Aside from cosmetic, there are medical reasons to keep a healthy weight. As a country we get far too many of our calories from refined carbohydrates and sugars. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that the average person consumes around 400 calories of refined sugars each day. This abundance in the typical American diet has contributed enormously to the obesity epidemic that we face today.
Why are processed foods so toxic to our health? Let’s consider an apple, a natural, whole food with a high vitamin and nutrient value. An apple contains sugars and carbohydrates, yet it also contains vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that allow our bodies to process it appropriately. This is the case with all fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and nuts that have not been processed or altered from their natural state. By contrast, when we eat a slice of white bread we are consuming wheat that has been stripped of its beneficial properties and our bodies are forced to process an enormous amount of carbohydrates without the healthy nutrients. Without the appropriate nutrients accompanying the sugars and carbohydrates they are not broken down in an ideal way. Put more simply- our bodies store them as fat. These types of calories that have become dangerously prevalent in our diets are known as “empty calories” and this abundance of empty calories can lead to insulin resistance, increased blood pressure and an array of other undesirable outcomes.
Scientific studies have determined that excess body fat will increase the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. However, not all body fat is the same. Your body contains two different types of fat, with two different health profiles. Subcutaneous fat is the type of fat located directly beneath your skin while visceral fat is located throughout your body and can be surrounding your vital organs, making it substantially more harmful to your overall health.
Visceral fat is caused by refined sugars and carbohydrates, saturated and trans-fats as well as excessive alcohol consumption. A large stomach and excess fat around the waist are warning signs of excess visceral fat. Because of its dangerous nature—links to type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart attack and other heart diseases—processed foods should be avoided whenever possible. Be sure to maintain a diet based on whole, live foods rich in healthy fruits and vegetables. Opt for organic and raw food options as frequently as possible. Keep active for at least 30-60 minutes a day with cardiovascular exercise or strengthening yoga.
Why not jumpstart your way to less belly fat with a juice cleanse? Juice therapy, with a concentration on organic, cold pressed juices is the perfect way to detox your system of processed foods.
These changes will make you look better, feel great, and can help stop type 2 diabetes and other illnesses.