Weight loss on your mind: What to watch out for

weight-lossObesity is one major problem faced by the society today and to make matter worse is our hectic lifestyle that leave less time for any form of physical activity and for even eating healthy. There are certain foods that can expedite your weight loss journey while still others that can derail it quickly. Mentioned in here are certain food items you should totally avoid if you are looking to lose weight and many others that you should look for on the back labels to avoid unintentional intake.

1. Soda

Soda most commonly consumed in the form of carbonated drinks is harmful for the body as it contains high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which when consumed in the same quantities as other sugar, has more damaging effects on the metabolism. High and frequent intake of soda can cause metabolic syndrome, which is a group of conditions including increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, and excess body fat around waist amongst others. All the mentioned conditions can occur together, increasing your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes to name a few.

2. Artificial Sweeteners

Many people opt for zero-calorie sugar substitutes under the false impression that they are healthier than normal sugar and therefore will not only aid their weight-loss dream but also benefit their health. However, unlike the popular belief these sweeteners may actually have the opposite effect. Artificial sweeteners contain/ comprise saccharin, sucralose or aspartame that often leads to the development of glucose intolerance, a metabolic condition associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes. As per studies artificial sweeteners can alter gut microbiomes towards a balance of bacteria associated with metabolic diseases.

3. Labels that read “Low-Fat”

Very many of us tend to assume that foods labeled ‘low-fat’ are good for weight loss, which in theory makes sense, but in the practical world it’s a different story altogether. Various studies argue that products with low-fat claims are not significantly low in calories than their full-fat equivalents. While this doesn’t have a direct impact on a person’s health it can shatter his weight loss dream indirectly. What generally happens is that one still controls his intake of full-fat snack, however the same person can be a bit relaxed about the “low-fat” equivalent. As a result people relying on “low-fat” snack can end up eating more and adding more than intended calories.

4. Refined Carbs

Eating a diet high in refined carbs such as pasta, bread and sweets causes a surge in blood sugar, which triggers pancreas to produce insulin to help clear the sugar from blood. This translates into your body digesting and absorbing food more rapidly, which can cause energy crashes later on and damage your metabolism in the long term.

5. MSG

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a highly addictive flavor-enhancer commonly used in fast food, ramen noodles, canned foods, processed meats, and numerous other prepackaged foods. Regular consumption of MSG-laden foods is linked to weight gain, as well as many other health issues including but not limited to fatty liver and liver toxicity, high blood sugars, asthma, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, neurological brain disorders, digestive disorders, and metabolic syndrome.

MSG is something one has to watch out closely for on the back labels as it can be disguised by various different names. Key terms that may denote its presence include glutamate, anything “hydrolyzed”, yeast extract, gelatin, soy protein, soy or whey protein, soy sauce, and sodium caseinate.

6. Emulsifiers

Emulsifiers are chemicals that help blend together ingredients that would not naturally mix well. They are also used to make food look appealing, keep it fresh, and prevent molding. They are used in many processed foods, like ice cream, mayonnaise, margarine, chocolate, bakery products, and sausages. While emulsifiers sound harmless, researchers have found that consumption of these chemicals may affect your body by altering gut bacteria, triggering inflammation and increasing the risk of obesity and heart disease. Check labels carefully to see if the food you’re consuming contains lecithins, mono- and di-glycerides, polyglycerol ester, sorbitan ester, PG ester, and sugar ester.