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90 Percent of Americans Have Poor Metabolic Health - Odds are You're One of Them

First off, what is metabolic health? Metabolic health is defined as having ideal levels of blood sugar, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, blood pressure, and waist circumference, without using medications. These factors directly relate to a person's risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

Our metabolic health is the foundation for so many other processes in our bodies; for cardiovascular health, in particular, poor metabolic health can leave people more vulnerable to developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and high blood pressure (not to mention a weakened immune system). But when you look at the data, only 12.2% of Americans are metabolically healthy. That data point sent shock waves through the well-being stratosphereβ€”especially those who believed a normal weight meant a clean bill of metabolic health.

Needless to say, the number is staggering, which is why we tapped pediatrician and former commissioner of the FDA David A. Kessler, M.D., to learn what we can do to ensure our metabolic health remains in tiptop shape. His answer? Changing the American diet. "There are two things in the American diet that are key: fast carbs and LDL," he shared on the mindbodygreen podcast. "You want to lower both." Seems easy, no? Let's dive into it.

π—˜π—Ÿπ—œπ— π—œπ—‘π—”π—§π—˜ 𝗙𝗔𝗦𝗧 𝗖𝗔π—₯𝗕𝗦

According to Kessler, simply eliminating carbs won't necessarily help you become metabolically healthy. The real kicker here is eliminating "fast carbs," or the "endless flood of glucose we're pouring into our bodies," as he says. The reason these carbs are considered "fast" is because our bodies digest them quite quickly in the upper GI tract. In other words, the natural starch and sugars are rapidly converted and absorbed in your body, which has its consequencesβ€”namely, body fat, with its own cardiovascular repercussions (like hypertension, high blood pressure, and diabetes).

On the other hand, "slow" carbs are digested in the lower region of the GI tract, which is where your satiety hormones become released. (That's why fast carbs usually result in that blood sugar roller coaster we hear about frequently, as you may become irritable and hangry once those carbs are quickly digested.)

So what exactly are fast carbs? Kessler says they're your run-of-the-mill processed foods: "We take wheat, corn, and grain kernel and produce thousands of different shapes, textures, and products from that," he explains. "We took the structure out of food." Even more so, Kessler explains we eat constantlyβ€”and that endless stream of fast carbs and glucose can be quite damaging. That's why eliminating fast carbs for good is key for keeping cardiovascular issues at bay.

π—Ÿπ—’π—ͺπ—˜π—₯ 𝗬𝗒𝗨π—₯ π—Ÿπ——π—Ÿ

Sure, a low-carb eating plan can be very effective for losing weight, which is helpful for metabolic consequences, says Kessler. But that's not what being metabolically healthy is all about; he says the goal is to reduce your LDL levels (the "bad" cholesterol, so to speak). "You have to keep an eye on that LDL because it varies for people."

And while eliminating fast carbs is only the first step toward becoming metabolically healthy, it's important to note "when you look at the clinical trials on people who go low carb, you see the amount of LDL increases," Kessler says. "So it's working in the wrong direction."

Which raises the question: How do you get your LDL levels down? According to Kessler, the key is quite simple: a plant-based diet. "That's the most dramatic way to get LDL down," Kessler says.

While Kessler is a champion for going fully plant-based, that's not to say you can't eat animal products from time to timeβ€”you just might want to make veggies the star of your plate.

In terms of becoming metabolically healthy, these two doctor-approved tips can ensure you set yourself up for success. But just because it's simple doesn't mean it has to be boring: You can get creative with tons of nutrient-rich plant-based recipes. No matter which specific foods you choose to put on your plate, just make sure they're whole and nutritious.

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That old adage "you are what you eat" comes into play when pondering these questions. And if there's something most of us could do with getting more of, it's green foods.

π—ͺ𝗛𝗔𝗧 π—œπ—¦ β€˜π— π—’π—₯π—˜ 𝗧𝗛𝗔𝗑 π—šπ—₯π—˜π—˜π—‘π—¦β€™?

π™ˆπ™€π™§π™š 𝙏𝙝𝙖𝙣 π™‚π™§π™šπ™šπ™£π™¨ is a superfood supplement which contains green vegetables, grasses, herbs, fiber, seaweed, algae, digestive enzymes, probiotics and the usual vitamins and minerals found in regular supplements.

Given how densely packed π™ˆπ™€π™§π™š 𝙏𝙝𝙖𝙣 π™‚π™§π™šπ™šπ™£π™¨ is with nutrients, the popularity of our concentrated greens powder should come as no surprise. Not only is it healthy, π™ˆπ™€π™§π™š 𝙏𝙝𝙖𝙣 π™‚π™§π™šπ™šπ™£π™¨ can be a valuable contribution to boosting your metabolic health, helping your weight loss or weight maintenance plan.

