What Are The Signs I'm Working Out Too Much?

What Are The Signs I’m Working Out Too Much?

It doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes, we see people have all the signs that they’re working out too much. Yes, no matter how healthy exercise is, you can take it too far. Check your workout schedule. Are you working out for hours every day? Are you doing strength training for your whole body seven days a week? That can be a good indicator.

What are the dangers of over-exercising?

Over-exercising can be counterproductive. In fact, that’s also one of the signs. If you’re putting in more time in the gym and really exercising, but aren’t seeing the results, you might need to cut back on workout time. Working out too much taxes the body. It doesn’t give the muscles a chance to heal the small microtears, which build muscle tissue. It takes 48-hours or longer for those to heal, so you need to give the muscle groups a rest. If you want to do strength training daily, alternate muscle groups you work.

You might be getting colds and flu more frequently.

When you workout too much, it can affect your immune system. Even though exercise burns off the hormones of stress, strenuous exercise, particularly if it’s done too frequently or for too long, can actually cause stress. While the muscle repairs, your immune system isn’t efficient. It can take up to 72 hours for the immune system to return to normal. That’s while the body is healing the microtears in the muscle that cause the muscle to grow. Overtraining can lead to a less efficient immune system.

Your body will tell you what you need to know.

If you’re finding you’re always exhausted or feel exhausted more quickly when you’re physically active, you might be working out too much. Recovery also takes longer after a workout. You simply don’t do as well as before and start losing ground. The harder and longer you workout, the worse it gets. Chronic fatigue, longer recovery time, anxiety, anger, depression and confusion are all signs you may be working out too much.

  • Alternating your strength-building workout by working different parts of the body on different days or alternating aerobic, strength-building, flexibility and balance workouts can help.
  • Exercise helps you fall asleep quicker, so if you find you suddenly have insomnia, you might be working out too much. You can still workout daily, just make alternate days a recovery workout.
  • You’ll feel tired sooner, indicating you’re losing ground from working out too much, but you also may be losing muscle mass and increasing the amount of body fat you have.
  • Your heart rate can tell you when you need rest. If your resting heart rate is normally 50 beats a minute, but it jumps to 80 beats a minute regularly, you might have stressed your body too much with too much exercise.

For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health & Fitness

Are My Fitness Goals Realistic?

Are My Fitness Goals Realistic?

In order to arrive at a destination, you need to know where you’re going. That’s true whether you’re taking an actual trip or talking about fitness goals. If you plan to drive from New York City and start at 8 a.m., planning to arrive in Lakeland, Florida at 9 a.m., you need to re-evaluate your goals, because they aren’t realistic. The same is true when it comes to fitness goals. If you have a goal of winning a ten mile marathon next week but haven’t done any type of physical activity in years or want to lose 60 pounds in two weeks, you need to rethink your goals. They simply aren’t realistic.

In order to plan any journey, you have to know the starting point.

The same is true of fitness. Besides knowing your ultimate goal, you have to know where you’re at right now and whether your goal is healthy. Most people know how much they weigh, but for the person who runs a race, most of the time that person has no idea how far he or she can run. It’s important for them to do that, so they can set goals to improve their performance. Whether trying to lose weight or run a marathon, the goal should be a healthy one. If you’re 5’10” and weigh 115 pounds, but want to lose 20 pounds, it’s an unhealthy goal that needs to be reconsidered.

It took a while to develop a problem, so you won’t see a change overnight.

Whether you’re overweight, out-of-shape or both, it took a while to get that way, so it won’t be solved in a few days or a few weeks. It will take far longer to get to the final goal you seek. It’s one reason we focus on helping people break down big goals into smaller goals that can be achieved more quickly. If you want to lose 60 pounds, start by losing two to three pounds a week and celebrate every success. Before you know it, 5 to 6 months have passed and you’ll have reached your goal.

Track your progress.

Winners keep score. If you don’t track your goal, how will you know if you’ve achieved it? How will you know when you’re not on the right track? Everyone has a different reason for losing weight. Some want to do it to be healthier, get their blood pressure lower or improve their blood glucose levels. Others want to look better and wear a smaller size. Some people simply want to feel more energetic. While weighing yourself once a week is a good indicator, have a second indicator that fits with your goals. Track your blood pressure, take measurements or note how much you get done every day and if your energy is higher. Write down the results so you can look back and see the progress.

