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Nutrition

Whole fresh foods vs processed foods

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We all know that sweets, junk, processed and fast foods are unhealthy, most of us do not give our nutrition too much importance until it´s too late but we all complain about how bad we feel, we don´t have energy, it´s so hard to concentrate on what we´re doing, we´re one a bad mood and we keep eating those foods that are one of the reasons why we feel that way.

There are 2 main differences between whole, fresh foods and processed foods:

1. Calories

Processed foods are calorically dense, a package of cookies can go from 400 calories to 600 or more and if we eat the whole box or bag we can add 1,000 calories to our diet because we can´t just eat one.

Whole fresh foods are lower in calories, there´s not a single food whole, fresh, natural that go over 100 calories without nutrients and we don´t overeat healthy foods so it´s easier to stay on a calorie deficit or maintenance.

2. Nutrition

Processed foods lack nutrition and it´s loaded with refined sugars, unhealthy fats, sweeteners and chemicals to make them taste delicious and create addiction.

Whole fresh foods are loaded with nutrients from fiber, vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats everything our body needs to function properly, repair, recover and grow.

The reason why we can´t stop eating unhealthy foods and we gain weight is because of those 2 points, there are no nutrients in those foods so our body keeps sending us signals that it needs nutrients so we feel hungry, they are loaded with sugars, trans fat and chemicals that are toxic and harmful for our body and also creates addiction so we can´t stop eating them and they are very high in calories.

Whole fresh foods are full of nutrients our body needs to function properly and all those nutrients make us feel full, they don´t create addiction so we eat when we´re hungry and only as much as we need without overeating and they´re low in calories so we´re giving our body what it needs in less calories and it can function effectively, it knows what to do with this foods.

Not all of us need to follow restrictive diets but we all need to change our eating habits, avoid unhealthy, highly processed foods and eat more healthy, whole fresh foods, there are different theories and myths about which is the original diet, what our ancestors ate and some diets are based on them, I´m not really sure about that but what I´m sure is that they didn´t eat all those processed foods we eat nowadays our body is not designed to eat them and this is one of the reasons why we´re dealing with so many health problems, if we make a small change on the foods we eat our body we´ll thank us, we´ll feel a lot better and we´ll live better.

The first step is to avoid unhealthy highly processed foods and the way to do it is by not having any of them in our home, office and school.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Nutrition

Why is it so hard to avoid unhealthy foods

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Have you tried to eliminate sugar and processed foods from your diet? Was it easy or hard?

It´s hard to stop eating junk food and sometimes it seems that those cravings for sweets, junk and fast food won´t go away. All those foods high in sugars, trans fats and chemicals have the same effect on our body as brain and alcohol does, they turn on the pleasure respond on our brain making us addicted to them and create a habit which is why sometimes we find ourselves eating them without making a conscious decision and with this foods our cravings will continue over and over.

What would you think if I tell you that our will power may not be strong enough because of the effects this foods have on our brain? This is why I said in later posts that if we´re dealing with obesity or overweight it´s not our fault but we are in control and we can make the choice right now of changing our life, this is also why it won´t be easy.

The more we eat this foods the more we´ll crave them, some years ago kids were not allowed to eat unhealthy foods unless they had finished their meal and the amount of unhealthy food we were allowed to eat per day was small. Children nowadays eat a lot of sweets, junk and processed foods, the amount of sugar and fats they´re consuming is terribly high and people is now considering ADHD, hyperactivity as diseases controlling them with drugs and most of the time this reactions are caused by foods, by high amounts of sugar.

There are so many people arguing about which diet is better, is it better high carbohydrate? high protein? high fat? it´s better vegetarian or vegan? this makes no sense to me when as far as I can see the biggest problem is in junk, highly processed and fast food. If we are not able to avoid all this foods there´s no reason to try different diets, first focus on avoiding unhealthy foods, once we do that then we can start adjusting our nutrition program to make it better for us, if we need to reduce carbohydrates we can do it, if we need more protein increase it, if we need more fat increase it but always considering our health as a priority.

