Post by Emily White
So you are sitting across from your friend at a cafe, glaring longingly at their BLT with fries whilst you reluctantly dig into your salmon salad. To make matters worse they are a stick insect while it feels you just need to smell a potato before the weight piles on. Sound familiar? Researchers are now suggesting that our genetic make up could actually play a role in this unfair travesty.
Article by Emily White
If you go to the gym, I have no doubt you will have heard about nutrient timing. Rushing for that scoop of protein as soon as you have finished your workout? Then you are practicing nutrient timing.
To put it simply, nutrient timing is eating certain macronutrients at certain times in specific amounts in order to achieve specific goals. Protein and carbohydrates immediately post workout is a popular one, as is the belief that you shouldn’t eat carbohydrates after dark.
But is there actually any science behind this?
A friend has suggested you try a low carb diet as they have seen amazing results- she has dropped weight, her skin is clearer and she feels great! However you give it a go and you don’t appear to have anywhere near as much luck. If you are having trouble shifting the weight on a low carb diet here are a few reasons as to why that could be the case:
By Cliff Harvey
In the modern world we eat more than ever before. But in spite of this surplus of calories, we may be functionally starving, because we may not be getting all that we need from the modern diet to truly thrive.
Starving for Nutrient DensityVitamins and minerals act as co-factors for literally thousands of chemical reactions throughout the body, from facilitating the breakdown of foods into energy, through to cellular reproduction, expression of genes and much more. Suffice it to say that without enough of the ‘little guys’ of nutrition, nothing much can occur in the body. I like to think of the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) being like the spark plugs in a car. They don’t provide the fuel directly but allow its efficient use.
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) data shows that some fresh produce (vegetables, fruits berries) only provide around half the amounts of some vitamins and minerals that they did in the 1950s.1 To get the same amounts of nutrients, we need to eat twice the amount of some veggies and other ‘nutrient dense’ foods than we did fifty or so years ago.
Post by Emily White
So you have probably been told by somewhere along the grapevine that fat is actually your friend (if you haven’t then you should look into doing the HPN course!!).
Shameless plug aside, many people despite the knowledge tend to reach out for the low fat foods when in the supermarket. Why? Because no one denies it sometimes does tend to have fewer calories than the full fat counterparts, and if you can save a few calories here and there it’s not going to hurt right?
By Cliff Harvey
Dietary medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) are a class of triglycerides in which two-to-three of the fatty acid chains attached to a glycerol backbone are medium in length. Medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) are fatty acids comprised of 6–12 carbons in chain. The MCTs are: caproic (C:6), caprylic (C:8), capric (C:10) and lauric acid (C:12) (1). So how do these particular fatty acids aid ketogenic and low carb high fat diets?
By Cliff Harvey
Dietary guidelines for health are still heavily weighted (excuse the pun!) in favour of high-carbohydrate diets.
Nutrient Reference Values (NRV) for New Zealand and Australia for example state that the diet should contain a minimum of 45% of its calories from carbohydrate (1) and New Zealand Heart Foundation position statements on carbohydrate (currently being updated) suggest a range of 55%-65% caloric intake should be obtained from carbohydrate along with reducing intake of total and saturated fat (2).
Why is this the case?
By the HPN team.
1. Reduce Sugar
Sugar and other highly processed carbohydrate foods drastically raise blood sugar levels, a situation that is considered very inflammatory and is related to a range of health effects including metabolic disorders, cardiac problems and degenerative brain disorders!
2. Avoid Wheat
Wheat containing products like bread, pasta, cookies and crackers, are some of the primary culprits for the blood sugar related problems mentioned above, but beyond this wheat and one of its constituent proteins gluten may be related to a range of immune problems and direct negative effects in the human brain. While most people don’t have Coeliac disease around 1/3 probably exhibit a type of gluten allergy or intolerance.
3. Eat Good Fats
Fats in general have had a bad rap for many years. The reality is that eating fat does not make us fat, nor does it encourage the adverse cardiovascular effects associated with it. On the contrary fat is important to encourage proper modulation of inflammation and immune status within the body and is associated with providing optimal hormone levels. Eating a higher proportion of natural fats (especially in preference to sugar and highly refined carbohydrates) actually encourages the body to lose fat and maintain a lower level of body-fat.
4. Have Protein at Every Meal
Protein is an essential nutrient. There are several essential amino acids that the body requires in order to create all the various structural proteins that make up the cells, tissues, organs and systems of the body. In fact apart from water we primarily consist of protein structures. Eating sufficient protein not only provides for these requirements but also encourages a greater rate of fat-burning. In fact a higher proportion of protein in the diet has been associated with lower body-fat levels.
5. Eat Six Fist-Sized Servings Veggies!
Vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals that act like the ‘keys’ that unlock cellular processes. Without these important factors the body is unable to do much of anything! Beyond that though vegetables also provide bulk to the diet and encourage greater feelings of fullness and satisfaction thereby helping us to stay ‘on track’ with our nutrition more often.
6. Eat More Berries
I like to think of berries as ‘nature’s multi-vitamin’. They are nutrient dense, high in antioxidants and relatively low in calories and carbohydrates. Berries have been shown to help reduce oxidative damage that is associated with a range of health and metabolic disorders.