In my last blog, I discussed how making a grocery list can be a lifesaver when trying to stick to your nutrition goals, and how it is part of having a plan before stepping foot into the grocery store. If you haven't got a chance to read it yet, you can check it out BELOW.
Making a list can be a huge benefit to staying on track and giving yourself a headstart on your weekly goals. But what about when you get into the grocery store and you see all these yummy foods that you just can't resist?
Some of you may have already made this connection which is awesome, but think about the layout of your typical grocery store: all of your produce, meats, poultry, dairy and whole foods are on the outer walls of the grocery store. If you find yourself spending too much time in the middle aisles picking up food in bags, cans, boxes, or products that have a shelf life of 3 years, you may need to re-evaluate your list.
There are of course exceptions to the rule, as we find our whole grains, rice, and beans in these aisles, but it is important to be mindful of what we are adding to our cart and from where. This can be a great way to stay away from those foods that may trigger your cravings. If you avoid the aisle where these foods are located completely, it is much easier to avoid those foods when they are out of sight and out of mind.
Every step we take towards meeting our nutrition goals should be done with mindfulness and an eye on the bigger picture that is our goals and the reasons behind why we try to achieve them.
Are you ready to commit to healthy living and looking for a little support? We’ve got your back! Schedule a brief, no obligation phone call with us to learn more about how our programs can help support you in reaching your health & fitness goals and to get all of your questions answered. We’d love to chat with you! www.wilcoxwellnessfitness.com/getstartedbrunswick.
When you think of what it means to be healthy, what is the first thing to come to mind? Is it getting more exercise? Eating fruits and vegetables? Maybe it's eliminating all the junk food in our diet. Or maybe it's about how you feel. There is no right or wrong answer here, but there are easier ways to meet our goals than others. No matter what the first thought you had is, the first step we have to take is planning. Without any plan it is hard to take action, and then it becomes hard to follow through on your goals. This will usually leave you feeling pretty defeated.
If you need any meal suggestions we have an awesome meal prep guidebook with fun easy recipes that can be super useful when getting started!
Once you have your grocery list and your meals planned, I always recommend eating something before going to the grocery store. A small, healthy snack with a good balance of carbs, fats and proteins could be a good way to ward off any cravings that walking around the store might induce. This can be a huge life-saver when staying away from foods not on our list. STICK TO THE LIST. Once you have all of your food it is so much easier to meal prep by cooking all your meals for the week at once, or having the food on hand to cook throughout the week when you are ready. It is easier to stay away from take-out when you know you have all kinds of delicious nutritious food waiting for you in your fridge.
When talking about fats, it is easy to end up going down a wormhole of back and forth research, attempting to discern good from bad. With that being said, I will try to break this information down in a simple, sweet, and informative post that leaves you feeling confident about the foods you are eating in your everyday life.
Let's start off with our saturated fats, the dreaded fat that everyone wants to avoid. Because we should limit our daily intake of these fats, they are absolutely important to monitor. We should consume less than 10% of our daily calories from saturated fat. This will be about 16g to 22g per day. With that in mind, it is clear why it is so easy to over consume saturated fat when just a couple tablespoons provide your daily limit.
Saturated fat is a long straight carbon chain saturated with hydrogen bonds. This is the fat that is solid at room temperature and also found in animal products such as refined/hydrolyzed oils, red meat, baked goods, butter, cheese and dairy. This is that fat that also makes everything taste oh so good. In a limited amount this fat provides lots of benefits for the body such as normal cell function and transportation mechanisms for vitamins and minerals.
Next up is our monounsaturated fat. These contain a double bond in their carbon chain, creating a fat that is more useful to our body without so many hydrogen bonds attached. We want to eat as much of these as possible within our caloric daily limit. These fats are usually liquid at room temperature and can be found in foods such as olive oil, avocado, and nuts (almonds, pecans, brazil, cashews, peanuts). These fats help reduce heart disease and keep that bad cholesterol down (LDL) and good cholesterol (HDL) up.
