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VIDEO: You resolved to work out and build a better, stronger body this year. You’ve probably heard the regulars at the gym talk about the protein shakes they drink after a workout to pack on more muscle. Protein drinks are on the rise and generating huge profits, but do you know how much protein you actually need and that TOO much can age you? Weekend anchor Marty Gonzalez on “KRON 4 Morning News Weekend” talks with me for some answers.
Protein is an important component of your diet and is necessary to build and maintain all types of body tissue, such as your skin, neurons, organs, and muscle. (Your heart is a muscle too.)
Here’s how to determine your protein needs per day.
IMPORTANT NOTE:If you have a medical condition, such as chronic kidney disease, diabetes or cancer, it’s essential to consult a registered dietician for your specific dietary requirements. Some dietitians specialize in kidney disease (renal dietician) or cancer (oncology dietician).
Ever since your doctor told you to start eating more fiber-rich foods, such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes (beans, split peas, chick peas, and lentils), you switched to eating whole wheat bread. You congratulated yourself on trading in (reluctantly) your soft white “wonder” for a 21-grain brick, but your new kind of loaf may not be as healthy and whole as you might think.
Why You Need More Dietary Fiber
There is accumulating evidence that eating more dietary fiber reduces your risk for:
• Type 2 diabetes
• Cardiovascular disease
• Certain cancers
• Weight gain
• Diverticular disease
• Functional constipation
It’s no surprise that another study concluded that for every additional 7 grams of fiber consumed, heart disease risk decreased by 9%. Seven grams of fiber really doesn’t equate to that much food. You can get 7 grams through a serving of whole grains plus beans or lentils (e.g., rice and beans), or a few servings of fruits and vegetables.
How Dietary Fiber Benefits Your Heart
The cardiovascular benefits of dietary fiber include:
Helps get rid of excess bile (reduces LDL “bad” cholesterol)
Reduces cholesterol production
Feeds our “good” bacteria
Changes our gut hormones
Promotes eating low-calorie-density foods
Delays gastric emptying
These effects collectively help control your cholesterol, body weight, blood sugar, and blood pressure which all reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease.
Also, per a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, dietary fiber has been shown to reduce inflammation, specifically, C-reactive protein, a sensitive inflammatory marker that can predict chronic disease.
Eat More Whole Plant Foods
Consuming more dietary fiber means eating lots of whole plant foods, such as:
Sources of insoluble fiber, a.k.a. “Nature’s Broom”, help prevent constipation and include:
Other whole grains
When shopping for “packaged” grain products, such as bread, crackers and ready-to-eat cereals, the first word in the ingredients list should be “whole”. However, the remaining ingredients might look like a bunch of chemicals, so how do you choose?
You eat healthy and exercise, but you have clogged arteries or worse yet, had a heart attack. You wonder how that could possibly be. Well, here’s one of the key (and most overlooked) reasons why… STRESS.
Are You Stressed Out?
Psychological stress can emerge when you’re unable to cope or respond to real-life demands (stressors), e.g., unemployment, caregiving for the the chronically ill, family dysfunction, poverty, and/or work, marital, or financial issues. According to the American Psychological Association (APA, 2011), there are two types of stress:
Acute stress – short-term form of stress that stems from the demands and pressures of the recent past and anticipated demands and pressures of the near future.
Chronic stress – long-term form of stress that derives from unending feelings of despair/hopelessness.
Coping with Stress
Coping skills are essential in stress management. How well do you manage your stress? Take this 20-minute Coping and Management Skills Testin Psychology Today and find out. Click here for the 38-question self test.
Various studies have shown that exposure to persistent stress can result in long-term or permanent changes in the way you respond:
Emotionally – e.g., increased likelihood of depression
Physiologically – e.g., decreased ability to regulate inflammatory responses due to decreased tissue sensitivity to cortisol (your primary stress hormone and regulator of inflammation)
Behaviorally – e.g., increased smoking, decreased exercise and sleep, poor medical compliance
One thing though… you can’t compare this cracker to a salty, buttery club cracker or any other cracker processed with oil and salt. In fact, you may even say Wasa® Flax Seed Crispbread tastes like ‘sawdust’. Yes, really. But don’t go away yet! Continue reading “Fit Find | Wasa® Flaxseed Crispbread”→
VIDEO: Untreated hypertension (high blood pressure) is the underlying cause of several life-threatening health conditions which can affect your heart, kidneys and other vital organs. It is known as the “silent killer” because there are often no warning signs or symptoms. Learn how your blood pressure can affect your eyes. (TRT: 01:01)