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Eat Clean for 2017 – Let’s Start the New Year Right
- The new year is finally here. 2017 represents the perfect opportunity for you to make a change to your health and fitness. Whether you’re hoping to lose weight, or simply improve your quality of life, your path to a “new you” could begin with a cleaner diet.
- Today, more people are dying of obesity and diet-related issues than ever before – underlying the need to start focusing on which foods are good for us – and which should be avoided at all costs.
- The basics of healthy eating begin with eating a range of different food substances, consuming plenty of produce, nuts, and fish, and keeping our potassium, vitamin D, and calcium levels up.
- Once we’ve mastered the basics, it’s time to move onto over-looked issues in the modern diet. For instance, eating more magnesium-rich foods can promote better cellular health. Up to 80% of Americans are currently deficient in magnesium – which could cause problems with everything from blood pressure, to nerve functioning, and energy metabolism.
- Activated charcoal is another essential substance to pick up in 2017. This incredible ingredient helps to absorb toxins within the body, disinfect, and even cure Lyme disease.
- A clean and healthy diet doesn’t mean getting rid of all fats. Instead, it means recognizing that some fats are better than others. Good fats can help to lower your risk of heart disease, and improve overall health. We should all be eating a far higher dose of omega-3 fatty acids.
- The foods that we should lose for 2017 are generally those that are identified as “refined”. Refined grains are brimming with poisonous glyphosate, and lacking in essential nutrients. At the same time, refined sugars are contributing to obesity and heart disease, while refined salts cause high blood-pressure and bloating.
- Cleaning up your diet in 2017 means being aware of the studies into nutrition that have emerged recently, and taking a step back into more “natural” foods, in their natural form. It’s time to say goodbye to processed foods for good.
The Problem with the Modern Western Diet
A few decades ago, most of the food that we ate was locally grown and fresh all the way from the farm to the plate. Today, the majority of our food is served after being heavily processed, filled with refined sugars, processed fats, and chemical additives. It’s easy to see the connection between those changes, and the fact that obesity rates have skyrocketed over the years – with one in five American deaths associated with weight.
Deaths related to obesity can range all the way from liver disease, to heart disease, hypertension, dementia, and cancer – as these issues feature metabolic dysfunction as an underlying problem. The studies that have been conducted into this phenomenon are clear enough – now that more people are abandoning traditional food options in favor of modern, processed foods, they’re more likely to get sick. In other words, if you want to clean up your health and start enjoying life in 2017, then your diet might be the very first thing you should address.
As we move forward into a brand-new year, we now have the knowledge and understanding to recognize which eating habits are damaging our quality of life. As such, it’s time to make a social change. After all, not only are our diets making us fatter with an increased calorie intake, but they’re making us sicker too.
No matter what your new year’s resolution might be – from losing weight to having more energy throughout the day – it all starts here. Let’s make 2017 the year we all eat clean!
The Foods You Should Eat
Developing habits for healthy eating doesn’t have to be as restrictive or confusing as many people assume. In fact, most of the work will come from re-learning the basics of healthy eating. For instance, we should be eating more vegetables, fruits, and legumes, and limiting highly-processed foods. Other general tips for a good diet might include:
Consuming a range of foods: We’re constantly discovering new nutrients in different produce, so eating a wide assortment of foods should help you to get the most out of your diet. This will also limit the temptation to stick to highly unhealthy food staples – like grains.
Eating plenty of produce: Fresh fruits and vegetables will always be good for you. Aim for about 2 and a half cups of vegetables, and 2 cups of fruit each day for a 2000-calorie diet. The fiber, nutrients, and other essential compounds in these foods will help you to fight against diseases, and maintain dietary balance.
Enjoying more nuts and fish: Fatty fish, nuts, coconut/olive oil, and avocados are all brimming with healthy, unsaturated fats. These fats represent a satisfying substitute to other high-calorie foods like margarine. Fatty fish helps to reduce the risk of heart disease thanks to its omega-3 content.
