Articles On Nutrition

Carbs And Fats
 

 

In a nutshell. The more fat we have the harder it is to burn it off. We burn a ratio of carbs to fats, and if we are not burning more fat we burn more carbs and become hungry, inevitably replacing the carbs, adding more fat and starting over again.

We burn either fat or carbs depending on the intensity of our workouts. When it comes to losing weight, you have to remember a calorie is a calorie “in or out” or “what we are burning”.

 

The body relies on burning fat and carbs all the time for energy, but it’s the ratios in which we are burning fats and carbs that makes the biggest difference. We are always burning calories even when we are sitting down or sleeping. As you read this you may be burning up to 50-60% fat and 50-40% carbs but you’re not using very much of either because the amount of calories needed probably amounts to 1 or 2 calories a minute. If you were to stand up and start doing jumping jacks your body would need some quick energy and shift the metabolic ratio to draw more carbs, maybe 70%, and less fat, around 30%. The longer you did the jumping jacks your body would start to conserve the carbohydrates, which can run out, and your metabolism would shift again and burn more fat, around 60%, and less carbs, 40%.

 

An athlete however will burn more calories, and more fat, simply because he’s working out for 2 to 4 hours just about every day so his metabolic shift would happen sooner. This is mostly why athletes are very lean. If you trained this way, being overweight wouldn’t be an issue. When it comes to losing weight, what matters is how many calories your burning not really if there from fat or carbs.

 

So should you workout at high intensities or low intensities? Working out at a lower intensity would burn more fat calories but fewer total calories. Remember you want to burn total calories; it doesn’t matter where they come from when you’re trying to lose weight. Even though a higher percentage of fat is being used, a lower total amount of fat is lost. When you workout at higher intensities you burn more total calories giving you a higher total fat loss. So if you ran for an hour, you would burn more fat% then if you walked for the same amount of time. The more carbs you burn during high intensity the more total fat you will lose. Fat gets broken down into carbs to be used for more energy eventually.

 

 

 

When carbohydrates and fats are burned from doing nothing, to working out. We also went into what kind of intensity, high or low, is best and we came to the conclusion that pushing yourself and doing high intensity workouts burns more total calories. So if you train at a low intensity you will burn more fat but a lower total amount of fat is lost, less calories, and high intensity burns more of the total calories which burns more fat plus carbs which is what you’re looking for to lose weight. If you worked out by doing a short, fast jog and burned 250 calories, you would see a bigger difference in weight change then if you just walked and burned the same amount of calories.

 

Like I said before, after going from rest to working out, your body makes a shift in what it burns more of, from fat to carbs. Your body burns carbs as a quick fix to fuel your muscles then shifts to fat to conserve carbs. After 15 – 20 minutes of cardio, running or elliptical, your body will burn a higher percentage of fat for fuel, but when you’re in the market to lose weight it’s not the fuel source it’s the total calories you burn. Let’s say when you’re at rest you burn 60% fat and 40% carbs, then you do some intense jumping jacks. Your fat percentage will go down to 30% and your carbs up to 70%, because your body is using quick energy sources from carbs. Then after you sustain the jumping, your fat % goes up to 75% because your body saves the carbs and recruits more fuel, your fat calories. Then the body continues breaking up the fat to be used as carbs, but if you’re not working out for a very long period of time you may still be burning more total calories and therefore more fat calories when you’re working out harder.
 
 
 
 
 
Dehydrated?
 
