Monday, March 22, 2010

The Truth about Carbohydrates

Ask Glen!

Q. Glen, Good Carbs, Bad Carbs, Low Carbs, High Carbs ! Whats is The Real Deal?

A. Not all Carbs are Created Equal, It’s true. A carbohydrate-rich diet can inflate appetite and girth. Low-carb diets do promote short-term weight loss, but are accompanied by some severe dangers. So what should you do? The truth is, you can have your carbs and eat them too—you just have to know how to choose them.

Here is the Truth about Carbohydrates
  • Carbohydrates are the body's ideal fuel for most functions. They supply the body with the energy needed for the muscles, brain and central nervous system. In fact, the human brain depends exclusively on carbohydrates for its energy.
  • Carbohydrates are found in fruits, vegetables, beans, dairy products, foods made from grain products, and sweeteners such as sugar, honey, molasses, and corn syrup.
  • The body converts digestible (non-fiber) carbohydrates into glucose, which our cells use as fuel. Some carbs (simple) break down quickly into glucose while others (complex) are slowly broken down and enter the bloodstream more gradually.
  • During digestion, all carbohydrates are broken down into glucose before they can enter the bloodstream where insulin helps the glucose enter the body’s cells. Some glucose is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles for future use, like fueling a workout. If there is extra glucose, the body will store it as fat.
All carbohydrates are not created equal.There are basically three types of carbohydrates:
  1. Simple carbohydrates are composed of 1 or 2 sugar units that are broken down and digested quickly.

    Recent research has shown that certain simple carbohydrates foods can cause extreme surges in blood sugar levels, which also increases insulin release. This can elevate appetite and the risk of excess fat storage.
  2. Complex carbohydrates (also referred to as starch) are made up of many sugar units and are found in both natural (brown rice) and refined (white bread) form. They are structurally more complex and take longer to be broken down and digested.

    Complex carbohydrate foods have been shown to enter the blood stream gradually and trigger only a moderate rise in insulin levels, which stabilizes appetite and results in fewer carbohydrates that are stored as fat. Unrefined or ‘whole grain’ carbohydrates found in products like brown rice, whole wheat pasta and bran cereals are digested slowly. They contain vitamins, minerals and fiber which promote health. Fiber and nutrient-rich vegetables, fruits and beans which are carbohydrates also have many important functions for the body and are important for good health.
  3. Indigestible carbohydrates are also called fiber. The body is unable to breakdown fiber into small enough units for absorption. It is therefore not an energy source for the body but does promote health in many other ways.
Simple carbs, complex carbs, and fiber are found in many foods. Some provide important nutrients that promote health while others simply provide calories that promote girth.

  • Sugar, syrup, candy, honey, jams, jelly, molasses, and soft drinks contain simple carbohydrates and little if any nutrients.
  • Fruits contain primarily simple carbohydrate but also valuable vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water.
  • Vegetables contain varying amounts of simple and complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water.
  • Legumes such as beans, peas, lentils and soybeans contain complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and protein.
  • Milk products contain simple carbohydrates along with protein, calcium and other nutrients.
  • Grain products contain complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and protein. The amounts vary depending on the type of grain used and the amount of processing. Selecting whole grain options whenever possible is recommended.
What You Should Know About Low-Carbohydrate DietsFollowing an extremely low-carbohydrate diet is disastrous, dangerous, and above all—boring! Carbohydrates are NOT the enemy. Including the appropriate amounts and types of carbohydrate-rich foods in your diet is essential for long-term health and weight loss/maintenance.

