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Tuesday, July 07 2015

We are what we eat. We’ve all heard that phrase before. It’s quite true. What we put into our bodies will make or break us, so to speak. In America, unlike some underdeveloped countries, we have food abundant. So why aren’t we making nutritiously sound choices?

Let’s take a closer look at what nutrition means. Nutrition is the intake of food, considered in relation to the body’s dietary needs. Good nutrition starts with the basics, a well-rounded diet consisting of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and lean sources of protein. It’s that simple! Why complicate things by reading more into it than that?

The cornerstone of good health is a well-balanced diet combined with regular physical activity. It’s been well documented that poor nutrition leads to so many ailments from a reduced immunity system, to increased susceptibility to disease, to impaired physical and mental development, as well as to reduced productivity, and the list goes on and on. Why would anyone choose other than sound nutritious choices especially when it’s readily available to them?

It’s been proven that good nutrition cannot only make you healthier, feel better but also add years to your life. Currently, the typical American diet is low in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and high in saturated fat, salt, and sugar. As a result, more Americans than ever are overweight, obese, and at increased risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and certain cancers.

The time is now to make the changes for a healthier, happier you. Here are some down-to-earth suggestions.

  • Eat Your Veggies!
  • Focus on Fruit.
  • Read the Nutrition Facts Label.
  • Control Portion Sizes.
  • Control Calories and Get the Most Nutrients.
  • Know Your Fats.
  • Make Choices That Are Lean, Low fat, or Fat-free.
  • Make Half Your Grains Whole.
  • Lower Sodium.
  • Limit Added Sugars.

Live on! Live Healthy!!

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 03:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, June 27 2015

Clients often ask me what is a healthy snack other than the “perfect snack “of fresh fruit and vegetables. My answer to them, it all depends. Are we asking about easy snacks of convenience or just healthy, nutritional snacks in general.

If we’re at home, we certainly have more snack options, for obvious reasons you have your refrigerator and pantry.

On the other hand, at work and in travel, they’re fewer options. To keep this brief, let’s look at one easy snack option, a nutrition bar. Still not all nutrition bars are created equal. Let’s look at what makes for a healthy snack bar.

I set the “bar” high. A healthy snack bar should have more than 3 grams of protein; more than 3 grams of fiber; most of the fats should be heart-healthy fats (unsaturated fats); and carbohydrates should be mostly whole grains with 10-20 grams of sugar. I’m not going to name specific brands, for that’s your job to read nutrition information.

However, I will point out the things you should avoid. You should avoid, like the plaque, such things as trans-fats, hydrogenated oils, sucrose and high fructose corn syrup.

In understanding trans-fats, it’s pertinent to know that these fats are artificially produced and cause far more damage to your body than any other fat and they are often disguised as hydrogenated oils. Read the nutrition facts and the list of ingredients carefully. Read more: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/trans-fat/CL00032

Another ingredient in all products not just snack bars that you should look for is the words “sucrose”, “fructose” and “high fructose” corn syrup. What exactly are these? They’re sweeteners. Sucrose, commonly called table sugar, is an organic compound composed of fructose and glucose. Sucrose is made from cane or beet sugar and can be powdered or granulated. Sucrose is considered empty calories providing only energy without nutritional value. Sucrose is metabolized in the liver and has a variety of beneficial and detrimental health effects.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/517473-the-effect-of-sucrose-on-the-liver/#ixzz2LqTWIzEW

Fructose, often called the fruit sugar, is a type of naturally occurring sugar found in many fruits, vegetables, and honey. Fructose is nearly twice as sweet as sucrose (table sugar) and can give a similar rise in blood sugar as sucrose. Fructose is commonly used in processed foods partly because it is less expensive to produce than sucrose and it takes less of it to produce the same level of sweetness. Fructose is often consumed in the form of high fructose corn syrup, which is fructose that has been combined with corn syrup and chemically treated to increase the concentration and sweetness of the fructose. High fructose corn syrup, a sweetener in its worst form, is found in many of our food and beverage products. Researchers have found evidence that indicates the consumption of fructose in the form of high fructose corn syrup contributes significantly to weight gain and possible insulin resistance.

So if you’re looking for healthy snack bars beware of the artificial “weight gaining” ingredients!! I will discuss in my next blog other healthy snack options as well as other detrimental ingredients to be aware of. Healthy snacking to you!

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 02:25 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, June 21 2015

Most Americans eat an animal based diet often times with little or no plant based foods. Most “meat-eaters” actually get too much protein, which can lead to a vast amount of health problems.

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) on food packages lists protein requirements at 10 percent. Americans, however, average around 15-16 percent of calories from protein. According to respected nutrition researcher Professor T. Colin Campbell, “Only 5-6 percent of dietary protein is required to replace the protein regularly excreted by the body (as amino acids).

Most people do not realize that every whole food contains protein, carrots contain protein, celery contains protein. The protein consumed from a balanced plant-based diet appears to be plenty. Animal products are not the only source of protein. As a matter of a fact, the research shows that an animal-protein diet contributes to diseases of nearly every type; and a plant-based diet is not only good for our health, but it’s also curative of the very serious diseases we face.