Yes fat loss is simple and yes it´s simple to sustain those results if we develop the habits we need which is the difficult part. Our brain has been programmed to keep consuming those unhealthy foods, that give our brain that sense of pleasure and make us feel good and relax when we eat them. This short term positive effect on our brain which is a long term harmful habit creates a battle we need to fight when we want to lose weight.

This is the reason why developing the right mindset is key to achieving results and not giving up half the way, this is why we need to take enough time to develop the habits that are going to make almost effortless for us to sustain our results.

When we start changing our food choices to develop healthy habits we will have cravings, we will have the sensation or the “necessity” to have those foods, we need to avoid them as much as we can, I know it´s hard but don´t let your mind trick you thinking that you really need those foods and end eating them.

With time our body will adapt, when we start giving nutrients to our body it will also send us signals telling us it´s enough, we´ll feel full and satisfied. At this point where we´ve changed our nutrition program and now it´s based on fresh healthy foods it´s almost impossible to keep eating that much food so we won´t overeat.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Nutrition

The problem with refined sugars

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Different diets come out and become viral, some guys try them while other critique them claiming they´re unhealthy, but millions of people consume high amounts of sugar per day and it seems to be the least of the matter.

Obesity and overweight is increasing and with that diseases like diabetes are raising too. I believe the cause of this problems is our lifestyle and one of them is the amount of unhealthy food we eat which has a lot of sugar. Sugar is everywhere even when it´s not listed as sugar in the ingredients, we´ll find it under names like dextrose or sucrose. Other ingredients like high fructose corn syrup is also harmful and is in so many products. The amount of sugar contained in foods is so high and I´m not only talking about sweets or junk food, even in energetic drinks, cereals or healthy bars.

When we eat foods high in sugar and trans fats we´ll want to continue eating more of them because they are empty calories, there are no nutrients and there´s no way to stop our brain of thinking or sending signals that we are hungry until we give it the nutrients it needs.

This is what happens when we eat sugar, insulin is the hormone that regulates sugar by getting glucose out of the bloodstream to the cells, when we consume sugar the glucose in the bloodstream goes up and insulin goes up to regulate it and bring it down, over time our body gets tired and don´t know exactly what to do and the result is low blood sugar, this is the first step to diabetes, many people are on this level and don´t know it, our body sends  signals like cravings specially for sweets, everything we eat has an effect on our health and mood.

The spike on highly processed foods with hidden sugar is creating an obesity epidemic in many countries, around 30% to 40% of kids in some countries are overweight or have obesity and diabetes as they grow older the risk increases, diseases get worse in some cases causing death in some of them. The amounts of sugar consumed per day goes between 25 to 30 teaspoons a day sometimes even 35 teaspoons, that´s a lot considering that our bodies don´t need it.

I believe we can prevent some diseases and lower obesity and overweight by changing our lifestyle and developing healthy habits, just by changing our nutrition the benefits are amazing, it´s not about reducing calories, it´s about what we eat and the impact it has on our body and health.

As I´ve said before, this high amounts of sugar in our diets with the high amounts of unhealthy fats plus the chemicals or ingredients added to those foods are the cause of many diseases and create a vicious cycle that is so hard to stop.

The goal is to avoid as much as possible all unhealthy food, avoid sweets, junk, processed, refined and fast food and stick with real, whole fresh food, just by doing this the results in how we feel and how we look will be amazing.

There´s no reason to try to follow a very restrictive diet like low carbohydrate, ketogenic or any other if we still eat junk or fast food, once we eliminate or avoid this foods then we can start adjusting our nutrition program to make it better for each of us.

If we want to live healthier and happier and help all the people around us we need to change our nutrition program and eat healthy foods, this is the first step, reducing sugar is a most, sugar is the cause of many diseases now a days, but it´s hard to do it. We´ve been consuming sugar for almost all our life so when we start to eliminate it from our diet our mind will trick us making us think that we need it, it´s like giving up any other addiction.

