I have worked with hundreds of clients looking to get healthier, and although people come to me for a variety of reasons, almost 90% of them also have weight loss, as one of their goals.
The information out there is contradictory, confusing and often overwhelming for most people, who do not have a scientific or health related background. One day butter is bad for you, the next day we should be putting it in our coffee. Then egg yolks are to be avoided, but now that's where all the nutrients are. There are people who live off carbs and fruits, while others avoid all sugars, like the plague. It's hard to know what to believe.
What do I eat to: be at a healthy weight, balance my blood sugar and manage my cholesterol levels?
These components of health are vital to consider, regardless of your goals.
Although much of the information out there is changing, three crucial factors that remain consistent is that we must maintain a healthy weight, balanced blood sugar and proper cholesterol levels.
Why does blood sugar matter?
Sugar (glucose) in the blood is used as a fuel source for the brain and body, however excess sugar is converted into glycogen and stored in the body as extra fuel (fat). When the body has more stored sugar than it needs, health complications arise. Long term hyperglycemia causes problems including heart disease, eye, liver, kidney, brain and nerve damage.
The most common results of chronic high blood sugar is diabetes, leading to obesity. After long periods of time being diabetic or obese, the vital organs such as the pancreas, liver and gallbladder may stop functioning properly, leading to severe diseases such as heart disease, liver failure and cancer.
In order for the body to function properly and remain healthy, it requires the right type and amount of fuel. Balancing blood sugar by consuming whole, healthy and balanced meals while also incorporating exercise into the lifestyle routine is key.
For those looking to lose weight, eating fewer processed foods, refined carbohydrates, grains, soda and sugars is the first step. While lowering consumption of carbohydrates, it is imperative to increase the amount of quality protein and fat in the diet.
The role of cholesterol in health and weight loss
Cholesterol IS NOT a bad thing.
There are molecules in the body called lipoproteins which carry cholesterol in the blood; there are low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). When considering cholesterol, triglycerides are also taken into account.
When getting a blood test, the amount of cholesterol is a measure of the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and is based on the HDL, LDL, and triglycerides numbers.
- LDL cholesterol constitutes the majority of the body’s cholesterol. LDL is often known as the “bad” cholesterol because having high levels can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries, which results in heart disease and stroke.
- HDL cholesterol absorbs cholesterol and carries it back to the liver, which flushes it from the body. HDL is known as the “good” cholesterol because having high levels can reduce the risk for heart disease and stroke.
- Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood which the body uses for energy. The combination of high levels of triglycerides with low HDL cholesterol or high LDL cholesterol marks an increased risk for heart attack and stroke.
Regarding weight loss, having optimized levels of cholesterol and triglycerides is crucial to maintaining a healthy weight and optimized health. It is essential to remember that blood glucose, cholesterol and fat are all needed for health, however we must ensure we are getting the appropriate amounts.
With the right diet and lifestyle, balance is possible! For extra help, taking a powerful herbal supplement such as Dr. Dave's Met 191 will help naturally balance blood sugar and cholesterol in order to optimize the body.
Certified Nutritional Practitioner