Nutrition

What you do in the kitchen is just as important as what you do in the gym. To effectively achieve your fitness goals, proper nutrition is an absolute must!

BREAKING NEWS: Gluten Sensitivity Is Probably Fake.

the-science-is-in--why-gluten-sensitivity-is-probably-fakeAccording to Business Insider, 30% of Americans want to eat less gluten. And 18% of adults buy gluten-free products. But only 1% of Americans have celiac disease, a condition in which the small intestine is hypersensitive to gluten, leading to difficulty in digesting food.

People without celiac disease often report having gluten sensitivity. The problem is, according to researchers, it’s a condition that probably doesn’t exist.

Back in 2011, a popular study concluded that gluten can cause gastrointestinal distress in people who don’t have celiac disease. It was enough to launch a whole of gluten-free products and marketing.

The researcher behind the 2011 study conducted a follow up study with individuals who reported gluten sensitivity and gastrointestinal distress. Participants were put on several different diets, including gluten free and gluten-containing diets. Regardless of the diet type, the participants experienced intestinal problems anyway. Gluten wasn’t even a factor.

There was one diet type that resulted in less gastrointestinal distress. It was low in something called FODMAPs, which are carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine. Many foods containing FODMAPs also contain gluten, including beer, pasta and bread. Interestingly enough, a low FODMAP diet is often prescribed for individuals suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.

Bring on the FODMAP-free diet craze!

20 High Protein Healthy Foods You Should Be Eating!

Dear Davey,

I really don’t like the taste of protein powder, so I’ve been looking at other ways to increase my protein intake. What are some healthy high protein foods that I can include in my diet?

From,
Sammy

DSC_8067It’s no secret that protein powder doesn’t taste great. But it’s important to remember that you’re eating it for other reasons than flavor. It’s fuel for your body.

Having said that, there are certainly plenty of other options for increasing your overall protein intake. Here are a few of the healthier options that I’d recommend:

  1. Quinoa (24 grams protein / 1 cup, uncooked)
  2. White beans (47 grams protein / 1 cup, raw)
  3. Peanut butter (8 grams protein / 2 tablespoons)
  4. Edamame (17 grams protein / 1 cup, cooked)
  5. Tofu (20 grams protein / 1 cup)
  6. Seitan – wheat-meat (18 grams protein / 3 oz serving)
  7. Dry roasted mixed nuts (14 grams protein / half cup)
  8. Raw almonds (15 grams / half cup)
  9. Lentils (18 grams protein / 1 cup, boiled)
  10. Chicken (43 grams protein / 1 cup, cooked)
  11. Canned tuna (42 grams protein / 1 can)
  12. Tilapia (26 grams protein / 100 grams fillet)
  13. Salmon (20 grams protein / 100 grams fillet)
  14. Octopus (30 grams protein / 100 gram serving)
  15. Tuna (30 grams protein / 100 gram fillet)
  16. Halibut (23 grams protein / 100 gram fillet)
  17. Turkey breast (34 grams protein / 1 serving)
  18. Eggs (6 grams protein / 1 egg)
  19. Plain Greek yogurt (17 grams protein / 1 container)
  20. Cottage cheese (11 grams protein / 100 gram serving)

If you have any suggestions for protein-packed healthy foods, share them in the comments below!

Love,
Davey

P.S. For more nutrition tips, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter.

Does Blending Make Foods Healthier?

Dear Davey,

I’ve seen so many infomercials for blenders that claim to “unlock” nutrients that our bodies aren’t otherwise able to absorb. Is there any truth to this claim and should I be blending more fruits and vegetables?

Thank you,
Sean

more-men-are-learning-about-the-power-of-a-freshly-made-green-smoothieDear Sean,

Getting a nutrition education from infomercials isn’t a good idea. As you can imagine, infomercials are designed to sell products and not to educate consumers. Often citing unpublished or unscientific studies, these infomercials create unsubstantiated marketing hype that’s aimed at getting you to open your wallet.