Polyunsaturated fats come in two types: omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids. Both of these are essential fats that we must eat in order for our body to function properly. These fats are important because they are used to build cell membranes and the coverings of nerves and are needed for blood clotting, muscle movement, and inflammation.
Omega 3 has a great reputation as it helps decrease inflammation, inhibit dangerous blood clotting, and lower levels of triglycerides. These fats are found in salmon, walnuts, flaxseed, chia seeds and eggs.
Omega 6 is the most common type of fat-carrying particle in the blood, which means they are our number one transporter of molecules in our body. It is a very important molecule that we only need a tiny amount of. An overabundance can lead to clogged arteries and raised cholesterol.
With everything said, it is always good to remember that the less processed foods and more whole foods consumed, you will hit the right levels of these fats. Everything in moderation, and let our body handle the rest. The less we confuse it and stay on track with our healthy eating habits, the better you will feel. There is a reason why these fats are naturally found in our foods and have very specific purposes in our body. We should never avoid food groups or certain nutrients - instead we should eat in moderation, as this will give us all the nutrients we need.
-American Heart Association
-Science of Skinny by Dee McCaffrey
I want to continue talking about artificial sugar and why this may not be a healthier option over natural or even added sugars found in food. In my last blog we discussed added sugar and how to find and stay away from these sugars. If you missed it check out my blog here:
Artificial sweeteners have been a part of society for a long time now, and have made their way into the “healthy food” category by providing a way for people to avoid added sugar in their diet. For the most part, artificial sweeteners have no negative effect on our body and consumption in moderation is just fine. Just like everything else in life, moderation is key. It is when we start to replace all real sugar, natural and added, that we start to get ourselves in trouble with artificial sweeteners. As the name suggests artificial sweeteners are a processed food item intended to sweeten foods but not add any calories to your diet like regular sugar would. When we consume these sweeteners such as Splenda, Sweet and Low, or Nutrasweet, we are confusing our body by having a natural response to tasting something sweet and expecting a spike in glucose (simplest form of sugar) in the body which is our main source of energy. A long term response to this is our body craving more sugar more often because it is not getting the right amount of energy it needs from what the brain is expecting. This can lead to us eating even more processed foods, added sugar, and artificial sweeteners. Long term effects may even change our chemical makeup in our body to how we process and respond to sugar digestion. It is even recommended to consume natural sugar over an alternative artificial sweetener because it will keep our body running normally and decrease those sugar cravings. If you are going to splurge and have a yummy treat go for the real thing with real sugar to keep our body responses normal.
The next topic that goes along with our added and artificial sweeteners is trans fats. The food industry does everything it can to hide trans fats from us as these are the worst fats to consume. We have two main forms of cholesterol, LDL (the bad cholesterol) and HDL (the good cholesterol). LDL creates blockages in the arteries and buildup in our liver. HDL helps process and dispose of LDL. Trans fat increases our LDL and decreases our HDL and is recommended we limit our consumption to practically none if we can.
When we start to have high cholesterol (meaning high LDL levels) we can experience fatty liver build up, overworked kidneys, buildup of plaque in the arteries and heart, increased fat/weight gain. These outcomes can lead to failed liver and kidney functions, heart attacks, chronic pain and inflammation. SCARY!
Naturally occurring fats serve an important role in our bodies. When we eat healthy fats found in whole foods the fat molecule will bind to receptors on our cells and actually serve a very important function. When the fat binds to the cell it acts as a conduit for other nutrients that need to enter the cell. For example, glucose needs to be processed into energy INSIDE of our cells and require this fatty conduit to allow it into the cell. Without it the glucose will build up outside of the cell in the blood and cause blood sugar spikes eventually leading to diabetes.
It will fit but then it gets stuck and may even break off causing damage to the lock. When this happens all of the important biochemical reactions that need to occur inside our cells get disrupted including how sugars can’t get through the cell the way that they should. When we create a chronic situation by eating too many trans fats this will lead to diabetes. Who knew that eating too much trans fat will actually lead to a sugar related disease?
