Body Fat

Filed under :Health promoting

Everybody would agree that excess fat is not healthy.  For decades the prevailing thought was that fat was a passive site in the body for energy storage.  Over time a completely new understanding of fat has emerged.

Today, fat is classified as an endocrine organ.  Fat cells release numerous hormones and other factors, such as estrogen which is the primary female sex hormone, and leptin which plays a role in fat metabolism. Women with very low body fat (<16% ) may have secession of their menstrual period, as well as problems in becoming pregnant, due to low estrogen production.  On the other hand, women with very high body fat percentage (>32%) may also have some problems, due to the excess of estrogen produced.  Fat is now also considered to serves as an immune organ.

Thousands of years ago, When food was scarce the body used its reserve to exist. When food was in abundance the body induced fat formation, and decreased glucose use by short term insulin resistance.  Most people in the United States no longer live in a world in which food is ever scarce.  Therefore what had been at one time a beneficial adaptation that promotes survival, have now become an epidemic.

People are genetically programed to accumulate fat in times of food abundance.  This explaines why gaining weight is so easy, while loosing weight is so difficult.

The once temporary state of insulin resistance meant to help species survive has now become the permanent state of type 2 diabetes!

Today fat is viewed very negatively.  It is important to remember though that it is an important part of the body in its role as one of the largest endocrine organs, immune function, as well as energy storage.  Excess of anything is never good, therefore it is always important to maintain healthy body weight, and not go to extremes of too little or too much body fat.

“Sugar Rush”

Filed under :Health promoting

Everybody heard of a “sugar rush”, some have felt it, but what does it really mean and what causes it?

The obvious answer would be SUGAR… but its not that simple, there is some science to it.

Did you ever hear of a Glycemic Index?

The glycemic index indicates the body’s increase in blood glucose after consuming a certain food.

The glycemic index can be a very useful tool for a diabetic to control their blood sugars, however it could also be used by healthy people and athletes to get the maximum energy at the right times.

The glycemic index rankes food into three main categories: low, moderate and high glycemic foods.  High glycemic foods enter bloodstream quickly and cause blood glucose to rise higher, but do not stay elevated too long (the foods that may cause a “Sugar Rush”). Moderate to Low glycemic foods enter the bloodstream slowly and remain stable.

Based on these facts, we can use the glycemic index to choose foods before, during and after exercise (or any other activity) to have more energy.

Here is the breakdown:

-Moderate to high in the morning – helps wake up and be more alert.

-Low to moderate 2-4 hourse before an activity or exercise.

-High glycemic during exercise, if lasts longer then 90 min.  e.g. marathon.

-High glycemic immideately after activity or exercise to replenish glycogen stores.  This will prevent the feeling of low energy and fatigue in the next day.

If you are the kind of person that feels tired in certain times of the day, or in the day following a long exercise cession, this may be the solution to your yawns.

There are many sources for the glycemic index online – just look it up and get energized! 😀

“Vitamin D” milk?

Filed under :Food Hypes

Did you ever buy Whole milk because it says on the package that it has vitamin D? Some people may  even call it Vitamin D milk.

If you look closely at the food labels of the “vitamin D” milk comparing it with a food label of the 2%,1%, or 0% fat milks, you many notice that all contain the same amount of Vitamin D, which is about 25%.

Well, many will argue that because there is no fat in the skim milk, you will not be able to absorb the vitamin D.  This is also incorrect, because vitamin D is mainly bound to protein (which is the same in all types of milk).  This is how vitamin D is transported in the blood, via vitamin D-binding proteins.

This is simply a HYPE… a marketing strategy… this is why its so important to look at food labels, when deciding what to buy in the grocery store.

If you enjoy drinking whole milk, that’s great! If you are trying to cut down on fat, or calories, you may want to switch to a lower fat, or fat free milk.  The important point here is that you do not have to compromise your nutritional intake of vitamin D, as well as most of the other nutrients, and proteins.


