What are the main components of health? Have you ever stopped to think about them?
There’s a tendency to think that skinny is healthy, but is it really? Is losing weight the same as being healthy?
The simple answer: no.
Here’s what weight does tell us: When we combine it with height and age it gives us BMI information, which can tell you if you’re overweight, underweight, obese, or healthy. So weight is what tells us if we’re healthy right? Not entirely. Here’s what BMI doesn’t take into account things like body fat percentage, body muscle and metabolic health.
One study published in 2008 found that metabolic health and BMI categories didn’t always match, and that a lot of people who were considered, according to their BMI, to be overweight or obese, were actually metabollically healthy, and that conversely, a lot of of those whose BMIs reported them healthy, were found to have “cardiometabolic abnormalities”.
Now even with all this said, there are a number of health risks that come with being either too far overweight or too far underweight which is why it’s good to maintain a healthy weight.
So what should the goal be?
According to Yoni Freedhoff M. D., at BMI Medical in Canada, it’s quality of diet and quantity of exercise. In other words, what and how do you eat, and what and how do you exercise? It’s these that contribute most the main markers of health, some of which include low inflammation, a healthy thyroid, good nutrient levels, and good cholesterol, according to Robin Berzin, M. D. of Parsley Health.
For fighting chronic inflammation: improve your gut health, eat more plant based foods (Kris Carr, The Chopra Center)
For a healthy thyroid: cut back on gluten (or cut it out if you can), get rid of artificial sweeteners ( Dana James, M.S., CNS, CDN of Food Coach NYC)
For good nutrient levels: make sure you’re getting enough of the following nutrients: potassium, dietary fiber, choline, magnesium, calcium, vitamins A, D, E, and C, and iron – these are the nutrients the USDA says the vast majority of us are not getting enough of.
For good cholesterol: You want low LDL cholesterol and moderate – high HDL cholesterol. Keep your intake of dietary cholesterol low (this is LDL cholesterol typically found in saturated fats and trans fats) and make sure to exercise regularly as this is reported to help to lower your LDL cholesterol and raise your HDL cholesterol.
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