  • If weight loss is a goal, don’t weigh yourself daily, but once a week at the same time each day. Your weight fluctuates, based on many things, including water retention and weighing more frequently can be discouraging.
  • Goal setting provides a road map to success, as long as those goals are realistic. They also need to have a time set to achieve those goals or you’ll always be aiming at “tomorrow.”
  • If weight loss is a goal, you’ll benefit from both exercise and eating a healthy diet. You can’t out-exercise an unhealthy diet and exercise helps weight loss occur faster. They work hand in hand to help you reach your fitness goal.
  • Unrealistic goals are motivation killers. If you’re constantly failing, you eventually quit trying. Setting goals too low can also be just as bad.

For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health & Fitness

What Is A Superfood?

What Is A Superfood?

If you’re going through scientific journals trying to find the definition of superfood, you’ll have a tough time. It’s not an official term, but one used by writers, lay nutritional bloggers and others to offer a clearer mental picture of the quality of a specific food. It describes a food that’s high in nutrients and offers an extraordinary number of health benefits. It’s been used to describe many types of food from the exotic like goji berries, to the more mundane, like beets.

Sometimes, it’s just Madison Avenue promoting food.

Marketing is important, even for natural foods. While an advertising agency may have come up with the idea that a particular food is a superfood, it doesn’t mean the claim is empty. Superfoods have high nutritional content, especially when you compare it to the number of calories it contains and the ad agency drew your attention to the fact. Superfoods contain enzymes, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and healthy fat. They often offer the body multiple health benefits and/or healing properties. Always do your own research.

Most foods called superfoods are whole foods.

Throughout history, man has lived off the land. Many of the foods considered superfoods today have been around, in one form or another, as long as man or longer. Ancient grains are one example. Acai berries, chia seeds, mulberries and spirulina are a few better known ones. You may already know about others like lucuma fruit—gold of the Incas, sacha inchi and maca, which are growing in popularity for their health and nutritional benefits.

Easier options to find are healthy options that should be part of your diet.

You don’t have to go to the jungle of the Amazon to find superfoods. They may be grown in your garden or on a farm close to you. Beets, for example, have been labeled a superfood. Nuts and seeds are high in nutrients and healthy fat, so some call them superfoods. Kefir and other fermented foods provide probiotic benefits and other nutrients. Olive oil, mushrooms, salmon, salmon and sweet potatoes often get the honor of being called superfoods, just as green leafy vegetables, green tea, berries, eggs and legumes do.

Superfoods also include spices and herbs. Garlic, turmeric and ginger are all included in that group. Don’t forget many of the healing herbs that have been used for centuries, like holy basil and thyme.

If you’re trying to decide whether your favorite fruit, vegetable or organic animal product is a superfood, just google it. In most cases, at least one site will call it that. It’s because most whole foods provide a wealth of nutrients.

One ancient additive that’s considered a superfood is nutritional yeast, which is often used in vegan recipes to give a cheesy flavor. It’s high in B vitamins and the best source of B12, riboflavin.

One reason amla—the Indian gooseberry—is considered a superfood, is its ability to retain a high vitamin C content even when it’s dried. It has 20 times more vitamin C than oranges and is an anti-aging food in powder form that you can add to drinks.

Plant-Based Protein Vs Animal-Based Protein

Plant-Based Protein Vs Animal-Based Protein

I’ve noticed a lot of vegan restaurants and plant-based food options in the grocery store in Lakeland, FL. It’s part of a new trend and eating style that’s in all areas. There are even plant-based protein choices at fast food restaurants. So, which is best? Are there benefits to consuming animal-based protein or should we look to the plant world for protein in our diets?

Amino acids are the building blocks for protein, but it can’t make all of them.

Protein is essential for all cell functions and building cells. For a long time, scientists believed there were 20 amino acids, but have added two new ones and now believe there might be as many as 200. Within the group of amino acids, there are nine essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are the ones that the body can’t make and must come from food. Animal-based protein is complete, containing all nine essential amino acids, but not all plant protein does. In order to get all essential amino acids from plants, the diet must contain several sources of plant protein that combine to achieve a complete protein source.

It’s all about choosing high-quality protein.

Quality protein refers to the amount of protein available to the body known as bioavailability. It also refers to the amount the body can absorb to use. There are high-quality sources for both animal and plant protein. Fish, poultry, red meat, dairy, eggs, quinoa and soy all fit into the category of quality protein. Pea protein is easier to digest than beans, nuts or rice. However, recent studies showed that animal protein tends to be more bioavailable, so you don’t have to eat as much to get the same amount of usable protein.

