Craving cookies or chips? Or maybe you’re addicted to chocolate? According to researchers, these foods slow down your metabolism. Rich in sugar and trans fat, they cause weight gain, hormonal imbalances, fatigue, thyroid dysfunction, and digestive problems. The worst part is that many of these foods are marketed as “healthy.”
A sluggish metabolism can make it hard to lose weight and keep it off. It also affects the body’s ability to use energy and function properly. If you care about your health, avoid these five foods that reduce your metabolic rate:
Sugary foods are notorious for their ability to decrease your metabolism. When ingested, they trigger blood glucose spikes followed by crashes. These fluctuations in blood sugar and insulin levels slow down your metabolism, leading to weight gain. On top of that, your body stores excess glycogen as fat. If you have a sweet tooth, reach for healthy snacks like almond butter, dark chocolate, or fruits with a low glycemic index.
Wheat, barley, rye, and other grains cause inflammation and decrease your metabolic rate. This applies to both processed and whole grains, especially those containing gluten. Phytic acid, one of the main compounds in wheat, binds to the nutrients ingested and affects overall health. Basically, it inhibits the absorption of zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium, and other minerals that influence energy metabolism. Additionally, grains contain starch that triggers insulin spikes and cause metabolic disorders long term. Those rich in gluten cause inflammation.
Alcohol is just as bad as sugar for your metabolism. When you drink cocktails, beer, wine, and other beverages, your body uses the alcohol for fuel instead of fat. Research shows that drinking just two cocktails can slow your metabolism by as much as 73 percent. Not to mention that most alcoholic beverages are rich in sugar, which further increases your risk of gaining weight.
Over 90 percent of canola oil brands contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that have a negative impact on metabolism. They are also high in partially hydrogenated fats, which provide empty calories. These compounds boast inflammatory effects, messing up your hormones and energy expenditure. Canola oil is widely used in processed foods, such as fries, ready-made meals, deli meats, sauces, and salad dips. If you use it for cooking, seek healthier alternatives, such as olive oil, coconut oil, or grass-fed butter. These fats are much healthier and can positively impact your metabolism.
A growing body of research indicates that artificial sweeteners affect insulin levels and metabolism. In the long run, they increase diabetes risk, cause weight gain, and trick your body into storing fat. For instance, Sucralose affects insulin response, putting you at risk for obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type II diabetes. Drinking just one diet soda per day has been shown to increase waist circumference and trigger weight gain.
The best way to keep your metabolism up is to stay active and eat a well-balanced diet based on whole foods. The additives and simple sugars in processed foods are often the main culprits behind a slow metabolism. Clean up your diet and the results will follow!