Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Myth #5: Cholesterol is bad for you.

The Truth:

• Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is made mostly by the liver.

• It can be bad for us because it forms deposits that line and clog our arteries which contributes to heart disease.

• However, cholesterol is important and our bodies need some blood cholesterol to build cells and make vital hormones.

• There are good and bad cholesterol.

• Saturated fats found in food like meat, cheese, cream, butter and processed pastries tend to raise low-density lipoprotein (LDL), known as 'bad' cholesterol, which delivers cholesterol to the arteries. Avoid foods high in saturated fats.

• Unsaturated fats such as vegetable oils, nuts and seeds raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or 'good' cholesterol, which transports cholesterol away from the arteries, back to the liver.  Other foods that contain 'good' fats include avocados and fish.   Enjoy foods high in 'good' fats such as monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and omega 3 fatty acids.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Myth #4: Eating at night causes you to gain weight.

• Many diets tell you not to eat after a certain time in the evening. They say the body will store more fat because it is not burned off with any activity.


• It is not what time of the day you eat that's important, but the total amount of food you consume in a 24-hour period.

• Food choice and how much you eat as well as how much physical activity you do during the day determines whether you gain, lose or maintain weight.

• People who skip meals during the day and eat a lot in the evening are more likely to be overweight than those who eat regularly throughout the day.

• Eating regular meals helps people regulate their appetite and overall food intake.

• No matter when you eat, if you do not use all the calories that you have consumed, your body will store the extra calories as fat.

• It is a good idea to consume the bulk of your calories during the time of day that you are most active, which may be different for everyone.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Quote of the day

Moliere : "According to the saying of an ancient philosopher, one should eat to live, and not live to eat."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Myth#3: Skipping meals can help you lose weight

• Many people think that by skipping a meal, they will be eating less food and therefore will lose weight.

• People who skip meals (especially breakfast) and eat fewer times during the day tend to be heavier than people who eat four or five times a day.

• When you skip meals, your body will think that you are in "starvation mode" and slow down your metabolism to compensate.

• When waiting so long to eat, you tend to eat more at other meals to compensate for feeling so hungry.  One may also have unhealthy snacks between meals due to this feeling of hunger.

• When you skip meals, you are working against your body trying to lose weight.

• Eating small meals throughout the day helps you control your appetite better and keep your fuel (calories) burning.  It helps control your energy, blood sugar and mood, and enables you to lose weight.

Bottom Line: Enjoy a healthy breakfast, moderate lunch and smaller dinner with healthy snacks between meals (fruits, nuts, seeds, vegetables, etc.), and you will lose weight and feel energized.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Nutrition Myth #2: Avoid carbohydrates to lose weight

• The key message that many low-carb diets convey is that carbohydrates promote insulin production, which in turn causes weight gain. Therefore by reducing carbohydrate intake, you can lose weight.

• Carbohydrates are the preferred source of fuel for the body. Carbs give our body the energy it needs to survive, exercise and get through the day.

• Many low-carb diets do not provide enough carbohydrates to your body for daily maintenance. Therefore your body will begin to burn stored carbohydrates (glycogen) for energy, releasing water in the process. The drastic initial weight loss at the beginning of a low-carb diet is mostly the water that you lose as a result of burning glycogen.

• In general, carbohydrates have a moderate amount of calories (half as many as fat).

• Simple carbohydrates (sugar) should be limited because they tend to be low in nutrients.

• The majority of our diet should be complex carbohydrates: whole grain, starches etc. These carbohydrates tend to be low in calories and high in nutrients (vitamins, minerals, and fiber).

• The amount of carbohydrates is important. For example, a bagel is not one serving of carbohydrates but more like 4-5 servings. This adds up quickly.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Nutrition Myth #1: Fat is bad.

I am starting my own myth busting series on nutrition. The first one revolves around the myth that "fat is bad".

The facts:

• Fat is a nutrient and it is important for our bodies to function.

• The body needs fat for energy, tissue repair and to transport vitamins A, D, E and K through the body.

• Fat helps us make hormones and is vital for proper brain development.

• Some fat is healthier than others.

• Saturated fats -- found mainly in animal products -- and trans fatty acids --found in commercially prepared baked goods and stick margarine -- can increase your bad cholesterol and therefore, increase your risk of heart disease.

• Monounsaturated fat -- found in seeds, nuts and olive oil -- can improve your cholesterol levels.

• Omega-3 fats -- found mainly in fish -- can help improve your heart as well as decrease your risk of cancer and strokes.

• About a third of your calories should come from fat.

• As with everything, fat should be consumed in moderation, especially if you are trying to watch your weight.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Question of the day: Do multivitamins help with weight loss?

There are no vitamins, minerals or supplements that help with weight loss. A multivitamin/mineral is helpful for your wellness if you do not consume at least 5 servings of fruits+vegetables. Select a multivitamin/mineral that does not contain more than 100% of the RDA/DRIs. You will find this one label. More than 100% is unnecessary, potentially toxic and you are paying extra for something you don't need. Look for USP on the label. USP verifies that what is stated in the supplement is actually there. Here is a link with more information about USP:

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Welcome back nutrition and exercise!

It has been a long time since I blogged, but now I am back again. I am going to feature a question of the day. Every day I receive very interesting nutrition and exercise questions. Today I was asked whether cleanses are "worth it". The bottom line is that our body naturally cleanses itself daily. This is particularly true if you eat a diet filled with high fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and beans, avoid added sugar, consume lean meats and meat substitutes, select low fat and non fat dairy products and avoid foods high in saturated fats and trans fats. Instead of purchasing a "colon cleanser", how about considering adjusting your diet so for your wellness. A diet such as this is anti-inflammatory so it will reduce the risks of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other health concerns.