Even if we´re not following any famous diet like ketogenic or high protein, vegetarian, etc; when we eliminate or avoid as much as possible sweets, junk, processed and fast food from our nutrition we´ll start living healthier, the results will come. There are some healthy carbohydrates we can eat which I´ll explain in other post, but for now, and to keep things simple we just need to know and understand that processed sugar is bad so we need to eliminate it from our nutrition program for our health and fitness goals, the best way to do it is by avoiding sweets, junk, processed and fast foods.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Fitness goalsNutrition

Why is it so hard to avoid unhealthy foods?

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When we try to lose fat and go start a diet we find it so difficult to avoid all unhealthy foods, those sweets, cookies, cakes, muffins almost all processed and fast food but have you asked why it´s so hard to avoid them?

We all know that this foods are unhealthy but some of us haven´t stop and think about the negative impact hey have on our life and health, we know that this foods lead to obesity, diabetes and inflammatory diseases and they also affect our mood, they can make us feel depressed or anxious.

The reason why it´s so hard to avoid this foods is because they are full of sugar, unhealthy fats and chemicals to make them taste delicious, companies spend too much money in making their products so palatable, addictive and creating amazing marketing campaigns.

Companies want to sell Companies want to sell so they create amazing campaigns to make you think that you are buying healthier products when it´s not that truth and they keep making packages and portions bigger. The chemicals on those processed foods turn on the reward center on your brain so every time you them you feel good and you get addicted to that feeling, every time you feel down, depressed, stressed or angry you grab some unhealthy foods to make you feel better and if we add to this that some chemicals added to them are used to enhance flavors, make food taste better and also creates addiction it´s harder to avoid them. Research shows that this foods create addiction the same way alcohol and cigarettes do.

We also need to know that processed foods are high in calories, high in sugars, unhealthy fats and chemicals as we mentioned before but they lack nutrients and our body needs nutrients to function properly and keep us healthy, if we don´t give our body the nutrients it needs it will keep sending signals that we´re hungry and if we add to this the cycle that unhealthy foods create by triggering certain neurotransmitters in our brain we will over eat but those extra foods will be unhealthy foods and the cycle continues, the more we eat junk, processed and fast foods the more we crave them.

To avoid unhealthy foods we need to break the negative cycle, is like breaking an addiction, it will be hard and it will take time and effort. We´re so use to eating unhealthy foods that we need to be aware and make conscious decisions.

We are surrounded by unhealthy foods and bombarded with marketing to buy those foods which make our effort of avoiding them harder, one of the best strategies is to remove all this unhealthy foods from our home and office and always have healthy options even for snacks like nuts, seeds.

When we decide and commit to change our nutrition and avoid unhealthy foods we need to accept that it´s going to be though, it´s going to take time and in some occasions we´re going to make the wrong decision, when this happen we just get conscious about it and change the unhealthy option we choose for something better and move on.

If we blame ourselves every time we make a wrong decision we make everything harder, it´s not a big deal if we are aware of it and move on. We can ask ourselves why we made that bad choice, was it the only option we had available? were we on a hurry and that was the best choice for the moment? do we were really hungry or only have cravings? do we felt anxious or depressed and use it as comfort food? Asking this questions and getting to the root of why we´re making certain choices help us to get prepared for the next time it occurs.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Nutrition

The power of food

13 What you eat and how much you eat
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Through the past decades until now our relationship with food has change a lot and this is the root of many problems nowadays, our diets are based on unhealthy foods, we eat too much junk, processed and fast foods for convenience but all this foods are loaded with hidden sugars, chemicals, extra ingredients, flavors that are one of the causes of health problems physical and mental.

Food is part of our unhealthy lifestyles the problem is not only that it is a cause of weight gain and lead to obesity, it is also the cause of more problems like diabetes and it gets worse, in the same way that food is making us sick it can also heal and keep us healthy.

