29th October 2014
Posted by: Bridget Okeeffe
It seems to have taken the world a little while to pick up on the fact that ‘fat-free’ isn’t going to keep the inches off your waist. Our bodies cannot make polyunsaturated fats and so we need to get them from the food we eat. Nuts, seeds, vegetable oils and fatty fish are all wonderful forms of these essential oils. Not only do they actually help to lower your levels of cholesterol but they are needed for your nervous system to work correctly.
While I don’t think the banting way of eating is necessarily good for everyone there is certainly some merit in a high fat low carb diet. The right carbs however are good for you and help to fuel you throughout the day. If you generally stay away from white carbs you will be choosing the right type to keep your blood sugar levels from rising and falling quickly which will help to keep hunger at bay.
The real enemy is sugar and sugar substitutes like aspartame. What sugar does is it spikes your blood sugar levels which makes your body produce more insulin which in turn stores the energy as fat rather than using it to fuel your muscles. If you take control of the insulin levels your body produces you will find that not only will you have more energy but you will also lose any excess weight that you are carrying as a result of your blood sugar levels rising and falling.
Sugar substitutes, like saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, and sucralose trick your body into believing that it is getting energy when consuming them. They also raise your insulin levels. Insulin acts as a key to unlock the pathway into the cells so that the glucose (broken down sugars) can enter the cells and be used as energy. As the artificial sweeteners have very few calories they will not provide the cells with this energy thus making you crave something sweet, and the cycle continues. There is also a theory that these artificial sweeteners desensitise your taste buds leaving you wanting more and more to satisfy a sweet craving.
Remember that anything with the word ‘artificial’ attached to it, like artificial sweeteners, are bad for you. Try to eat as close to the food’s natural form as possible. This doesn’t mean that you have to give up all things sweet. There are many alternatives to sugar out there. Maple syrup, agave nectar and Xylitol are all healthier and more natural alternatives. They wont make your blood sugar levels rocket and taste exactly the same as the nasty stuff! Although they aren’t calorie free they are far better for you, and in the long run, studies show they will help to keep your weight down.