Abundant evidence suggests that the most healthful diets set aside animal products and also reduce fats in general, while including large amounts of vegetables and fruits. Eliminating meat and dairy products from your diet is a powerful step in disease prevention and premature death!

For further readings on the topic, I highly recommend, The China Study, by Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Planeat, by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr.

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 01:54 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, June 18 2015

Eating to Lose Weight & Body fat

While it seems harmless — and possibly even beneficial to weight loss — to skip a meal or a snack from time to time, this common scenario may actually be setting your body up to gain weight.

How is it possible to gain weight by NOT eating?

The first goal of eating regularly every 3 to 4 hours is to eliminate cravings. Skipping meals and snacks causes exaggerated swings in blood sugar, which may encourage these cravings to return. This may cause you to splurge on unhealthy foods, thus reversing your weight-loss progress.
Skipping too many meals can prompt your body to go into starvation mode. In order to conserve energy and resources, your metabolism will start to slow down, ultimately causing your weight loss to stall. You will also lose muscle and not recover from your strength training workouts if you are not fueling your body with quality meals. This loss in muscle will also slow down your metabolic rate and stall all progress.

So what should you do if you’re just not hungry?

Don’t fall into the common trap of mistaking your diminished cravings for diminished hunger. If you’re following the eating plan correctly — eating regular meals throughout the day — you will begin to get hungrier but you won’t feel as ravenous as you did in the past as long as you are eating all of your meals on time. By eating regular meals daily, you will increase your lean mass; increase your metabolic rate and look and feel better than ever!

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 01:42 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, June 17 2015

Here is some helpful information, visuals, regarding serving sizes:

  • Two cups of mixed greens are two baseballs.
  • One cup of raw vegetables is a baseball.
  • A half cup of cooked vegetables, rice, cereal, couscous, bulgur wheat, beans, tofu, or low-fat cottage cheese is a cupcake or muffin.
  • One medium baked potato or sweet potato is a computer mouse.
  • For vegetable or fruit juice, 8-10 ounces is about three-quarters of a soda can.
  • One medium piece of raw fruit is a tennis ball.
  • One cup of berries or chopped fruit is a baseball.
  • A fourth of a cup of dried fruit is a golf ball.
  • A half of a whole-grain 3-ounce bagel, a half of a whole-wheat English muffin, or a half of a whole-grain hamburger bun is a hockey puck.
  • One whole-wheat pita or one whole-wheat flour or corn tortilla is an average-sized saucer.
  • Four whole-grain crackers are four tea bags.
  • Two low-fat whole-wheat pancakes are two compact discs.
  • One cup of milk (skim, low-fat, 1 percent, soy, rice, and nut milks) or one cup of plain, low-fat, sugar-free, or soy yogurt, is a baseball.
  • An ounce of hard cheese is a tube of lipstick.
  • One vegetarian burger or patty is a lid to a mayonnaise jar.
  • One tablespoon of oil (olive, canola, flaxseed, peanut, sesame, walnut, or other oil), salad dressing, mayonnaise, nut butters, nuts, or seeds is one checker.
  • When it comes to meat, I recommend 4 ounces—roughly the same size as your checkbook or a deck of cards—as part of a healthy meal.
Posted by: Aline Laing AT 01:38 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, June 09 2015

We hear it all the time, for good health you must eat healthily and exercise. But what exactly is healthy eating? Healthy eating essentially means consuming the right quantities of foods from all food groups to lead a healthy life. Diet is often referred to as some dietary regimen for losing weight. Diet simply means the food we eat.

A nutritionally sound diet promotes good health. A healthy diet must include several food, groups. The crucial part of healthy eating is a balanced diet. A balanced diet, a healthy diet, means consuming from all the different food groups in the right quantities, so you can have the right amount and mix of the nutrients and minerals your body needs. Nutritionists say there are five main food groups – whole grains, fruit, vegetables, protein, and dairy. I differ in opinion as a vegetarian regarding the food groups, which I have addressed in an earlier blog, but that’s not my emphasis here. My emphasis is a balanced, healthy diet. However, too many in our country do not embrace the guiding principles for good health.

Our country is facing a chronic problem with the increasing rate of obesity in the overall population, which includes adults as well as our children. An abstract from the Journal of American Medicine reads, “ More than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese.” The states of Mississippi and Alabama alone have obesity rates above 30% while 22 other states have obesity rates all over 25%. Moreover, the percentage of overweight children in the United States is growing at an alarming rate, with 1 out of 3 now considered overweight or obese.

The World Health Organization (WHO) makes the following recommendations.

  • We should aim for an energy balance and a healthy bodyweight.
  • We should limit our energy consumption from total fats.
  • We should also aim for more unsaturated fats and less saturated fats.
  • We should up our consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts. We should consume, as little simple sugars are possible.
  • We should also limit our consumption of salt/sodium.

Isn’t it time, you embrace good health, and a good life?

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 01:14 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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