I would like to go over the importance of keeping hydrated in the heat before we start getting heat waves. Everyone should always keep a bottle of water on them wherever they go, even if you’re in the house with the A.C. blasting or at the mall. Your body still has to work hard to keeps its own temperature regulated. A lot of people might think being in the cold wont dehydrate you but when your cold or just keeping cool in the A.C. you’re not as thirsty so you don’t think about drinking water. This can lead to cramps, headaches or lightheadedness. For your body to cool itself down, it takes the water from your body and brings it to the skin where it can evaporate, bringing the heat with it. Sweating too much when your outside can get you into real trouble.Your sweat also contains salt and electrolytes. Combined, extreme loss of sweat can result in kidney damage and cardiovascular crises due to loss of electrolytes and hypernatremia from loss of salt. This can lead to nausea, disorientation and even death. When you’re outside working or just having fun, you can lose between 3 and 10 pounds, BUT it’s just water weight. So when you get on the scale and you see you have lost weight, it’s nothing more than just an illusion, and will come back just as soon as you replenish it with more water. I tell people to drink around half of their body weight in ounces of water a day. So if you weigh 200lbs you should consume 100oz of water a day. I like to carry a gallon of water with me everywhere. I know I’m not going to drink that much water but I like to know I have plenty of it. Always make sure you have consumed plenty of water before you go outside to work or play on hot days and have plenty of water with you when you’re out there and always have plenty of water when you’re working out. Try to start your day by drinking water FIRST thing in the morning. I keep a glass of water by my bed so it’s the first thing I have when I wake up.
 
 
 
 
 

More & More People Are Becoming Food Sensible!

 

People ask me all the time, where to get fresh food and farm raised meat from. More and more people are starting to become more food mindful and are looking for quality produce, meat & poultry that are full of vitamins and nutrients. Here are some articles that explain why fresh & local is better and where you can find them.

 

 Local Foods Promote Food Safety:

The fewer steps there are between your food's source and your table the less chance there is of contamination. Also, when you know where your food comes from and who grows it, you know a lot more about that food. During the e. coli outbreak in spinach in 2006 people knew the spinach in their refrigerator was safe because they knew it was grown in Yolo County by a farmer they knew, and, as importantly, that it didn't come from Salinas County where the outbreak was. (The knowledge would have worked in reverse too: if the outbreak had been in Yolo County instead, they would have known to throw that bunch of greens and scrub down the fridge!)

 

Eating more produce from local farms is a great way to keep your body well-nourished and to help out with local farms. You may have seen signs or bumper stickers that say “Eat fresh, Eat local” and these are the places around your area that sell produce and meats that have more vitamins and nutrients in them by limiting the use of pesticides and chemicals and the animals are not given hormones or antibiotics which decreases the nutritional values. The animals are instead grass feed which makes them a healthier source of meat. Animals that are treated poorly and fattened with grains lower the animal’s nutrient values. In some cases this protein may contain small traces of arsenic that are found in the feed that the animals eat.

 

More Nutritious:

 A major benefit of raising animals on pasture is that their products are healthier for you. For example, compared with feedlot meat, meat from grass-fed beef, bison, lamb and goats has less total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories. It also has more vitamin E, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and a number of health-promoting fats, including omega-3 fatty acids and “conjugated linoleic acid,” or CLA.

 

Back to Pasture:

 Since the late 1990s, a growing number of ranchers have stopped sending their animals to the feedlots to be fattened on grain, soy and other supplements. Instead, they are keeping their animal’s home on the range where they forage on pasture, their native diet. These new-age ranchers do not treat their livestock with hormones or feed them growth-promoting additives. As a result, the animals grow at a natural pace. For these reasons and more, grass-fed animals live low-stress lives and are so healthy there is no reason to treat them with antibiotics or other drugs.

http://greenerpartners.org/involved/resources.php

 

It has been estimated that only 40 percent of Americans consume an adequate supply of omega-3 fatty acids. Twenty percent have blood levels so low that they cannot be detected. Switching to the meat, milk, and dairy products of grass-fed animals is one way to restore this vital nutrient to your diet. There is 3500 calories in one pound of body fat. If you are on a fat loss program & want to lose weight it is best to focus on the quality of your foods eliminating refined carbohydrates, added sugar & all fast foods. Start eating a whole foods nutrition plan combined with regular exercise to achieve a healthy body weight!

