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    Archive for the ‘fats’ Category

    Guest Post: For ADHD & Dyslexia, Good Nutrition Is Best Medicine

    Although millions of Americans are increasingly becoming aware of nutrition’s vital role in cardiovascular health, blood pressure regulation, and blood sugar control, that same paradigm is nowhere near as widespread when it comes to learning and comprehension disabilities.

    For this guest post, I asked Judy Converse, an established expert on the subject matter, to provide an overview of how proper — and improper! — nutrition can affect children with ADD, dyslexia, and other conditions she commonly works with in her private practice.

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    For the Most Part, One Size Does Fit All

    Often times, the pail of cold water that gets dumped on a fiery nutrition debate is the “one size does not fit all!” mantra. That is to say, one particular manner of eating can make person A feel great but person B feel sluggish and tired, and both experiences are legitimate. To a certain degree, I co-sign on this. Some individuals are grazers, others are “three square meals” types; some people like to eat breakfast right upon waking, some don’t really feel hungry until an hour after. Fine with me.

    Approaching nutrition from a completely individualist lens, however, takes away from the fact that there are certain truths that apply to everyone, and should be strongly recommended across the board:

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    Surprise! Another Half-Truthful Health Claim

    unclebens_jpgMany thanks to Small Bites’ Twitter follower @koshtoo, who shared this photograph with me, as she believed I “would find interesting.”  I certainly did!

    In case you are unable to see the photograph, it shows a box of Uncle Ben’s Original converted white rice.  The lower right-hand corner of the box features a “Supports a Healthy Heart” statement and logo.

    Underneath the logo, we see:

    Enriched with Vitamins and Minerals

    Naturally Fat-Free

    Oh, dear.

    Sure.  A refined grain like white rice does not add a single gram of fat to our diets, but that does not make it heart-healthy.

    In fact, refined, fiberless carbohydrates like white rice raise triglyceride levels.

    High triglycerides — they are a type of fat in the blood, in case you weren’t sure — are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.  NOT heart-healthy!

    Vitamin and mineral enrichment, meanwhile, is kind of a nutritional red flag.  After all, enrichment means that most of the nutrients originally found in that food were added back in after the food underwent significant processing.

    Brown rice has those exact same nutrients.  Since brown rice is not processed to the same degree as white rice, they all stay in their place, without the need to enrich.

    What upsets me most about this health claim is that it reinforces the myth that “low fat = heart healthy.”

    Remember: some of the best foods we can eat for heart-health — such as salmon, sardines, avocados, nuts, and seeds — are rich in healthy fats.

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    You Ask, I Answer: Protein and Weight Training

    Using your calculation I should be getting 54 grams of protein a day, which is not a problem.

    I have started strength training, [so] should I up my protein intake?

    If so, by how much?

    — Chris (last name unknown)
    Via the blog

    As you have figured out, protein requirements are extremely easy to meet.

    A three ounce portion (as large as the palm of your hand and no wider than your pinky) of salmon or chicken provides 27 grams, a sandwich consisting of two slices of whole wheat bread and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter adds up to 24 grams, a cup of milk delivers 8 grams, half a cup of lentils packs in 9 grams, and 23 almonds (one ounce) clock in at 6 grams.

    Since the 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is the minimum requirement, you you can safely double that intake – in your case, I would suggest not surpassing the 110 – 120 gram point.

    As far as strength training is concerned, I’m assuming you want to know if upping protein intake will help you gain muscle mass.

    The answer is both “yes” and “no.”

    Acquiring muscle mass is achieved by shocking muscle groups and eating additional calories.

    Some of these calories will surely come from protein, but also fats and carbohydrates.

    Many people make the mistake of concentrating solely on protein, missing out on excess calories. Without more calories, you will not put on muscle mass!

    Let’s say you currently eat 2,000 calories and 90 grams of protein a day.

    A 1,700 calorie diet with 160 grams of protein is a lot less effective at helping you gain mass than a 2,500 calorie diet with 95 grams of protein.

    The best suggestion I can give you is in regards to timing.

    Be sure to eat a snack that contains complex carbohydrates and protein no later than 45 minutes after your workout for optimal glycogen refueling. A glass of skim milk and a tablespoon of peanut butter on whole wheat toast is one good example.

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