Filed under :Green Tea - EGCG

Tea is one of the most widely consumed beverage in the world, next to water for enjoyment and health.

Green tea has been recognized for its many health benefits.  The major components of interest are the polyphenols which are responsible for the antioxidant and other health benefits.  The major polyphenols in green tea are flavonoids.  There are four major flavonoids in green tea, i will focus on epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is viewed as the most significant active component.

Much research is available depicting the health benefits of green tea for a wide variety of implications, including different types of cancer, heart disease, liver disease, etc.

There is also a wide range of uses for green tea in diabetes, inflammatory diseases, skin disorders, hair loss, as well as weight loss, and exercise enhancement.

I will be focusing on the effects of green tea (more specifically EGCG combined with caffeine) and its affects on weight loss and exercise enhancement.

***Check for updates under the category Green Tea – EGCG


Filed under :Health promoting

Nutrigenomics is a field that studies the effects of food on gene expression.

Nutrigenomics involves tailoring diets to someone’s genetic makeup. It is speculated that in five to 10 years, you would go to a genetic counselor or a physician who could help you understand your genetic makeup, and then a nutritional professional could customize your diet accordingly.

Researchers say that nutrigenomics could completely change the future of public health and the food and culinary industries.

All you will have to do is draw a small sample of blood, which is analyzed in the lab for your DNA profile. Then a nutrigenomics proffesional (should be a new career) gives you the exact diet you should follow based on your genetic makeup.  This diet would take into account what foods you need for overall health, to prevent predispositioned illnesses, and prevent weight gain.

The thing is that today we have the dietitian that write us a personalized diet; how to eat to loose weight, to decrease cholesterol, or control diabetes.  Most people do not follow these diets (that’s why i encourage nutrition education).  Would a DNA profile encourage people to follow their new diets? Or would they go back to their original diet anyways?

Critical of others’ eating habits!

Filed under :Health promoting

Most Americans are satisfied with their own eating habits, but 73 percent of them are critical of others’ eating habits.

A survey found that most people said they were concerned about someone they loved skipping meals, eating emotionally, or overeating, but many were unlikely to identify poor habits in themselves.

Future-Minded or Present-Minded

Filed under :Health promoting

US psychologists found that people who tend to think in the long term, who focus on later rewards rather than immediate payoffs, are more likely to make better and positive decisions concerning their health, such as what and how much to eat and drink, exercise regularly, and use sunscreen.

If you are more willing to pick later, larger rewards rather than taking the immediate payoff, you are more future-minded than present-minded.

For instance, a future-minded person would be more likely to exercise, and less likely to smoke and drink. A present-minded individual is more likely to want immediate results,and use tanning beds.

Would you say you are future-minded or present-minded? Do you believe this plays a role with your current and future health?

A Lifetime Of Inactivity-The Result Of Having A Negative Phys Ed Teacher

Filed under :Health promoting

Very interesting research study…

Humiliation in physical education class as a child can turn people off fitness for good, according to a University of Alberta researcher.

Billy Strean, a professor in the U of A’s Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, says a negative lifelong attitude towards physical activity can be determined by either a good or a bad experience, based on the personal characteristics of the coach or instructor. For example, negative experiences may come from a teacher who has low energy, is unfair and/or someone who embarrasses students.

Can you remember your childhood physical activity experiences? Do you believe they might have an effect on how active you are as an adult?

Diet Plan vs. Nutrition Education?

Filed under :Health promoting

If you decide to lose weight, treat a medical condition, or join a competitive sport, would you rather get a “diet plan” or “nutrition education”?

By “diet plan” I mean; a dietitian will seat with you, calculate all your values, and give you a plan that you will have to follow.

By “nutrition education” I mean; working with a health promoter or nutrition educator that will teach you how to calculate your own values, explain what they mean, teach you all the necessary tools to understand your diatary needs, and you will plan your own diet according to your lifestyle.