 

http://greenerpartners.org/involved/resources.php

Above is a link to find more information on local farms, the benefits of eating local and fresh and a healthier lifestyle. With this link you can also find markets near your area. Whole Foods is a good place to start, they always have locally grown options and they have little signs marking them and telling you where they came from. Lancaster County Farmers Market is another market you might be interested in, this is a large indoor farmers market located in Wayne PA, with a lot of locally grown and/or organic food. If you’re looking for closer markets, you can try The Fresh Market in Brinton Lake Shopping Center Chadds Ford PA.

 

 

 Choosing Healthy Fats

GOOD FATS, BAD FATS, AND THE POWER OF OMEGA-3 fats


 

For years, nutritionists and doctors have preached the benefits of a low-fat diet. We’ve been told that reducing the amount of fat we eat is the key to losing weight, managing cholesterol, and preventing health problems. But when it comes to your mental and physical health, simply “cutting the fat” just doesn’t cut it.

Research shows that, more than the total amount of fat in your diet, it’s the types of fat you eat that really matter. Bad fats increase your cholesterol and your risk of certain diseases, while good fats have the opposite effect, protecting your heart and supporting overall health. In fact, good fats—such as omega-3 fats—are absolutely essential not only to your physical health but your emotional well-being.

Making sense of dietary fat

A walk down the grocery aisle will confirm our obsession with low-fat foods. We’re bombarded with supposedly guilt-free options: baked potato chips, fat-free ice cream, low-fat candies, cookies, and cakes. But while our low-fat options have exploded, so have obesity rates. Clearly, low-fat foods and diets haven’t delivered on their trim, healthy promises.

Despite what you may have been told, fat isn’t always the bad guy in the waistline wars. Bad fats, such as saturated fats and trans fats, are guilty of the unhealthy things all fats have been blamed for—weight gain, clogged arteries, and so forth. But good fats such as the monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and omega-3s have the opposite effect.

As a matter of fact, healthy fats play a huge role in helping you manage your moods, stay on top of your mental game, fight fatigue, and even control your weight.

The answer isn’t cutting out the fat—it’s learning to make healthy choices and to replace bad fats with good ones that promote health and well-being.

Myths and facts about fats

Myth: All fats are equal—and equally bad for you.

Fact: Saturated fats and trans fats are bad for you because they raise your cholesterol and increase your risk for heart disease. But monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are good for you, lowering cholesterol and reducing your risk of heart disease.

Myth: Lowering the amount of fat you eat is what matters the most.

Fact: The mix of fats that you eat, rather than the total amount in your diet, is what matters most when it comes to your cholesterol and health. The key is to eat more good fats and less bad fats.

Myth: Fat-free means healthy.

Fact: A “fat-free” label doesn’t mean you can eat all you want without consequences to your waistline. Many fat-free foods are high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and calories.

Myth: Eating a low-fat diet is the key to weight loss.

Fact: The obesity rates for Americans have doubled in the last 20 years, coinciding with the low-fat revolution. Cutting calories is the key to weight loss, and since fats are filling, they can help curb overeating.

Types of dietary fat: Good fats vs. bad fats

To understand good and bad fats, you need to know the names of the players and some information about them. There are four major types of fats:

  • monounsaturated fats
  • polyunsaturated fats
  • saturated fats
  • trans fats

Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are known as the “good fats” because they are good for your heart, your cholesterol, and your overall health.

GOOD FATS

Monounsaturated fat

Polyunsaturated fat

  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Avocados
  • Olives
  • Nuts (almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews)
  • Peanut butter
  • Soybean oil
  • Corn oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Walnuts
  • Sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds
    Flaxseed
  • Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines)
  • Soymilk
  • Tofu

Saturated fats and trans fats are known as the “bad fats” because they increase your risk of disease and elevate cholesterol.

