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Posts Tagged ‘Nutrition’

fruitWhat is the cost of eating healthy? A couple of studies looked at answering this question and found that it depends. It depends on your income, if you can cook, and how you measure your food.

The first study was conducted by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). They found based on weight and serving size, fruits, veggies, low-fat milk and grains cost less than foods that were high in fat and sugar as well as fish, chicken and meat. Their message was that eating healthy costs less than eating junk foods.

A conflicting study by researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle found the opposite. However, they took another approach to analyzing the data by studying the cost of food in relation to its nutritional content. They found that foods that were higher in essential nutrients coast more per calorie than foods poor in nutrient content.

Even though these studies do not agree when it comes to cost of food there are some things they do agree on. They agree that people who know how to cook are able to eat healthier without blowing the budget. For many, cooking healthy is a new skill and many would have to change the way they view food. They could also make their dollar stretch further if they opted for more nutritious options over foods high in sugar and fat.

Here are some tips on how to eat healthy on a budget:

  • Take a cooking class and add a few more healthy recipes to your list
  • Visit a nutritionist, naturopath or dietician for advice on healthy and affordable eating
  • Do some shopping at farmers markets. They often cost less than supermarkets
  • Shop on a full stomach and you are less likely to fill your cart with junk food
  • Plan your meals. The more you plan the easier it is to eat healthy and stay on a budget

 

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menI recently read a post by Cynthia Sass in the Huffington Post Healthy Living section on 5 mistakes people make with food and exercise that I thought I would summarize and share.  I have seen these same issues with people who I know.  Fix these missteps and the author feels you can better reap the rewards of all of your hard work.

  • Eating Too Little Fat – It seems like people these days are super fearful of fat.  Despite recommendations to include good fats in diet, people stay clear of any fat, often reaching for fat-free options.  Cutting back on fat too much can lead to fatigue, hunger, irritability, depression, weak immune system, and can increase risk of injury.  It is more of the most important nutrients in your diet.  Even if you are trying to reduce body fat, including good fats in your diet is essential to your health.  Look to add things like almond butter, avocado, or olive oil to get the fats you need.
  • Using A Sports Drink When You Really Don’t Need One – As a rule of thumb, if you are exercising less than 90 minutes in a climate controlled gym, water is all you need.  Sports drinks are for folks that work out for more than 90 minutes in hot or humid conditions.  They are meant to keep you going when you can’t stop to eat.  Sports drinks contain a lot of sugar so unless you are really pushing it, stick to water.
  • Not Eating After A Workout Because You’re Afraid To “Eat Back” What You’ve Burned – You may not want to over eat after a workout but you do need some nutrition to heal the body from wear and tear that you put on your body.  Again, you don’t want to overdo eating after a workout but eat with a goal in mind of delivering nutrients to your body to aid in recovery.
  • Only Eating Protein Post Workout – Protein is only one of the key nutrients for recovery.  You also need your share of healthy fat, whole grains and produce.  These help do things such as replenish nutrients, supply antioxidants, help muscles heal, replete glycogen, and optimize circulation.
  • Doubling Up On Recovery Meals – The author recommends eating something like a natural bar or shake 30 minutes before the end of a tough training or game to start the recovery process.  This has shown to maximize healing.  However, she recommends this for your pro athlete clients.  For the average person this can be overkill if it is followed by a full recovery meal.  As a tip she recommends that if you are going to eat within an hour after leaving the gym, skip the snack and wait for the meal.

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Proper nutrition has a significant impact on performance and stamina during exercise.  Depending on the intensity and duration of the activity, energy demands may vary.  When you eat the wrong foods or the wrong amount of foods, your muscles run out of fuel and you become fatigued easily.  When you are fatigued, you’re less able to perform exercise at your optimum performance level.

There are primarily two types of exercise, aerobic and anaerobic.  Both use energy or macronutrients differently.  Aerobic exercise typically refers to long durations of continuous activity such as cycling, jogging, Zumba classes etc.  With this type of exercise, carbohydrates and fats are broken down to provide fuel.  Anaerobic exercise is shorter-duration activities that involve bursts of energy such as sprinting, weight lifting, jumping etc.  The only macronutrient that is broken down as energy is carbohydrates.  Protein is also a macronutrient but it is not normally a source of energy during exercise (<10% of energy burned).  (more…)

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These superfoods have been around for a while but this may be the first time you have heard about their disease-fighting benefits.  It is likely you have tried a lot of these before but for those that are new to you, why not throw them in your cart on your next trip to the grocery store.   Not only will you benefit from their disease-fighting nutrients but they also taste great!  Learn more by reading this article from Core Performance website.

25 Superfoods for 2012 

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Do you find yourself dragging in the mid-afternoon and your productive mind slowing down?  Nutritionist, Michelle Riccardi, suggests 10 healthy snacks that will give you that boost to make it through the rest of your day and finish strong.  10 Energy-Boosting Snacks for the Office 

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