Good vs Bad: Carbs, Protein and Fats

Good vs Bad: Carbs, Protein and Fats

Carbs

Are sugar, starch and fibre.  The end result of all these are single sugar molecules in the blood stream to be distributed to muscles for energy and to the liver for readily available storage.  Any in excess to this will be stored as fat.  The speed at which it is broken down into sugar is called the GI or Gycemic Index and the amount of sugar in a food is called the GL or Glycemic Load.  A lot of foods might be labelled Low GI but few have the GL value.  For instance wholemeal pasta may be low GI but has a high GL and so could prompt the insulin response to high blood sugar and therefore store fat.  Watermelon on the other hand is high GI but low GL and so although it is broken down quickly there isn’t much sugar and so no fat storage.

Ideally stick to fruit and veg for your carbohydrates, these are mostly low GI and GL, high in water, fibre and vitamins and minerals.  Refined carbs like bread, pasta, cereals are typically high GI and GL.

Protein

Protein comes from meat, fish, eggs, soya and also some in beans, pulses, dairy and nuts.  It is required for growth and repair, breakdown of fat, slows down digestion and keeps you feeling full & requires energy to breakdown. 

You should aim for per kilo of bodyweight:

·      0.8g to prevent deficiency

·      1.4-2g for HIIT training and reduced energy intake

·      2.2g to boost metabolism, weight management, increase performance and satiety

Fat

4 types: 1. Trans fats (or hydrogenated), 2. Monounsaturated, 3. Polyunsaturated, 4. Saturated

Avoid Trans fats as these are chemically engineered and harmful to health.  Monounsaturated fats boost ‘good’ cholesterol.  Polyunsaturated fats can be broken into Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s.  These should be in a ratio of 1:1 but often in our modern diet it can be up to 1: 30, too many Omega 6’s.  Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory, reduces the insulin response to sugar and is heart healthy.  Found in oily fish.  Saturated fat is the one we are most familiar with but shouldn’t try to cut out.

As with all of these fats, (except Trans fat), a balanced amount is essential for good health and a feeling of satiety.  Get them from whole foods like eggs, nuts, avocado, olives, meat (grass fed if possible) and fish.

The importance of Hydration

The importance of Hydration

The body is approximately 83% water so it is vital we stay hydrated for health.

Benefits for weight loss

Reduces Hunger

You may feel hungry when really you are thirsty, also if you drink plenty of water you can keep hunger at bay.  So you will consume less food.

 

Flushes toxins

Water helps your kidneys and liver, these then work more efficiently to eliminate toxins and metabolise fat.

 

Metabolism

All cellular reactions (metabolism) have to happen in water.  If reactions are slow due to dehydration, metabolism slows.

 

Joint and muscle lubrication

Water helps lubricate and cushion your joints and lubricates movement of muscles.  Bigger better movement = more energy used and lessening of pain.

 

Increased energy levels

Fatigue sets in when dehydrated, your blood thickens and your limbs feel heavy.  You are therefore less likely to move about and energy for exercise is reduced!

 

How Much?

Roughly 1 litre per 30kg or 4½ St of body weight.  More if you train and/or it is a hot day.  Other drinks can contribute too i.e. tea, a little coffee.  Drinks that are detrimental are high sugar drinks, (fizzy drinks/fruit juice), which draw water from the body and are also very bad for your fat loss goals!

 

Top Tips

Have a glass of water first thing in the morning.  This helps replace sweat lost during the night and helps with appetite control.

Carry a bottle of water with you during the day.

Limit coffee to the morning to reduce amount and reduce cortisol in the afternoon

Be very wary of fizzy drinks, no nutritional benefit and can make you eat more!

Limit fruit juice, water it down or have a cup of tea/glass of water with chopped fruit added instead.

Eat lots of fruit and veg, they have a high water content as well as keep you feeling full, providing fibre and lots of nutrients.

40/30/30

40/30/30

For most people the ratio of 40% Carbohydrate, 30% Protein and 30% fat is the ideal way of balancing their meals and staying healthy.  (There are some exceptions i.e. a bodybuilder would likely aim for more protein and less carbs.)

But what does 40/30/30 look like?  Roughly like this from Precision Nutrition:

So how do you go about creating the above on your plate?

Step 1 Choose what protein you are going to enjoy. How much do you need? What is your portion size?  Roughly about the size of your palm.

Step 2 Choose a variety of different coloured veggies or salad to go with the protein.  Don’t worry too much about portion control here as these are energy light.  Caution: Potatoes, breads, pasta, rice are energy dense and should be very well portion controlled.  It’s easy to overeat pasta, not so easy to overeat cabbage!

Step 3 Decide how you are going to cook it, choose a healthy fat to cook the protein in, ideally coconut oil, butter, avocado oil or almond oil that have a high smoke point and don’t oxidise at high heat. (More on that in later blogs)

Keep it simple and eat whole food

Balancing Blood Sugar Levels

Balancing Blood Sugar Levels

Sugar is one of the top 5 most addictive substances so it's no wonder we struggle to resist it!  The best way to do this is to keep blood sugar levels even throughout the day.

A belter of a breakfast from Little Bee Kitchen.  Soft boiled eggs and watercress on toasted rye, topped with a sprinkling of Furikake, a Japanese seasoning made of sesame seeds and seaweed.

Forget Big Change...Start With 1 Tiny Habit

Forget Big Change...Start With 1 Tiny Habit

Choose one or something similar to focus on

Drink one extra glass of water/cup of tea a day
Take the stairs instead of the lift
Eat more veggies
Swap sweets/chocolate for fruit
Park further from the door at the supermarket
Train one extra day a week
Eat a slightly smaller portion
Go to bed half an hour earlier

Small habit changes add up