Our mood throughout, the day, our energy levels, our ability to stay focus they all depend highly on what we eat and most of us most of the time eat too much calories and not enough nutrients, we demand too much to our body, we want to be at peak and perform great but we treat our body so bad.

If we want our body to function properly, to be efficient, to be at peak all day long and perform great we need to give the nutrients it needs and this is the power of food. The same way that what we´re eating right now is getting us sick, if we change our eating habits and eat meals prepared with real, fresh ingredients food can heal.

Food is fuel for our body, how we feel and how we look depends of what we eat, everything shows from the inside out.

I know and understand that most of us choose processed and fast food over whole fresh meals thanks to the convenience in money and time, it´s easier, faster and cheaper to buy boxes of cereal and milk for breakfast than to cook some eggs every morning, we can grab some cookies, or chips to eat in the car because we´re late for school or work. Even when this options give us a solution in the short term, if we think about our health in the long term they´re not the best option.

Our body needs nutrients to function efficiently it´s not only about calories, with processed, junk and fast food we´re giving our body too much calories and not enough nutrients, with real fresh foods we´re giving our body nutrients and less calories.

When we eat processed foods our body doesn´t know what to do with all those ingredients and it´s hard to digest and when it´s done there´s nothing that can be used, when we eat real foods our body knows what to do with them, it digest all the food and absorb the nutrients.

All real, fresh foods are loaded with micronutrients and macronutrients and our body needs both. Fiber, vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, everything our body needs can be found in nature, there´s no reason to eat processed unhealthy foods that are only making us sick.

When we eliminate or avoid as much as possible unhealthy foods (processed, junk, fast food) and we focus on real fresh foods, inflammation on our body starts to reduce, it clears our skin, it improves mental disorders, improve systems in our body like the immune system, autoimmune system.

Food is our DNA, what we eat at every meal will have an impact on our body inside, and outside. If you love food as much as I do you need to know that it is possible to eat so many different dishes cooked with whole, fresh ingredients but the hardest part is making the commitment of living healthier, we need to change our relation with food, if we use it the right way it is fuel for our body and it has the power to heal.

It would so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Nutrition

The importance of fiber

04 Carbohydrates 2
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Some people consider fiber as one more macronutrient because of its importance and to make sure that they get the right intake.

Fiber is a carbohydrates that is not broken down in the small intestine, it get into the large intestine where it is broken down by bacteria. It can be divided into soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber dissolves in water, it can help lower glucose and blood cholesterol and it´s found in oats, beans.

Insoluble fiber does not dissolves in water, it promotes the movements of material through our digestive system and it´s found on vegetables and beans.

Both of them have a lot of benefits making it an important part of our diet. There are so many benefits and it´s really important for our health, especially our gut. Some of the benefits are that it elevates satiety which helps with fat loss, it lowers body fat and helps in managing diabetes and improving insulin sensitivity.

Vegan and vegetarian diets are great at keeping fiber intake high but they can be deficient in other nutrients which are also important for our health, people following ketogenic diets can have more problems to keep adequate intake of fiber because they tend to avoid almost all carbohydrates.

Getting enough fiber daily is important but most of us do not get enough of it but it´s a big mistake to increase the intake considerably from one day to another which can promote bloating, cramping and other problems so we need to start increasing the amount of fiber we eat gradually so that the bacteria in our digestive system also adjust to the change.

It doesn´t matter which type of diet we follow we need to make sure that we give our body all the nutrients it needs from fats, to proteins and carbohydrates and by carbohydrates the more important being vegetables which are loaded with micronutrients and fiber and some fruits.

Green and cruciferous vegetables are great options to add fiber to your meals and your nutrition program. Oats are also a great option if we´re following a more balanced diet, it is great for breakfast, legumes like beans, lentils are also a source of fiber.

