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Beware: These foods can damage your metabolism

If you are on a journey to lose weight or get into shape for the spring and summer months, yet everything you do seems to be without any effect, then metabolic damage may be holding you back. Limiting calories to the max, certain food types, and overtraining can have significant effects on your body’s ability to process or metabolize food.

Robbie Clark, dietitian and sports nutritionist, told Huffington Post Australia that metabolic damage is a natural response of our body to long-term calorie restrictions, which can be caused by a reduced calorie intake or too much exercise. Also, not all foods we put in our mouth are created equally. According to some experts, the same calories you get from soda will act very differently inside your body than the same amount of calories you get from whole organic foods such as broccoli. (RELATED: Read more about clean, organic foods at

Have you hit that weight loss plateau? Here are six foods that can damage your metabolism and sabotage your weight loss efforts.

1.      Soda

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a cheap sweetener found in many highly-processed foods and soft drinks. According to one study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, regular consumption of HFCS can cause metabolic syndrome, which has been linked to an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

While it is arguable that the amount of fructose you get through other sugary foods, such as fresh fruits, adds the same amount of calories, research has shown that HFCS has more damaging effects on the metabolism when eaten in the same quantities. Not all calories are created equally, remember?

2.      Margarine

Drawn to the health claims on the package, many people often choose margarine over real butter. While it is true that butter is packed with saturated fats, margarine contains hydrogenated fats or trans fats, which may be more harmful to your health. Trans fats can lead to insulin resistance, which in its turn may lead to a slower metabolism and weight gain.

3.      Refined foods

Refined foods such as white bread, pasta, rice, among other simple carbohydrates are easily broken down by the body because the indigestible fiber has been taken out. In contrast, fiber-rich foods, such as whole-wheat bread and other whole grains, stoke the metabolic fire. Our bodies need to work harder to get the nutrients out of these fiber-rich foods, burning more calories on the way.

4.      Conventionally farmed beef

Unless you buy grass-fed organic beef, chances are pretty high your meat is tainted with health-damaging antibiotics and growth hormones. Next to causing a host of adverse health effects and antibiotic resistance, these traces of antibiotics seriously mess up your internal gut flora as well. According to a study published in Front Public Health, changes in our gut can negatively effect the way we digest food, resulting in weight gain.

5.      Conventionally grown fruit and vegetables

Fox News reported on a scientific study, published in the Journal of Medical Toxicology, which showed that pesticides from fruits and vegetables can cause metabolic changes. When rats were fed a diet of conventional produce, these toxins increased the rate at which fat cells were created, resulting in weight gain.

To limit pesticide exposure, be sure to buy fresh organic produce whenever possible and wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly. Or why not grow your own? Only then can you be entirely certain that they are free of pesticides and other nasty chemicals. (RELATED: Learn more about the damaging effects of pesticides at

6.      Canola or hydrogenated vegetable oil

A whole lot has been said about canola oil or hydrogenated vegetable oils. Previously touted as a heart-friendly health food, canola oil is a highly processed oil packed with too much omega-6 fatty acids compared to omega-3s. Our diet used to be balanced in both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. However, over the past decades — with the rise of processed, hydrogenated oils — the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio has shifted from a 1:1 ratio to 20:1 today. A high omega-6 fatty acid intake has been linked to insulin resistance, slow metabolism, and weight gain, whereas omega-3s helps you manage your weight.


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