The Body’s Immediate Reaction to Very Low Carbohydrate DietsWhen there is a severe deficit of carbohydrates, the body has several immediate reactions:
  • With no glucose available for energy, the body starts using protein from food for energy. Therefore this protein is no longer available for more important functions, such as making new cells, tissues, enzymes, hormones, and antibodies and the regulation of fluid balance.
  • When carbohydrates are lacking, the body cannot burn fat in the correct way. Normally carbs combine with fat fragments to be used as energy. When carbs are not available, there is an incomplete breakdown of fat that produces a by-product called ketones. These ketones accumulate in the blood and in the urine causing ketosis, which is an abnormal state. Ketosis does cause a decrease in appetite because it's one of the body's protection mechanisms. It's an advantage to someone in a famine (which the body thinks it's experiencing) to lack an appetite because the search for food would be a waste of time and additional energy.
  • Due to the lack of energy and the accumulation of ketones, low-carb diets are often accompanied by nausea, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, bad breath, and dehydration.
  • Because of dehydration and a lack of fiber, constipation can result.
  • Exercise and fitness performance is reduced on a low-carb diet. Do not be surprised if your energy level is so low that you cannot make it through your normal workout routine.
The Long-Term Effects of Low Carbohydrate Diets
When you severely restrict carbohydrates, your consumption of protein and fat increases, which has several long-term effects:
  • The risk of many cancers increases when fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, and beans are eliminated from the diet.
  • Protein foods are also high in purines, which are broken down into uric acid. Elevated levels of uric acid in the blood may lead to needle-like uric acid crystals in joints, causing gout.
  • Kidney stones are more likely to form on high protein, ketosis-producing diets.
  • Over time, high protein diets can cause a loss of calcium and lead to osteoporosis.
  • The risk of heart disease is greatly increased on a low-carb diet that is high in protein, cholesterol, fat, and saturated fat. A temporary reduction in cholesterol levels may be experienced, but this is common with any weight loss.
The Million Dollar QuestionHow do you include carbohydrates in you diet in a safe, effective, and controlled way? The “Please KISS Me” (Please Keep It So Simple for Me) plan for carbohydrate control is a wonderful tool that only contains 3 simple rules:

RULE 1: Include the following in your diet:
  • Fruits: 2-4 servings daily
  • Vegetables: 3-5 servings daily
  • Whole grain breads, muffins, bagels, rolls, pasta, noodles, crackers, cereal, and brown rice: 6-11 servings daily
  • Legumes, beans and peas: 1-2 servings daily
  • Low-fat and non-fat dairy products: 3 servings daily
RULE 2: Limit the following to less than 2 servings daily:
  • Fruit Juice
  • Refined and processed white flour products (bread, muffins, bagels, rolls, pasta, noodles, crackers, cereal)
  • White rice
  • French fries
  • Fried vegetables
RULE 3: Eliminate the following from your diet or eat only on occasion:
  • Sugary desserts, cookies, cakes, pies, candies
  • Doughnuts and pastries
  • Chips, cola and carbonated beverages
  • Sugar, honey, syrup, jam, jelly, molasses
That’s it! A simple, effective carbohydrate-controlling plan that, when combined with your Eat 4 Life Nutritional Plan, allows you to reap the countless benefits of complex carbohydrates and fiber while enhancing your health and maintaining a healthy weight. The long term result will be a healthy you!

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

My mission is to provide you with "Trusted Advice for a Healthier Life."

Yours in good health

Any questions?
Ask Glen!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Eating Breakfast Boosts Weight Loss Efforts

Ask Glen!

Q. Glen, Should I skip Breakfast , While trying to lose weight?

A. If you're skipping breakfast in an effort to slim down, you might want to rethink your weight loss strategy. A growing body of scientific evidence supports the notion that folks who routinely eat breakfast tend to be thinner -- and healthier -- than those who don't.

Although it may seem counterintuitive, skipping meals seems to promote weight gain, rather than weight loss. Breakfast skippers are more likely to give in to midmorning munching or extra-large lunches.

Either way, they typically consume far more calories than they would if they had eaten breakfast in the first place. The results of a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that when dieters ate breakfast, they lost significantly more weight than those who routinely missed the morning meal.

The study, led by David Schlundt, Ph.D., at Vanderbilt University, included 52 moderately obese women. The women were asked to follow a calorie-restricted diet and were assigned randomly to one of two groups.

