If you are having trouble losing weight, read on to find the culprit
Obesity is exploding (pardon the pun here). Everywhere we turn, diseases develop due to excessive fat stores in the body, resulting from our negative food choices. Perhaps those bad habits start from a relatively young age, and our bodies slowly deteriorate as we age. The main culprit here is an ingredient you are familiar with, fructose. Fructose excess causes an accumulation of belly fat and is associated with cardiometabolic risk. Abdominal obesity accounts for the risk of heart disease and type two diabetes. Our abdomen houses two types of body fat. One is called visceral, and the other is subcutaneous fat. Subcutaneous fat is found below the surface of the skin. Visceral fat is, unfortunately, hidden within the major organs inside our abdominal cavity. Lean people can store this fat, too — so they are not exempt from heart disease or diabetes. Prior research has shown the adverse effects of fructose as a result of fat distribution in rodents. However, uncovering similar effects on human fat cells is unknown. Therefore, researchers have now studied biopsies from subcutaneous and visceral fat belonging to 32 healthy-weight children who have not yet undergone puberty. Results from these biopsies uncovered that fructose had different effects than glucose and caused fat cells to differentiate more. They formed more mature fat cells, but not only in visceral fat. For those fat cells, maturation in fructose decreases the cell’s insulin sensitivity, inhibiting the ability to take glucose from the bloodstream into fat and muscle successfully. When insulin sensitivity decreases, you are more likely to develop type two diabetes. Fructose alters the behaviour of human fat cells as these cells mature, and further research could pinpoint the differences as children grow and continue to make new fat cells. The key takeaway here is that during your lifetime, constantly bombarding your body with fructose can have detrimental effects on your heart health and increase your chances of developing type two diabetes and obesity. Undoubtedly, this could further expand your chances of developing more diseases and, of course, cancer. Simple dietary changes are necessary to start allowing your body to become insulin sensitive again — and those changes are simple and work no matter what age you are. If you have young children, begin to instil these habits now, so they have an excellent basis on what to work on as they age and mature.
One: Start eating more vegetables with every meal.
Try to integrate the freshest, seasonal vegetables available during your particular climate. Stay away from canned veggies, and opt for anything fresh with colour. The more green it is, the better it will be in helping to keep full during the day and provide you with the necessary vitamins, minerals and fibre.
Two: High-fibre fruits
Eating fruits is still important, although you should aim for low-fructose varieties, such as berries, green bananas, plums and apples. Fruit is great because they contain lots of fibre and should be eaten with the skin on for added nutrient value. Stay away from canned or fruit juices from supermarkets.
Three: Whole grains all the way
Whole grains are a form of carbohydrate, but they are still essential, as they are natural and unprocessed. Carbs are an excellent fuel source and help combat diabetes — but only if you eat the right kind and with proper portion control. Excellent sources of whole grains are oats, wild rice bulgar and quinoa. These entire grains provide many benefits, from protein to good fats and fibre. So stay away from white, refined bread and cereals.
Four: Add some seafood and poultry
Protein is fantastic for balancing your blood sugar and giving you the necessary energy and drive to attend to your day-to-day activities. Go for low-caloric options, such as white fish, chicken scallops and sardines. You will get a significant boost in omega-three and the necessary fuel to build that much-needed muscle -which helps your cells become more insulin sensitive.
Five: Get active
Start short, perhaps a short 30-minute walk in which you can constantly add more and more time to challenge yourself. Then, I highly recommend you lift weights. Weight training will force your body to use fat stores for fuel and start pushing that much-needed glucose into your muscles — where it’s needed to grow and replenish any lost glycogen. Remember that it takes a little time for your body to use fat for fuel, so be patient and keep working hard. Eventually, you will start to lose body fat and begin to gain back your health again. It’s well worth the time and effort to regain your life.
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