The holidays are coming and though gifts, family, and busy schedules are on our minds there is also a big concern during this time of year; weight gain. When stores are marketing amazing holiday goodies and irresistible recipe videos flood our Facebook feeds we are sure to give into a delicious dish at some point.
We have all heard that if we eat our favorite desserts or cheesy potatoes in moderation then it’s alright. There is certainly some truth to that; however, lately I’ve been learning that there are some food items and beverages to completely avoid altogether.
Many of us have heard by now that diet soda isn’t a better alternative to regular soda. There are several health concerns that have come to the surface about diet sodas but one, in particular, was artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners confuse the body because they are so much sweeter than natural sugar. Therefore it dulls our senses and can actually lead us to crave much sweeter things than what is naturally sweet. This is pretty scary because when you do have something with real sugar; it can feel like it’s not enough and you’ll crave something sweeter. This has contributed to people who are trying to avoid gaining weight by drinking diet soda, to actually gain more weight.
Another tricky food is wheat bread. Many people like wheat bread because they think it’s healthy also because it’s easily digested, but that is actually the problem. Because it is easily digested it makes you hungry faster and you tend to eat more. Many brands of wheat bread contain high fructose corn syrup which is 20 times sweeter than sugar. This confuses Ghrelin, a hormone that tells your body that it’s hungry and the hormone Leptin that indicates when you’re full. So when you eat something with high fructose corn syrup you may feel like you aren’t full and continue to eat, thus resulting in unnecessary weight gain.
There are a couple of other tricky foods I will share in next month’s article that may surprise you. It’s so important to be educated on what we put in our bodies, even if it’s labeled as “healthy.” A lot of food companies use deceptive marketing to get us to believe we’re purchasing nutritious items. So slow down and read the ingredients so you can make better choices.