Are you surprised by how artificial sugars and trans fats are related in how they can impact your health? This is precisely why we need to focus on eating whole foods, just the way mother nature intended. When we stray towards these manufactured food products it creates a lot of confusion in our bodies and disrupts the delicate balance of how everything works.
Now I’m not saying that we need to completely eliminate these foods from our diet. We should still enjoy these foods when we do eat them and limit them to an occasional treat. The occasional time to consume these foods are usually going to be found during holidays, celebrations, birthdays, weddings, you name it. The more you can cut these foods out of your everyday diet the better you will feel and the healthier you will be.
Your body and brain will thank you for years to come if we start to treat it right now. It's never too late to make new healthy habits and break away from the bad. We will always slip up from time to time but having those good habits to fall back on will be what helps carry us through. We want to move, feel, and think better everyday instead of going into the decline of bad health.
References: The Science of Skinny, Dee McCaffrey
Images: DrPeterOsborne.com, ibslbiology.wordpress.com
When we consume processed foods and eat added sugars, we over-eat way too much, due to our reward systems being tricked. Consuming too much processed sugar will send the receptors in our brain and body into a frenzy because we have all this sugar in our blood stream, and energy that we do not need. This pattern is what leads to gained weight, inflammation, and eventually, potentially even type two diabetes.
These processed foods are designed to keep us craving and coming back for more, creating addictive and unhealthy eating habits and some horrible side effects for our bodies. Inflammation will create aches and pains in our joints, start to break down tissue, and can do some irreversible damage when it becomes chronic. Type two diabetes is caused by overloading our body with sugar to the point where our body stops properly regulating. Our insulin receptors become tired and weak to the point they can not regulate our blood sugar levels, which can cause devastating health results. Too much sugar can even cause chronic fatigue, headaches, slowed metabolism, and a plethora of other illnesses that we shouldn't have to live with in our everyday lives.
Here is how we avoid those added sugars:
Learn how to crack the food label! Added sugars aren’t the only culprits that can create confusion to our bodies, and we know how hard it can be to make sense of all of the information on the label. This guide will help you gain a better understanding of the different types of sugar ingredients to look out for as well as other food additives that are best to avoid. Download your free copy here:
Everything in moderation and remember you are human and only have one life to live so we better make it the best we can!
*Nutrasweet (aspartame), Splenda (sucralose), Sunett and Sweet One (acesulfame), Sweet and Low (saccharin)
Some of the most common sayings I hear from older people is “Oh it only gets worse from here”, “Wait till everything hurts”, or even “Pain is a part of life”. Why is it so common for so many people to accept pain into our lives? We should NOT be in large amounts of pain even as we get older. Our joints, muscles, and bones do age as we get older, and things do start to break down, but this doesn’t mean we have to put up with living with chronic pain every day. Pain is our brain telling us that something is wrong and that we need to take the proper steps to fix it. Sometimes it is about getting stronger, practicing functional movement, and staying active. Other times, we need to work on a deeper level within our body to address these problems.
When our body decides that inflammation needs to stay, it uses whatever it can to try and fix the problem area even if it's not needed anymore. This is when inflammation can turn bad and start breaking down our good tissue and further damage our weaker areas.
These all contribute towards serious chronic inflammation. This is what may be causing you pain and stiffness in your joints. It sounds a little scary and it is! The longer you have this chronic inflammation, the more likely you are to be breaking down your healthy tissue, and the issue becomes harder and harder to reverse.
SO what can we do to help fix this? Well, if you are here you are probably on the right track.
Even though milk has natural sugar, a sensitivity to dairy could further inflame an already troubled area if dairy products are consumed. Try and stick to all natural sugars, unprocessed food, and lots of fruits and vegetables. The less sugar you have the better!
