Join Our Newsletter

...and like us on Facebook

* indicates required

7 Easy Steps To A Happier, Healthier Gut

Healthier Gut

A properly functioning digestive system (a healthier gut) is critical to good health.

In fact, 60 -80% of our immune system is located in our gut, and 90% of our neurotransmitters (chemicals responsible for regulating mood) such as serotonin are made in our gut.

Problems in our gastrointestinal (GI) tract can cause more than just stomach pain, gas, bloating or diarrhea; they can be the root cause of many chronic health problems.

Gut imbalances have been linked to hormonal imbalances, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid issues, diabetes, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, eczema and rosacea… just to name a few.

Still, the most common way people notice a problem in their gut is when they start regularly experiencing digestive issue like bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, or diarrhea.

While taking probiotics and drinking more water are helpful to your gut health, they’re not a cure for digestive issues.

Rather, the biggest factors in digestive health are your diet and lifestyle.

Here are nine easy steps we recommend for a healthier, happier gut:

1. Eat the right kind of fiber.

You may have heard that fiber helps with symptoms of constipation, but there are actually two types of fiber we should all be aware of: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber.

Soluble fibers actually slow digestion, which prevents quick spikes in your blood sugar, whereas insoluble fibers help move food through your intestines, which can help prevent constipation.

Insoluble fibers are found in nuts, whole wheat, whole grains, seeds, and rice, while soluble fibers can naturally be found in oats, beans, peas, flaxseed, berries, and apples.

Make sure to avoid soluble fibers added to processed foods that add sugar substitutes made from dextrose, sorbitol, and citric acid, which can cause gas and bloating.

2. Buy veggies with flavonoids.

Certain fruits and vegetables have more molecules known as flavonoids, which make up their bright pigments.
Flavonoids are very beneficial for your digestion due to their anti-inflammatory properties and they assist in digestion of starch. A powerful antioxidant, flavonoids are found in romaine lettuce, onions, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, quinoa, and bell peppers. Incorporating more flavonoid-filled veggies can help you maintain healthier gut.

3. Find a method of stress management.

Stress not only affects your mental state but can also take a toll on your physical well-being. Stress negatively affects every part of your digestive system, causing your colon to spasm or even increases the acid in your stomach, causing indigestion.

If you’re not exercising regularly, we recommend finding a workout or active activity you can do at least three times per week for a healthier gut. It can relieve tension and release endorphins that improve your mood. Eating a healthy diet and deep breathing can also drastically relieve stress.

4. Sleep eight hours a night.

Many people who have GI problems also have issues falling asleep. Multiple studies have found a relationship between sleep disorders and GERD, IBS, IBD, and ulcers.

A solid eight hours of sleep is imperative to keep your digestive track healthy—and coincidentally keeps your mind and body healthy. So if you already suffer from a digestive issue, it’s important to work on your sleep schedule.

5. Avoid artificial sweeteners.

Artificial sweeteners can be extremely detrimental to your digestive health because they don’t get digested properly meaning bacteria will break them down and cause problems.

6. Make smart alcohol choices for a healthier gut.

Occasional alcohol intake is fine for your digestive system. However, excessively drinking alcohol can lead to digestive issues such as heartburn and inflammation of the stomach, and it can even increase the risk of small intestine cancers and leaky gut.

Not only does alcohol create problems, it can also increase symptoms of IBS and can cause both diarrhea and constipation.

7. Prevent “leaky gut.”

Bloating, gas, cramps, digestive irregularities, aches and pains are all symptoms of a leaky gut.

Leaky gut is just a term to describe the increased intestinal permeability that can happen if there’s inflammation in the intestines.

The gut is naturally permeable to very small molecules in order to absorb these vital nutrients.

In sensitive people, factors like gluten, toxins, stress and age can cause the gut cells to release a protein that can break apart tight junctions in the intestinal lining. Once these tight junctions get broken apart, you have a leaky gut.

When your gut is leaky, things like toxins, microbes, undigested food particles, and more can escape from your intestines and travel throughout your body via your bloodstream. Your immune system marks these “foreign invaders” as pathogens and attacks them. The immune response to these invaders can appear in the form of any of the nine signs you have a leaky gut, which are listed below.

