Tag Archives: carbohydrate consumption

What Constitutes a Healthy Diet?

10 Sep

When it comes to healthy dietary recommendations, there’s a lot of conflicting information from the world of medical science.  To complicate matters, there are about a zillion books, documentaries, and news reports that attempt to provide us with nutritional “advice.”

Despite a plethora of differing opinions from the “experts,” there is an issue on which they agree: Our country has an alarming obesity problem.  About 1 in every 4 health care dollars are spent combating the resulting side effects of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Physical activity is a big part of the solution.  Regular exercise is good medicine, both as prevention and treatment.

Diet and nutrition are the complement to exercise.  Here’s some sound nutritional advice for the masses (and about as close to a consensus as the experts get):

  • Eating fat doesn’t make you fat.  The importance of reducing fat intake is a myth, and was never supported by any good evidence.  All it did was make people rush to replace fat with carbs.
  • Some fats are better than others.  Unsaturated fats — like those found in olive oil, nuts, and legumes — are good choices.  Too much saturated fat (red meat, cheese, butter) can be bad.  Trans fats, sometimes listed on food labels as “partially hydrogenated oils,” should be avoided.
  • Choose your calories wisely.  Some forms of calories make you store fat more readily than others, and refined carbohydrates — white rice, pasta, crackers, cookies, candy — are at the top of that list.
  • A protein-rich diet may or may not be good for you.  If you’re physically active and eat lean protein sources (chicken and fish), it’s a good thing.  If you’re sedentary, it’s just a lot of extra calories from another source.
  • Sugar is bad, especially when you drink it.  Sugary beverages — even one a day — raise your risk of diabetes and obesity.  Sugar has adverse metabolic effects and virtually zero nutritional benefit.
  • Your body needs variety to function properly.  Every day, you should eat an assortment of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole-grains, and healthy fats.  Whole foods are better than supplements.  Aim for balance.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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Nutrient Timing — It’s More Important Than You Think

23 Apr

We all know that what you eat is important, but so is when you eat, especially if you’re active. In this infographic, John Berardi, Ph. D., and founder of Precision Nutrition, shares his thoughts regarding what to eat before, during, and after exercise.

This informative resource breaks down workout nutrition based on body type and composition, portion sizes, and protein and carbohydrate consumption.

Check it out!

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Muscle Recovery 101

13 Jul
Peanut Butter, Banana, and Honey on Whole Grain Bread

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Honey on Whole Grain Bread

The way exercise works is actually pretty simple.  Exercise helps stoke your body’s fat-burning and muscle-building capabilities.

The harder (and higher intensity at which) you train, the better response you get.  Moderate- to high-intensity exercise stimulates the mobilization of your fat stores (that means it gets fat out of “storage” and into the bloodstream where it can be used by the muscles as energy).

This effect can last up to 24 hours (some experts contend the effect lasts even longer) and allows you to burn more fat even when you’re not exercising.

After your workout, your body is hungry for and ready to convert consumed proteins into new muscle.  Depending on your strength and fitness goals, consuming the right nutrients after your workout can help you burn more fat and/or add more muscle.

CARBOHYDRATES

Volumes of research prove that consuming carbohydrates within 30 minutes post-workout can stimulate muscle glycogen re-synthesis (energy, in the form of stored glucose, in your muscles).  This can help restore your muscles’ energy supplies for future workouts.

PROTEIN

Equally as important, consuming protein, particularly its essential amino acids, immediately after and up to 3 hours post-workout provides the body with the building blocks for muscle protein synthesis. When you combine carbs with protein after a workout, especially a prolonged, resistance training session, you can maximize the results of your strength training regimen.

POST-WORKOUT (Carb + Protein Combo) SNACKS

Here’s a short list of ideas for your next post-workout snack:

  • Banana with peanut butter
  • Greek yogurt with berries/fresh fruit
  • Hard-boiled egg and apple slices
  • Lean turkey/chicken breast sandwich on whole-grain bread with lettuce, tomato, and sliced avocado

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Who Needs Carbs? Who Doesn’t?

19 Dec

V-Type_Diet_Men[1]While low-carb diets have increased in popularity over the past several years, they’re not necessarily the right choice for athletes and active individuals.  In fact, there are very few populations — people with neurological disorders (e.g., Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s), sedentary people, and those who are metabolically dysregulated (e.g., diabetes) — in which some research supports a lower-carb diet.