Be mindful when you eat, and think about how processed foods might be playing a part in your chronic pain. This is a process, and it may take months to start noticing changes in levels of pain around inflamed areas. Some other positive side effects from limiting these types of foods will be better, healthier looking skin, a greater store of energy, less bloated post-meal complaints and even weight loss.
Overall, limiting these types of foods that are high in unsaturated fats and sugars can improve our general health dramatically, and greatly reduce inflammation that causes pain for so many.
Do you ever have such intense cravings that the world feels like it may end if you don’t satisfy those needs? Cravings are not just a habit or a want - they can be much deeper than that. Our body doesn’t understand the difference between foods, only the different nutrients it needs to work properly. Our brain makes that connection with certain foods so that we will be reminded to eat more of them. So, cravings are sometimes a need for other nutrients disguised as the desire for high sugar, fat, salt. These desires manifest in little pings in our brains that say “Yay that's the good stuff we need!”, even though what we satisfy those desires with may be something totally different than what our bodies need. I'm going to help you break down some of these cravings and why we might be having them, and I’ll touch on some healthy foods we can eat instead to make those cravings subside.
If you crave ice you may be deficient in iron! You also may be feeling fatigue, brain fog, and anxiety. Some ways to get more iron is through animal based protein (chicken, red meat, poultry). You can also start cooking with an iron skillet to help get more iron into your diet.
In order to create serotonin, we need all of our essential amino acids, which can be found in animal based products. Eggs and cheese are a great source because of high levels of tryptophan. Some other foods that can help are salmon, nuts, seeds, turkey and tofu. If you noticed, a common theme in all those foods is the presence of healthy fat, which will help regulate blood sugar levels.
Some snack ideas that incorporate healthy fats are:
Salt, however, can also be a double edged sword, because of where salt is often found. Chips or crackers are carbohydrates and when we eat those a lot, we find ourselves right back at our sugar cravings.
I hope these tips will help to give some more insight into your cravings. It is not the end of the world if we don’t eat a piece of chocolate, but it sure can feel like it when we are lacking magnesium. We all have cravings that may stem from habitual behavior, but staying consistent with your healthy eating goals will help curb those cravings. Fill your life with healthy foods and before you know it, those cravings will be a thing of the past!
For additional help with your cravings, check out the Wilcox Wellness & Fitness CRUSH YOUR CRAVINGS GUIDE. You can download it for free BELOW.
As they age, men can start to lose testosterone levels, resulting in an imbalance of testosterone to estrogen levels. High cortisol levels (the “stress hormone”) can also lead to these imbalances, and can have similar effects for women.
In short, it’s not just women who go through these changes as we age, but symptoms will be more obvious for women going through menopause.
Some of the best foods to eat before bed are actually healthy fats, some proteins, or complex carbs. Trying to stay away from sweets, simple sugar, alcohol, and processed food a few hours before bed can really make a difference. Some food pairings that make a great bedtime snack are:
Following these simple tricks will help you get through those hormone fluctuations, and have you feeling less anxious, more rested, and better overall during this process that we all go through.
“If we all ate the same and exercised the same, our bodies would still look different from one another.” -Author Unknown
I had a high school gym teacher who was very motivating and always told us to work out, eat healthy, and that it is never too early or too late to start focusing on our wellbeing. I carried this passion with me on to college, and once I found the nutrition program there was no turning back. I fell in love with the idea that our body is a temple, and that we only have one life to live, so we better make it a good one.
Food has always been a big part of my life, as it is for most people. At every social gathering, holiday, or celebration, food has always been the centerpiece bringing everyone together. I LOVE FOOD! Food has always been there for me through all the good times, and the bad times. Unhealthy habits often arise as symptoms of trying times, and I developed some pretty unhealthy habits during the more stressful times in my life. I would be lying if I said I’m not emotionally attached to food, even knowing what I know now about healthy eating habits. I recognize this and work every day to become a little better, (and trust me when I say it is not a linear progression.)