Keeping potassium up, and sodium down: Excess levels of processed food and sodium raises blood pressure in many people and has a range of additional, harmful effects. At the same time, we should all consume more potassium – which helps to lower blood pressure. Potassium-rich foods might include beans, potatoes, bananas, and citrus.
Get plenty of Vitamin D: Get sunshine year round to keep your Vitamin D levels up. If you live in a northern latitude, it becomes a necessity to supplement with Vitamin D to maintain levels during those winter months.
Besides some of the more basic approaches to healthy eating, it’s also worth addressing some of the newer nutritional discoveries that have arrived just in time for 2017. As the new year begins, more studies than ever before have proven the benefits of magnesium-rich foods, activated charcoals, and good fats.
Foods that are rich in Magnesium are crucial to cellular health – and account for over 300 biochemical functions in the body. The magnesium you consume is responsible for a range of essential processes, including:
- The production of glutathione
- Energy metabolism
- Protein synthesis
- Blood sugar control
- Nerve function
- Neurotransmitter release
- Blood pressure control
Unfortunately, up to 80% of Americans currently may have a magnesium deficiency. If you’re concerned that you might be low in magnesium, then the best thing you can do is stick to plenty of green leafy vegetables, and other magnesium-heavy foods. For instance:
- Spinach: 157mg = 40%DV
- Chard – 154mg = 38%DV
- Almonds – 80mg = 20%DV
- Avocado – 58mg = 15%DV
- Banana – 32mg = 8%DV
The more magnesium you consume, the more you can fight back against a range of troublesome health problems, including cardiovascular disease, fibromyalgia, and type 2 diabetes. Studies have even discovered that magnesium food deficiencies have been linked to greater frequencies of migraine headaches. What’s more, this essential substance is pivotal for the utilization of calcium in bone formation – therefore making it great for fighting back against osteoporosis.
A potent natural treatment perfect for trapping chemicals and toxins in the body, activated charcoal works by drawing unwanted bodily substances into its millions of tiny pores through the process of adsorption. Adsorption is the chemical reaction wherein elements bind to a surface, and this surface can have a negative electric charge that causes positively charged toxins to bond with it.
In addition to being an effective and safe treatment for things like accidental poisoning, and the removal of internal toxins, activated charcoal can also be used to disinfect and deodorize, help Lyme disease, and whiten teeth. In fact, new benefits for this incredible substance seem to emerge on a regular basis.
If you’re planning to start your 2017 clean eating routine with a dose of activated charcoal, remember that this is not the same as the stuff you get from your BBQ grill. When you take activated charcoal, you should keep a close eye on your hydration throughout the day – drinking around at LEAST half your body weight in ounces of water per day. Activated charcoal’s porous nature can mean that you quickly suffer from dehydration if adequate water isn’t consumed. A large amount of water can help to flush away toxins and prevent constipation too!
These days, you couldn’t be blamed for cultivating a fear of fats. In America, fat in foods have been represented as “evil” for decades – making low-fat and non-fat foods more appealing. Unfortunately, the truth is that it’s usually sugar – and not fat that’s the cause of things like obesity and various other problems.
When health professionals started pointing towards saturated fats as the cause of heart disease, traditional fats were abandoned for processed vegetable oils that are high in Omega-6: a substance which can contribute to inflammation and other issues when consumed excessively. Because these oils are hydrogenated and high in trans-fats, they often increase the risk of heart disease.
Throughout the rest of the globe, fat has earned its place at the dining room table, and in the U.S., we are gradually starting to realize that not all fats are created equal. Now that we’re in 2017 – it’s time to recognize that we need healthy fats to thrive. One particularly important fat to consider is “Omega 3”.
The chances are that you’ve heard of Omega-3 before. It’s considered one of the most essential fats because we cannot produce it alone – meaning that we need to rely on a healthy supply of omega-3 in our diet. The preferred sources for omega-3s are EPA and DHA – the kinds found in sardines and fatty fish. However, researchers at Harvard Medical School regard all sources of omega-3 to be crucial to the modern diet. For a heftier dose in 2017, try sources such as:
- Nuts like walnuts
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Brussel sprouts
If you’re concerned about various produce options being contaminated with unhealthy water substances like mercury, you might also want to think about supplementing with fish oil.
