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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

FAT, PRO, CHO.....huh?


A Macronutrient in simple terms is a compound required in large amounts by the body. Even simpler, Carbohydrate, Protein, and Fat. When eaten together the term "balanced meal" is used. All food (not alcohol), regardless of its shape, size, or nutrient content can be categorized as one of the three Macronutrients (yes, even candy has it's
place). So it is important to actually "balance" your
meal in a nutrient-dense, healthful way.
Breakdown of Calorie Yields of Macronutrients
Carbohydrates(4cal/ gram)
Protein(4 cal/ gram)

Fat(9cal/ gram)

*Fun Fact*
Alcohol(7cal/ gram)
Although alcohol has a caloric value,(a pretty high one at that) 
it is NOT a Macronutrient because it is not necessary for human survival.
There are choices to make when choosing from each category...
Carbohydrates or "Carbs" can be categorized and refined or complex.
Proteins can be derived from plants or animals.
Fats can be unsaturated or saturated (or worse, trans).
How do you know which types to choose?
Maintenance and/or reduction of Weight, Cholesterol, Blood Sugar, Blood Pressure
(aka to feel and look great) you should always choose:

Complex Carbs: Whole grains: Quinoa, Brown Rice, 100%Whole Wheat, Sweet Potato, Steel Cut or Whole Grain Rolled Oats.

Lean Proteins: Most Seafood, Turkey and Chicken Breast, Eggwhites/ Egg Substitute(an occasional whole egg is okay), Beans, Lentils, Lean cuts of beef and pork (Sirloin, Tenderloin, Top Round), Whey Protein (best choice post-workout), lowfat/ fatfree Dairy.

Poly/ Monounsaturated Fats: Avocado, Olives, Olive Oil, Canola Oil, Flax, Sesame, Walnuts, Almonds, Dark Chocolate, Salmon.
On the opposite side of the spectrum...
These items should rarely, if ever, be consumed..

Refined Carbs: Breads, pasta and all baked goods made with bleached, enriched or fortified flours, white rice, sugary juices.

Full Fat Protein: Full Fat Dairy, Fatty cuts of meat (ribeye,dark meat) Meat bi-products (salami, pepperoni).

Saturated and Trans Fats: Baked items containing (Margarine, Shortening, Hydrogenated Oils, Vegetable Oil) Deep Fried..err..anything, Chips, Non-dairy Coffee Creamer, Cool Whip.

This information is not meant to scare you. It is meant to ENCOURAGE and EMPOWER you to
Nutrition labels are good indicators of nutrient content as well but it is more important for disease prevention to reference the ingredients! If it is wrapped in a package, it requires a label and that label is your guide to feeling good and saving your own life.

Questions? Topics you want to read about? Leave a Comment!

Stay Well

Monday, April 26, 2010

I'm a Nut

All fats are NOT created equal...

You may have heard of Trans fats and Saturated fats deemed as "bad fats" and Monounsaturated (MUFA) and Polyunsaturated Fats (PUFA) receiving the title of "good fats." Bad fat and Good fat are still all at the end of it all, is there a difference?

Fats are 1 of 3 macro-nutrients required for our bodies to function optimally. Without fat present in our body, our brain would function minimally and ultimately we would die. So why does FAT get such a bad rap?

In the 1990's fat-free or low-fat diets became the trend and people started believing that fat was the main culprit of growing waistlines.  It makes enough sense, doesn't it? Eat fat, get fat. Well, as time progressed studies have proven this to be a myth.

Actually, studies have shown that the type of fat is relative to where fat deposits are distributed as well as a determining factor in out cholesterol levels. This is why "good" and "bad" fats assume their appropriate titles.

Good Fats (Monounsaturates and Polyunsaturates) are known to actually help detoxify your body from the bad fats when consumed in higher ratios.  MUFAs and PUFAs help clear our arterial walls of plaque build up caused by the bad fats, therefore reducing the risk of heart disease and heart attack.  In turn, the good fats also help reduce belly fat as they flush out their unhealthy counter parts.For even more information I recommend, Prevention Magazine's best selling book, The Flat Belly Diet. It is based on the principal's of including a MUFA and/or PUFA with every meal to widdle your middle.

Common MUFA/ PUFA containing foods:
  • Nuts/ Seeds
  • Salmon
  • Avocado
  • Olives
  • Olive Oil
  • Canola Oil
  • Flax seeds/ Flax Oil
  • Decontaminated Fish Oil Supplements
  • Dark Chocolate

Bad Fats (Saturates and Trans) are fats which clog our arterial walls leading to the number one killer in America, Heart Disease and Heart Attack. Saturated Fats are found primarily in fatty cuts of animal proteins and full fat animal products such as Ice Cream and Milk. Trans fats are found in many favorite processed snacks such as margarines, shortenings, cakes, cookies, donuts, fried foods, chips, and even some meat products. Trans fats are fats that have been altered, CHEMICALLY, to prolong shelf-life of a product as well as give a smoothe and moist textures to products. Though pleasing to our tongues, Trans Fats are among the deadliest killer in the United States.