Okay, full disclaimer here. I've been wanting to share some information with you about some really nasty stuff that's in our food, and when we created our "How to Crack the Food Label Code" resource guide I thought it would be a perfect opportunity. Well, I have to admit that my old scientist brain has gotten the best of me and I have included a lot of info in this blog post about SIX food additives that I think you should watch out for and avoid then as if your life depends on it....because it does!
If you want the cliff notes version than download our guide, but I hope you'll read on and take a bit away that just might change the way that you look at food labels and what food you consider acceptable for you and your family going forward.
For a long time I thought I was eating healthy, but I wasn't really paying attention to what was actually in my food! So much food is packaged to appear healthy, but when you start reading the ingredients you'll often find that's not really the case.
Over the past few years I've taken a greater interest in understanding what's in my food, and learning why some of the ingredients that are listed can be particularly bad for you.
I try to eat a whole foods based diet - in other words, food that is just the way mother nature intended for it to be. Unadulterated, fresh, and natural. This includes lots of fruits and veggies, whole fat dairy, lean meats and seafood, whole grains, nuts, and beans.
I'm sure you've heard that when you grocery shop you should shop the perimeter. This is great advice! That's generally where all of the fresh, whole foods are located.
It's when you start working your way down the aisles that things can get a little hairy. But packaged food has a place in our lives, and I admit that I enjoy a number of products that are packaged such as crackers, rice and other grains that include a convenient spice packet, snack foods, breads, nut butters, ice cream, and so forth. One rule of thumb that I use in my shopping is to look for packaged foods with 5 or less ingredients. Generally speaking, when there are fewer ingredients they are all ingredients that you're familiar with....and are the ingredients that YOU would use if you were to actually prepare the food yourself. For example, my go-to crackers have THREE ingredients....Whole Grain Wheat, Safflower Oil and Salt. That sounds like what I'd use if I were to actually make these crackers myself!
I've looked at labels in the past....but funny enough I always looked at the number of calories and less at the ingredients. Who knows what I'm talking about? But we have to acknowledge that all calories are not created equally. For example, 100 calories of almonds is NOT the same as 100 calories of Oreo cookies! So the number of calories is probably the least useful piece of info on the label.
These days I look at the ingredients, and how much ADDED sugar is in the food. It seems silly to me that there is added sugar in something like mayonnaise. I don't know about you, but when I get all crazy and make mayo myself I do not add sugar to it!
Now, I admit, I love me some snack foods and other packaged foods that have a few more ingredients included than if I were to make it on my own, but there are SIX ingredients that I really look out for and I will always put the item back if any of these are in the ingredients.
#1: Artificial Sugar: This is an absolute NO WAY in my diet. These products are pure chemicals, do not exist anywhere in nature, and NOT good for you at all because your body simply doesn't recognize them as food and this can really wreck havoc on your metabolism and health in general. If I want a little sweet in my food or drink I'll add a little local honey and it hits the spot. It's all about moderation.
There are three main types of artificial sugar that you may use in your coffee or baking, or that you'll find in your food.
One of my favorite stories that I came across is about a chemist named Constantin Fahlberg, who in 1879 accidentally discovered saccharin (a.k.a Sweet-n-Low). Fahlberg was in his lab working with a chemical called toluene, a clear, colorless liquid produced in the process of making coal. Its sweet aroma is often recognized in gasoline or paint thinner. Yeah, right! I'm serious! Look it up! Fahlberg accidentally spilled some and got it on his hands. Given that clean laboratory practices weren't quite what they are today back in 1879 he went off to lunch without washing his hands and noticed that his food tasted sweet...and that's how saccharin came to be invented! Count me out!
I'm sure you've heard of aspartame. Aspartame is what Equal and Neutra-sweet is made with. This artificial sugar has received some more significant mainstream coverage about the potential health concerns. The FDA once listed 92 different symptoms associated with the use of aspartame, that were confirmed through controlled studies. These symptoms include depression, irritability, heart palpitations, diarrhea, joint pain, memory loss, confusion, aggravation of diabetes...the list goes on for 84 more symptoms!