Appearance-wise, saturated fats and trans fats tend to be solid at room temperature (think of butter or traditional stick margarine), while monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats tend to be liquid (think of olive or corn oil).

BAD FATS

Saturated fat

Trans fat

  • High-fat cuts of meat (beef, lamb, pork)
  • Chicken with the skin
  • Whole-fat dairy products (milk and cream)
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Ice cream
  • Palm and coconut oil
  • Lard
  • Commercially-baked pastries, cookies, doughnuts, muffins, cakes, pizza dough
  • Packaged snack foods (crackers, microwave popcorn, chips)
  • Stick margarine
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Fried foods (French fries, fried chicken, chicken nuggets, breaded fish)
  • Candybars

General guidelines for choosing healthy fats

With so many different sources of dietary fat—some good and some bad—the choices can get confusing. But the bottom line is simple: don’t go no-fat, go good fat.

If you are concerned about your weight or heart health, rather than avoiding fat in your diet, try replacing saturated fats and trans fats with good fats. This might mean replacing some of the meat you eat with beans and legumes, or using olive oil rather than butter.

  • Try to eliminate trans fats from your diet. Check food labels for trans fats. Avoiding commercially-baked goods goes a long way. Also limit fast food.
  • Limit your intake of saturated fats by cutting back on red meat and full-fat dairy foods. Try replacing red meat with beans, nuts, poultry, and fish whenever possible, and switching from whole milk and other full-fat dairy foods to lower fat versions.
  • Eat omega-3 fats every day. Good sources include fish, walnuts, ground flax seeds, flaxseed oil, canola oil, and soybean oil.

How much fat is too much?

How much fat is too much depends on your lifestyle, your weight, your age and most importantly the state of your health. The USDA recommends that the average individual:

  • Keep total fat intake to 20-35% of calories
  • Limit saturated fats to less than 10% of your calories (200 calories for a 2000 calorie diet)
  • Limit trans fats to 1% of calories (2 grams per day for a 2000 calorie diet)

Get your personalized daily fat limits

Click here for an easy-to-use tool from the American Heart Association that calculates your personalized daily calorie needs, recommended range for total fats, and limits for trans fats and saturated fats.

Saturated fats: Reduce this bad fat

When focusing on healthy fats, a good place to start is reducing your consumption of saturated fats. Saturated fats are mainly found in animal products such as red meat and whole milk dairy products. Poultry and fish also contain saturated fat, but less than red meat. Other sources of saturated fat include tropical vegetable oils such as coconut oil and palm oil.

Simple ways to reduce saturated fat

  • Eat less red meat (beef, pork, or lamb) and more fish and chicken
  • Go for lean cuts of meat, and stick to white meat, which has less saturated fat.
  • Bake, broil, or grill instead of frying.
  • Remove the skin from chicken and trim as much fat off of meat as possible before cooking.
  • Avoid breaded meats and vegetables and deep-fried foods.
  • Choose low-fat milk and lower-fat cheeses like mozzarella whenever possible; enjoy full-fat dairy in moderation.
  • Use liquid vegetable oils such as olive oil or canola oil instead of lard, shortening, or butter.
  • Avoid cream and cheese sauces, or have them served on the side.

Sources of Saturated Fats

Healthier Options

Butter

Olive oil

Cheese

Low-fat or reduced-fat cheese

Red meat

White meat chicken or turkey

Cream

Low-fat milk or fat-free creamer

Eggs

Egg whites, an egg substitute (e.g. Eggbeaters), or tofu

Ice cream

Frozen yogurt or reduced fat ice cream

Whole milk

Skim or 1% milk

Sour cream

Plain, non-fat yogurt

Eliminate trans fats from your diet

A trans fat is a normal fat molecule that has been twisted and deformed during a process called hydrogenation. During this process, liquid vegetable oil is heated and combined with hydrogen gas. Partially hydrogenating vegetable oils makes them more stable and less likely to spoil, which is very good for food manufacturers—and very bad for you.