Here’s an article from Precision Nutrition titled, Carb Controversy: Why Low-Carb Diets Have Got It All Wrong.  Highlights from the article include:

  • Eating an appropriate amount of carbs can help you look, feel, and perform better.
  • Most of us require some level of carbohydrates to function at our best over the long-term.
  • Healthy thyroid function requires adequate energy and carb intake.
  • Research shows that lowering carb intake can adversely affect your muscle mass even if protein remained constant — insulin is crucial for building muscle.
  • The big “secret” might be a high-protein diet rather than a low-carb diet.
  • There’s a difference between processed, refined carbs and whole-grain (minimally processed), high-fiber carbs.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Fat is not the Enemy

25 Aug

3-FiveGuys_burgerandfries-FiveGuys[1]A few decades ago, “low-fat” and “fat-free” were all the rage.  The “experts” decided that dietary fat reduction would reduce obesity and heart disease.  Even the American Heart Association got behind this initiative.

Ironically, obesity rates and heart disease prevalence did not improve with a low-fat diet and, in fact, got worse.  That’s because eating fat doesn’t make us fat, but carbs and sugars do.  And, unfortunately, words like “low-fat” and “fat-free” often translate to “loaded with sugar.”

Additionally, our “super-size” mentality doesn’t help (nor does a sedentary lifestyle).  Portion control (or lack thereof) — overeating — remains a significant challenge in our country.

I’m not suggesting that we should increase our fat consumption, especially people who have health risks like high cholesterol, but certainly awareness and education are warranted.

Here’s an article — 5 Reasons why you need more fat in your diet — that provides some perspective.  Ultimately, fats and carbs have a different effect on the body and its propensity to store fat, and eating fat won’t necessarily make us fat; all fats (saturated, unsaturated) are not created equal; and moderation is still the key.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

What Constitutes a Healthy Diet?

15 Aug

48470_f520[1]When it comes to healthy dietary recommendations, there’s a lot of conflicting information from the world of medical science.  To complicate matters, there are about a zillion books, documentaries, and news reports that attempt to provide us with nutritional “advice.”

Despite a plethora of differing opinions from the “experts,” there is an issue on which they agree: Our country has an alarming obesity problem.  About 1 in every 4 health care dollars are spent combating the resulting side effects of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Physical activity is a big part of the solution.  Regular exercise is good medicine, both as prevention and treatment.

Diet and nutrition are the complement to exercise.  Here’s some sound nutritional advice for the masses (and about as close to a consensus as the experts get):

  • Eating fat doesn’t make you fat.  The importance of reducing fat intake is a myth, and was never supported by any good evidence.  All it did was make people rush to replace fat with carbs.
  • Some fats are better than others.  Unsaturated fats — like those found in olive oil, nuts, and legumes — are good choices.  Too much saturated fat (red meat, cheese, butter) can be bad.  Trans fats, sometimes listed on food labels as “partially hydrogenated oils,” should be avoided.
  • Choose your calories wisely.  Some forms of calories make you store fat more readily than others, and refined carbohydrates — white rice, pasta, crackers, cookies, candy — are at the top of that list.
  • A protein-rich diet may or may not be good for you.  If you’re physically active and eat lean protein sources (chicken and fish), it’s a good thing.  If you’re sedentary, it’s just a lot of extra calories from another source.
  • Sugar is bad, especially when you drink it.  Sugary beverages — even one a day — raise your risk of diabetes and obesity.  Sugar has adverse metabolic effects and virtually zero nutritional benefit.
  • Your body needs variety to function properlyEvery day, you should eat an assortment of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole-grains, and healthy fats.  Whole foods are better than supplements.  Aim for balance.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Nutrient Timing — It’s More Important Than You Think

2 Jul

pre-workout-meal-nutrition-2[1]We all know that what you eat is important, but so is when you eat, especially if you’re active. In this infographic, John Berardi, Ph. D., and founder of Precision Nutrition, shares his thoughts regarding what to eat before, during, and after exercise.

This informative resource breaks down workout nutrition based on body type and composition, portion sizes, and protein and carbohydrate consumption.

Check it out!

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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