Sucralose is the newest to come to the market in the form of Splenda, and what really blows my mind about this chemical sugar substitute is actually starts out as sucrose (a real sugar) but undergoes a complex five-step chemical process that involves many caustic chemicals, which selectively substitutes the three atoms of chlorine for three hydrogen-oxygen groups on the sucrose molecule, creating a substance that is called a polychlorinated compound. I don't know about you, but I don't want to eat anything that is a polychlorinated compound! Other polychlorinated compounds are insecticides, such as DDT, which can accumulate in the body's fat and tissues.
Need I say any more?
#2 MSG: There is no doubt that food containing MSG tastes really good. I totally admit it! For many years I knowingly ate foods containing MSG because I just loved them so much. My favorite packaged rice and beans that I used in burritos contained MSG as did my all time favorite beef jerky. But once I started to learn about the harmful effects of MSG I became quite strict about eating anything containing it.
There are all kinds of problems with MSG. First of all it's highly addictive, and I'm sure that is why even though I knew it was in some of the foods I was eating I really loved those foods and didn't want to stop eating them. I think that speaks for itself!
MSG is a flavor enhancer that lights up our tasted buds and not only makes us eat more, but also makes us eat faster. The foods that contain the most MSG are highly processed foods that are fat free or sugar free. This is because when you start stripping out the natural sugars and fats from food they start to taste not so good....so the manufacturer has to trick our brains into liking it. This is one of many reasons why you should eat foods in their WHOLE form including naturally occurring sugars and fats.
Both MSG and Aspartame are called excitotoxins and are linked to serious diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases. I have Alzheimer's in my family history, so I want to do anything possible to prevent developing this terrible disease, and one way of doing that is to avoid these two chemical food additives.
You have to be careful when it comes to MSG, because it's often hidden in the ingredient that is listed as "seasonings". It is nearly impossible to be sure if there is MSG in the ingredients because the FDA does not require food manufacturers to list it as an ingredient. MSG is one of the ingredients used to make a number of other food additives, and only the name of the new chemical needs to be listed. Some MSG ingredients you may have seen on ingredients lists includes autolyzed yeast, anything hydrolyzed such as hydrolyzed soy protein, or hydrolyzed yeast, maltodextrin, isolated soy protein, textured soy protein, yeast extract, and natural flavorings...which brings me to #3...
#3. Artificial Flavorings & Natural Flavorings: This is a tricky one because one sounds far less harmful than the other, but the reality is that both are made in the laboratory. There is a BIG difference between Natural Flavors and Natural Flavorings...and it's important to keep them straight in your head.
What's crazy about artificial flavorings is that they are made up of a laundry list of ingredients, and the FDA does not require companies to disclose the ingredients that are used to make the artificial flavoring as long as the chemicals used are "generally regarded as safe", which is a whole other subject of what defines a chemical as "generally regarded as safe". Anything that is "generally" safe is suspect to me and I'd rather avoid it and eat the real flavors that mother nature blesses us with in whole foods!
Natural flavorings are also made in the laboratory. They have the same or similar chemical make up of natural foods, but they are not naturally occurring or derived from actual food. An example you may be familiar with is real vanilla extract vs artificial vanilla flavoring. Both smell and taste almost alike, but the latter is made in a laboratory. I'd rather have the real stuff that Mother Nature gave us.
#4. Sodium Nitrates and Sodium Nitrites: It can be really hard to find certain foods that don't contain sodium nitrates or nitrites. They are commonly added to cured and processed meats. Their primary purpose is to prevent botulism and improve color and flavor, which sounds like a decent enough reason for adding them to food, but they're also linked to cancer, including childhood brain tumors and leukemia that has been linked to hotdogs containing nitrates.
There are a lot of nitrate free options available for sandwich meats, bacon, sausage, etc, and it's worth a little extra money to make sure that the option you choose has zero nitrates or nitrites in the ingredients.