No amount of trans fats is healthy. Trans fats contribute to major health problems, from heart disease to cancer.

Sources of trans fats

Many people think of margarine when they picture trans fats, and it’s true that some margarines are loaded with them. However, the primary source of trans fats in the Western diet comes from commercially-prepared baked goods and snack foods:

  • Baked goods – cookies, crackers, cakes, muffins, pie crusts, pizza dough, and some breads like hamburger buns
  • Fried foods – doughnuts, French fries, fried chicken, chicken nuggets, and hard taco shells
  • Snack foods – potato, corn, and tortilla chips; candy; packaged or microwave popcorn
  • Solid fats – stick margarine and semi-solid vegetable shortening
  • Pre-mixed products – cake mix, pancake mix, and chocolate drink mix

Be a trans fat detective

  • When shopping, read the labels and watch out for “partially hydrogenated oil” in the ingredients. Even if the food claims to be trans fat free, this ingredient makes it suspect.
  • With margarine, choose the soft-tub versions, and make sure the product has zero grams of trans fat and no partially hydrogenated oils.
  • When eating out, put fried foods, biscuits, and other baked goods on your “skip” list. Avoid these products unless you know that the restaurant has eliminated trans fat.
  • Avoid fast food. Most states have no labeling regulations for fast food, and it can even be advertised as cholesterol-free when cooked in vegetable oil.
  • When eating out, ask your server or counter person what type of oil your food will be cooked in. If it’s partially hydrogenated oil, run the other way or ask if your food can be prepared using olive oil, which most restaurants have in stock.

Getting more good, unsaturated fats in your diet

Okay, so you realize you need to avoid saturated fat and trans fat… but how do you get the healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats everyone keeps talking about?

The best sources of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and fish.

  • Cook with olive oil. Use olive oil for stovetop cooking, rather than butter, stick margarine, or lard. For baking, try canola or vegetable oil.
  • Eat more avocados. Try them in sandwiches or salads or make guacamole. Along with being loaded with heart and brain-healthy fats, they make for a filling and satisfying meal.
  • Reach for the nuts. You can also add nuts to vegetable dishes or use them instead of breadcrumbs on chicken or fish.
  • Snack on olives. Olives are high in healthy monounsaturated fats. But unlike most other high-fat foods, they make for a low-calorie snack when eaten on their own. Try them plain or make a tapenade for dipping.
  • Dress your own salad. Commercial salad dressings are often high in saturated fat or made with damaged trans fat oils. Create your own healthy dressings with high-quality, cold-pressed olive oil, flaxseed oil, or sesame oil.

Damaged fat: When good fats go bad

A good fat can become bad if heat, light, or oxygen damages it. Polyunsaturated fats are the most fragile. Oils that are high in polyunsaturated fats (such as flaxseed oil) must be refrigerated and kept in an opaque container. Cooking with these oils also damages the fats. Never use oils, seeds, or nuts after they begin to smell or taste rank or bitter.

Omega-3 fatty acids: Superfats for the brain and heart

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat. While all types of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are good for you, omega-3 fats are proving to be especially beneficial.

We’re still learning about the many benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, but research has shown that they can:

  • Prevent and reduce the symptoms of depression
  • Protect against memory loss and dementia
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer
  • Ease arthritis, joint pain, and inflammatory skin conditions
  • Support a healthy pregnancy

Omega-3 fatty acids and mental health

Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain. Research indicates that they play a vital role in cognitive function (memory, problem-solving abilities, etc.) as well as emotional health.

Getting more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet can help you battle fatigue, sharpen your memory, and balance your mood. Studies have shown that omega-3s can be helpful in the treatment of depression, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and bipolar disorder.

