The pandemic has opened up the eyes of many people as to how they take care of their health. This eye opening has caused a spike in Google searches for supplements to take, how to boost your immune system, how to lose extra fat, home workouts and meal plans. People are scared of getting sick, and they’re looking for a way to transform their health to be in the best health possible.
As a nutritionist, I am constantly asked for the top 3 ways to transform your health - the most ‘important’ things to do that bring about the best results. While this is a simplistic way of viewing your health, here are the 3 most effective things to start with, to transform your health.
1. Cut out refined carbs
Refined carbs are short chain sugar molecules, consumed in the form of sugar or refined grains. Most of us know that sugar isn’t good to eat regularly, but less of us are aware that refined grains are exactly the same as sugar.
They have been stripped of their nutritional properties and cause rapid blood sugar spikes, which can alter insulin efficacy over time. They’re also extremely addictive, which combined with blood sugar spikes can be a nightmare for your health. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that refined carbs trigger pleasure centers in the brain, making them highly addictive. They are nutrient poor and calorie dense so result in overconsumption; as explored in a study published by Public Health in 1977, which is why they are so often linked to an increased risk of many diseases including obesity and type 2 diabetes.
2. Read the label
You may think the low fat, low sugar cereal bar is healthy, but if you flip it over and read the label you’ll realize the third ingredient listed is high fructose corn syrup - one of the worst things you can eat on the planet - which raises triglycerides and uric acid levels in the body, promoting the abnormalities seen in metabolic syndromes like hypertriglyceridemia. It contributes to high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease and obesity. But if you’re not actively looking for this ingredient, chances are you’re eating way too much of it - because an estimated 68 percent of all grocery store items contain it.
There are certain chemicals and fillers that should be always avoided if you want to be in good health, here are some of the most common ones:
High fructose corn syrup
Artificial food coloring
And the list goes on, check out the 50 worst food ingredients here.
3. Exercise daily
It may seem like an obvious one, but exercise truly transforms your health. However, it’s not for the reason you might expect. You may assume it’s for weight loss, but numerous studies conclude that exercise has, at best, a modest impact on weight loss, dietary interventions are more effective. Nonetheless, exercising has a range of other benefits that can make all the difference.
Exercise has been shown to improve your mental health, cognitive function, mood, energy levels and productivity. Plus, studies show that regular exercises are more likely to make healthier dietary choices and habits throughout their day and when compounded, can transform your health.
If you start doing these 3 simple things, I can almost guarantee you’ll start feeling a whole lot healthier. The motivation it will give you will allow you to adjust other aspects of your life too, to become the happiest, healthiest version of yourself ever.