Articles Tagged: diets

Key Nutrients Your Diet May be Lacking

It’s very important to get the full range of vitamins and minerals in your daily nutrition plan, but sometimes this is easier said than done—particularly when you take into consideration the wide variety of empty-calorie foods that plague the modern diet, such as fast food, refined grains, candy and so on. In fact, more than 80 percent of Americans don’t meet the daily recommendations for key nutrients! While a multivitamin can help patch up areas that are lacking on occasion, you should always attempt to meet your requirements with whole food sources before relying on artificial sources.

In addition to helping maintain a healthy immune system, many vitamins and other micronutrients are necessary for hormone production, which means that in order to maintain a healthy metabolism, we need to educate ourselves on how to make smart food choices that allow us to get all those vitamins and minerals we need each day. Continue Reading Key Nutrients Your Diet May be Lacking »

Ben’s 4th of July Survival Guide, Pt. 2

Here are a couple of recipes you can use in place of unhealthier options for your 4th of July barbecue.  Try them out and let me know how you liked them!

Cottage Cheese Vegetable Dip

Someone always brings vegetables with health-minded intentions, but the vegetable assortment usually includes fat-filled ranch dip which negates the benefits of the vegetables (even fat-free dressing is usually high in sugar). Instead, spend a little bit of time making this cottage cheese-based dip that is high in protein, very low in sugar and completely fat-free.

Substituting Healthy Alternatives for Unhealthy Favorites

Do you have trouble depriving yourself of certain foods that are unhealthy, but oh-so tempting?  Do you absolutely hate some of the foods that you should be eating and don’t know how you’ll get them into your diet? While a healthy lifestyle will require a lifestyle adjustment for the average person, this doesn’t mean you need to become miserable with the foods you need to eat more of, or without the foods you enjoy. Some clever thinking and proper planning can help you eat enjoyably while still meeting your nutritional goals.  Below are some of the main tricks that both Chris and I use in our own lives to keep our diets interesting but healthy.

Oatmeal is one of the best sources of carbohydrates you can eat. It is complex, includes a substantial amount of protein and has vitamins and good fats in it. Continue Reading Substituting Healthy Alternatives for Unhealthy Favorites »

Essentials of Nutrition Series: Water

Water, the “elixir of life,” makes up about 75% of our bodies and is critical to our survival. Our muscles, brain, blood, lymphatic tissues, joints, etc. are very much dependent on ample amounts of water to keep them operating smoothly. Water regulates our body temperature, keeps our skin healthy and helps with digestion. To top it off, water aids in weight loss.

Despite these countless benefits, chronic dehydration is quite common in today’s society. Most people don’t drink nearly enough water, yet ironically are more concerned with stopping water retention (water weight that is under the skin, causing a bloated appearance) than getting the appropriate amount of fluid each day. Yet, the two are not mutually exclusive, and with a closer look we can identify how and why you can accomplish a large part of your aesthetic and health goals simultaneously, simply by drinking more water. Continue Reading Essentials of Nutrition Series: Water »

Essentials of Nutrition Series: Fats

In continuing our discussion of the three macronutrients contained in food (protein, carbohydrates and fat), let’s discuss the third and final macronutrient, fat. Dietary fat, like carbohydrates, is often misunderstood because people associate it with body fat and weight gain, but the truth is that in moderation (10-30% of our daily intake), fat is an essential part of our diet and is even required to live! Body fat is the physical result of our bodies storing excess calories for future energy needs, regardless of where those calories come from. Thus, one can just as easily gain body fat from the overconsumption of carbs, protein or fat, if the total calories consumed is higher than the daily expenditure.

In nature, fats come in three varieties: monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fats. Continue Reading Essentials of Nutrition Series: Fats »

Essentials of Nutrition Series: Carbohydrates

In continuing our discussion of the three macronutrients contained in food (protein, carbohydrates and fat), we’ll now move on to carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the preferred form of macronutrients for conversion to glucose and glycogen, the two forms of sugar that our bodies use for immediate energy and stored energy, respectively. Since all carbohydrates are made up of one or more units of sugar, it makes sense that they would be the most efficient macronutrient to be used for this purpose.

Carbohydrates are probably the most-misunderstood macronutrient out of the three, in part because they have been unfairly demonized by “low carb” fad diets such as the Atkins, Zone and Go Lower diets. Proponents of these diets tend to ignore the benefits of carbohydrates and instead focus on the fact that eliminating carbohydrates from ones diet will often cause rapid weight loss. Continue Reading Essentials of Nutrition Series: Carbohydrates »

Essentials of Nutrition Series: Protein

In this day and age, you can pretty much throw a rock in any direction and hit a person who’s following some sort of fad diet—whether it’s a low-carbohydrate variation like the Atkins Diet, a low-fat variation like the Scarsdale Medical Diet, a low calorie variation like the CRON-diet or anything in between. Many of these diets are marketed as being “scientifically-formulated,” however it’s important to understand the fundamentals of nutrition before undertaking any of these potentially-dangerous dieting styles. Failing to educate yourself properly can lead you down the path of energy-loss, lackluster results and consequently evaporating motivation. Continue Reading Essentials of Nutrition Series: Protein »