9 signs you may have a leaky gut:

  1. Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  2. Seasonal allergies or asthma.
  3. Hormonal imbalances such as PMS or PCOS.
  4. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, psoriasis, or celiac disease.
  5. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia.
  6. Mood and mind issues such as depression, anxiety, ADD or ADHD.
  7. Skin issues such as acne, rosacea, or eczema.
  8. Diagnosis of candida overgrowth.
  9. Food allergies or food intolerances.

*NOTE: If you’re constantly experiencing digestive irregularities and diet changes are not making a difference, go to a medical professional, such as a gastroenterologist, who will help you diagnose your symptoms correctly and effectively.

x DD


If you’d like advice on getting a healthier gut, book a consultation with a Dietitian.

Low Carb Lamington Recipe

Lamington Recipe

These delicious looking and enticing coconut dusted cakes are an Australian tradition but have steadily gained popularity in South Africa. Unfortunately, whether bought or made, they are high in processed sugar and flour without beneficial nutrients.

Daily Dietitian’s Lamington recipe uses xylitol for sweeteness and almond flour instead of refined white flour. The xylitol-sugar swop ensure stable blood sugar levels and the almonds add healthy fats and decrease carbohydrate content.

DD SUGAR-FREE, LOW-CARB LAMINGTONS

Serves: 24 squares

Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter (or coconut oil), at room temperature
  • 6 tbsp xylitol
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 ½ cups almond flour Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 cups desiccated coconut

Method for the Lamington Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Cream the butter and xylitol together in a bowl. Whisk the eggs into the mix. Add milk and vanilla slowly and whisk until you have a creamy texture.
  3. Next, place almond flour, baking powder and salt into a separate mixing bowl, and add the coconut. Add the wet ingredients gradually, mixing well.
  4. Pour this into a brownie pan. Bake for 18–20 mins. They are cooked when an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  5. Place on a wire rack and let cool, then cut into squares.

TYPICAL NUTRITION INFORMATION (per 1 serving)

Each serving is 1 square

Per serving

  • Energy (kJ): 594kJ
  • Protein (g): 4g
  • Total Carbohydrates (g): 5g

    — of which are sugars (g): 0g

  • Total fat (g): 12g

    — of which is trans fat: 0g

  • Total Sodium (mg): 54g

TYPICAL NUTRITION INFORMATION (per store-bought Lamington cake slice)

Each serving is 1 square

Per serving

  • Energy (kJ): 782kJ
  • Protein (g): 2.3g
  • Total Carbohydrates (g): 23.0g

    — of which are sugars (g): 17.6g

  • Total fat (g): 9.1g

    — of which is trans fat: 0g

  • Total Sodium (mg): 127g

(Information taken from www.woolworths.co.za (Lamington Cake Slices 5pk))

Enjoy baking (or let us do it for you)

x DD

The girls at Wellness in the City review Daily Dietitian

Source: Wellness in the City for Body Fuel – February 29th

wellness in the city review daily dietitian

Your Personal Dietitian

The easiest way to have fresh, nutrient dense, delicious meals, delivered to your door. Daily Dietician takes away the stress of planning, shopping and cooking, making it easy for you to stick to eating well and achieving your personal goals – hassle free!

Our Experience:

When I found myself in my third week of skipping lunch and filling up on bowls of seeds, nuts, date bars and coffees due to workload and time constraints, I was eager for help. A personal chef would have been ideal, but unfortunately that wasn’t possible (damn), so when I came across Daily Dietitian, I was sold! Affordable meals containing fresh seasonal ingredients that are prepped to your personal requirements and literally dropped on your desk without lifting a finger… ok, some meals require a walk to the microwave.

As a result of going through a stressful time at work whilst increasing my running training, I had no energy to focus on my daily food intake and lake of nutrients causing me to be very lethargic, slow and demotivated. After my first week receiving Daily Dietitian lunches and snacks, I instantly felt a shift in energy and was a much nicer person to be around!

Overall I was very impressed with the service and the meals. I have a hefty apetite and on days that I was raviness I was worried that some of the meals wouldn’t touch sides, but the tasty dishes definetly satisfied the hunger and the snacks came in handy when the daily 4pm cravings kicked in. Not only did it save me time, improve my productivity and mood, it motivated me to get back to meal prepping and get creative in the kitchen again!

