The Effects of Food on Metabolic Health
Most people probably don’t know what metabolic health is— But the health of your metabolism plays a crucial role in how energy is processed and resultantly, overall health and wellness. Since food is energy, your diet has a lot to do with metabolic health. It’s determined by things like the body’s cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood sugar. And here in America, a fairly low percentage of adults are technically considered metabolically healthy.
Markers of metabolic health like high blood pressure and blood sugar are also common contributors to chronic disease. That’s why your metabolic health plays such a critical role in overall health. And it’s just another reason to follow those tenets of a healthy lifestyle rehearsed by experts everywhere: 30 minutes of daily exercise and consumption of mostly whole foods like vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and whole grains.
What you eat impacts a whole lot inside your body. There are several metabolic health factors and food affects every one! Read: A healthy gut, liver, kidney, etc. need minimally processed, nourishing foods to support a healthy metabolism. And in turn, your healthy metabolism will sustain you with energy and lowers your chance of diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
Prevention of Metabolic Syndrome
Prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome pretty much starts and ends with healthy eating and light exercise. Poor metabolic health (AKA metabolic syndrome) is often the result of an unhealthy diet full of processed foods, saturated fats, and refined sugars and grains. And even incorporating daily walks into your routine can help with prevention of disease and overall metabolic health! To some people with knowledge in this area, this fact may be a given. But, the standard American diet includes far too many commercialized, refined food products and lacks the majority of those fruits and vegetables, meats and whole grains that we all need.
Food is Medicine
And food is energy. So it makes sense that limiting the amount of processed and refined fats and carbs in your diet will have a positive impact. When looking for foods that nourish, avoid or omit:
- High-inflammatory vegetable oils
- Refined sugars and sodas
- Highly processed grains and carbs
Rather, fuel your body with tons of:
- Healthy fats and proteins
- Unrefined carbs (think whole grains, sweet potatoes, and other starchy veggies)
- A rainbow of fruits and vegetables
Lifestyle Habits & Overall Wellness
While your gut health and diet may seem to go hand-in-hand with your metabolic health and overall wellness, it’s important to remember how lifestyle habits have an impact, too.
How you manage your stress, relax and unwind, sleep, and check in with your mental health is important in ensuring you’re overall happy, healthy, and comfortable in life and can play a role in your metabolic health.
This also has to do with the supreme belly-brain alliance: What you eat affects your mind, and vice versa (just ask the microbiome of your gut!). And is just another reason to stay aware of your mental health and continue working to be mindful of the foods you eat.