There are several different types of omega-3 fatty acids:

  • EPA and DHA – Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) have the most research to back up their health benefits. Both are found in abundance in cold-water fatty fish.
  • ALA – Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) comes from plants. Studies suggest that it’s a less potent form of omega-3 than EPA and DHA. The best sources include flaxseed, walnuts, and canola oil.

Fish: The best food source of omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fats are a type of essential fatty acid, meaning they are essential to health, but your body can’t make them. You can only get omega-3 fats from food.

The best sources are fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, or sardines, or high-quality cold-water fish oil supplements. Canned albacore tuna and lake trout can also be good sources, depending on how the fish were raised and processed.

Some people avoid seafood because they worry about mercury or other possible toxins in fish. However, most experts agree that the benefits of eating two servings a week of these cold-water fatty fish outweigh the risks.

If you’re a vegetarian or you don’t like fish, you can still get your omega-3 fix by eating algae (which is high in DHA) or taking a fish oil or algae supplement.

Choosing the best omega-3 supplement

With so many omega-3 and fish oil supplements and fortified foods, making the right choice can be tricky. These guidelines can help.

  • Avoid products that don’t list the source of their omega-3s. Does the package list the source of omega-3 fatty acids? If not, chances are it’s ALA (sometimes from plain old canola or soybean oil), which most Westerners already get plenty of.
  • Don’t fall for fortified foods. Many fortified foods (such as margarine, eggs, and milk) claim to be high in omega-3 fatty acids, but often, the real amount of omega-3 is miniscule.
  • Look for the total amount of EPA and DHA on the label. The bottle may say 1,000 milligrams of fish oil, but it’s the amount of omega-3 that matters. Read the small print. It may show only 300 mg of EPA and DHA (sometimes listed as “omega-3 fatty acids”), which means you’d have to take three capsules to get close to 1,000 milligrams of omega-3.
  • Choose supplements that are mercury-free, pharmaceutical grade and molecularly distilled. Make sure the supplement contains both DHA and EPA. They may be hard to find, but supplements with higher concentrations of EPA are better.

Fish oil supplements can cause stomach upset and belching, especially when you first start taking them. To reduce these side effects, take them with food. You may also want to start with a low dose and gradually increase it, or divide the dose among your three meals.

How much omega-3 do I need?

The American Heart Association recommends consuming 1–3 grams per day of EPA and DHA (1 gram = 1,000 milligrams). For the treatment of mental health issues, including depression and ADHD, look for supplements that are high in EPA, which has been shown to elevate and stabilize mood. Aim for at least 1,000 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids per day.

The truth about dietary fat and cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fatty, wax-like substance that your body needs to function properly. In and of itself, cholesterol isn’t bad. But when you get too much of it, it can have a negative impact on your health.

Cholesterol comes from two sources: your body and food. Your body (specifically, the liver) produces some of the cholesterol you need naturally. But you also get cholesterol directly from any animal products you eat, such as eggs, meat, and dairy. Together, these two sources contribute to your blood cholesterol level.

Good vs. bad cholesterol

As with dietary fat, there are good and bad types of cholesterol. HDL cholesterol is the "good" kind of cholesterol found in your blood. LDL cholesterol is the "bad” kind. The key is to keep HDL levels high and LDL levels low. High levels of HDL cholesterol help protect against heart disease and stroke, while high levels of LDL cholesterol can clog arteries, increasing your risk.

Research shows that there is only a weak link between the amount of cholesterol you eat and your blood cholesterol levels. The biggest influence on your total and LDL cholesterol is the type of fats you eat—not your dietary cholesterol. So instead of counting cholesterol, simply focus on replacing bad fats with good fats.

  • Monounsaturated fats lower total and bad (LDL) cholesterol levels, while increasing good cholesterol (HDL).
  • Polyunsaturated fats lower triglycerides and fight inflammation.
  • Saturated fats raise your blood cholesterol.
  • Trans fats are even worse than saturated fats, since they not only raise your bad LDL cholesterol, but also lower the good HDL cholesterol.

 

 

 



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