If you haven't noticed from our health news section, we've been a bit pre-occupied with metabolic health as of late. We're of the opinion that learning how to work with your metabolism gives you a much-needed sense of control over your body in general—it allows you to make empowered decisions about what you eat and how you exercise. While we've covered the foods that give your metabolism a boost, the foods that do the opposite are equally important. Prevention recently spoke with dietitian Lisa Moskovitz of the New York Nutrition Group and dietitian Tanya Zuckerbrot of F-Factor to get some much-needed insight on the matter.
In their professional opinions, here are the foods to avoid if you're looking to speed up your metabolism.
"Even though white bread and white pasta may taste better than whole wheat, that's where the pros end for white flour foods," said Moskovitz to Prevention. "White flour is processed wheat that has all of the wheat grains' best attributes, like fiber and antioxidants, stripped away." The lack of fiber makes white flour easy to digest, meaning your body doesn't have to burn any extra calories to break it down. This "leaves your metabolism operating at a slower level," adds Zuckerbrot.
What to eat instead: Whole wheat bread and whole grains, like quinoa, barley, and millet
"Conventionally farmed beef has more antibiotics than grass-fed beef," explains Zuckerbrot. "Simply stated, consuming antibiotics from meat can make us gain weight." These antibiotics have a negative effect on good gut bacteria, which changes the way in which our bodies process food. This makes weight gain that much more likely.
What to eat instead: Organic, grass-fed meats
Unlike healthy omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids like butter, pork products, chicken thighs, cookies, and cheaply made vegetable oils are responsible for slowing metabolism. "The American diet used to be balanced in both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids," explains Zuckerbrot. "But today, higher processing has left our country filled with vegetable oils and hydrogenated fats, both high sources of omega-6, which are pro-inflammatory, and the consumption of these are correlated with obesity."
What to eat instead: Fill up on good fats, like those found in almonds, avocados, and salmon. Try clarified ghee as a butter substitute.
Head over to Prevention for more metabolism insight.