Some people are intolerant to grain and gluten so we need to pay attention to our body, every time we make a change to our nutrition program we need to be aware of how our body responds and how we feel, we are all intolerant to some foods or we all have problems digesting some foods especially at the beginning when we make some change to what we eat, this can also happen with vegetables or when we start consuming healthy foods high in nutrients and eliminate or avoid unhealthy processed foods.

We need to be patient and make the changes slowly to give time to our body to get rid of all the poison and toxins and get use to and adjust to a healthy diet.

It would so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Nutrition

Why we need to focus on macronutrients over calories

00 Nutrition intro
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Most people are not aware of the impact food has on our health and the importance it has not only for weight loss, some of them start paying attention to it just to lose weight and they go crazy counting calories, for me that´s not the way to live.

We know that all macronutrients are different so the popular saying of “calories are calories” is not true, all calories are different and they all have a different impact on our body this is why we need to focus on macronutrients and not calories but even when we need to focus on macronutrients we don´t need to get obsessed and count or weight everything we eat. It´s about understanding each macro, identifying foods or learning which foods go in each macro and having a clear idea of how much we´re eating with tools like portion control.

Every macronutrient has its own function in our body and we need them in different ratios but how we set those ratios is important, when we only focus on calories we can achieve those calories with different ratios and all those different combinations of ratios will have a different impact on our body and the macro ratio we´re getting may not be the best for us.

When we focus on macros we´re considering what´s more important, we´re making choices based on the function of each macro and from there we design our nutrition program based on which macro our body needs more and which one less.

Now that we focus on eating healthy, fresh foods and we know that it´s more important to focus on macronutrients we need to know which foods belong to which macro which we will see in other post to go deeper and then we can learn about portion control which we´ll also see in other post.

The reason why we don´t need to measure everything we eat when we focus on macronutrients is that we are giving our body the nutrients it needs to work, function and perform great and all those foods loaded with nutrients will make us feel full and satiated, it´s harder to overeat when we eat real fresh foods and consider macros first. What we can do is have a clear idea of how much we´re eating with a tool I mentioned earlier in this post called portion control. It´s a guide for us to know how much we need to eat of each macro.

If we want to think about calories or macros to reach our fitness goals whether it´s fat loss or muscle growth when we focus on calories we are restricting ourselves and not paying attention to what´s more important, to how things work and how your body responds to different macronutrients, at the end of the day macronutrients are the ones that get the job done, if we just focus on calories we will plateau even if we keep adjusting calories, focusing on macros give us the chance to adjust our macronutrient ratios as we progress without hitting plateaus and we are making sure that our body gets everything it needs to work efficiently and sustain our goal.

Focusing on macros and setting macronutrients is a more advanced level compare to just counting calories but is the right thing to do. We need to understand how each macronutrient works, have a clear goal and be able to measure our progress, protein is needed to repair and build tissue, also for hair, nails; fats are needed for energy, cells and hormonal function, carbohydrates are needed for fiber and energy. This are the basic functions of each macronutrient explained in a simple way.

To set our macronutrient ratios we need to consider our daily activities and workout, if we have a 9 to 5 job where we spend most of the time sitting in front of a computer we don´t need a lot of carbohydrates compared to someone with a more active job.

Our lifestyle, genetics and other factors play an important role when designing our nutrition program, we need to be true with ourselves and modify our diet each day according to the activities, some days we may spend a lot more time sitting at the office doing paper work and other days we may be more active.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Nutrition

Macronutrients – Carbohydrates

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The last macronutrient we will talk about is carbohydrates, there are 4 calories in one gram of carbohydrate.

Carbohydrates are carbon-based molecules that contain water and can be classified in monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides.

Monosaccharides are the simplest basic structure which include glucose ( the simplest form of sugar), fructose (fruit) and galactose (dairy). Glucose is the building block of most complex carbohydrates and it´s our body´s preferred source of energy (that´s what we´ve been told). This simple sugars do not need to be broken down so they get into the bloodstream and are used immediately.

Disaccharides are two monosacchrides bound together which include sucrose and lactose.

