Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Things that are Good for You

I feel that articles on nutrition can be very controversial, and in all honesty, it kind of scares me to write this. If you don't know me personally you may not know that I have my BS in Nutrition (Dietetics specifically). Now I do NOT have the same credentials an RD (Registered Dietitian), but I do have the same degree and have worked in the nutrition field for the last three years. I've worked in a clinical setting and currently work for WIC as a nutritionist counseling moms. With all of that said, what I write to you are humble bits of advice and tips for healthy living.

I start this new post "Things that are Good for You" with a basic breakdown of macronutrients.

If you've never heard this science-y word before, that's okay. There are three things that can be classified as a macronutrient: Carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Guess what?!? You need ALL THREE on a daily basis to live. You can temporarily cut one of them out, but eventually you will have to add them back to your diet or you could have both short term and long term effects that are no fun. I'm going to break each one down for you over then next few weeks. (One thing I will say is that I enjoyed learning about nutrition not just for career purposes, but I personally like knowing about what goes into my body). 

That's right I said "CARBS" not crabs. I think that carbs get a bad rap, ever since that Atkins guy showed up, everyone thinks that carbs are from the devil and make you fat. WRONG! Using anything without moderation is a bad idea, same with carbohydrates. 

Here are some examples of how to use carbs wrong:
(oh how I do love this pastry from Pugly Pixel though)

Let me put a little disclaimer out there-I like cupcakes, pizza, and doughnuts, I love them, but it's pretty obvious that you should not eat them everyday, or even every week. 

FACT:You need 130 grams of carbs a day just to keep your brain functioning. 

In fact, 60% of your daily needs should be from carbs...that's right, more than half. I know that seems like a lot, and trust me, I still get a little nervous thinking about it because it sounds like indulging. It's not, not if you do it right.

Examples of good carbs:
Quinoa
(There is a lovely "how-to" from Danielle on this one)
Fruit
Whole grains in general

With that said, these are my "tips" regarding carbs:

1. Avoid refined sugars and try to eat only complex carbohydrates. If you don't know what a complex carb is, try to eat foods that are processed very little and look like they came from the ground the same way.

2. Avoid hidden carbs. My favorite example of hidden carbs is juice. While juice still has great nutrients in it, a lot of the time it ends up giving you more calories and less nutrients than the actual fruit itself would. Same goes for sports drinks, soda, and many tea or coffee drinks...don't drink your carbs away. My rec? No more than 4oz a day and not every day unless you work out on a daily basis or are very active.

3. Eat whole grains. Foods like quinoa, brown rice, bulgur, and barley are also higher in protein, fiber and B vitamins (among many others). 

Important things to know:

If you are consuming MORE carbs than you need, or an amount which exceeds or pushes you over your daily calorie needs, your body will store it as fat. PORTION SIZES are important. Here is a link to Mypyramid.gov which gives great examples of portion sizes. 

Your body's preferred source of energy that is readily used is from carbs. Every wonder why athletes and long distance runners load up on pasta before they perform? It's because your body changes ANY form of starch or sugar to glucose to be used for energy. So wait....doesn't that mean it will just change my candy bar and soda into glucose? Yes, but those foods are higher in calories, fat and very low in nutrients that your body craves...

ALRIGHT! Any questions?

Keep it real,

Roo

ps. Most of the material talked about above is based off of memory and knowledge that I have from my previous education, therefore no sources are listed. You can click on all photos for a link to the original site, but for any further information on nutrition topics I recommend Eatright.org, or Mypyramid.gov.

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Blogger Lori said...  

Yes! I think these types of posts are great!! You should definitely keep it up! And you know, when I went to the grocery store I looked for quinoa... couldn't find it... not even really sure where to look for it!

Anonymous Vanessa said...  

You are brilliant. I'm actually taking a nutrition class right now, expect some late night calls/texts regarding homework. ;)

Blogger RooFresh said...  

@Lori - Usually next to the brown rice, dried beans or lentils..Not sure what grocery store you have in Iowa, but Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Sunflower Market are good ones here and always have it. (Trader Joes is usually really affordable so we shop there). I even heard that Costco was carrying some!

@Vanny - Bring it on! Let me know if you need any help at all!

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