Can a healthy diet boost your metabolism?
Has your abdomen grown over the years? Do you have higher than normal blood glucose and triglyceride levels? Is your blood pressure high? Is your HDL (the “good” cholesterol) low? According to the National Institutes of Health, answering yes to all or most of these questions may signify metabolic syndrome. As of 2007, almost 47 million Americans were diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. If you’re one of them, that means you’re at higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Overweight and obese people are at particular risk of metabolic syndrome.
But metabolic syndrome isn’t the only thing that can make you crave a metabolism boost. Aging often causes a progressively slow metabolism. Beginning at about age 25, the average person experiences their first metabolic slowdown, usually by 5 to 10 percent. This drop in metabolism continues every decade thereafter. A person living in the United States can expect to see a whopping 20 to 40 percent drop in their metabolic rate during adulthood.
The good news is that by making simple healthy lifestyle changes, you don’t have to become part of these statistics. A healthy diet and regular exercise can work wonders in treating metabolic syndrome and preventing weight gain as we age. In particular, there are healthy foods you can eat that will boost your metabolism and promote weight loss.
What foods speed up metabolism? Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, eggs, and fish are good examples of foods that help speed up a sluggish metabolism. The key to boosting your metabolism is to eat a variety of unprocessed foods. Unprocessed foods tend to have more fiber than processed foods. Your body will try unsuccessfully to digest the fiber. All this extra work your body does equals a nice metabolism boost.
Increasing your fiber intake is just one way that good nutrition can boost your metabolism. Eating foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and tuna, is a great way to boost your metabolism. Research has shown that fish oils can increase a person’s metabolism by up to 400 calories per day.
Omega-3 fatty acids can be taken in pill form, but they often leave a fishy aftertaste and the odor can seep into the pores of the skin. A better way to get these important omega-3s is to eat healthy fish for dinner several times a week. You’ll be able to add your favorite seasonings, and you’ll also get a healthy dose of protein, which also helps boost metabolism by increasing the thermic effect of food.
So do yourself a favor and stay away from frozen dinners and other packaged foods at the grocery store. Drive past those fast food restaurants and their artery-clogging meals. Instead, do what healthy people have done for generations: open a cookbook and cook your own meals.
The best thing about having a cookbook handy in your kitchen is the control it provides. You have the power to prepare the healthiest meals possible. You can use ingredients that will boost your metabolism. You control the cost of your meals. A healthy cookbook is the best investment you can make when looking to lose extra pounds or maintain your current weight.