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Nutrition

Why Calories Don't Matter

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Why Calories Don't Matter

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Today Burger King came out with 'Satisfries'. They contain 20% fewer calories, 30% less fat (and 20-30 cents more per serving). This is a good thing, right? Nope, not really.

I've been saying this years- it's not calories in, calories out. It's nutrients in, nutrients out [so you can live a disease-free life]. Fast food french fries are made with disease promoting ingredients. These are the ingredients in Burger King French Fries (fried).

Potatoes, partially hydrogenated vegetable shortening (soybean oil), modified potato and corn starch, rice flour, dextrin, salt, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate), corn syrup solids, xanthan gum, dextrose.

French fries only need potatoes, sea salt, EVOO. Not a chemical cocktail like above.

See, calories don't matter when the ingredients don't nourish the body. A 100 calorie bag of chips are made with ingredients that don't belong in food to begin with (or your body). And furthermore, those ingredients are designed to make you addicted to it for life. A repeat customer for life. When ingredients are removed, something has to be added. And what's added makes for an unhealthy body and causes disease.

Burger King Satisfries aren't made to make you healthier, it is simply a marketing & advertising tactic to boost sales.

270 calories and 11g fat are in Satisfries. Burger King is actually using the same ingredients, same unhealthy oil and the same unhealthy process.

300 calories from kale chips (okay, okay, if kale chips aren't your thing, try carrots & cuke with fresh made hummus or an apple with almond butter) give you life. The nutritional label on fast food and Big Food's products is not a good indicator of vitamins and minerals Big Food /fast food want you to think you are getting. Vitamins and minerals come from real food, not food-like products. Same goes with fortified vitamins and minerals. This is another topic for another day, but just giving you a heads up on reading nutritional labels.

Carrots, kale, spinach, almonds, quinoa- all of these are foods contain authentic vitamins and minerals. Just because a food is lower in calories doesn't mean it is healthier for you. In fact, foods that marked low fat, sugar free, calorie free or low calories is a warning sign NOT TO BUY! Foods that might be higher in calories and good fat (coconut oil for example) and be better for you than lab-made low calorie food.

While some people eat too many calories, they are eating the wrong kind of calories. A Big Mac or Whopper vs a bowl of brown rice+beans+coconut oil is vastly different. One gives you death, the other life. The obesity rates are high because people are eating Big Food instead of real food. Get back to real food and everyday physical activity and you'll find that weight drops. (Also, drink water!)

Craving some French Fries? Slice up Organic Yukon Gold potatoes, toss with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a little sea salt, some fresh ground black pepper in a bowl. Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 375* for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and enjoy!

It's not the calories that are harmful (calories = energy), it's the right kind of calories that matter.

Don't be fooled by Big Food's marketing and advertising schemes. Stick to real food, real ingredients and you will have true health!

 

Photo credit: Mr. T in DC

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Girl Scout Cookies: Delicious to Healthy?

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Girl Scout Cookies: Delicious to Healthy?

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Yes, unfortunately another attempt at getting a junk food to appear as a healthy food. Girl Scout Cookies are very popular around this time of year. You've probably enjoyed Tagalongs, Thin Mints or Samoa’s at some point in your life. But, this year they have released a new “healthy alternative” cookie called Mango Crème, which is infused with vitamins. The label states that 3 cookies contain 180 calories, 8 grams of fat (4 grams of saturated fat), 25 carbs, and 11 grams of sugar.

ABC Cookies, the makers of the Girl Scout cookies, claim that this is a healthy alternative to a snack and cookie since there are vitamins in it. But just because the label says "vitamins" does not mean they are. Pure nutrients come straight from real food, not added to it.

The ABC Cookie Company wanted to create this mango crème cookie because let's face it, Girl Scout Cookies aren't exactly known for being healthy (loaded with white sugar and white flour). News flash: just because they included vitamins does not mean it is a healthy food.

Consumers believe Big Food marketing. And it's time to educate consumers about these tactics.