The Foods You Should Lose
When it comes to cutting foods out of your diet in 2017, there’s one very important word that you should be staying away from at all costs: “refined”. Refined grains and sugars are particularly bad for your health because they’ve been pushed through a very specific process that seems to heighten unhealthy results.
For instance, the refined carbohydrates present in regular pasta, white bread, and a huge collection of different snack foods has little to no dietary fiber, and has also been stripped of its crucial nutrients. When checking your food label ingredients it’s important to watch out for “refined” or “wheat flour” on the list.
At the same time, it’s crucial to limit foods that contain a huge amount of added sugar. These are sources of empty calories that can contribute to weight gain amongst other health issues. Many sugar foods are also particularly high in fat, which can make it so much easier to pile on the pounds.
There is some evidence that modern wheat – the stuff we were introduced to around 1960, is far less nutritious than older grains. In fact, today’s grains are missing huge percentages of everything from Vitamin E, to iron, selenium, and magnesium. As we’ve adapted to new ways of harvesting grain – which relies on the removal of the germ and bran, we have rid ourselves of a fundamental source of nutrition.
In other words, the grains that we eat today aren’t the same as the grains we once had. Not only are these new “dwarf” grains lacking in essential nutrients, but they’re also sprayed consistently with poison throughout the United States. Thanks to the excessive reliance we have on glyphosate when it comes to harvesting grain crops, this poisonous substance has created an epidemic of intolerances and health problems within the U.S. that you simply can’t find elsewhere else in the world.
In fact, the glyphosate that we use on our grains has been reported by experts to be a “possible human carcinogen” prompting greater risks of cancer, endocrine disruption, kidney and liver damage, antibiotic resistance, and the inability to absorb essential nutrients.
Though it’s true that wheat might have been healthy in the past, the same can no longer be said for the modern dwarf wheat that most of us are eating in 2017, these new grains are:
- Excessively high in gluten
- Devoid of natural fiber
- Rich in unwanted chemicals
- Nutritionally imbalanced
Healthier alternatives to modern wheat products might include:
- Wild rice
- Corn (organic)
- Ancient grains
In Western Countries, people have begun to consume huge amounts of refined sugar – with some countries reaching levels of 148lbs per person per year. Though different studies produce slightly different numbers, all the current research agrees that we are consuming far more sugar than our bodies can realistically handle.
Unfortunately, controlled studies into human performance have discovered that large amounts of sugar can lead to severe problems in the metabolic system, including metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, triglycerides, and more. On top of that, added sugar is largely considered to be one of the main issues contributing to problems like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and cancer.
Sugar actively rots human teeth, stresses the liver, promotes fat storage, and has been linked to leptin resistance. What’s more – if all those threats weren’t enough – sugar is inherently addictive too. In other words, once you start consuming sugar, it becomes incredibly difficult to stop thanks to the dopamine release that this substance provides.
If you’re going to give up one addiction in 2017 – sugar should probably be it.
Finally, many people assume that all salt is more or less the same. However, the truth is that there is a huge difference between refined and unrefined salts. In its natural form – salt is known as unrefined salt – a substance that hasn’t been physically or chemically altered by man. This type of salt is rich in a range of elements and minerals that can be useful to the body. For instance, unrefined sea salt contains over eighty different elements and minerals.
On the other hand, unlike unrefined salts – refined “table” salts only contain two major features: chloride and sodium plus a host of toxic additives. This means that table salt is unhealthy and toxic to the body. Some additional symptoms that can occur as a result of exposure to processed salts include:
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Strain on the circulatory system
- Muscle cramps
- Kidney or gallbladder stones
- Problems with complete digestion
In other words, another important step you can take for the sake of your diet in 2017, is to pass on the traditional saltshaker, and head for a natural salt instead that trades dangerous side effects for positive minerals. Partially unrefined salts are becoming increasingly more common in modern homes, as these substances are great for aiding in digestion, and reducing the ailments of common table salt.
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