Examples of snacks, lunches and dinners:

  • Meal: Frittata topped with chicken, feta and beetroot
  • Meal: Roasted lamb on creamy carrot mash with gravy and side salad
  • Meal: Cauliflower pizza topped with smoked chicken, rocket, mushrooms, mozzarella and avocado and waldorf side salad
  • Meal: Thai fishcakes with ginger chilli sauce, sweet potato mash and vegetables
  • Meal: Zucchini noodles with smoked salmon, ricotta and basil pesto
  • Snack: Butterbean and spinach smash with crudités
  • Snack: Toasted coconut, pecan, seed and cranberry paleo granola
  • Snack: Shaved ham rolls filled with sundried tomato and cucumber

BONUS:

Great value for money and all meals include ethically sourced organic, free-range and hormone-free ingredients. All packages include the following options: weight maintenance, weight loss, vegetarian, allergy specific and halaal.

Quinoa Sushi Recipe

Quinoa Sushi Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup cooked, cooled quinoa
  • 3 tbsp hummus
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1/4 cup carrot slices
  • 1 Nori sheet

Instructions for Quinoa Sushi Recipe:

  • Spread 3 tbsp hummus over the nori sheet and cover evenly with quinoa. Leave outer edges of nori sheet free of topping.
  • Cut carrots and avo into slices and lay a line of both near edge of nori sheet (about 5cm from one end)
  • Roll nori sheet over carrots and avo and secure side of nori sheet with no topping with water if needed.
  • Cut roll into sushi size pieces.

Benefits of nori:

  • Made from dried seaweed.
  • High protein content: from 20% in green algae to 70% in spirulina.
  • High mineral content, especially: iodine, calcium, iron,magnesium.
  • More vitamin C than oranges.
  • Natural iodine for healthy thyroid function.
  • Anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory properties.
  • One of the richest plant sources of calcium.
  • Polysaccharides: important in the prevention of degenerative diseases including cardiovascular and diabetes 2, increase the amount of feel-good chemicals in the brain, improves liver function, stabilizes blood sugar.

Benefits of quinoa:

  • Popular “superfood”, grain loaded with protein, fiber and minerals.
  • Gluten free.
  • Stems back to the ancient Inca empire they referred to it as the “mother of all grains” … even though it is actually a seed.
  • 100g cooked has 120 calories, 4gr protein, 21g carbs and 2 gr fat.
  • High in flavonoids which are antioxidants and anti-inflammatory.
  • Higher in fiber than most grains.
  • High protein.
  • Low GI for blood sugar control.
  • High in magnesium which many people don’t get enough of and is important for a multitude of bodily functions.

Benefits of hummus:

  • Arabic and Mediterranean dish typically made from chickpeas, olive oil and tahini (sesame paste).
  • 100g has 166 calories, 10g fat, 14 gr carbs, 8g protein
  • Rich in essential minerals like potassium, zinc, calcium, magnesium and iron.
  • Also rich in vitamins A, B’s and folate.
  • Low GI so helps regulate blood sugar.
  • Rich in amino acids for healthy muscles and tissues.
  • High fiber for healthy digestive system.
  • Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids for inflammation.

Benefits of avocado:

  • Prized for high nutrient value.
  • 100 grams 160 calories, 2 grams protein, 9 grams carbs and 15 grams healthy fats.
  • Great source of Vitamin K, C, B, E, folate and potassium.
  • More potassium than bananas – beneficial for reduced blood pressure.
  • Loaded with heart healthy mono-unsaturated fatty acids can lower cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • Fats help you absorb fat soluble nutrients like Vit A, D, E, K.
  • High in anti ageing antioxidants
  • Have lots of soluble and insoluble fiber for gut health.
  • Fat and fiber make you feel full; increased saiety means you eat less.

Benefits of carrots:

  • Second most popular after potatoes.
  • 100g has 41 calories, 0.2g fat, 10g carbs, 0,9g protein.
  • Good source of beta carotene which converts into Vit A. Important for eye health.
  • Antioxidants for anti-aging
  • Carotenoids important for heart health
  • High fiber for digestion and gut health.

x DD

Za’atar roasted cauliflower, red onion, and lentil salad with harissa tahini dressing (gluten free)

salad recipe

This ridiculously delicious salad can be served without lentils to make it low carb, without chicken to make it vegetarian or as is if you are following a balanced diet.

