Are you tired of feeling like you have no energy? Do you feel you have tried to change your diet and still see no difference in energy? Are you seeking an answer? Here are the best dietary sources of energy – and which ones you want to steer clear of.
Simple sugars are commonly found in table sugar (sucrose), dairy (lactose) and fruit (fructose). Simple sugars are known to increase blood sugar levels very quickly. The rise in blood sugar levels triggers a hormone, known as insulin, which is secreted by the pancreas. Insulin is responsible for helping blood sugars enter a cell, so energy can be produced. It can be an inflammatory hormone, so the more simple sugars you have throughout the day, the more insulin is produced. If this phenomenon is constantly interplayed overtime, it can increase risk of developing insulin resistance and even diabetes. Complex carbohydrates contain more fiber and starch and usually have more nutritional content. Examples include brown rice, quinoa and legumes, such as navy beans.
Tips: Get good at reading labels, and if it states greater than five grams of sugar per serving, choose an alternative.
Stick to having no more than two pieces of fruit per day, and eat more veggies instead.
Protein is awesome for sustaining energy levels throughout the day because it does not spike blood sugar levels like simple sugars. Proteins are made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks to help build muscles and tissues and repair cells. They are also very important in helping your body in healing wounds and repairing tissues. Good sources of powerful proteins include wild Alaskan salmon, free range chicken, grass-fed beef and vegetarian protein powders, such as pea.
Tip: Since breakfast is your first meal of the day, try eating your protein first. This gives you a head start in balancing sugar levels and can create a sustained energy level for the day. Not a typical breakfast idea, but try having chili or smoked salmon, and see how you feel!
Fats can be fabulous, especially monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Fats can help you feel satiated for longer periods of time and can be great sources of energy. They are required to help you absorb fat-soluble vitamins, such as A, D, E and K. Avoid fats that contain trans fats or saturated fats, which are commonly found in baked goods and fried food. These fats can affect your cholesterol levels by increasing LDL, known as the “bad” cholesterol and lowering HDL, known as the “good” cholesterol.
Tips: Avocados are an excellent source of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. Instead of using cream cheese or butter in a sandwich, use avocado as the spread!
To a morning breakfast shake, add one teaspoon of ground flax, hemp or chia seeds and half a cup of coconut milk. These are all considered healthy sources of fats that can help you stay full.
(c) 2015 – Integrative Health Care, PC
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Dr. Linda Khoshaba received her Doctorate from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine. Her main areas of focus include women’s health, pediatric medicine, diabetes management, and prolotherapy. She completed her Master’s Degree in Health Promotion and Public Health where she focused mainly on patient self management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. She attended the University of Western Ontario, Canada where she was awarded an Honors Degree in Health Sciences.
Dr. Khoshaba can be reached at www.MyIntegrativeHealth.com and 480-657-0003.