Diet: Small changes in diet can make a big difference to your health and wellbeing

This week’s announcement that the government is considering putting in place an incentive plan to get young people to get the Covid vaccine by rewarding them with fast food coupons got me thinking – or maybe it is Better to say it made me curse in front of the TV.

We know the importance of good nutrition in order to boost our immunity. Is this really the right message?

It’s well known how poor diet can make us more susceptible to disease, so eating a healthy, balanced diet should be encouraged as a contribution to maintaining our health – and I’m not sure Deliveroo coupons go well with that.

One of the trends we saw during the pandemic is that people with insulin imbalance, increased inflammation, or underlying health conditions tend to be at higher risk for more severe Covid symptoms. Sometimes these imbalances can be hidden. We don’t know about them until something goes wrong.

As a society, we eat too much junk – way too much sugar, refined and processed foods. This was a major problem even before the pandemic and contributed to an epidemic of obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The so-called metabolic syndrome is caused by our lifestyle, and poor diet is the main cause of illness.

An important factor driving metabolic syndrome is insulin resistance. This is when our bodies just can’t handle the constant need for insulin, so we end up with blood sugar imbalance, high levels of insulin, and chronic inflammation.

The most important factor contributing to insulin resistance is consuming too many carbohydrates. That is, too much sugar, too many refined carbohydrates, and too many starchy foods.

If we could make a few small adjustments to our diet, we will likely feel a lot better. When our insulin and blood sugar levels are out of whack, we end up feeling lethargic, unmotivated, hungry – but when we find a better balance, we feel energetic, more balanced, satiated, and in better shape after eating.

What if you could change just a little thing or two in your diet and feel a lot better? Here are some suggestions to help you find a better balance between blood sugar and insulin levels. Try shaking things up for about a week and see how you feel.

:: EAT WITHIN 10 HOUR WIDOW

Constant grazing or little food often requires your pancreas to pump out insulin to keep blood sugar levels stable. Give your body a break and try to eat within a 10 hour window. If breakfast is at 8 a.m., don’t eat anything after 6 p.m. or start breakfast a little later and eat between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.

:: DROP THE SNACKS

Eat three decent meals a day and eat enough to last four hours or so. Protein (meat, fish, legumes, eggs), fiber, and fat (nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, full-fat dairy products) all help keep you feeling full longer, so pack your plate of lettuce or vegetables, add one Palm add portion of protein and drizzle with some good quality olive oil.

:: CUTTING SUGAR

Pay attention to where you look for sugar and make better decisions. Dark (70 percent cocoa) chocolate instead of milk chocolate, a handful of nuts instead of biscuits or fresh fruit instead of fruit juice. All of these swaps will help reduce your sugar load and balance insulin levels.

:: REDUCE THE STRENGTH OF CARBOHYDRATES

Try to have one meal a day that does not contain any carbohydrates (potatoes, bread, rice, couscous, crackers, granola, cookies, sugar, etc.).

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