It’s more about the type of plant and animal protein you consume.

If you’re eating highly processed meat, like bacon or luncheon meat, no matter how bioavailable the protein is, it isn’t as healthy as eating most plant-based protein dishes. These foods contain additives that can cause inflammation that affect the entire body. The same is true of plant-based options, too. For instance, when animal-based burgers were compared to plant-based ones offered at the same fast food chain, animal-based protein was more bioavailable, but both contain sodium and saturated fat, but the plant based alternative contained four times as much sodium and twice as much saturated fat.

  • Choose animal protein and plant protein from organic sources don’t use herbicides, insecticides, steroids, antibiotics and hormones when being raised. These can cause inflammation.
  • Some plant choices may be superior to animal sources. It’s not because of the protein itself but the other nutrients the plant contains, like fiber. Animal protein is also higher in saturated fat.
  • If you want the most nutrients from an animal-based source, choose organ meats from grass fed or pastured animals. For seafood, opt for wild caught options and ones that don’t come from seafood farms, particularly those outside of the US with lower standards.
  • It’s not difficult to get complete proteins from plant sources. Peanut butter on whole wheat is one example. You don’t even have to eat all the protein choices at one meal but can spread them throughout the day to get complete proteins.

For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health & Fitness

How Chronic Stress And Cortisol Affect Your Fitness

How Chronic Stress And Cortisol Affect Your Fitness

The changes in the body when you’re under stress serve a purpose. Those changes were particularly important in early times, when the fight or flight response made the difference between survival and death. However, today, people in Lakeland, FL, and across the US now experience chronic stress part of daily living. Stress doesn’t have to be as challenging as a death of a loved one or loss of a job. It can occur during happier situations, such as weddings or preparing to go on vacation. All stressors cause hormonal changes. They increase cortisol levels, can cause permanent changes to the body and affect your overall health and fitness.

The hormones of stress cause changes in your body.

The body and brain do not differentiate between real physical danger and the emotional threats faced in life. Both trigger the fight or flight response. The fight or flight response then sends hormones coursing through the body that are messengers to all parts of the body to prepare for combat or running as fast as possible. Like facial hair or where fat is deposited that is caused by sexual hormones, stress hormones increase heartrate, slow digestion to divert blood flow to the limbs. Cortisol is one of those hormones. Adrenaline and norepinephrine are two others.

Cortisol makes some important changes.

One of the most important changes that cortisol makes is to put more glucose in your bloodstream, which also sends it to the brain and extremities. It also causes another hormone to be released that repairs tissue. Norepinephrine slows the flow of blood to various parts of the body that aren’t necessary for fighting or running away, like the digestive system or urinary tract. The adrenaline released increases blood pressure and pulse rate, while inducing rapid shallow breathing. Everyone has heard stories of people in terrifying situations that are able to commit feats they normally couldn’t do because of adrenaline.

These stress hormones, if not burnt off with running or fighting, cause health issues.

You may develop chronic high blood pressure or emotional issues like anxiety and depression. High levels of chronic stress can also cause digestive issues, since the blood flow is reduced. It can cause headaches, stroke, heart attack, heart disease, muscle tension, pain, insomnia, weight gain and problems with focus, concentration and memory. Your body remains in a constant readiness state that can keep your heart beating faster, blood pressure higher, and blood glucose levels higher.

  • It’s impossible to control outside factors that may cause stress, but very possible to learn how to control your response to those factors. Exercising, meditation, deep breathing techniques and learning how to look at situations differently can help.
  • Stress can cause weight gain, DNA damage which causes premature aging and even lead to tumor growth. Stress shortens the cell’s telomeres that protect the cell’s DNA and allows replication. Exercise lengthens them.
  • Stress can cause tooth damage from chronic grinding and clenching of the teeth. It can cause sleep interruption, which is a time the body and brain repair. It leaves you exhausted and unable to deal with the stressors the following day.
  • One hypothesis on why cortisol, the stress hormone, may cause weight around the midsection comes from the fact that early man may have required the storage of fat during harsh, stressful times. It also may be due to diverted blood flow.

For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health and Fitness

How Soon After Covid Should I Start Exercising Again?

How Soon After Covid Should I Start Exercising Again?

