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How sugar can silently impact your metabolic health

Many people link the term ‘metabolic health’ to their weight, yet this is only a small part of it. 

Your metabolic health impacts how your body regulates the levels of glucose (sugar) and fats (such as cholesterol and triglycerides) in the blood, as well as how much and where body fat is stored. It is also involved in processes like inflammation and blood pressure management. When your metabolic health is compromised, it increases your risk of a host of health issues, such as metabolic syndrome (a cluster of conditions including increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and elevated blood fats), type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and cardiovascular disease. 

But metabolic health is not just the absence of these conditions. Chronic disease is not something that occurs overnight, it happens gradually over time. So metabolic health can decline over a long period of time—before you may reach the point where a diagnosis of one of these conditions can be made. 

The problem is, this gradual decline is often silent, or at least not with the warning signs you may think it would come with. And because it happens gradually, some of the challenges you experience that indicate your metabolic health isn’t fantastic may start to feel ‘normal’—like lacklustre energy and frequent sugar cravings. 

This is why I can’t encourage you enough to take great care of your metabolic health now. Taking excellent care of yourself now will also translate into a whole host of benefits you can enjoy immediately as well as into the future—think better energy and zest for life, vibrant, healthy skin, more comfortable digestion, fewer body aches and prevention of accelerated ageing. 

So, what contributes to poor metabolic health and what can you do to protect yours?

Our daily choices make an enormous difference to our metabolic health—let that empower you. The way that we eat, drink, move, breathe and sleep, as well as our perceptions of pressure and urgency (which impacts our experience of stress), can all stack up to either promote better metabolic health—or take away from it.

Too many people these days aren’t nourishing their body with the nutrients it needs to thrive. Instead, excessive intakes of sugar(typically from highly processed foods, sweet foods and drinks) and a reliance on convenience foods are incredibly common. 

This way of eating can leave you feeling like you’re on an energy rollercoaster—think peaks and dips in your energy as your blood glucose spikes and drops, with sugar cravings kicking in to take you out of the dip and back to a peak. And when too much sugar becomes part of your everyday life it can also contribute to unfavourable changes in triglyceride levels (blood fats) and chronic inflammation—which can snowball into impacting your metabolic health. 

If you need an idea for a change you could make for your health today, try adding in an extra portion of green vegetables each day. Not only does it boost your nutrient intake, incorporating more foods that have a bitter taste (e.g. greens such as rocket, broccoli etc.), can also help to shift your taste preferences away from very sweet tasting foods and drinks. If you struggle to eat green vegetables, making a green smoothie or green drink (using a powder such as Bio Blends Organic Daily Greens and Radiant Reds simply mixed with water) might be helpful as a way to start adding them in. 

Remember that small changes and habits can add up over time to have a big impact on your health. What is one tiny change you could make today to start protecting your metabolic health?

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