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  • Writer's pictureFeather & Leaf Acupuncture

The Commonly Ignored Three C's

It is the beginning of a new year! New year resolutions are all the craze at the start of most years. Many people take a moment to view their current state of health and wellbeing during this time. For some individuals, this is the starting point in their health journey towards healing. For anyone embarking on their journey, I want to say congrats and kudos to you for taking the huge leap into bettering not just your health but your overall wellbeing! I also want to give you a head start in what are known as the commonly ignored three C's.

These are common factors most people don't give too much attention due to the busy lives we all live but also there is so much information that can be overwhelming, which can lead to confusion as to where to start. The three C's being: carbohydrates, cooking oils, and the circadian rhythm are three major factors that have been known to increase health concerns when taken in excess or out of balance. Examples of these health concerns being increased inflammatory response within the body, weight gain, developing autoimmune conditions and chronic illnesses.

Let’s take a closer look at these three C’s.

1) Processed Carbohydrates

Processed carbohydrates have been the "no-no's" of the diet world but carbs are necessary for the body to be fueled. However, most people don't consume the beneficial carbohydrates or rather complex carbohydrates but instead reach for the commonly processed, simple sugar filled carb. Don't get me wrong, they do taste good and can be addicting, which is why they become difficult to reduce or transition to complex carbohydrate.

These types of carbohydrates add a number of issues over time. They leave us with empty calories, which can lead to weight gain. The simple sugar and processed material that are added in during the making of the food can cause a range of health concerns. Some being: raised insulin levels, nutrient deficiencies, toxin accumulation, decrease in energy levels, cravings, leaky gut, increased inflammation, autoimmune diseases and chronic illnesses.

It is better to reach for a complex carbohydrate because these foods contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, last longer in the body, add more fuel, and burn slower during digestion which has a low impact on insulin production. Examples of complex carbohydrates are: beans, lentils, bran flour, oatmeal, carrots, cashews, apples, and oranges.

2) Cooking Oils

Cooking oils can be a bit confusing due to all the information out there concerning which oils are healthiest. When it comes down to it, most cooking oils are already high in saturated fats and are stripped of nutrients due to the process in which it goes through. Most oils are rancid by the time they reach the shelves in the supermarket. This is due to there being a limited window of when it is the most fresh (right when its made), which this window closes as time goes on while it is being transported from factory to shelf.

Another factor we need to be aware of when using cooking oils is each oil requires a certain cooking temperature before it begins to break down and release free radicals. Most people are unaware of this and tend to use too high of a cooking temperature but believe the oil they are using is healthy. At that point, the cooking oil has turned into a unstable oil, adding to more health issues in the long run with continued use. Some of these issues being high cholesterol, heart disease, increased triglycerides, systemic

inflammation, arthritis, development of diabetes, leaky gut, autoimmune diseases, and chronic illnesses are major health issues when using cooking oils.

Not all oils are bad. There are some that are beneficial, especially when using them cold or at room temperature. Examples of these are: avocado oil, sesame oil, and olive oil. When picking a cooking oil, you want to check the cooking temperature for that oil as well as the place it is being processed from. The quality varies with different sources.

3) Circadian Rhythm

The Circadian rhythm is a biological systematic clock that runs on a 24 hour schedule. This rhythm helps to guide the body in being awake, alert, fueling energy through daily activities, along with falling into the rest and repair state. The body uses this natural clock to move throughout the day with a certain ebb and flow with hormones and signaling to keep the body moving.

When this rhythm is off, it sets an entire imbalance in motion. A disruption in the circadian rhythm has a person waking up not feeling rested leads decrease focus, decreased energy levels, impaired cognitive function, not allowing full recovery, increase stressed levels, increased inflammation, increased cortisol/adrenaline levels, increased risk for injuries, weight gain, autoimmune/chronic illnesses, affects digestion and elimination.

There are different factors that can affect the circadian rhythm. Some of these include not getting enough sleep, not sleeping throughout the night, long exposure to blue light, erratic sleep schedule, work shift times varying, eating late at night, extended periods of artificial light, limited natural light exposure, and high stress levels.

A few ways to get a better rhythm going are: going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day, limit electronic use before bedtime, keep the room cool and dark, avoid caffeine in the later part of the day, and get some sunlight exposure throughout the day.

It can feel intimidating when reading how much all three of these factors impact our lives and not knowing how. This is just the beginning of turning that new leaf towards better health. Baby steps for sure!

The three C's are just a starting point but helps tremendously when it comes to providing healthier habits and limiting greater risk for health concerns.

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