It’s one of the favourites on our menu so if you have some free time, give it a try. If not, sign up to Daily Dietitian healthy meal delivery and we will be sure to feed you this delicious creation!

SERVES 4

Salad Ingredients:

For the Salad:

  • ¾ cup dry brown, green, or Le Puy lentils, picked over (substitute 2 cups cooked lentils, or 1 can, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, washed and chopped into bite-sized florets (about 800g after prepping)
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons za’atar spice mix
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 4 heaping cups arugula

For the harissa tahini dressing:

  • ⅓ cup tahini paste
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed or very finely minced
  • 2½ tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon harissa powder or paste (more or less, depending on your tolerance for heat)

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  • If you’re cooking lentils from scratch, mix the dry lentils in a saucepan with enough water to cover them by 5cm. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 25 minutes, or until the lentils are still tender but retain their shape and firmness.
  • You can start testing them at the 20 minute mark for doneness.
  • Drain the lentils and set them aside.
  • While the lentils cook, toss the cauliflower florets and sliced onion with the oil, za’atar, lemon, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Spread the veggies onto two parchment-lined baking sheets. Roast the vegetables for 20–25 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and lightly browning, and the onions are getting crispy. Check on the veggies and stir them on the sheet halfway through roasting. Allow the roasted vegetables to cool to room temperature.
  • While the veggies roast, whisk together the tahini, water, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and harissa to make the dressing. If it’s too thick, add a few extra tablespoons of water.
  • When the vegetables are cool, toss them together with the lentils and arugula. You can either pour the dressing over the whole salad and toss to coat, or you can plate the salad and serve it separately. If you want to keep salad leftovers.
  • We recommend dressing each plate individually.
  • Salad leftovers will keep for two days in an airtight container in the fridge, and the dressing will keep for up to five days.

YUM!

x DD

Is meat good or bad for you?

meat good or bad?

There are so many conflicting reports about if meat is good or bad for you. Some say it can be part of a healthy diet. Others declare it is the root cause of disease – including heart disease, cancer and diabetes. I have friends who completely avoid it and other friends who embrace meat as an everyday staple.

Whether meat is good or bad depends on with whom you are talking. Paleo enthusiasts say meat is essential to longevity. Vegans will tell you to avoid it at all costs. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently stated processed meat and bacon are carcinogenic and red meat is most likely, as well.

There are very real concerns involving meat, including the ethical treatment of animals and their impact on the environment, as well as medical and health issues. For some, there are very real ethical concerns about eating meat. For example, if you are a Buddhist and believe that any creature could be your mother from your past life or in your next life, then we can fully support being a vegetarian.

It’s not hard to see why the average person, or even doctor or nutritionist is confused. However, at the end of the day, the whole carnivore-vegan debate misses the real point – the root of chronic disease and obesity is actually sugar and refined carbs.

Studies that take a pro- or anti-meat stance often miss the bigger picture. They overlook the fact that most meat eaters who participate in the studies that show harm from eating meat are also eating a lot of sugar and refined carbs alongside a highly processed, inflammatory diet. They certainly aren’t eating small to moderate amounts of grass-fed or organic meat along with a pile of colourful fruits and veggies.

Admittedly, it would be almost impossible to perform an accurate study about meat. You would have to randomize people into a whole foods, low-glycemic, plant-rich diet with grass-fed or organic animal protein and compare them to those on a high-quality vegan diet. That study has never been done.

Many of the studies demonizing meat use subjects who are smokers, drink too much, eat way too much sugar and processed foods, eat very little fruits and veggies, and do not exercise. It’s no wonder that these meat eaters with bad habits and horrible diets are sicker and fatter…

What if Meat Eaters Only Ate Health Food and Grass-Fed Meat?

Some groups rally against the saturated fat and cholesterol found in meat, or say that meat is inflammatory, or that it contributes to cancer or type 2 diabetes.

The story is not as simple as meat is bad, veggies are good, however. The real question to ask is: do grass-fed meat eaters, who also eat lots of healthy food, don’t smoke, exercise, and take vitamins have heart disease?

Thankfully, some researchers have asked this question. In one cohort study, scientists studied 11,000 people, 57% of whom were omnivores (meat eaters) and the other 43% were vegetarians. Both groups were health conscious.

