Articles by Natural Health Author Jaime A. Heidel
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Are You Still Eating These Energy-Draining Foods?
by Jaime A. Heidel
(The Best Years in Life) Food is meant to fuel your body and help you power through even your most hectic days. If you've been feeling sluggish, drained, achy, and irritable lately, it could be because you're eating one or more of these energy-zapping foods.
Bagels are a common go-to breakfast food. And, why not? They're warm, tasty, and comforting. However, bagels, like any other type of white, highly-processed carbohydrate, have little to no nutritional value.
With the fiber stripped out and sugar added in, all you get from these round, squishy things is a short sugar high before you come crashing down an hour later.
If you feel you can't give up your morning bagel just yet, cut it in half, and load it with protein-rich almond butter. Alternatively, you can serve a buttered mini bagel on the side of an egg breakfast.
2. Sugary Cereals
Most commercial cereals are absolutely loaded with sugar. According to SugarStacks.com, a bowl of popular breakfast cereal can contain up to 24 grams of sugar, which, if you're a woman, is only 1 gram away from your daily allotment of 25 grams (according to the American Heart Association).
A bowl of cereal may give you a brief boost of energy, but it will leave you circling the drain a short while later.
3. Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup and aspartame have been associated with side effects ranging from metabolic syndrome to neurological impairment. Aspartame has also been shown to trigger headaches and worsen the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.
High fructose corn syrup can cause fatigue in those unable to digest and metabolize fructose because the intolerance interferes with cellular energy production.
4. Dairy Products
Another food group that might be draining your energy is dairy products. If you are allergic to dairy or lactose intolerant, your immune system will fight against it. This may eventually lead to chronic inflammation, joint pain, headaches, and stomach discomfort. Over time, the swelling in your small intestine will hamper your ability to absorb nutrients from food, resulting in fatigue and other maladies.
Most popular frozen meal brands are loaded with carbohydrates, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and other additives that can contribute to that unshakeable sluggish feeling. Not only are these meals typically calorie restricted, they don't contain enough protein to give your body the energy it needs to see you through to the next meal.
Not only does most fast food contain too many carbohydrates and sugar, it offers little in the way of nutritional value. Of course, this depends on the type of fast food you're eating. A salad topped with meat and cheese will contain more nutrients than, say, a cheeseburger, fries, and a soda.
7. “Enriched” Desserts
Just like the bagel I mentioned earlier, highly-processed and enriched foods can drain your vital energy. Foods in this category also include cookies, snack cakes, doughnuts, pastries, and pies.
When you eat these foods regularly, you may get a temporary energy boost, but you'll be hungry again in no time, prompting you to reach for yet another empty-calorie snack food.
If you keep up with this vicious cycle, not only will you feel tired, you'll start packing on unwanted pounds!
You may be surprised to see protein bars on a list of energy-draining foods, but I wanted to include them because no two protein bars are alike. In fact, some of them might as well be candy bars packaged and labeled as a health food.
When choosing a protein bar, read the label carefully. If it contains additives, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and little protein, put it back on the shelf.
Instead, look for protein bars that contain at least 10 grams of protein and are made with natural sugar, fruit juice extract, nuts, and seeds.
You should feel full, energized, and refreshed after a meal or snack. If you don't, it may be because you're eating energy-draining foods. Although it will be challenging at first, start trading your empty-calorie foods for nutrient-rich ones. Not only will this boost your energy naturally, it will help improve your overall health.
Keywords: energy-draining foods, energy-zapping foods, food and energy levels
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