Is losing weight one of your New Year's Resolutions?
Don't worry about calorie counting or fad diets that seem too good to be true. Look no further than your own pantry. Chances are, that some ingredients are lurking in there that are keeping from you reaching your optimal weight.
Here are the Top 2 Ingredients to Look For:
1. High Fructose Corn Syrup
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is a cheap, man-made sweetener, made from extracting corn and adding fructose (sugar). It is about 6 times sweeter than sugar. HFCS is a marker of a highly processed food which is one reason why people are so addicted to it. Studies show that HFCS actually increases appetite. It’s void of nutrients and leaves your body searching for more. When you do not feed your body the nutrients it needs, it thinks it is starving. It’s found not only in boxed goods, but also in some sodas, bread, and ketchup. Since it is man-made, the body does not know how to metabolize it; therefore, it goes straight to the liver, causing obesity and heart disease.
Partially Hydrogenated Oil contains harmful Trans Fats. As the name implies, this type of oil is created by the process of adding hydrogen to a fat. However, it’s only partially hydrogenated, leaving a chemical mix up that is foreign to the body.
This oil is thought to be poisonous because it takes the place of essential fatty acids that we need for life. As a result, we consume more and more fat, as our body is constantly searching for the healthy fats that it needs to function at it's best. Partially Hydrogenated Oil interferes with the body’s natural metabolic process, which in turn could make a person gain weight. In fact, this substance actually interferes with the absorption of good fats, such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. One especially needs to be on the look out for partially hydrogenated soy bean oil, as it depresses the thyroid, which in turn, could slow the metabolism and increase fat on the body.
Bottom line: most packaged foods contain HFCS and/or partially hydrogenated oils, although companies are starting to get on the bandwagon and remove these from their products. The key is to carefully read labels and to focus on adding more whole foods to your diet, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Throw out the highly processed products and focus more on natural foods. As Journalist and Author, Michael Pollan puts it: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Simple as that.
Here’s to a Happy and Healthy New Year!