Polysaccharides are more than two monosaccharides bound together which include starches.

Some years ago this three groups (monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides) were divided into simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates depending on how fast or slow they were digested and how fast or slow  they raise blood glucose. The simpler the molecule of sugar, the easier it is to break it down; the more complex the molecule, the more it has to be broken down and the longer it takes to absorb. Simple carbohydrates was used to describe monosaccharides and disaccharides which are easier to digest and make sugar raise quickly, while complex carbohydrates was used to describe polysaccharides which take longer to digest and increase blood sugar slowly.

High blood sugar can be dangerous so our body needs to keep it regulated, when we eat too much sugar it gets to our bloodstream, insulin raises to take that glucose from the bloodstream to the cell and use it for energy or store it as glycogen in the muscles and if there´s an excess it stores the rest as fat.

Contrary to what we´ve been told our body performs better in a high fat low carbohydrate diet with moderate protein. The amount of carbohydrates that our body needs is zero, there are no essential carbohydrates as there are essential amino acids (protein) and essential fatty acids (fats) the only reason we need carbohydrates are to get fiber and micronutrients.

Ketogenic diets are based on this, since there’s not an essential carbohydrate and our body doesn´t need them we can go high in fats, moderate in proteins and very low in carbohydrates, actually the carbohydrates we consume in keto diets are vegetables to get nutrients.

The best carbohydrates sources we can eat are vegetables which include fiber and micronutrients, and those low in gluten like oats, amaranth but if we want to have some carbohydrates on our diet make sure that they are not processed for example rice or corn tortillas.

The type of diet or nutrition program we follow is the one that works best for each of us, that one that keeps us healthy and support our fitness goals and also the one the makes us feel great this is why we need to listen to our body, to find out which foods make us feel our best, deliver the best results and we can sustain for long periods of time.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Nutrition

Macronutrients – Proteins

02 Proteins 2
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The next macronutrient we´ll see is protein, which is primarily used to build hair, nails and various organ systems like the heart, brain and are also the building blocks for tissue. Protein is essential for muscle repair and muscle growth. There are 4 calories in one gram of protein.

Protein is essential for the body but it has more functions apart from building muscle fibers. Some proteins provide structure to our body, to bones, skin, teeth, hair, nails; others provide antibodies to defend against viruses or bacteria. Protein is not used as a source of energy unless we are on a critic situation or our body feels you are on starvation and there´s no other source of energy left.

Protein is made of amino acids that create long chains called amino peptides, the structure of an amino acid is made of hydrogen, carbon, amino group, carboxyl group and a side chain. The side chain varies among each amino acid and is what gives each amino acid it´s name. There are 4 calories in one gram of protein.

Protein comes from different sources including animals and plants. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and can be divided in two groups: essential and nonessential amino acids. There are nine essential amino acids that we need to get from our nutrition and eleven nonessential amino acids that our body can make on its own. The nine essential amino acids also called branched chain amino acids are the ones that have a bigger impact on building muscle.

One thing to consider about protein is something called protein turnover which is the protein synthesis and protein breakdown. Protein synthesis is the building of new muscle using the amino acids, and protein breakdown is when our body takes existing muscle and breaks it down for energy.

There are some important factors we need to consider for protein consumption which are the amount of protein we need to consume and the quality of the protein. Getting around 1.0 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight is good place to start if you want to protect muscle mass, there´s not an exact number you may need more or less protein so we need to adjust the numbers considering our current goal and the type of nutrition program we are following.

Protein is consider by many as the most important macronutrient for weight loss and muscle growth this is why some people increase their intake. If we are looking to lose weight considering that we are in a calorie deficit and we are doing some kind of resistance training along with some cardio, increasing the amount of protein (if we´re not taking enough) will make sure that we maintain your muscle. If we want to gain muscle, we´ll need to be in a calorie surplus, we can use carbohydrate cycling and increase carbohydrates while focusing on keeping protein at 1.0 – 1.5 grams.

