9 elements of metabolically healthy meals
The process of creating ideal meals will become much simpler once you are aware of the components of a diet that supports your metabolic pathways. Here are nine elements of metabolically healthy meals.
In general, metabolic health refers to how your body converts the food you ingest into energy. Healthy meals focus on creating a metabolically healthy body that efficiently creates and consumes energy rather than just keeping blood sugar levels steady. The process of creating ideal meals will become much simpler once you are aware of the components of a diet that supports your metabolic pathways. It's not necessary to eat the same thing every day if you're eating for metabolic health. On the other hand, more nutrients to support your health and well-being come from a more varied diet. (Also read: Ayurveda tips to improve metabolism; dos and don'ts you must remember )
Dr. Casey Means, MD and Chief Medical Officer, Levels, suggested nine elements of metabolically healthy meals, in her recent Instagram post.
1. Load up on micronutrients
Aim for more magnesium, zinc, selenium, and B vitamins, which are cofactors for metabolic health processes, including how the body handles glucose.
2. Get more fibre
Fibre feeds the gut microbiome, which has beneficial effects on metabolic health, such as improved glucose and insulin levels. It also keeps gut inflammation down, protects the gut's mucus membrane, and slows glucose absorption.
3. Include more antioxidants
Antioxidants protect against oxidative stress, which is linked to cancer and diabetes. Include more colourful plants, cruciferous and green veggies, and cold-water fish.
4. More omega-3 fats
Omega-3 fatty acids are key elements of cell structure, inflammatory pathways, and metabolic pathways. They contribute to the elasticity of your arteries. Add more fatty fish, chia seeds, flax, and walnuts.
5. Champion probiotic-rich fermented foods
A highly fermented food diet (6 servings/ day) steadily increases microbiota diversity and decreases inflammatory markers. Add kimchi, sauerkraut, low- sugar kombucha, unsweetened yogurts, tempeh and miso.
6. Minimize refined sugar and grains
It's important to focus on what we can add to our diets rather than subtracting. But we now eat more carbs as refined sugars and grains as much as 10X more than just 200 yrs ago.
7. Focus on food timing
Experiment with narrowing your eating window to 8-10 hrs during the day; fast for the rest. Avoid high-glycemic meals in the late evening. A narrow eating window promotes metabolic flexibility. And our bodies may be naturally more insulin resistant at night.
8. Combine foods optimally
Eating carbohydrates alone is likely to spike glucose more than if the carbs are eaten with fat and protein. Fibre helps too.
9. Choose organic when possible
Opting for organic when possible will help you avoid endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Frozen and canned organics can help make organic more affordable.