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What with all the grass and green vegetables, π™ˆπ™€π™§π™š 𝙏𝙝𝙖𝙣 π™‚π™§π™šπ™šπ™£π™¨ is high in fiber. If you struggle to find genuinely high-fiber cereals or breads because of the inaccurate or confusing information on the labels, this is the answer.

One scoop of π™ˆπ™€π™§π™š 𝙏𝙝𝙖𝙣 π™‚π™§π™šπ™šπ™£π™¨ will ensure you take in a good amount of fiber to start your day off right. Because your body works hard to break down fiber, your metabolism will be active all day long. This ensures that you burn more fat that you would have if you’d eaten less fiber.

A high intake of fiber also accelerates the progress of food through your intestines, which carries the fats and carbohydrates that your body often stores through to be excreted.

Furthermore, researchers have found that a fiber-rich diet protects against diabetes and metabolic syndrome, both of which cause the body to store abdominal fat, increase bad cholesterol, decrease good cholesterol and decrease the body’s sensitivity to insulin.

Fiber alone is unlikely to do the trick if you top it off with heaps of fat and refined carbohydrates, of course, but it can help when combined with an approximately healthy diet.

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π™ˆπ™€π™§π™š 𝙏𝙝𝙖𝙣 π™‚π™§π™šπ™šπ™£π™¨ is a good source of plant protein, which of course plays an essential part in your body’s ability to build and maintain lean muscle tissue.

Muscle tissue is a crucial component of a fast metabolism. Spirulina, for example, which is included in π™ˆπ™€π™§π™š 𝙏𝙝𝙖𝙣 π™‚π™§π™šπ™šπ™£π™¨, is exceptionally protein-rich and is one of the plant world’s few examples of a β€˜complete’ protein, in that it provides all essential amino acids in their proper ratios.

Since your body cannot build lean muscle tissue without exercise, a greens powder is not a magic bullet. Still, exercise in conjunction with a protein-rich diet works far better than exercise without a protein-rich diet – which is one of the reasons why a greens powder is so useful.

π—§π—›π—˜ π—™π—¨π—Ÿπ—Ÿπ—‘π—˜π—¦π—¦ π—˜π—™π—™π—˜π—–π—§ 𝗒𝗙 β€˜π— π—’π—₯π—˜ 𝗧𝗛𝗔𝗑 π—šπ—₯π—˜π—˜π—‘π—¦β€™

Because a well-formulated greens powder increases satiety, π™ˆπ™€π™§π™š 𝙏𝙝𝙖𝙣 π™‚π™§π™šπ™šπ™£π™¨ taken before breakfast or lunch will help reduce the number of calories you consume.

Granted, pure fruit smoothies are tasty and healthy – and you should certainly leave room for them in your diet – but a good greens powder should be your go-to smoothie of choice.

π—˜π—‘π—–π—’π—¨π—₯π—”π—šπ—˜ 𝗬𝗒𝗨π—₯ π—›π—˜π—”π—Ÿπ—§π—›π—¬ π—šπ—¨π—§ π—•π—”π—–π—§π—˜π—₯π—œπ—” 𝗧𝗒 𝗧𝗛π—₯π—œπ—©π—˜

Other important ingredients found in the best greens powders are probiotics – the good bacteria that exist naturally throughout your digestive tract. Like digestive enzymes, these bacteria help with the digestion of food.

In essence, your intestines are a war zone where good and bad bacteria vie for dominance. Researchers have discovered that the gut bacteria of an obese person differs from those of a lean person, and that some probiotics may lower fat storage and body weight.

New studies have also credited probiotics with reducing stress, lessening anxiety, reducing blood sugar levels and even improving the thinking and memory of those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

π—§π—›π—˜ π—₯π—˜π—¦π—˜π—”π—₯𝗖𝗛 π—œπ—¦ 𝗣π—₯π—’π— π—œπ—¦π—œπ—‘π—š

The consumption of good bacteria in a greens powder supplement may thus alter the balance of good/bad bacteria in your intestines and could, through a mechanism not yet understood, aid with weight loss.

At this stage the research is not unanimous, and further studies are certainly needed, but after implanting the gut bacteria of lean mice into the intestines of obese mice and finding that the latter suddenly started losing weight, researchers are optimistic that, once all the good lean bacteria are identified, they will be able to pioneer a probiotic-based obesity treatment.

A wide variety of foods and nutrients, such as those found in π™ˆπ™€π™§π™š 𝙏𝙝𝙖𝙣 π™‚π™§π™šπ™šπ™£π™¨, ensures that you consume a sufficient amount of all the necessary nutrients in your daily diet.

This is not only important to stay healthy, but also to stimulate the energy necessary for a period of vigorous exercise.

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