Yes, this new vitamin infused cookie might have trace (key word) vitamins, but what about all the preservatives, coloring, acids, enriched flour and artificial flavors? Companies don't want you to read about that!

Remember to read the labels of the product and read the ingredients before you buy. And if you are spending a lot of time reading labels, then that means you need to eat, buy, grow real food. Real vitamins have no labels. They show their vitamins and nutrients by their natural color.

If you cannot pronounce the ingredient, do not eat it! Stick to healthy, natural snacks such as almonds, cashews, apples, carrots and hummus, etc. There are always healthy options! The bottom line is that a junk food will never be a healthy food. Some links are posted at the end of this article to teach you how to properly read food labels and what ingredients you should stay away from.

It's still a cookie.

How To Read a Label

15 Processed Food Ingredients to Avoid

Food Labels

Photo credit: aka_kath

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Healthy Holiday Game Plan

It’s coming. The holidays they are just around the corner.   The temptation of sweet candies treats and sweet aromas make it so hard to maintain healthy habits, but it is possible.    The holidays are filled with cheer and times spent with those you love, leaving less time to work out and focus on your health.   Despite all the good cheer and celebrating, the holidays can be extremely stressful. Your health can take a major beating as you shop, plan dinners, and spend time with family. To help offset the natural temptation during the holidays and stay healthy; follow this game plan to get you through.

The first thing to remember during the holidays is to remember to take care of you and don’t overcommit.  Taking on too many tasks at once can be exhausting and lead to migraines. Learn to say no when your plate is already full.

Keep good sleeping habits.  Working day in and day out can make you more susceptible to colds and illnesses in addition to weight gain.  Strive to get at least eight hours of sleep each night.

If you feel that you are coming down with a cold, take immediate precaution. Drink lots of fluids and medication to prevent the cold from lasting longer or leading to additional symptoms.

Don’t bother trying to diet instead work in healthy habits when you can.  By doing as much as you can to stay healthy during the holidays, makes it easier to transition after the holidays.

Use others around you to stay disciplined. Use others for support by helping you refrain from seconds or put too much on your plate to start.

Make healthy food choices whenever you can. Don’t skip meals or go long periods without eating.  By prolonging meals and not choosing healthy snacks in-between meals will cause you to binge and over eat.

If you have a dinner to attend, eat a small meal or snack before. By eating an apple, nuts, or rice and vegetables will help curb the urge to eat too much.

Drink throughout the day to help control eating habits and stay hydrated.  Often time when you think you’re hungry you’re actually thirsty.   Drink before meals and especially first thing in the morning to jump start your day.

As you move into a busy holiday season remember to not forget about you and your health.  Stay active throughout the week and challenge yourself to fight the temptation and indulge in less treats or opt for less fat low calorie options.

photo credit: onigun

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How To Start Your Days of Right With Long Lasting Energy

Monday mornings – they are never easy. We wake up after a weekend that never seems long enough and chug down a cups of coffee to help us get going for the day.  Simple solution right?   No. Using coffee and other methods of energy such as 5 Hour Energy drinks only produced spikes of energy, instead of long lasting energy.   To lessen the dependency on coffee and other sources for energy throughout the day, consider eating for fuel instead.

In order to achieve the right kind of energy to power through Monday mornings and sluggish days, what we eat plays a vital role. To help create long lasting energy throughout the day instead a spikes of energy consider these tips:

1.)    Control portions – portions play a significant role and your energy throughout the day. To determine what size portions to eat per meal use your hand as a visual reference:  carb portions should be no more than the size of your fist, the palm to measure your protein, and the size of your thumb for fats and veggie portions are endless.

2.)    Choose Quality Foods – The more natural the food the better.  Try to refrain from eating artificial foods, refined cards and sugars.  Choose foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals such as spinach, kale, apples, fish and others

3.)    Maintain a balance – To optimize your performance levels throughout the day don’t eliminate any food groups.  Eating a good balance in foods filled with protein, vegetables, carbs and healthy fats is key to keeping energy levels high.  If your diet is not balanced it leads to fat storage and dropped energy levels.