Interestingly enough, researchers found the overall death rates were cut in half for both health-conscious meat eaters and for vegetarians, as compared to the average person eating a western-style, processed food diet. The study concluded that for the vegetarians, there was no benefit found; and for the meat eaters, there was no increased risk for heart disease, cancer or death.

Does the Type of Meat You Eat Matter?

Another problem with most meat eater vs. non meat eater studies is that the type of meat consumed is industrially raised, factory farmed meat. This industrial grain-fed meat is often full of hormones, antibiotics and pesticides, with more inflammatory omega–6 fats from corn and fewer anti-inflammatory omega–3 fats. These population studies don’t include people who eat only grass-fed meat without hormones, pesticides or antibiotics.

What About Saturated Fat?

Another concern that is raised is that saturated fat in meat causes heart disease. Yet interestingly, the types of saturated fats that cause heart disease – stearic and palmitic acid – don’t come from meat. Your liver produces these two fatty acids when you eat sugar and carbs. In other words, your liver produces saturated fat from sugar and carbs and that causes heart disease.

In one interventional trial, researchers showed even on a low-carb diet that is higher in saturated fats, blood levels of saturated fats remained lower because of the carb effect.

Simply put: In the absence of sugar and refined carbs and adequate amounts of omega–3 fats in your diet, saturated fat is really not a problem. Again, quality matters: The saturated fat in a fast food cheeseburger is completely different than what you get in coconut butter or a grass-fed steak.

These same limitations apply for studies that show meat causes diabetes and cancer: Most focused on generally unhealthy people eating a highly processed diet.

4 Rules If You Eat Meat

I hope you can see how eating meat can become healthy or unhealthy when you consider the many factors. If you opt to eat meat, follow these 5 rules to help you make the best choices.

  1. Choose grass-fed, pasture-raised organic meats. They’re more expensive but ideally you will eat less of the meat and more plant-based foods. Think of meat as a condiment, not a main dish. 50–75% of your plate should be vegetables!
  2. Avoid all processed meats. Stay away from processed meats such as deli meats. These are the meats that the World Health Organization points to that have been proven to cause disease, illness and cancer.
  3. Prepare your meat the right way. The way we prepare meats is the key. High-temperature cooking like grilling, frying, smoking or charring causes toxic by-products. This also happens when you cook fish or chicken at high temperatures. All of this leads to the production of compounds called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines (HCAs), which studies have shown, cause cancer in animals. Change your cooking methods to reduce your exposure of these toxic compounds. The same rule applies to grains and veggies. Cooking these foods at a too-high temperature can cause the same problems. Focus on lower-temperature, slow cooking for meat and veggies – such as baking, roasting, poaching, and stewing.
  4. Pile on the vegetables. Fill your plate with phytonutrient-rich, colourful, non-starchy veggies and use meat as a “condi-meat.”

At the end of the day, the message on meat is pretty simple. About half the studies show it’s a problem; half of them don’t. For those studies that show meat eaters, as a whole, aren’t a healthy bunch, the reason is most likely not the meat, but rather the smoking, sugar-filled, and sedentary lifestyle that creates heart disease and other problems.

A diet filled with lots of high-fiber fruits and veggies that rejects sugar and refined carbs, welcomes grass-fed meat as a health food, lowering inflammation and improving all of the cardiovascular risk factors like cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.

Still unsure of how to eat well for optimal health? Let us feed you! Daily Dietitian uses on the highest quality ingredients when freshly preparing your daily meals which are tailored to your unique needs.

For more info go to our website.

xx DD

Daily Dietitian Gift Vouchers

We all know that shopping during the festive season is a nightmare, so to make things easier for you we are offering the perfect solution… Daily Dietitian gift vouchers.

daily dietitian gift vouchers

The Daily Dietitian gift vouchers allows you to prepay a specified amount for your friend or family’s meal plan so that they can put it towards their personalised deliciously health meal plans.

Who doesn’t want to get their health on track before the holidays or kick off 2016 with deliciously healthy meals delivered to their door? It will certainly make sticking to a healthy New Year’s resolution easier!

Should you wish to purchase a gift voucher for your loved one, pop us an email on hello@dailydietitian.co.za

x DD

6 Important Truths About Carbs & Which Ones You Should Eat

truths about carbs

It’s a common scenario: You’re out to lunch with co-workers, and you say no to the bread basket that’s passed around. Then an annoying co-worker across the table from you pipes up with, “Are you not eating carbs anymore? Are you on a diet?”

