Source:  Food Matters

We’ve all been promised weight loss at some stage throughout our lives. The empty promises of do this, do that, eat this, eat that, often leading you on the vicious dieting cycle and a battle with your inner critic.

While we are big believers that there is more to losing that unwanted bulge than just eliminating certain foods, ditching the commonly known inflammatory foods can definitely make a big difference in how you feel, your energy levels, and will help to shed some extra weight.

They might not come as a surprise to you, but these are the foods we feel 100% better for ditching from our daily diet!

Gluten-Containing Grains
We’ve become so sensitive to grains over time and a lot of people no longer react well to them.  This is because the type of wheat we eat now is completely different from the wheat we ate 100 years ago. It has a higher gluten content because gluten makes bread fluffy and white; and we’ve become addicted to it.

Also, the fact is that we don’t respect the traditional way we used to prepare grains.  We just mash up the flour, add water, yeast and salt and make it bread. But we never did that — we would soak and ferment grains and put cultures in them to make sourdoughs.  When you use this process with an original grain, the bacteria eat a lot of the gluten during fermentation.

Many of the grains in Europe have 80 percent less gluten in them compared to the grains in America and Australia. So eliminate as many of the mainstream, processed grains as possible and eat more ancient grains like quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat.  And if you are going to eat any wheat or oat products, make sure they’re good quality, organic, and fermented, soaked or treated in a more traditional way.  You’ll find your body will react to it so much better.

So what should you do? Here are some of our favorite ways to ‘swap this for that’.

Refined Sugar
Sugar consumption directly impacts the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels and can lead to insulin resistance, hypo-and hyperglycemia, pre-diabetes and diabetes. Uncontrolled blood sugar can also cause damage to blood vessels, impacting the health of the heart, kidneys, nerves, and eyes.

Sugar suppresses the immune system by decreasing activity in immune system cells that attack bacteria. Sugar inhibits mineral absorption, depriving the body of key minerals necessary for health, and depletes the body of magnesium, which is required for proper functioning of every single cell in the human body and essential for calcium absorption and utilization.

If you’ve read David Perlmutter’s incisive critique of carbohydrates and sugar on brain health, “Grain Brain”, you already know that sugar has powerful effects on mood and long-term brain health.

Additionally, since B vitamins are required to metabolize sugar and carbohydrates, sugar consumption can lead to deficiencies in the mood-boosting vitamins and minerals.

We still have a sweet tooth and enjoy indulging from time-to-time with some of these delicious guilt-free recipes.

Factory farms are modern day pseudo-farms where the animals will never roam freely and are often fed high amounts of GMO grains and growth hormones, among other things. Dairy can be a healthy source of fat and can be great (if you don’t have any specific allergies), but it’s important to have grass-fed dairy products.  If you are trying to lose some extra weight, it’s best to cut back on any dairy and opt for other healthy fats such as avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut and olive oils instead. Some of our favorite healthy alternatives to dairy can be found here.

Whether you want to lose some extra weight, increase your energy or even help to reverse a chronic illness, it all starts with what you eat!  Eliminating these foods can help make a big difference in your energy levels and the extra weight you are carrying.