If you’re like one of the almost 30 million of Americans who developed some form of Covid-19, you want to get back to your healthier self and exercising is one way to do it. How soon is it safe for you to begin a regimen of exercise after covid? There’s no one right answer, just as no two cases of Covid are exactly alike. Even mild cases may have lingering symptoms or show improvement one day and get worse the next. Unlike many illnesses, recovery from covid normally doesn’t show a linear recovery.

Did you have a mild case or severe case of covid.

The aches and pains of a mild form of the disease and disastrous effects of severe cases both require caution. One thing is certain, you will probably tire faster than you did before covid hit. Phase your exercise in slowly. Don’t expect to go to the gym and pick up where you left off, even if the case was mild. Always check with your healthcare professional first to make sure. If your vital signs are good, your health care professional will also look for chronic or acute conditions from covid. Not everyone recovers the same, even if their case was mild. You have to listen to your body.

If you’re having more difficulty returning to your regular fitness regimen, take it slow.

If your doctor gave you the okay to workout, don’t expect to get back to your pre-covid workout immediately. Start with walks, lighter weights and exercises that can help improve breathing and chest expansion. When you feel strong enough to increase your routine to more strenuous workouts, do so. Sometimes even people with mild cases of covid may find they tire or get winded quickly after covid. They should take it easier too.

Severe cases of covid and those that required hospitalization need closer scrutiny.

Always get clearance from your health care specialist before starting any program of exercise. Your doctor may suggest that you take it easy for a while and start with short walk, extending them as you get stronger. Your body will tell you when you’ve done too much. Always start with light intensity exercises, which includes stretching, walking and options like Tai Chi. You should only do activities that you can do without getting short of breath. Do this until you feel ready to move on to the next level. Many people find they’re better one day, only to get winded easier the next. It’s a two-steps-forward-and-one-step-back type of recovery.

  • Exercise is important after having covid. Inactivity can cause covid related problems, like blood clots and increase shortness of breath.
  • Just as intense activity after having any serious disease and before your body is ready is bad, so is remaining inactive too long. Immobility can do a great deal of damage, too.
  • Even people who have had mild cases may find it difficult to workout at the same level they did previously. Easing back slowly and listening to your body is important.
  • While you may still exhibit some effects of covid when you’re working out, like shortness of breath or coughing, you’ll probably breathe easier after you’ve finished exercising. Some people find that improvement in breathing can be frustrating, better one day and worse the next.

For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health and Fitness

Health Benefits Of Walking

Health Benefits Of Walking

When the weather is hot, like it is in the summer if Florida, it’s easy to take the car for short trips and even may be wiser if you have health issues. However, on those wonderfully cooler days, taking a walk can be a huge boost to your overall health. There are health benefits of walking that you may be missing, even if you workout regularly at the gym. You’ll be more in touch with nature when you walk, especially if you go to the many parks, lakes and gardens in the area, like Hollis Garden.

You aren’t in shape and afraid to walk very far, not a problem.

Walking can help you get started on a program of fitness. Even people who are completely out of shape can walk. It doesn’t mean they should start by walking a mile. Start by walking a block or less. Remember, you have to walk back to your starting point, so don’t push it. As soon as you start to feel tired, turn around and head for home. If it’s too hot to walk outside, go to an air-conditioned mall to walk. You can use walking as just the first step to getting back into shape, although, it’s not a complete program of exercise. We feel that a guided program of traditional exercise can help you reach your goal faster.

Walking is heart healthy.

Walking is good for your heart and entire circulatory system. If you want an even faster way to boost health, turn your walk into an HIIT—high intensity interval training—walk. You do that by modifying your walk, walking at top speed and intensity for a few minutes, then slowing it down to a recovery pace. After that, switch it back up to high gear. If you don’t have a full half hour to walk, do three ten minute walks throughout the day. It does just as much good.

Walking is good for weight loss.

You’ll burn extra calories when you walk and that can help you lose more weight, while improving your stamina. Walking also helps boost your brain power. Since walking increases circulation, which sends oxygen and nutrient laden blood to all parts of the body, that includes the brain. Studies show that it not only increases brain nutrients and oxygen, it reduces the LDL cholesterol, the bad artery clogging type. Studies on Alzheimer’s and dementia show walking reduces the effects of the disease. It also can reduce anxiety and depression.