Au contraire, mon frère. You’re actually still eating carbs (carbohydrates, that is).

While you have an inquisitive co-worker, it’s easy to understand if their comments are guided under a common misunderstanding: “All carbs are bad!”

With so much information flying around from many emphatic sources, carbs are often relegated to doomed, definitive statements like:

  • “Carbs are bread and pasta!”
  • “Carbs make you fat!!!”
  • “Carbs aren’t healthy!!!”

First of all, there’s no need to use so many exclamation points. Second of all, this is only half the story… and a good opportunity to help you keep making healthy choices .

6 Important Truths About Carbs

  1. They are a nutrient: They’re one of three major nutrients your body needs to function, with the other two being fat and protein.
  2. They are found in food: Not just bread and pasta, like our restaurateur thinks. They’re also found in unprocessed whole foods like potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, fruits and vegetables (more on that coming up).
  3. They are an energy source: There are several forms of carbohydrates, with the primary form your body uses called glucose. There are other less common types such as dextrose and fructose, with fructose becoming an increasing part of our diet over the last few decades, with a strong correlation to the worldwide increase in obesity.
  4. They increase insulin: Insulin is the body’s primary regulator of fat metabolism, so perhaps this is the piece of the puzzle as to why most associate carbs with gaining weight. When insulin levels go up, we store fat. When it falls, we use fat for fuels. It’s important to know that over time, due to many different factors – eating an excess of carbohydrates is one of them – the body can become more resistant to insulin, causing an increase in insulin production.
  5. They impact blood sugar: Insulin, as mentioned above, primarily works to lower blood sugar to healthier levels. When it comes to Insulin resistance, it leads to higher blood sugar. Persistently high blood sugar, otherwise known as diabetes, affects your metabolic health and can result in such diseases as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, blindness, or ulcers.
  6. Different carbs do different things: Not all carbs are created equal. When it comes to optimal and total health – metabolic, cardiovascular, liver, kidney, bone, and blood – there are health benefits from some, and little from others.

Slow digesting carbs = Causes blood sugar/insulin to rise

Fast to digest carbs = Causes blood sugar/insulin to spike

In general, slower blood sugar/insulin rises are healthier than frequent blood sugar/insulin spikes.

Fast Digesting vs. Slow Digesting

Fast digesting carbs are typically processed carbs, such as starches, liquid carbohydrates, and foods made of refined flours. Think breads, pastas, muffins, cereals, cake, chips, cookies, beer, wine, fruit juice, soda, corn, potatoes, and rice.

These refined, processed foods are not as nutrient dense and are known to increase inflammation, diabetes, and insulin resistance because of the insulin and blood sugar impact we talked about above. Less fiber in your food means you might not feel as full or satiated when you eat, causing you to overeat which can lead to weight gain.

When your body has fiber to digest, you benefit in multiple ways, such as gut protection, through your body’s creation of its own butyric acid. Fiber lowers blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels and improves glycemia and insulin sensitivity in non-diabetic and diabetic individuals. Increased fiber intake also benefits a number of gastrointestinal disorders including the following: gastroesophageal reflux disease, duodenal ulcer, diverticulitis, constipation, and hemorrhoids.

Slower digesting carbs are called complex carbs and, when consumed in healthy moderation, have the fiber to keep your gut healthy and you satiated. Think sweet potatoes, veggies (such as kale, spinach, asparagus, and broccoli), fruits in their whole form (berries and citrus fruits) and beans.

The micronutrients found in these foods also give you necessary vitamins and minerals that play an important role in keeping your body healthy and functioning.

Tying it all together:

If we revisit our lunch salad from earlier: A salad of mixed greens, some bell peppers, cucumber slices, kidney beans, and avocado, would contain carbs that give the necessary glucose and energy you need, but won’t make your blood sugar fly off the charts as it would if you ate the influx of carbs that processed foods bring.

Being mindful to have a daily diet comprised mainly of the beneficial kinds of carbs will help move you toward optimal health, maintain a healthy weight, and control your blood sugar.

For those of you who don’t want to think about carbs, which ones you should be eating and how much of them, let us help you.

Sign up to get perfectly portioned, tailored meals and snacks delivered to your door.

x DD