so they turn into sugar quickly. This causes a spike in blood glucose levels, so insulin is released to lower those glucose levels. This quick up-and-down is very stressful to the body, which makes your body convert the glucose to fat instead of being otherwise put to use in the body.
4. Fast Food: This category is an extension of refines carbohydrates, which make up the majority of fast food available. The refined carbs have no nutrients and the meat you eat is conventionally raised, which means that it is full of synthetic, estrogen-like hormones, antibiotics, and the pesticides that buildup in their bodies from eating conventionally grown grain and produce. All of these harmful chemicals can accumulate in your body and lead to a whole host of health issues, including breast and prostate cancer. Fast food restaurants also use soybean oil and canola oil, which have had all of the nutrients removed and go rancid at high heat, becoming a toxin to your body.
5. Refined Sugar: This type of sugar, which includes table sugar, cane sugar, or brown sugar, turns to glucose very quickly after ingestion, which leads to a surge in insulin production. Prolonged intake and repetition of this body-stressing process can lead to diabetes, obesity, and insulin resistance, as well as deficiencies in vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. White blood cells (the first line of defenses in our immune systems) become dysfunctional for up to five hours after ingestion of refined sugar. Sugar is also known to cause inflammation all over the body, making joints sore and leading to fatigue, as well as poor skin health. Removal of refined sugar from your diet will improve your immune system, raise your metabolism, and increase your energy!
We know that it can be difficult to cut back on all of these things when you are used to eating them, especially if you try to cut everything out all at once. Improve your diet little by little, so that in one month or one year, you can look back and say, “I’m eating better now than I was back then.” Health is a process, and we’re either moving forward or backward. Make little daily improvements so that you’re always moving forward!