There are many protein sources from meat, chicken, turkey, eggs, also nuts, beans, dairy products like milk, cheese, yoghurt, also vegetables but their amino-acid profile may vary and they´re all natural foods. Another way some fitness experts, and athletes consume protein is by supplements in the form of protein bars, protein powders and you can find different sources or type of protein including whey, casein, isolated and some others, the difference between them is the time of absorption, how fast or slow our body digest the type of protein, this is key to knowing when we must consume each type to have better results.

Protein shakes are famous for pre/post workout meals and also as meal replacements, as you know I don´t like to use supplements but if I did, I would take protein shakes as a post workout meal considering that liquid nutrition gets faster to where our body needs it because our body doesn´t have to digest it.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Nutrition

Macronutrients – Fats

03 Fats
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How many times have you heard that fats are bad for us? that they make us gain weight and increase cholesterol?

The first macronutrient we´re going to talk about is fat and the reason why is because it has been involved in myths regarding health issues.

For the past years fats have been considered the cause of many health problems and diseases so experts recommended to lower fats and increased carbohydrates and that´s what we did but when we made those changes to our diet some diseases increased. The truth is that fat is a more efficient source of energy than carbohydrates and our brain needs fat. In reality our entire body including our brain loves fat and perform a lot better when they thrive with fat. Of course there are some unhealthy fats that we need to eliminate which we´re going to see in a minute and those unhealthy fats are the cause of health problems.

One of the biggest reasons why people don´t consume it is because they´re afraid that eating too much fat will make them fat, this is not true. If we eat unhealthy foods like simple carbohydrates and trans fats and we eat a lot we´ll gain weight and we´ll get fat, if we eat healthy foods it´ll be very hard to gain weight because it´s harder to over eat.

And also because the industries had made us believe that fats were bad and were causing health problems, we´ve been brainwashed to the idea that we need to follow a low-fat high carbohydrate diet.

Fats come in the form of triglycerides from the food we eat and they are also stored as triglycerides in our body. They are formed of a molecule of glycerol connected to three fatty acids. There are 9 calories in one gram of fat. Fats are also called lipids and their main function is to form the membranes of each cell of our body, they are divided into saturated, unsaturated and trans fats. A molecule of fat can have up to eighty carbon atoms.

Saturated fats.- Each carbon atom can form a bond with four other molecules, two of this bonds will always be use to connect it to the next carbon in the chain, if the remaining two bonds are connected to hydrogen it is called saturated fat. This saturated fats are solid at room temperature an example is butter. If we follow a balanced nutrition program that include  high carbohydrates and we consume a lot of this type of fats our body is not efficient at breaking them down and digesting them.

Unsaturated fats.- If the remaining bonds do not bond with hydrogen molecules it is called unsaturated fat. Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and can be divided into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.

Monounsaturated fats have a single double bond and include olive oil, avocado oil.

Polyunsaturated fats have more than one double bond and include fish oil.

Trans fat.- This fats are created from unsaturated fats by adding hydrogen to vegetable oils to make them solid at room temperature and they are produced or used by food chains and processed foods. This are the fats we need to avoid due to their negative effects on health.

Essential fatty acids are those fatty acids that we need to obtain from nutrition. They are classified as polyunsaturated omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids.

The amount of fat we need will vary depending of the nutrition program we are following, for a ketogenic diet  70% to 75% most come from fat, around 5% – 10% carbohydrates and the rest of protein. I want to make something clear here, if you are on a ketogenic diet, we must eat all healthy fats, the only ones you must avoid are trans fats.

Fats are a great option to keep us satisfied and full, we can have some almonds or nuts as a snack or add avocado to our meals to keep us full longer.

If you like to eat at restaurants like I do you need to watch out at how meals are cooked, many of them use dips and sausages high in trans fats and sugars and some cook with a lot of butter, even when butter is good if your goal is fat loss you want to be in a caloric deficit and fats are high.

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Pam