Categorized as: Health Tips

Sodium…the hidden enemy!

By Coach Miles

Are you over-consuming salt? Did you know that 90% of Americans eat more salt than the recommended 2,300 mg per day? That is the equivalent to about one teaspoon per day. In fact, the average American consumes an average of 3,400 mg per day, a full 1,100 mg more than the U.S Dietary Guidelines recommend. 

Don’t get me wrong, salt makes food taste great, and a small amount is important in a healthy diet. But in excess, salt is linked to high blood pressure, a leading risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases.

Here are 5 things you can do to reduce your daily consumption:

  1. Read the Label – Most of the salt we eat comes from processed foods and restaurants. If you eat something that comes out of a bag, box, or can, read the nutrition information for sodium content. Chain restaurants are now required to provide the nutritional information about their menu items.
  2. Pay Attention to Serving Size – Serving sizes can be deceiving, and very small! For example, a can of soup often contains two servings. If each serving has 650 mg of sodium and you eat the whole can, you’d have consumed more than half of your daily sodium in one meal!
  3. Know Where Salt Lurks – Sodium goes by many different names. Read an ingredients list, and you may see it called salt, sea salt, monosodium glutamate (MSG), sodium alginate, sodium citrate, sodium hydroxide, and sodium phosphate. Salt usually hides within other ingredients as well like yeast extract, natural flavor, malt extract, malt flavoring, natural beef or chicken flavoring, seasoning, spices and anything called “extract,” especially in savory foods. MSG is an ingredient in many additives including hydrolyzed vegetable protein, hydrolyzed protein, hydrolyzed plant protein, sodium caseinate, and calcium caseinate.
  4. Choose “Low-Sodium” Foods – Look for the words “unsalted” or “low-sodium” on labels. These mean that the product has no salt or very little added salt. Avoid packaging that says “reduced-sodium.” That label only says that there is 25% less sodium than the original version, which is usually still too much. Just because something is low in salt doesn’t mean the product is good for you. Manufacturers often make up for the loss of flavor by adding sugar, fat, or additives.
  5. Salt is Not Just an Ingredient in Junk Food! – Even pantry staples can be high in sodium. Check the sodium content of jarred pasta sauces, lunch meats, cheese, condiments, canned beans and vegetables, broths and soups.

We have all been using MyFitnessPal to track our nutrient and macro intake. Sodium is one of those tracked nutrients. Take a look at your sodium intake over the past several days. Were you over your daily limit? If so, take some of these tips I’ve listed above to help you reduce your sodium levels. 

The Scoop on Gluten

By Coach Miles

Everywhere you go, and everywhere you look someone is talking about GLUTEN. It has become a favorite nutrition topic as of late. Your family, friends, and co-workers are talking about it. You’ve seen it on restaurant menus and grocery store shelves. Flip open a page of your favorite magazine, and you’ll find a story about a celebrity going GLUTEN-FREE.

So, what’s going on here? Are all these people ditching gluten because its trendy? Or is there more to this new trend?

Let’s start by discussing what gluten exactly is. Gluten is a protein composite found in grains. Wheat is the most well-known gluten source, but you can also find it in rye, barley, spell, and all kinds of other grains too. Gluten is made up of two proteins: gliadin and glutenin. Gliadin is the one that gives people problems after they eat it. When you mix flour made from gluten-grains you get a sticky mixture. This is what helps the dough stretch and allows it to rise when you bake it.

 

Now, that doesn’t sound so terrible, so why is gluten getting so much attention?

Did you know that a scientific review published in the New England Journal of Medicine listed 55 diseases that can be caused by eating gluten? It’s true. There’s an incredible range of conditions; ranging from fatigue and canker sores to osteoporosis and inflammatory bowel disease. All of these conditions are associated with eating this seemingly innocent protein. Gluten causes trouble by making the body inflamed, resulting in effects all throughout the body. This means gluten can affect your brain just as well as it can affect your joints or digestive tract.

Most people struggling with inflammation-related conditions focus on treating them at the surface level. They take medications to minimize the symptoms of the condition, but they have to keep taking these medications because they never get to the root of the problem.

If you’re struggling with a chronic health issue, or even if you feel okay, eliminating gluten can have an incredible impact on your health. The Greek physician Hippocrates said, “let food be thy medicine.” And more and more scientific research is proving he was right. It might be time to change your “prescription.”

All you need to do to help your body is to look at your food you’re consuming. Labels are there for a reason. If it is gluten free, it will say so.

Its Prepping Time!

By Coach Miles

Picture this, it’s Sunday evening, and you have no plans, what can you do with your free time? Game of Thrones is over, and Walking Dead hasn’t started yet. So, what could you do? Oh, I got it! You can meal prep for the upcoming week. If you’ve never meal prepped before then, you’re in luck s today is the day where you’ll receive a crash course on meal prepping and its advantages.

Meal prepping is quite simple. All you do is prepare your meals 3-7 days out in advance. You can either cook them, package them, freeze them or do whatever you want to do to make your life easier when it comes time to eat a meal. Spending those 10-15 minutes each day before each meal trying to figure out your calories, or macros and what foods you can and can’t eat can stack up to a lot of wasted time and energy.

Here are some benefits of meal prepping:

  1. Saves Time – You can save time by creating, cooking, or even packaging your foods for the upcoming week all at once. Or you can just do it every single time over and over again multiple times a day for every day and waste your time.
  2. Saves Money – By buying in bulk and either planning or selecting a particular type of food to consume during the week can save you a lot of money. You could easily buy a six pack of chicken breast that you can put on the grill and have one for each day. Or you can spend more money by buying six different types of meat. To avoid any boredom of the chicken, you can just place different seasoning and serve it with mixed vegetables or sides for each day. 
  3. Helps Avoid Cravings – It’s in the middle of the afternoon, and you are hungry. But, you woke up late and didn’t have time to make your lunch. Now you’re staring at the McDonald’s across the street salivating. You could have avoided this scenario if you simply meal prepped earlier in the week. If you did meal prep, you would be enjoying a healthy and delicious meal instead of hating your self after that Big Mac.
  4. Helps you stay on Track – Meal prepping will allow you the time to sit down and figure out all of your macros and calories all at once for each meal. Once you’ve cooked and packaged everything you know have that sense of comfort knowing when you wake up the next morning you have your pre planned meals awaiting you. And even better those meals all contain the right amount of macros and calories for you to achieve your weight loss. 

Meal Prepping has been practiced and is still being practiced by most if not all serious athletes, bodybuilders, CrossFiters, and gym goers alike. It’s about time you jumped aboard and saved some money and made your life much easier.