*Disclaimer: I am not a Registered Dietician. All of the information presented below is what I have learned as a Kinesiology major and an overall health and nutrition enthusiast.
As some of you may know, I quit eating meat back in December.
It all started because I was hungover from celebrating my 22nd birthday, ended up on the couch all day watching Netflix and watched Food Inc and Forks Over Knives…
Even if you have no desire to quit eating meat or to change anything about your current dietary choices, I highly recommend watching both of those film to anyone who eats anything, because let’s face it- you should all know and be aware of what you’re putting in your body and using as fuel.
I contemplated eating meat again because of my weight-loss/weight lifting goals. Eating lean protein is one of the best things that you can do for your body and diet. However, once I started to think about eating meat again, I started to have nightmares about it where I would eat meat and would get violently ill, or it tasted bad, or other weird stuff. Right now, for me, continuing to not eat land-animals has been working just fine. I don’t feel overwhelmingly tired or sluggish or deprived of any protein.
Also, I caught a cold a few weeks ago, it was gone in less than 48 hours which NEVER happens to me- I’m wondering if it’s because my body is free from all of the synthetic hormones and antibiotics from eating meat and drinking cow’s milk? Some people claim to feel like a million bucks when they quit eating meat- I have felt no difference at all one way or another.
ANYWAY. I was reading an article today about protein and its importance.
Usually, Americans eat too many carbs and not nearly enough protein throughout the day. Primarily, their protein only comes in huge chunks at night with their large steaks or chicken.
Did you know that the body can only use about 15-30g of protein at a time? Protein is used in the body to build & repair it. [My last post talked about how protein is only used as an energy source if you’re in a complete starvation mode.]
I had no idea that there was a limit of grams of protein per meal/snack that the body could use! This means that, like with anything else, if you eat an excess of protein in one sitting, it will be stored as FAT. Although carbs and proteins are not put into your body as a fat- your body breaks it down and turns it into fat; same with excess fat in the diet.. obviously.
This translates to about 60-120calories from ONLY protein at each meal. Obviously, I’m not saying just eat 60-120 calories at each meal, no no no. But 60-120 calories from protein should be present at each meal- ideally. A perfect meal should have a ratio of 40:30:30% of carbs, proteins, and healthy fats- in that order. If your meals and snacks are kind of modeled around this, you will find yourself more satisfied and fuller longer- also, much, much healthier.
Did you know that high cholesterol isn’t actually caused by the amount of cholesterol in your diet? It’s caused by a diet too high in carbohydrates- specifically refined & simple carbs. Things like white sugars, white pastas, & white breads. During training last week, we had a conference call with our region’s Registered Dietitian (amazing) and this was one of the biggest things I took away from that. Not all carbs are created equal. Veggies and fruits are carbs- but they are complex! However, with most fruits, like apples, will spike your blood sugar- so you need to pair most fruits (because of their natural sugar content) with a protein- which brings us full circle with what I mentioned earlier- all meals and snacks should have some carbs, fats, and proteins!
Did you know Low fat diets are awful for you? I can’t believe I used to rely on Dannon Lite & Fit yogurts as a breakfast or snack at a point in my life. Healthy fats (think avocados, nuts, healthy oils like Olive Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Coconut Oil) are essential to your health- especially your BRAIN. Your brain is about 60% FAT! While eating a low fat diet appeals to many people based on what it’s implying (“low fat [insert food here] will make ME not fat! By eating these low fat foods, I’ll also be low fat!”), it’s detrimental to your health and your overall weight loss success.
Here’s why: Low-fat foods are higher in sugars. By decreasing the fat content, in order to maintain some type of taste, sugar is added in. Sugars is a carbohydrate- and, again- diets high in carbs/sugars can lead to high cholesterol. Fats keep you satiated for longer periods of time- the less fat you eat, the more hunger signals your brain is going to get, telling you to eat more- clearly, this is counterproductive.
Fats that should be avoided are trans fats or hydrogenated fats. Fats to eat are monounsaturated fats or polyunsaturated fats or, MUFAs and PUFas 🙂
I’m trying to get my family on board with incorporating more proteins and healthy fats into their diets. Today we went grocery shopping and I threw some almonds, pine nuts, edemamme, salmon, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, & EVOO into the cart.
DID YOU KNOW (this one was the most shocking to me!) that if you HEAT extra virgin olive oil, that the molecular structure is broken down, no longer making in an unsaturated fat, but a saturated one? Meaning that it loses it’s “healthy qualities”! EVOO should be used as a topping, such as in a salad dressing, and never heated!! For a good, healthy oil to cook with- think Coconut oil, grape seed oil, or almond oil!
What have you been eating lately? Any interesting nutrition facts?