4.)    Eat frequently – It’s easy to get bogged down during the day at work with meetings, phone calls and other distractions, but avoid running on empty for long periods of time.  Instead eat between meals with healthy snacks.  By continuing to recharge the body every 2 to three hours with food your body will stay energized and fueled for the day.

 

Start easing off coffee and fuel up your body with quality foods to provide you will endless energy throughout the day.  Your body will thank you.

 

photo credit: epSos.de

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Frito Lay Makes Gluten Free Living a Breeze

If you haven’t heard already one of the largest manufactures of the World Frito Lay and Pepsi Co its parent corporation are making a big difference in the gluten free community.  As part of a multi-year initiative launched in May as part of National Celiac Disease Awareness month  Frito Lay vowed to make snacking much easier and enjoyable for celiac and gluten sensitive consumers.  Frito Lay commenced an effort to test, verify and label its gluten free products, partnered with Recipe Redux, a network of registered dieticians and healthy food bloggers to offer its gluten free fans with delicious simple recipes. They also partnered with “Gluten Free Girl” Shauna James Ahem for tips on gluten free living. Despite controversies of false labeling on foods to capitalize on the growing popularity, Frito Lay is going through great measures to test ingredients and finished products for the presence of gluten.  Any products containing less than 200ppm of gluten off the manufacturing line (in accordance with the FDA’s proposed rule for gluten free labeling) will be labeled as gluten free.

Not only have the gone through major measures to ensure that their labeling is genuinely correct,  last month they launched a gluten free recipe section on its corporate website www.fritolay.com. The new featured section includes recipes that can be paired with Frito Lay gluten free snacks using a variety of America’s favorite chips such as Lays Classic Potato chips, Frito’s original corn, and my favorite Tostitos Scoops.

Finding gluten free alternatives that everyone can enjoy can often be cumbersome tasks, especially when it comes to America’s favorite snacks.  Frito Lay has noticed the demand and responding in a great way to make gluten free snacking and eating more enjoyable for the entire family.  It is with great hope that with the Frito Lay initiative that it will encourage other major manufactures to follow suit.

To learn even more about gluten free living, gluten recipes, resources and chat with other gluten free foodies I encourage you to check out the Udi’s Gluten Free Living Community. You can learn even more about the benefits, get recipes and join discussions. You can even join Udi’s gluten free community on your mobile device! Get recipes, event alerts & special offers. Text UDISGF to 777555. (Msg/data rates may apply.

photo credit: MikeyRSinglemom

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Eat Right to Fuel Cardio

Whether biking, running or walking your body seeks energy from carbs and fats and in order to fuel your body correctly for these activities you need to eat the right foods. As you increase the intensity of your workouts your body switches back and forth from carbs and fats to give your body energy.   Choosing the right foods can often be a little tricky so to keep your stomach in tack for a long run or intense cardio here are some tips on what to eat before tackling cardio. Carbs, carbs carbs!  Eat plenty of complex carbohydrates because they are the primary source of energy that you burn during cardio.  What are complex carbs? Well there are several but some of the staples are oatmeal, quinoa, apples, broccoli, kale, and beans. After eating carbs remember to allow plenty of time for digestion before starting your cardio. The general time frame to allocate is about 3-4 hours, since your body takes about 2 hours to digest the average meal. Also remember to drink plenty of fluids meaning water before a long run or cardio session.   Before any type of endurance training you always want to stay hydrated to keep you energy levels up and keep fluids in your body.

Specifically for runners entering marathons, don’t give into temptation of taking offers under tents and handouts; stick to your plan!    So many runners make the mistake of gulping down Hammer Gels and rich electrolytes drinks and then a few minutes after running they have stomach issues.  Instead opt to eat good quality foods such as almonds, eggs, oranges, beans, salmon, walnuts or fruit to keep your stomach in check.   Happy Training!

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