Kickin’ It with Carbs! : Nutritiongal Volume 7

Hello Everyone! Welcome to Volume 7 of Nutritiongal’s bimonthly newsletter.  Today we are going to talk carbs!

Ladies and gentlemen carbohydrates are your friends! Learn to love them. Learn to make them work for you so you can appreciate all the wonderful nutritious benefits carbs have to offer.  Kick the carb counting to the curb and stop the insanity!  I’m not saying we should turn into Pillsbury Dough boys/girls and down entire loaves of bread.  Nor am I saying to eat twigs and berries.  Maybe our nomadic ancestors did but there are so many more options available to us. I’m just sayin’…

What are carbohydrates anyway and what is all the the fuss about?  Carbohydrates are macro nutrients composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.  Carbohydrates supply the body with glucose that fuels every cell in the body.

Carbohydrates are basically everything that is neither meat, dairy nor fat.  They are not just grains and fruit. Vegetables are also considered carbohydrates even though their carbohydrate content is generally lower than most other carb-laden foods.

http://www.smartnow.com/page/8296

When you don’t eat enough carbohydrates the body releases the stress hormone, cortisol, which can lead to other complications if this situation remains for a prolonged period of time.  The initial weight loss from eating too few carbs, which is mostly water, comes back the minute you eat a piece of bread.  At the same time consuming too many refined carbs, such as white bread and sugary substances causes the body to release too much insulin, creating high blood sugar, insulin resistance and type II diabetes in advanced cases – if this eating style is maintained for some time.

http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/79/5/774

So how many cabs should we consume?  There is no right answer because it really depends on the individual (sex, metabolism, activity level and genes).  Rather than counting carbs what about eating carbs with a lower glycemic load.  The glycemic load measures how much your blood sugar raises when you consume a particular carbohydrate.  The glycemic index measures the amount of sugar in a particular food.  While glycemic index can be somewhat helpful it is the glycemic load which is more relevant. For example a carrot and orange juice have similar glycemic indexes but the glycemic load of a carrot is significantly lower than that of juice.  The fiber and natural sugars in the carrot slow down the release of sugar into the bloodstream, allowing the blood sugar to remain steady and not drop as drastically as if you visited Dillon’s candy shop.  I mean let’s get real here.  Who ever got diabetes from eating carrots?  I don’t see many rabbits on insulin!

Check out the glycemic loads of some popular foods below.

http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Glycemic_index_and_glycemic_load_for_100_foods.htm

I could go on and on but perhaps this is all I will say about carbs for now.  Enjoy your whole grains, fruits and veggies and tell me what you think!

Ciao for now!

Sincerely,

The Nutritiongal

Find your bliss. Find your balance

 

“I am currently enrolled at the Integrative Institute of Nutrition and will graduate as a certified health counselor in 2010. Fire the diet police and take back your health!”

 

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Breakfast Makeovers : Nutritiongal Volume 6

Are you looking for the optimum way to start off your day?  Then pull out a straw and drink up some healthy breakfast makeovers in volume 6 of Nutritiongal’s newsletter!

Why do we need to eat breakfast?  Is it really the most important meal of the day?  We have heard numerous things about breakfast from starting your day off with as little as watered down cranberry juice and lemon to eating most of your caloric intake at that time.  Some say we should eat a low carbohydrate breakfasts with high protein content to stave off hunger for the rest of the day.  A classic example of this type of breakfast would be bacon and eggs.  At the other end of the spectrum they say we should consume more carbohydrates in the first meal since we have the rest of the day to burn them, such as cereal with toast and fruit. Others say we should be eating a big bowl of fruit salad to cleanse the body of toxins and ease digestion.  There are breakfast bars, protein shakes, poptarts, muffins, bagels, and cereals that promise you more nutrition than a multi vitamin.

With all this conflicting information its no wonder most people start their day off with 1,200 calorie sausage, egg and cheese biscuit or forgo the meal all together.  With all these options where do we start?

Breakfast literally means “break fast”.  It is the first meal of the day following at least 10-12 hours of fasting which usually starts after dinner and continues throughout the night while you sleep. During this time the body can take a break from digesting and focus on tissue growth, repair and maintenance of bodily functions.  Skipping breakfast results in prolonged fasting, which decreases your metabolism and helps you store fat easier.  Eating breakfast is excellent for weight control because you are less apt to be ravenous at lunch and overeat or snack too much throughout the day.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/food-and-nutrition/AN01119

Now that we have established that breakfast is important let’s take a look at some breakfast makeovers to help start your day off with a Shazam!  What you put into your body can set the tone for the rest of the day so without further ado.

Breakfast 1:  Bagel and Cream Cheese – I hate to hear it too but a bagel is the equivalent of 6 slices of bread.  I love my bagels every now and then but it’s good to know! Cream cheese contains saturated fat and sodium with 2 grams of protein.

Makeover : Whole Grain English Muffin with Peanut or Almond Butter, Honey and a Sliced Banana – An english muffin is the equivalent of two slices of bread.  Peanut butter gives you 7 grams of protein and unsaturated fat.  A banana has a potassium packed punch and fiber!

http://www.peanut-institute.org/Saturated_UnsaturatedFFT.html#highlow

Breakfast 2: Cornflakes with White Toast and Milk – Cornflakes are highly processed and contain high fructose corn syrup. They are quickly digested by the body resulting in low blood sugar and cravings in some individuals.

http://www.minimus.biz/detail.aspx?ID=642

Makeover : Oatmeal with organic milk or your nondairy beverage of choice along with fresh fruit such as berries or apple slices, honey and walnuts and/or a hard boiled egg.

Breakfast 3: Bacon, eggs, sausage and biscuits with gravy – boy this one makes me hungry!  Aside from the saturated fat content and lack of vitamins I am ready for brunch!  LOL!

Makeover : 1-2 organic free range eggs, sprouted whole grain bread (ezekiel is an excellent brand), organic butter, fruit salad and dulce.  Dulce is a seaweed that is rich in iodine and has a smokey flavor much like that of bacon.

http://www.seaveg.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=12&products_id=5

http://www.foodforlife.com/

Breakfast 4:  Sugar free and fat free yogurt – In addition to the toxic dose of aspartame and other artificial sweeteners, this breakfast probably won’t fill you up.

Makeover : Greek yogurt with granola and fresh fruit.  Greek yogurt packs approximately 12-17 grams of protein and is filled with healthy bacteria to help aid in digestion.  Granola is an unprocessed, vitamin packed whole grain cereal with some fat to keep you satiated.

http://www.fageusa.com/Default.aspx?utm_source=adwords&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=greek%20yogurt&utm_content=SOzgFgScF|3125833880&utm_campaign=General

If you’re stuck in line at Starbucks or Duncan Doughnuts and absolutely have no idea what to get then breakfast makeover 5 may help.

Breakfast 5: Blueberry Muffin – Commercial muffins contain approximately 300-500 calories and saturated fat.  The low fat versions are filled with extra sugar to compensate for the lower fat content and have only slightly less calories.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0846/is_3_22/ai_92587669/

Makeover :  Croissant – It’s packed with butter but only contains 1/2 of the calories as a muffin and little or no sugar. You can make this lower calorie option slightly healthier by adding a fruit salad and a hard boiled egg.

I hope this newsletter has inspired you to go out there and eat some breakfast!

Like what you’re reading?  Have any suggestions or know anyone who would like to receive this newsletter e-mail stephanie@nutritiongal.com

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