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Cut Calories with Natural Food Options


By Staff Writer

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Cut calories and stay healthy Natural Food Options
Paying careful attention to your diet and exercise can help you maintain an ideal body weight for your height and shape. Healthy eating is one of the best ways to shed extra pounds and achieve the trim, fit look so many of us are after.

One of the biggest problems with processed foods is the amount of synthetic ingredients used to make them. In addition to being packed with excess calories, some nutrients, most significantly fiber, have been removedi. Fortunately, there are several natural foods and organic substitutes available.

Natural sugar substitutes
An easy way to cut calories is to reduce your sugar consumptionii. Substituting regular sugar with a chemical substitute doesn’t make much sense, because there are many natural sugar substitutes available. Sugar-free and organic natural compounds that mimic the sweetness of sugar can be just as tasty as the real thing, and don’t add much to your daily calorie count.

The dried leaves of the stevia plant from South Americaiii make an excellent natural sugar substitute. This particular plant has been widely accepted for its natural sweetness, which is also found in fruits like grapes and pears. Additionally, it adds zero calories (yes, zero) to your daily intake. Now you can enjoy tea or coffee without worrying about your sweet tooth. Stevia also works well in baking.

Another option is agave nectariv. It has a low glycemic indexv, which means it enforces slower rates of digestion and absorption of carbohydrates in your food. This aids the liver in carbohydrate digestion along with reduction in insulin processing, which could help improve long-term blood glucose control. This process can be quite beneficial to people with diabetes or those who might not have a very aggressive workout regimen.

Some agave nectar products contain dietary fiber, which also helps our bodies with digestion. Dietary fibervi binds to bile acids in the small intestine, reducing the potential of them entering the body, and thus lowering cholesterol levels in the blood. Additionally, soluble dietary fiber slows the absorption of sugar, which may help maintain low blood sugar levels when you have higher amounts of carbohydrates in a meal.

Natural energy bars
After taking stock of your sugar intake, you might wonder how to keep your energy level high during a workout, or how to grab some quick protein on the go. To replenish your energy levels and make them last longer, there are several energy bars made with quality natural ingredients. Some energy bars are high in protein, making them an energy-rich snack for those who are into intensive workouts, bodybuilding, weight lifting, and other high-energy activities. They make a very handy portable, natural snack without added sugar. They fill your stomach, making you feel satisfied (not bloated), and also support muscle growth.

Most natural food bars have carbohydrates which are converted into sugarvii by your body once they’re consumed. Naturally converted carbohydratesviii are better for your body than consuming sugar directly, as insulin levels are constantly being maintained and regulated, so you don’t have excess insulin in your body.

A Gluten-free diet
Another natural eating alternative is to adopt a gluten-free diet, which means consuming foods that are completely free of ingredients obtained from wheat (including kamutix and speltx), malt, triticale, barley, rye, and foods including gluten food additives (used for flavoring or as a stabilizing or thickening agent). This type of diet is a definite must for people who are gluten-sensitive or gluten-intolerant, because it prevents the body from having an overload of gluten, which can cause a feeling of tiredness and low energy.

A gluten-free diet is also the only medically accepted treatment for celiac diseasexi, the related condition dermatitis herpetiformis, and wheat allergies. Individuals with celiac disease are sensitive to gluten, as it plays a role in damaging the lining of their small intestines, affecting the absorption of food and causing weight loss, diarrhea, and iron deficiency. Natural food options, such as natural sugar substitutes,energy bars, and a gluten-free diet are some of the many ways you can attain a healthy weight—naturally. drugstore.com offers a wide selection of natural foods to help meet your needs and tastes.

This information constitutes the views and opinions of the author, who is solely responsible for its content, and does not reflect the positions or opinions of drugstore.com, inc. or thenaturalstore.com.

[i]http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-benefits-of-healthy-whole-foods
[ii]http://www.livestrong.com/reduce-sugar-to-lose-weight/
[iii]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stevia
[iv]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agave_nectar
[v]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycemic_index
[vi]http://www.medicinenet.com/fiber/article.htm
[vii]http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/food2.htm
[viii]http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/focus/nutrition/facts/lifestylemanagement/carbohydrates.htm
[ix]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khorasan_wheat
[x]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spelt
[xi]http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/celiac-disease/celiac-disease-symptoms

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