If an item claims to have 0 grams of trans fat, it can be a false statement and still be approved by the FDA!

Believe it or not, if an item does not have more than .5g of Trans fat/ serving, the company is not required to list any trans fats on the label. What's more: HYDROGENATED oils are code for Trans Fat! If an item claims to have 0g Trans Fats yet Hydrogenated or (worse) Partially Hydrogenated is listed in the ingredient list, TOSS IT! Those items will cut years from your life (Yes, I said YEARS) and add inches to your waist!

Most Notorious Trans Fatty Foods:
  • Oreo cookies
  • Deep Fried Anything (regardless of "trans-free" oil use)
  • Peanut Butter (even reduced fat products that claim to be 'all-natural') READ YOUR INGREDIENT LISTS 
  • Any Whipped Topping in a Tub (not aerosol cans)
  • Breads, rolls and buns
  • cookies
  • Pop-tarts
  • Cakes
  • Crackers (such as Ritz..even the reduced-fat/ Whole Wheat box)
  • Ice Cream
  • Candy
  • Breakfast Cereal
  • Granola Bars
  • Dips or Spreads
  • Chips and Snack foods (even some types of low-fat popcorn)
  • Fried fast foods
  • Frozen Potatoes
  • Frozen Waffles
The above lists are just basic lists. It is extremely important that you READ YOUR INGREDIENTS. Saturate and Trans Fats increase triglycerides, increase bad (LDL- Low-density Lipoprotein) and reduce the good (HDL- High-density lipoprotein) cholesterol.  All of these factors work together to produce your body's cholesterol number, an indicator of progression of Heart Disease, risk of Heart Attack, and Metobolic Syndrome. Now that you have the information, I hope the choice is simple By just changing your hydrogenated Peanut Butter to an all natural brand, you are saving yourself from an unnecessary hospital visit!

Always LOOK FOR THE BETTER OPTION. Enjoy a cookie, but grab a brand with whole grains and MUFAs rather than a deep-fried, hydrogenated, chemically- altered Oreo. (Newman's Own makes a great substitute oreo and is available in most grocery stores or online

And remember... Fats are still high in calories (9 calories/gram). Enjoy modestly throughout the day.

Pop! Hiss! Buzz! .... The importance of your Multivitamin

Pop! Hiss! Buzz!....then nothing. Anxiety starts to take over as you realize your car has just broken down.
"Why did this happen? How do I fix it? How do I prevent it from happening again?"
Do you recognize the expression "your body works like a car?"  Do you know exactly what it means and it's correlation?

First things first...
In order for a car to run properly, many elements need to be in place at all times. Often we "forget" the maintenance of our vehicles because superficially, everything appears to be working fine. However, without fail eventually, be it a noise, a smell, or a jerk, your car will begin to shut down. This damage is usually the cause of something that was PREVENTABLE.

                        Basic Car Check List
  • oil level
  • gas level
  • hoses
  • belts
  • tire pressure
  • coolant or antifreeze
  • air filter
  • windshield washer fluid
  • battery
  • power steering
  • transmission
  • battery terminals and cables 
  • wiper blades
  • head lights, brake lights, blinker lights
  • horn
  • brakes
  • spare tire
  • exhaust system
  • shock absorbers

Similarly, we treat our bodies with the same neglectful mindset. "If I feel okay, then nothing is wrong." It is that very thought process that causes chronic illness and terminal disease.

                 Basic Healthy Body Check List
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin F
  • Vitamin K
  • Thiamin
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin
  • Biotin
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • B6
  • B12
  • Choline
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Chloride
  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Iodine
  • Selenium
  • Fluoride
  • Copper
  • Manganese
  • Chromium
  • Molybdenum
  • Manganese
Looking at this lengthy list may intimidate you. However, unlike our cars, we have a wonderful and simple way to insure we maintain proper nutrient levels on a daily basis. VITAMINS. Without them, our bodies will not run properly and will be susceptible to fatal ailments. 

Multi-vitamins are extremely important to take EVERY day because lets face it, nobody is perfect.  Taking a vitamin with high daily % helps your body maintain homeostasis and is a great PREVENTATIVE tool for keeping illness at bay.

Questions about the best Vitamin for you?
Post a Comment!