  • Walking is a weight bearing exercise. Doing weight bearing exercises like walking or weightlifting, can help reduce the potential for osteoporosis and can even reverse some of the damage. Studies show it’s as good or better than some medications.
  • If you’re overweight or have problems with your joints, walking is far better than running. It is a lower impact exercise, so you don’t have the pounding motion on the joints as you would with other exercises.
  • Walking can improve your immune system. It also aids in digestion, while helping to regulate blood glucose levels. Walking can also help reduce the potential for some types of cancer.
  • Walking is simple and available to everyone. You don’t need special gear or clothing, except good shoes. Always make sure you have correct posture when you walk, keeping your head high, while freely swinging your arms as you walk.

For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health and Fitness

Will Exercise Boost My Gut Health?

Will Exercise Boost My Gut Health?

If you workout at Habitat Health and Fitness in Lakeland, FL, to get into shape, you’ll often find a wonderful side effect. You feel better, too. Exercise can improve your health in a number of ways, including boosting your gut health. What does that mean? Good gut health involves many mechanisms. It’s about the peristalsis that moves food through the digestive tract, the health of the gut microbiome and the messaging system between the gut and the brain.

Exercise can improve how food moves through your digestive system.

When you workout, you increase circulation and blood flow to all parts of the body, including the digestive tract. Sending more oxygen and nutrients helps build healthy new cells and nourish existing ones. The action of the muscles when you workout also helps move food through your system, which can help prevent constipation and improve the symptoms of IBS—irritable bowel syndrome.

Exercise can relieve the symptoms of stress.

When you’re under stress, your body goes into the fight or flight response. That causes the body to slow blood flow to areas that aren’t necessary for survival at that moment, like digestion, and divert it to areas that are important for survival, like your arms and legs. When you workout, you burn off the hormones of stress, which returns your digestive system back to normal functioning. If it doesn’t return to normal functioning, it can cause changes that permanently damage the system.

Exercise increases the beneficial microbes in your digestive tract.

You’re never alone. You have trillions of microbes that accompany you every day. Most of them are part of your digestive system and called the gut microbiome with an estimated 300 to 500 different species that include both harmful and beneficial ones. Many gut health issues stem from lack of diversity of the gut microbiome. One way to improve it is with a healthy diet, but the other is through exercise. Exercise can improve that diversity. Studies on athletes show their microbiome is more diverse and other studies show that exercise can improve the microbiome and gut health.

  • A healthy gut microbiome affects more than digestion. It is linked to the reduction of conditions such as asthma, cancer, autism, celiac disease, diabetes, malnutrition, MS, heart disease, obesity and eczema.
  • A real boost to good gut health, besides exercise, is the elimination of food with added sugar from your diet. Highly processed food that contains little fiber should also be exchanged for whole foods, like fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • One study showed that after just exercising for six weeks, the amount of beneficial microbes increased in the gut, which improves everything from mental health to physical issues, like a weak immune system.
  • Lack of sleep and stress can affect the health of your gut. When you workout regularly, you not only burn off stress hormones, you sleep more soundly at night and improve your sleep patterns.

For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health and Fitness

Common Misconceptions About Yoga

Common Misconceptions About Yoga

Habitat Health and Fitness in Lakeland, FL provides the opportunity to get fit, but we hope you use that opportunity and engage in active pastimes and hobbies to improve and use your newly gained fitness. People normally nod and agree when I mention hiking, basketball or bike riding, but look a little puzzled or shake their head when I mention yoga. There are

Yoga is not a religion and there’s no religious services.

Most of the classes in yoga taught today focus on form and movement, not on the philosophies of the early forms of yoga. It is linked to Hinduism, but not part of the religion. It does emphasize quieting the mind and self-realization, and discovering the quiet within you and self-awareness. It is designed to help unite body, mind and spirit. In fact, there’s a form of yoga, called Christian yoga, that started in the 1940s. Most yoga classes focus only on form. However, if you’re in a class where you feel it goes against your principles or still believe yoga itself is, don’t do it. No matter how good something is for your body, if it doesn’t resonate well with your spiritual side, it’s not a good outlet for you.

Yoga is too simple and only good for flexibility is another misconception.

Modern yoga is quite difficult or can be easy enough to do for an out of shape senior or person who never worked out previously. There are all levels of fitness and types of yoga. The key is to find one type that’s right for you. Some of the more difficult poses build strength and provide a great core workout. It is a challenge to flexibility, but also provides cardio and builds balance and strength. In many cases, you’re using muscles that normally sit idle or using muscles in new ways on a different plane. It can be extremely tough.