#5. BHA, BHT and TBHQ. These chemicals are FAKE antioxidants. The term antioxidant can be a bit misleading because normally we consider antioxidants to be really good. Colorful foods like blueberries are known to be high in antioxidants, and this helps to fend off free radicals that attack the cells in our bodies. Free radicals are unstable molecules that are all around us, so eating other foods high in antioxidants is kind of like the anecdote. But the so called antioxidants in BHA, GHT and TBHQ is quite the opposite! These are man made chemicals that are added to food to prevent oxidation, which in turn preserves fats and prolongs shelf life.
The problem is that these chemicals are linked to cancer, and repeated studies demonstrate that these chemicals accumulate in the body, cause liver enlargement, and retard cell development. Dr. Benjamin Feingold, a diet specialist in the 1970s, found through his studies that BHT could cause hyperactivity in children, so it's disappointing to find this in the ingredients of foods that are mainly consumed by children, such as breakfast cereals, lunch meats, and snack foods.
#6. Trans fats: Last but certainly not least on my list of additives to look out for is Trans Fat. We have all heard about trans fat, and I think many of us already try to avoid it, but we're often tricked into thinking that foods are trans fat free when in fact they aren't. Did you know that a manufacturer can claim that a food product contains ZERO trans fat as long as there is less than 0.25g per serving? The problem is that the serving size can be manipulated to hit this target when in fact you will most likely eat the whole package that is likely to be 2.5 servings or more. So in reality, the serving that YOU ate did contain enough trans fat to make you worried.
The word to look out for on ingredient lists is hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated. This is the fancy word for trans fat. What I find most interesting is what trans fat is from a chemical perspective. If you had to take a chemistry class in high school or college you may remember that molecules exist in either a cis or trans configuration. Naturally occurring fats exist in the cis configuration, which allows for a little bend to occur between a couple of carbon and hydrogen molecules. These fat molecules actually attach to receptors on the surface of cells which allows things to flow in and out of the cell. The problem with trans fats is that the trans configuration of the molecule results in the inability for the molecule to bend the way that the cis version will, and it also becomes much more rigid. It's similar enough to the naturally occurring cis-fats, so they can still attach to those receptors on the cell, but instead of function the way that it should it can block the cell from opening up those pathways for everything to move in and out. This includes the ability for LDL cholesterol to move into the cell from the bloodstream so it builds up in the bloodstream leading to high cholesterol and heart attacks. And prevents sugar from flowing out of the cell and into the blood stream to get used for energy, resulting in diabetes. Additionally, that rigidity in the trans fat molecule causes a stiffness in the cell making your cells stiff, where as the cis fats will allow our cells to be supple and pliable. Because your cells are stiff and not functioning optimally the good essential fats that you're eating aren't able to be properly utilized because the trans fat blocks them from being incorporated into the cells.
The blockage of these cell receptors can lead to all kinds of problems. Trans fats have been linked to cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and diverticulitis among others. They also weaken the immune system, and decrease the response to insulin, another catalyst for diabetes.
It can be difficult to avoid foods that contain these ingredients. These types of chemicals are in a lot of the foods on the grocery store shelves, but it's worth being extra diligent and at least being aware of where they exist. Even if you can't resist some of the delicious foods that these additives are in, I hope that knowing how harmful they are will help you eat these foods very, very sparingly. They should most definitely NOT be a part of your regular diet.
I hope that you'll be able to use this information to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy and feeling their very best. Don't forget to DOWNLOAD our "How to Crack the Food Label Code" resource guide. It will help set you on the right course and you choose the healthiest, most nutritious foods and avoid the added ingredients that can be a real hazard to your health.
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Hi! My name is Allison Hopkins and I am the owner of Wilcox Wellness & Fitness in Brunswick, ME. I am excited to bring WILCOX to Brunswick and share in my passion for living a great life through health and fitness.