How to Avoid Simple Carbs and Boost Your Immune System

Credit: Wikimedia, Janet Hudson

Credit: Wikimedia, Janet Hudson

We’ve been sharing tips for wellness that are actionable and easy to bring into your everyday life, in an effort to help you be your best self. We believe that incorporating small, feasible changes over shorter periods of change can help you experience the motivation and confidence that comes from seeing your personal goals fulfilled.

This week’s topic: Simple carbs and your body. 

Why simple carbs/sugars?

Simple carbohydrates 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, digest quickly in the body, and convert into 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. 

In general, slower blood sugar/insulin rises are healthier than the frequent blood sugar/insulin spikes that simple carbs bring on. 

In addition to insulin imbalances and weight gain, simple carbs can also lead to a lack of energy, and they also take a toll on the immune system.

WellnessFX practitioners Karen Graham and Dr. Ross Pelton both warn that a moderate dose of sugar suppresses the immune system for 5-6 hours, lowering the body’s ability to fight off infection.

It’s something to consider next time you get hit with a cold or flu-like symptoms – while it can be tempting to let good nutrition practices slip, consider the impact that ice cream or cookie will have on your immune system and ability to fight the germs. 

Sugar and You: What to Do?

Challenge yourself: “For one week I will avoid sugary foods or processed foods and replace them with whole, natural foods.”

The trick to overcoming your sweet tooth is to find low-glycemic foods that taste great, like the sweet potato. This recipe from Ashley Tudor’s book, Sweet Potato Power, is a delicious appetizer sans the simple carbs: 

Credit: Sweet Potato Power

Credit: Sweet Potato Power

Simple steps to Wellness: Want more?

This blog is part of our Simple Steps to Wellness series.

Being healthy can be incorporated into your life with more ease than you may think. Remember, you don’t need to wait until January 1, 20XX to get started – you can start today.

For more tips on sugar, check out “Sugar and Your Body: Where it’s Hiding, What it’s Doing, How You Can Cut Back,” or even “Fed Up: No time to watch? Here Are the Top 7 Takeaways.”

You can also check out our recent posts, “A Single, Powerful Immunity Booster,” and “How to Make the Most of Your Sleep Time,” stay tuned for more simple steps to Wellness – we’ll be sharing more actionable advice on immunity, fitness, and nutrition.

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The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.