Superfoods are foods that are rich in macro and mico nutrients. As a bonus many superfoods are low in calories and high in fiber. Try to make a diet around superfoods for the following reasons:
Vegetables and Fruits:
First 10 minutes–Our brains prefer high-calorie foods
Our brains evolved during a time when food was scarce, so we became adept at choosing high-calorie foods. A regular Big Mac (with cheese and sauce) contains 540 calories and raises your blood sugar to abnormal levels.
Junk food triggers your brain’s reward system by releasing a surge of ‘feel-good’ chemicals – such as the neurotransmitter dopamine – which induce feelings of pleasure. This process works in a similar way to that of drugs such as cocaine and contributes to the likelihood of compulsive eating.
After 20 minutes–Addictive sugars
Did you know that a Big Mac bun contains high levels of high-fructose corn syrup and sodium? Both ingredients are addictive and therefore make your body crave more of them. These ingredients are also harmful and can cause obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
After 30 minutes–Sodium attack on your body
A Big Mac contains 970 milligrams of sodium. This huge amount of salt can result in dehydration. With symptoms that closely mimic those of hunger, it’s easy for dehydration to trick you into thinking you need to go back for another helping of food.
Ingesting too much sodium makes it hard for your kidneys to excrete salt. To try and flush the excess salt out of your system, your body then draws water from surrounding tissues. This fluid buildup means that your heart must work harder to pump blood. This causes high blood pressure and can ultimately lead to heart disease and stroke.
After 40 minutes–Craving more!
Do you ever still feel hungry after just having eaten a Big Mac? This is because you have lost control of your blood sugar, making you crave even more fast food.
The first time you consume a high-calorie meal, your insulin response can reduce your glucose levels making you want to eat more. The high-fructose corn syrup in the Big Mac bun is quickly absorbed by the GI tract, causing insulin spikes and even greater hunger pangs.
After 60 minutes–Slow digestion
Normally the body takes about 24 to 72 hours to digest food. However, hamburgers take a lot more time to digest because they are greasier. It can take more than three days to fully digest a Big Mac.
Also, it takes approximately 51 days to digest trans fat. A Big Mac contains 1.5 grams of trans fat. Different studies have proved that trans fats can be linked to heart disease, obesity, cancer and diabetes.
If you want to enjoy a Big Mac, try to keep it an occasional indulgence. The burger’s ingredients can cause serious harm to your body, especially when you consume them on a regular basis.
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Have you been fooled by these nutrition myths?
Coconut Water: It’s been called “nature’s sport drink” thanks to its isotonic solution that’s low in calories (about 60-90 calories per serving), fat-free, and low-cholesterol.
But, does it have the superpowers that marketers have given it?
According to Forbes.com, “While coconut water is low in calories, rich in potassium, and fat and cholesterol free, the evidence that it is actually better than plain water for simple hydration is unfortunately lacking.
Compared to typical sports drinks, coconut water has fewer calories, less sodium, but higher amounts of potassium. While coconut water typically has less sugar than sports drinks, it also has much less sugar than regular sodas or fruit juices.
Plain coconut waters can be an ideal beverage for those who are looking for a drink that is less sweet than soda or juice, but the calories can add up if you are not careful.”
What do the Experts Say?
“Staying hydrated is one of the most important things for recreational and professional athletes. And if the taste of coconut water helps you drink plenty of fluids, it is a fine choice for most people but may not be for those in prolonged physical activity.
Coconut water is low in carbohydrates and sodium and rich in potassium, which is not exactly what athletes need when exercising rigorously, says Clark.
“Whether you choose a sports drink, coconut water, or plain water, they all work to keep your body hydrated. The challenge is when you exercise strenuously for more than three hours in the heat and lose lots of body fluids, you need easily absorbed carbs for quick energy and to replace lost electrolytes like sodium and potassium,” Clark says.
Neither coconut water nor sports drinks contain enough sodium or carbs for the heavy perspirer. “Supplement with a quick source of energy like a banana or some raisins and a handful of pretzels to provide nutrients to replenish your stores,” Clark says.
Recovery starts before exercise begins. “Most people don’t need to worry about calories, potassium, or sodium. Eat a bagel with peanut butter to get food into your system before and drink plenty of water during exercise,” Clark says. If you exercise for prolonged periods, she suggests eating salty pretzels and raisins or other portable sources of energy.”
Our verdict? For the average person, i.e. those who work out one hour per day or less, plain old water is suffice. If you want to spend the extra cash on coconut water, it certainly won’t hurt you, but the benefits will be negligible. Watch the ingredients to make sure there isn’t added sugars and empty calories and try not to go overboard as coconut water is not calorie free.
If you are a serious athlete and workout several hours per day, coconut water is a good idea to help supplement lost electrolytes, but as stated above, you will need more than just coconut water to replace what is lost.
What do you think? Do you use coconut water to keep you hydrated?
Green smoothies have been a go-to for health fanatics for quite some time and for many good reasons. In the past few years, thanks to the juicing movement, green smoothies are gaining popularity mainstream too.
I know exactly what you are thinking. How could a green beverage actually taste good? I thought the same thing too. I swore I would never fall for the hype. I was wrong.
Not only do green smoothies taste amazing (really! They do!), but they can have some great health benefits if made correctly.
Health Benefits of Green Smoothies
Carbs have gotten a bad rap over the past several years. However, Not
all carbs are not created equally. Consumed correctly, carbs can help
you meet your diet and fitness goals. The trick is knowing the type of
carbs to consume.
Carbs can be broken into two groups: complex carbs and simple carbs.
The Nutrition MD website gives a great breakdown of the two.
Complex carbs may be referred to as dietary starch and are made of
sugar molecules strung together like a necklace or branched like a
coil. They are often rich in fiber, thus satisfying and health
promoting. Complex carbohydrates are commonly found in whole plant
foods and, therefore, are also often high in vitamins and minerals.
These whole plant foods are great sources of complex carbohydrates:
Simple carbohydrates are sugars. All simple carbohydrates are made of
just one or two sugar molecules. They are the quickest source of
energy, as they are very rapidly digested.
Some food sources of simple carbohydrates:
What does all this mean? A meal containing mainly complex
carbohydrates is likely to give you more energy and leave you feeling
fuller than a meal containing mainly simple carbohydrates, according
to a study published in the “International Journal of Obesity and
Related Metabolic Disorders” in June 2003.
According to Sandra Meyerowitz, MPH, RD, a nutritionist and owner of
Nutrition Works in Louisville, Ky. says that you can enjoy simple
carbohydrates on occasion, you just don’t want them to be your primary
sources of carbs. And within the simple carb category, there are
better choices — a baked potato, white rice, and regular pasta — than
others — chips, cakes, pies, and cookies.
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