Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Five Worst Foods for an Afternoon Slump.

February 16, 2016 by  
Filed under Health, News

(Akiit.com) It’s a scenario familiar to many: It’s mid-afternoon and you’ve hit a slump. You reach for a snack to give you a boost. But hold up! Before you down what’s in hand, you might want to give it second thought because that “pick-me-up” may end up being a total downer.

Now before I get to the 5 foods you’d definitely want to avoid when you hit an energy slump, I’d like to first let you in on a little secret: All of the foods I’m about to list (with the possible exception of one) have one thing in common. And it’s this one thing that’s the precise reason why you want to avoid these foods. What’s the one commonality among these foods?

The answer is two words: Refined carbs.

If you’re a faithful reader of my blog and have also read my book, And That’s Why You’re Fat: Health & Fitness Mistakes to Stop Making, you’re well aware that I’m a strong advocate of the low carb lifestyle for a multitude of health reasons. In this post I’m not going to get too deep into the topic of refined carbs and the many ways they wreak havoc on your body (if you want to learn more about that keep reading my blog and also check out my book).

That said, for those who are totally clueless about refined carbs and how they can sap our energy, here’s a quick lesson in metabolism:

When you eat carbs, your body will break them down into its most basic unit? sugar. Sugar then causes your blood sugar (or blood glucose) to rise, which causes your body to release insulin from the pancreas. Insulin facilitates the metabolism of sugar and regulates blood sugar back to normal. Without insulin, sugar would float Black man rubbing his foreheadaround in your blood stream and this is very dangerous, as well as toxic to your body’s organs. This is precisely why diabetics need insulin. Insulin is a protective, metabolic hormone, and without insulin you would most certainly die.

Now here’s where the problem arises: When you eat certain types of carbs that cause a BIG blood sugar spike (i.e. refined carbs), you’ll initially experience a high or burst of energy? which is precisely why many of us crave foods loaded with refined carbs. We love the sugar rush and quick energy boost! Things is, as a protective measure against that big sugar influx, your pancreas ends up releasing too much insulin, ultimately causing blood sugar crashes that lead to low energy and fatigue. Remember your body (through insulin) is always trying to protect itself from high blood sugar. And because you’ve eaten a meal containing so much sugar (or refined carbs), your body ends up releasing too much insulin, and you get this rebound effect where your blood sugar dips too low and you wind up physically (as well as mentally) crashing.

So now you should have a pretty clear understanding of why you want to avoid foods like the foods I’m about to name off.  Because these types of foods are all full of refined carbs that will spike your blood sugar, and cause a heavy insulin response that sends your blood sugar crashing back down, thus sapping your energy.

1.      Pretzels and chips

Just look at the nutrition facts. Pretzels and chips are essentially just straight refined carbs, and in addition to that, often high in sodium. So avoid these types of foods if you’re in need of sustainable energy. And yes, this also goes for those “healthy” baked chips and pita chips.

2.      Energy drinks and Energy bars

In food, marketing is EVERYTHING. And if you aren’t hip to this now, it would greatly benefit you to start developing a healthy bit of skepticism when reading food labels. Moral of the story: Don’t to be fooled by savvy marketing and ALWAYS read the Nutrition Facts and food ingredients, because all too often energy drinks and energy bars are pretty much straight sugar, which can cause– you guessed it– a sugar-fueled high and crash.

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3.      Smoothies

While smoothies don’t tend to be high in refined carbs, fruit does contain fructose? a sugar that will make blood sugar rise too. So if you’re a smoothie lover you need to recognize that these types of drinks tend to be high in sugar? especially prepackaged, store bought smoothies. And even worse, smoothies are also low in fiber since the fiber’s been removed through the juicing process. Why should you care about fiber? Well the fiber naturally found in whole fruit is indigestible and does this wonderful thing for our bodies: It literally sits in the intestinal tract and creates a filter that slows the absorption of sugars, thus preventing that big blood sugar spike we want to avoid. Remove fiber from fruit and now what you’ve essentially got is a “sugar water solution” that’ll give you a quick boost of energy with a crash later.

4.      White bread

Bad. Bad. Bad. White bread is just bad on many fronts. Once again, the problem here is refined carbs. Also here’s a not-so-fun Fit Fact: A recent study found that consumption of white bread increases the risk of obesity by 40%!

5.      Specialty coffees

Truth be told, coffee is a wonderful food. It contains caffeine, which has a wide range of health benefits and has been shown in studies to boost fat burn. That understood, when I imply that coffee consumption is good for your health, I’m talking about consuming real, antioxidant-rich, organic black coffee? and those not those 20 ounce caramel-mocha blendaccinos from your local coffee shop that are maximal sugar, minimal coffee. Because once you start overloading coffee with added sweeteners to make it more palatable, you’ll pretty much create a “sugar bomb beverage” that totally negates the health benefits of coffee.

Here’s the overall Take Home: Our bodies rely on the energy and nutrients we get from food, so what you eat — and how and when you eat it — can either drain you or sustain you. Food is fuel. And just like there are different grades of fuel, there are different grades of food. So if you want healthy, sustainable energy, you’re better off avoiding the types of foods I listed above, and instead opting for food that’s more whole or natural, high in protein, moderate or low in fat, and definitely low in refined carbs and sugar.

And that’s all for now folks. Now a bit of Q&A: What are you favorite foods to power up during the day?

Columnist; Dr. Phoenyx

Official website; http://www.drphoenyx.com


One Response to “Five Worst Foods for an Afternoon Slump.”
  1. duh says:

    Smoothies don’t miss fibre, because the flesh/pulp is still there. You seem to have confused ‘smoothie’ with ‘juice. argh

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