11 Everyday Foods That Can Ruin Your Metabolism

Metabolisms get blamed for a lot. The people with "fast ones" are considered entirely lucky, while those stuck with slow ones bemoan their body's sluggishness. If you're in this latter group, then you've likely been on lookout for foods that mess with your metabolism.

But get this — metabolism isn't really about weight at all. In fact, many of us have it totally twisted when it comes to how bodies work. It's actually the thinner people who tend to have slower metabolisms, according to Jeremey DuVall on DailyBurn.com. And that right there is why you should stop looking at metabolism in this way. That's also why this article is not about weight loss, but about keeping your body healthy and functioning properly.

Metabolism is what keeps your body functioning, so you really don't want to mess it up. It's the process by which the body converts what you eat into energy, according to the Mayo Clinic. During this process, the calories in food are combined with oxygen, and then released into the body so it can function. Metabolism is why you have energy to walk and run. It's also what runs your breathing, blood circulation, hormone levels, and cell growth. Again, you really don't want to mess it up.

With that in mind, here are some foods that can ruin your metabolism. I'm not saying you shouldn't eat them ever again, but do take the following into consideration.

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1. That Innocent Looking Donut

This one bums me out, because there is literally nothing I love more than donuts. (Some may even call me obsessed.) So to hear that they mess with your metabolism makes me pretty darn sad. It's all due to their high fat and carb content. "Plus, because of added preservatives, they can sit on store shelves for extended periods of time without losing its taste or spoiling. The result? ...poor digestive function," according to Men's Fitness. I'll still eat them (duh), but maybe just not as much.

2. That Bagel You Had For Breakfast

I know. This one is sad, too. (In fact, this whole list is likely to ruin your day, sorry.) But here's the truth — bagels are not the best for your metabolism. "Bagels have a massively high glycemic index which increases insulin and inflammation in the body," according to Men's Fitness. Delicious, but maybe not the best way to start your day.

3. That Big Bowl Of Cereal

It's not news that breakfast cereals are loaded with sugar. But check the labels on those "healthy" ones, and you'll see high sugar contents in them, too. As Jessica Girdwain noted on Shape, "... it may be that the 'healthy breakfast' you’re eating — such as cereal and fruit — contains too many carbs, priming you to overeat later." (A high sign you're not eating the right things.) Good thing other breakfast alternatives, such as eggs, are equally delicious.

4. That Second Cocktail

I know, it's tempting to have two or three drinks at happy about. But all that alcohol can really do a number on your metabolism. According to the editors at Prevention, "When you have an alcoholic drink, you burn less fat, and more slowly than usual, because the alcohol is used as fuel instead." In other words, your metabolism is being negatively affected, and that's no good.

5. That Bowl Of Pasta

Pasta has a way of ruining your energy levels in a way that does your metabolism no favors. As nutrition expert Sara Tomm said on Livestrong.com, "The speed at which pasta and other simple carbs made from refined flour products are digested influences your blood sugar levels and contributes to those sugar highs and lows that deplete energy and trigger hunger." Not a fun feeling.

6. That Refreshing Soda

Soda is by no means a health food, nor is it pretending to be. And yet we still sip it all day long, hoping to be immune from its negative effects. According to the editors at Reader's Digest, "... any sweet taste signals body cells to store fat and carbohydrates, which makes you hungrier." So basically, soda messes with your body, and it ain't pretty.

7. That Sandwich Of Yours

The bread is to blame here — especially if it's white bread. That's because refined carbohydrates, such as white breads and white rice, are easily broken down in the body. "This means that your body doesn't have to work very hard in order to digest the nutrition found in these foods, leaving your metabolism at a crawl. Refined carbs don't offer a lot of nutritional value anyway, so you're better off consuming whole wheat breads, pasta, and brown rice," according to FitDay.com.

8. That Supposedly Healthy Apple

Of course apples are good for you. It's what's on them that's not. As noted on Fitday.com, "... Canadian researchers have concluded that a slow down in metabolism could be due to the chemicals found in fruits and vegetables that are believed to slow the fat burning process." To avoid this, look for organic produce, as it's far less likely to have such chemicals.

9. That Juicy Hamburger

Hamburgers aren't the best, but not for the reasons you might think. According to Men's Fitness, "It's approximated that the meat used to make these burgers is between 2-14 percent or less of actual meat, with an average falling at about 12 percent. The remainder of the burger consists of water, bone, cartilage and other 'fillers' that our bodies are highly unlikely to use at all. These chain-made burgers are also high in saturated fats, and may even contain trans fats." Yeah, not so great for you or your metabolism.

10. The Bowl Of Microwave Popcorn

Popcorn is often seen as healthy snack — or at least better than chips, or other junkier foods. The problem with popcorn, however, lies in genetic modification. According to Rachel Mount on Oprah.com, more than 85 percent of the corn and soy grown in the U.S. comes from genetically modified (GM) seeds. And, while not yet proven in humans, some animal studies have shown that GM foods have the potential to mess with your metabolism. Kind of scary, and worth investigating.

Looking out for your metabolism is all about keeping your body functioning properly. Feel free to eat whatever you want, but try to limit the foods and drinks that can mess you up.

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