When it comes to blenders, nutritionists note that the “unlocking” claims are unsubstantiated. Blending foods doesn’t release nutrients in a way that your body couldn’t otherwise accomplish. In fact, our bodies are better than blenders. During digestion, food is broken down far more effectively than any blender could achieve. Moreover, these broad claims would need to be tested ingredient by ingredient, and the results would likely change from person to person based on their activity levels, age and diet.

The notable exception is individuals who suffer from throat or digestion conditions that prevent ingestion of solid foods; for these individuals, blenders can represent a huge advantage.

Of course, none of this is to say that you shouldn’t buy a blender. If the convenience and taste of blended foods inspires you to eat more fruits and vegetables, then a blender can certainly be a smart and worthwhile purchase. Just remember that blended calories add up fast. To cut calories, use water or unsweetened almond milk as your smoothie base and avoid adding sweeteners like agave nectar or honey. Go heavy on the veggies and stay away from smoothies made with ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Love,Davey

P.S. For more science-based tips on improving your diet, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter.

 

Is Breakfast REALLY The Most Important Meal Of The Day?

largeWhen we hear something over and over again, we tend to accept it as true. Case in point, most people think coffee is made from beans. In actuality, it’s made from seeds. While that’s a silly example, it’s always worth questioning conventional wisdom.

We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But is it really?

A few recent studies are starting to cast doubts, including new research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. For the study, researchers from the University of Bath recruited 33 men and women and broke them into two groups. One group at a substantial breakfast before 11AM and the other group skipped breakfast entirely. Researchers recorded data including resting metabolic rate, cholesterol and blood glucose over a six week period.

What were the results?

As it turns out, researchers didn’t really find any measurable differences between the two groups. Breakfast skippers consumed fewer total calories over the course of the day. However, they also burned fewer total calories when compared to the breakfast eaters. Blood glucose was also very similar, though slightly more stable for the breakfast eaters.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that skipping breakfast is smart. Other studies have found that skipping breakfast increases the risk of coronary heart disease by 27% due to the likely connections between extended fasting, blood pressure, cholesterol and insulin resistance.

So, what’s the takeaway?

This newest study shows that there’s still a lot that we don’t understand. And while fueling our bodies with nourishing foods is important, some of the assumptions that we’ve made about breakfast might not necessarily be true.

Study: Eating Out Adds 200 Calories Per Day…

t1larg.fastfoodWhether it’s going to your favorite fast food establishment or eating a sit down meal at a restaurant, researchers have found that dining out adds an average of 200 calories per day to your diet.

The study, which was recently published in Public Health Nutrition, surveyed some 12,000 individuals on two separate days. According to the data, the calorie boost was greater for low income individuals and people who identified as black. High income individuals saw the smallest increase in calories; researchers speculate that higher income individuals may have better access to resources and healthier (but often more expensive) food options.

It’s no secret that fast food and restaurant meals are often more calorie-dense than home-cooked meals. But researchers noted that on days when individuals ate out, they didn’t adjust their calorie intake accordingly. In other words, if you know you’re eating out for dinner, compensate for the extra calories with an especially healthy lunch. It can help mitigate the damage.

Beyond calories, restaurant and fast food eating also resulted in more saturated fats, sugar and salt.

This data clearly demonstrates the impact of typical restaurant meals on our diets. But the choice doesn’t need to be between eating out and proper nutrition. There are certainly steps that each of us can take to ensure healthier restaurant meals. Like drinking water instead of sugary drinks or alcohol. And sticking with baked or broiled options rather than foods that are fried, creamy or breaded. Research restaurants online (some have more healthy options than others) and ask your server for substitutes.

200 calories might not sound like a lot, but when those calories are consumed several days a week, 52 weeks a year – they add up to an alarmingly large number. Be aware of the foods you eat and make smarter decisions whenever possible!