By Olivia Janisch

A lot of myths exist within the health and wellness realm. One of the worst of which is that all calories are created equal, and as long as you burn more calories than you eat you’ll lose weight.

This is an extremely deceptive belief and the basis of a lot of misunderstanding about what it takes to be healthy. Food is much more than just its caloric content, and everything we eat provides our bodies with information and instructions on how to respond.

Our bodies are intricate biological entities that have a delicate balance to maintain. When we ingest food, we go through a wide range of actions in order to metabolize the food, absorb nutrients, and get rid of waste. Depending on what we’re eating, these activities can be nourishing or harmful. Certain foods strengthen and heal us while other deplete us.

An inflamed, toxic body whereby your hormones aren’t functioning optimally will not support your health. This means that no matter how few calories you eat, if they’re not quality, your body will put on weight and your health will suffer.

If you look at five hundred calories of kale and five hundred calories of soda, it’s easy to tell which is the healthier option. A group of 5 year olds can tell you what’s the healthier option. However, the food industry has done an excellent job convincing us that if one kind of food has a lower amount of calories then it must be the better choice. This has resulted in is a plethora of low calorie foods with even lower nutritional content, whose flavors come from sweeteners and chemicals.

When we eat low-calorie but high glycemic, highly processed foods a lot happens in the body. Our blood sugar goes up and our pancreas releases insulin to store fat. This causes heightened storage of belly fat, inflammation, increase in blood pressure, lowering of HDL, and your triglycerides to go up. It also blocks the hormone leptin that signals to your brain that you’re full and to stop eating.  The inflammation that’s been caused interferes with your liver’s ability to function properly and worsens insulin resistance. These kinds of foods also hijack our taste buds so that when we eat real food it tastes bland and unsatisfying.

Conversely, when we eat whole, nutrient dense, naturally low-calorie foods, we thrive. They help our bodies to detoxify and reduce inflammation. The fiber helps escort toxins out and our brains can recognize when we’re full.

Some calories make us gain weight, mess with our natural systems, and inhibit our wellness. Others boost our metabolism, help us focus, and nourish our beings. Foods contain a lot more than just calories so it’s critical we provide our bodies with the right information to serve our higher health.

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