The women in both groups consumed an equal number of calories each day, but those in one group ate breakfast, while the other did not. Women assigned to the breakfast-eating group lost an average of 19.6 pounds in three months, while those assigned to the breakfast-skipping group lost an average of 13.6 pounds.

The results of the Vanderbilt study suggest that eating breakfast promotes weight loss in several ways. The women in the breakfast-eating group ate less at lunch and dinner, and they were less likely to engage in mindless snacking.

According to Dr. Schlundt, "When you eat breakfast, you're not as hungry later in the day. It's hard to stay on your diet and make wise food choices when you're feeling ravenous."

The breakfast eaters also had a lower intake of dietary fat when compared with the women who bypassed breakfast. Schlundt attributed the reduced fat intake to the wide variety of low-fat breakfast foods available.

"A lot of low-fat foods are commonly eaten at the morning meal, including oatmeal, cereal and fruit," he said. "Most of the foods that Americans eat at lunch and dinner have a much higher fat content."

Although the women in the study assigned to the breakfast group were given sample menus, Schlundt noted that the subjects were ultimately responsible for deciding what they would eat for breakfast.

"We told them to try to eat just enough to avoid getting hungry before lunchtime," he said. "We didn't tell them what to eat, but we did ask them to stay away from foods that were high in calories and fat."

Staying away from foods rich in fat and calories means that the "traditional" breakfast of bacon, eggs and pancakes is off-limits.

"Unless you're a serious athlete or you do some type of strenuous manual labor, you don't need a big, heavy meal," said Schlundt. "You just need to eat something light and nutritious to start your day off right."

For some folks, getting out of bed each morning is a challenge in itself, without the added hassle of worrying about what to eat. The good news is that preparing breakfast doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming; it can be as quick and easy as splashing a little milk over some cold cereal.

Whole-grain cereals are an excellent choice. Like most varieties of cereal, they're low in fat and they're fortified with the entire alphabet of vitamins and minerals. But unlike highly refined cereals, whole-grain products are naturally high in fiber, an ingredient known to facilitate weight loss.

Fiber-rich foods provide substantial bulk, filling your stomach and satisfying your hunger. Because they take longer to digest than low-fiber foods, they keep you feeling fuller longer and help you avoid nibbling throughout the day.

Cereals made of bran and shredded wheat are rich in roughage, providing 5 grams of fiber or more per serving. Cereals made of rice puffs or cornflakes typically offer only 1 gram of fiber or less per serving.

Pouring low-fat or skim milk on your breakfast cereal gives you an added weight loss benefit. Regular consumption of calcium-rich dairy products, including milk, has been shown to accelerate the loss of body fat, especially from the abdomen.

Schlundt believes that the morning meal can be a very important part of any weight loss program.

"It takes a little extra time and effort to work breakfast into your day," he said, "but it's definitely worth it."

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

My mission is to provide you with "Trusted Advice for a Healthier Life."

Yours in good health

Any questions?

Ask Glen!

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About Me

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Lawrenceville, Georgia, United States
Is the Founder of Fitness Builders 4 Life,the WorkOut GEM,G350,G180, G90, Eat 4 Life, Clean, Lean & Mean & Ask Glen. The mission of the Fitness Builders is to provide the community with health education and to empower people to change unhealthy lifestyles thereby increasing life expectancy. By educating the community on healthier lifestyle practices it is the intent of Fitness Builders to reduce the ravages of obesity, heart disease, cancer and other lifestyle or self inflicted diseases. Glen is also a AMA Certified Nutrition Specialist and a ACE, ACSM, NASM Certified Personal Trainer has 30+ years in Sports, Exercise Science and Nutritional Food Management, Learning and Mentoring Men and Women on a more Mental & Physical Healthy Life Style consisting of a low fat, low salt, Low carbohydrate, high protein, organic nutrition which also includes moderate exercise and mental awareness. Stay Informed, Live long and be Mentally and Physically Healthy! Any questions? Ask Glen!

Any Questions? Ask Glen!