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Natural Awakenings New York City

7 Foods that Increase & Decrease Metabolism

There are proponents of the idea that “a calorie is a calorie.” But beyond the calorie is the metabolic value. Metabolism establishes the rate at which we burn calories. Some foods stoke the metabolic furnace and some douse the flame. Most people want to stoke the fires and become metabolically efficient.

Top 7 Foods that will Increase Metabolism:

Green Tea – Often ranks at the top of the list for its ability to increase yur metabolism. Aim for 2-3 cups daily.

Cinnamon – Supports healthy blood sugar levels by allowing sugar to get into cells to be used for energy, so less is stored as fat.

Almonds – Contain heart-healthy fats and fiber. Supports healthy metabolism as well as healthy blood pressure.

Berries – Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cherries all support healthy metabolism and fat burning.

Turkey and lean protein – Lean protein helps the body build lean muscle tissue, which in turn helps burn more fat.

Whey protein – Similar to turkey and lean protein, helps the body burn sugar more efficiently.

Jalapeno (and Cayenne) peppers - A little goes a long way here. One of the powerful chemicals in these spicy peppers, capsaicin, can speed up your metabolism.


Worst Foods for Metabolism:

Potato Chips – Potato chips and French fries have a disproportionately large effect on how much weight we gain over time. Potato chips are the worst offenders.

Donuts – Donuts are full of trans fats, sugar, and white flour – all of which increase inflammation in the body and slow down metabolism.

Cereal – When cereal becomes our go-to breakfast, we subject ourselves to an overabundance of carbohydrate making us even more hungry than we were before. Eating cereal at night as desert just puts us in sort of carbohydrate-induced coma, slowing everything down, including metabolism.

Corn Chips – Most tortilla chips are fried and salted and should never be a part of the day to day regimen.

Ice Cream – Sugar plus dairy equals snooze fest.

Sugar – Real or fake – doesn’t do a body good and never satisfies. It keeps the body begging for more and eventually leads to metabolic syndrome where the body just gives up and stores fat.

Fried Foods – High fat foods, especially the trans fast and saturated fats, are not as easily digested – in fact much of the time the body will not recognize it as food and it will simply store it in the form of toxins in your own body fat. This ultimately slows down metabolism and fat burning.

Contributed by: Dolores C. Perri, MS, RD, CNS. founder of The Alternative Health Center. For more info visit or call 212-784-2404