Some people think all yoga is the same.

As noted before, there are all levels and types of yoga. There’s Bikram yoga, Hatha yoga, hot yoga and Kundalini yoga. There are more than thirteen types of yoga and different subsets in each group, with hot yoga often being Vinyasa or Bikram yoga that focuses more on the conditions of the room—-hot and humid. Ashtanga yoga, also known as military of yoga,” is considered one of the more difficult types and Hatha yoga, Iyengar Yoga or a hybrid form being more popular for beginners.

  • You don’t have to be flexible to take yoga classes. Many people feel yoga is just for the very flexible, but that’s like saying weightlifting is for the very strong. It helps you become more flexible, but you don’t have to start out that way.
  • Another misconception is that yoga is just for women. It’s like saying ballet is just for women, yet many football teams use ballet to train their players. You’d be surprised how strong you have to be to take some types of yoga classes.
  • Some people think yoga is all about meditation and not a real workout. It all depends on the type of yoga you’re doing. You’ll often be using muscles you haven’t used for a while in ways you don’t normally use them, even if the class is considered simple.
  • Just like all forms of exercise, yoga provides health benefits. It can be a good supplement to our program of fitness. We provide a complete program but staying active when you’re not here is always a plus.

For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health and Fitness

Is There A Healthy Sugar Replacement?

Is There A Healthy Sugar Replacement?

Man has always been hardwired to love a sweet taste. Some believe it was because most sweet foods are not toxic, and that was the clue to early man it was edible. However, sugar has its negative effects on the body, so many people look for a healthy sugar replacement. What’s the healthiest route to take? Give up sugar entirely. Many of the alternatives on the market come with their own set of negatives, like the explosive diarrhea and gas that sugar alcohols can create. You also have to remember that just because it’s natural, it doesn’t mean it’s healthy.

Stevia is a natural sweetener and may have a few extra health benefits.

The leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant provide the sweetness for Stevia. It was once used by the indigenous people of South Africa as medicine. A little stevia goes a long way, since it’s hundreds of times sweeter than regular table sugar, but it provides zero calories. It’s not always the first choice for taste. Some people love it and others hate it, but it is beneficial for diabetics. It can help maintain a stable glucose level in the blood. It also has properties that help lower blood pressure if it’s high. Sound too good to be true? It does have drawbacks. It can inhibit the growth of the beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract, since it’s a sugar alcohol called erythritol providing the sweetness.

Go au naturale with fruit.

Simply using fruit as your sweetener, the whole fruit and not just the juice, can allow you to get the sweetness you want, but keep it healthier. For instance, applesauce can be used in baking to replace not only some sugar but also some oils. Ripe bananas, figs and dates are also used for sweetness. Do you want a sweet treat that doesn’t have any added sugar? Wash and chop fruit to bite size pieces and freeze it, then blend it to create a refreshing sorbet style frozen dessert.

Monk fruit is becoming more popular as a sweetener.

Monk fruit comes from Southeast Asia and was used in Chinese medicine for centuries. Like Stevia, it contains no calories but is 100 to 250 times sweeter than table sugar. The flesh of the fruit is used and while it contains fructose and glucose, it’s one of the antioxidants that make it sweet, mogrosides V. When it’s processed, it separates the mogrosides from the glucose and fructose. It’s also said to help support the digestive tract, glands, immune system and respiratory tract. What’s the downside? It’s often combined with other ingredients that aren’t as healthy or kind to your system, like sugar alcohols and corn syrup.

  • Chicory root is often used for coffee, but it also can substitute for sugar. It has a low glycemic index, while also containing many vitamins and minerals. It even contains fiber. Unfortunately, it is often mixed with other sweeteners and isn’t calorie free.
  • Yacon comes from a tuber that looks like a potato and tastes like a pear. It’s often called the diet potato. It is the high amount of fructooligosaccharides. It may help prevent constipation and aid in weight loss. Tea from the leaves of the Yacon plant has anti-diabetic effects.
  • While xylitol is a sugar alcohol and can cause digestive issues, it also can be used to help improve bone density. Swishing it around in the mouth, then spitting it out daily is said to cut the risk of cavities.
  • Tagatose comes from lactose, milk sugar, but won’t negatively affect those who are lactose intolerant due to processing. It is shown to be a good substitute for sugar and can help people with diabetes lower blood sugar levels.

For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health and Fitness