What are FODMAPs? FODMAPs are a group of small chain carbohydrates (sugars and fibers) that are commonly malabsorbed in the small intestine. FODMAPs are abundant in the diet and can be found in everyday foods such as: wheat, barley, rye, apples, pears, mango, onion, garlic, honey, kidney beans, cashew nuts, agave syrup, sugar free gum, mints and some medicines, to name a few. Up to 75% of those who suffer with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) will benefit from dietary restriction of FODMAPs. Research has shown the low FODMAP diet improves gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms (gas, bloating, pain, change in bowel habits) related to IBS.
What is the low FODMAP diet? The low FODMAP diet is a 2-6 week elimination diet that involves removing high FODMAP foods from the diet to assess whether FODMAP rich foods are triggering your GI symptoms. The low FODMAP diet is a learning diet rather than one that you stay on forever. The goal of the diet is to help you determine your personal dietary triggers. After the low FODMAP elimination diet phase, a dietitian will guide you on how to re-introduce FODMAPs, in a methodical manner, to assess your tolerance to various FODMAP containing foods. Many people will find they can liberalize their FODMAP diet restrictions and only need to restrict some high FODMAP foods. The low FODMAP diet should be implemented with the help of a FODMAP knowledgeable dietitian to help you navigate the many nuances of the diet and to help you develop a personalized, well-balanced eating plan.
Kate Scarlata is a Boston-based Registered and licensed dietitian as well as a York Times Best Selling author with 25+ years of experience. Kate specializes in the low FODMAP diet and digestive health conditions including IBS, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) in her private practice in Medway, Massachusetts.
With all the different coconut oils on the market the differences in them all can be really confusing. Do you want the extra virgin? Does processing matter? Do you want the organic or the conventional? Have no fear, here is a great article by Evolving Wellness that breaks down and explains all there is to know about the Coconut Oil Industry,-
How to Choose the Best Coconut Oil
1. Virgin versus Refined
There are two main kinds of coconut oil: refined and unrefined. Refined oils are cheaper and possess no coconut flavor or aroma. They are produced from dried copra, not fresh coconuts, and the oil typically undergoes various levels of processing, including being deodorized and bleached. Unrefined coconut oil is normally considered virgin (incorrectly labelled extra virgin in the past) and it possesses a light coconut taste and aroma, that will vary from brand to brand. This mostly depends on the freshness of the coconut used and type of processing it was subjected to. Virgin oil is typically made from fresh coconuts, but processing techniques will still vary in determining the product’s quality.
As mentioned above, the less processing that is done to our food, the more nutritionally sound and beneficial it is. Therefore, to benefit from the most value, choose a coconut oil that is virgin (unrefined).
2. Processing Methods
The nature of all oils is such that it involves processing; oils are not whole, natural foods and do not naturally exist in nature, as shared above. Coconut oil is most commonly processed using expeller-pressed or cold-pressed methods. Expeller-pressed is a mechanical process that extracts oil from seeds and nuts, at high pressure and heat, and is usually used for refined oils. Cold-pressed coconut oils are expeller-pressed in a heat-controlled environment to keep temperatures below 49ºC or 120ºF degrees. Unfortunately, labeling laws are weak in this area and producers may not be adhering to proper cold-pressed standards. This is where it is helpful to learn more about how the brand in question fully processed its oils.
Many high quality companies today are paying attention to using fresh coconuts, having a quick turnaround time from picking the coconut to bottling, keeping heat so low that it can be classified as a RAW product, and transparently describing their process. Even though coconut oil is one of the few oils that does not get easily destroyed in the presence of heat, the less heat applied to our food and the less harsh the processing, the better for maximum nutritional integrity.
Other factors to be considered by serious coconut oil connoisseurs include: whether the coconut oil was dry or wet-processed, fermented, or centrifuge-processed, as well as the freshness of the coconut and quality of the copra used.
A select few oils on the market use the DME method of extraction: Direct Micro Expelling. This process brings the processing to the coconuts, rather than the coconuts to the processing, by-passing the common copra-based coconut industry. Coconuts are prepared, typically right where they grow, by local families for manual pressing. This process tends to ensure the freshest coconut oil and provides the least invasive processing methods possible. It is also the most eco-friendly and supportive of native people’s livelihoods.
In certain tropical parts of the world, coconut oil may be hydrogenated or fractionated. These oils are even more refined and should not be used for optimal health.
3. Organic versus Conventional
Although the coconut is not a high-risk food when it comes to pesticides, nor is it genetically-modified, it is still best to opt for organic options whenever possible. Whether it is the type of fertilizer used or the post-harvesting applications, there are many reasons why organic is a better way to go for both our personal health and the health of our planet.
I will mention here also about the importance of Fair Trade certification when it comes to coconut products, like coconut oil. Our mentality to get the most product for the least amount of money is unfortunately one of the most harmful attitudes when it comes to social justice and environmental sustainability issues. It is time we start to look past our own interests and consider the bigger picture and what is at stake. Cheap final products and trying to drive down prices is normally reflected in more ruthless processing approaches, environmental degradation, and unfair wages and treatment of people who are on the front lines of production. In the context of coconut oil, this is especially applicable tonative coconut farmers. We can become part of solution and embody the change we wish to see by supporting fair trade coconut products.
4. Glass versus Plastic Jars
Food and plastic do not mix for optimal health. This is not yet a popular stance in our society, but one that cannot be avoided. Plastics are an environmental disaster all on their own, and given the majority of the plastic comes from refined petroleum products, not something that will ever get the safe stamp of approval. Will one product in a plastic jar harm you? Most likely not, but you have to think of the bigger picture today. It is never about one product and our bodies simply have too many chemicals all around thrown at them. So why not minimize where we can?
Every few months or years, we learn about some new toxicity issues related to plastic and its potential to leach various harmful compounds into the food or drink being housed in it. It becomes an even bigger problem when we mix heat and plastic. Seeing that most coconut oils are heated and then bottled, we can hopefully appreciate why glass jars are a big incentive.
FINAL TIP: To pick a high quality product, focus on coconut oil that is virgin,organic, processed in the least invasive way, and packaged in glass jars. Focus also on reputable companies who provide fair trade products and accurate, detailed information about their coconut oil.
Ultimately, there is no need to nitpick amongst similar quality brands and get overwhelmed by the choices. Find a high quality coconut oil from a company you can trust, feel good about, and is relatively convenient for you to purchase.
-You can find more on this article as well as the top 5 brands to buy here.
“I don’t know what to believe.”
If you’ve ever read a fitness magazine or searched for any health-related information on the Internet, this is probably how you feel. Or maybe it’s more like, “WTF! Why does every piece of information contradict the other?”
First carbs are bad, and then they’re considered kinda rad (for athletes, at least). We say fats aren’t part of the plan, but what about Paleo, where bacon is the jam? I hear that intermittent fasting can eliminate fat… or is that only true if you’re a lab rat? It’s enough to make you want to throw your computer across the room—and not just because of the terrible rhymes.
This stuff (nutrition and fitness) is a business—one of misinformation, overreactions, and enough double-talk to make you think Paleo and Atkins are running against Mediterranean and Low-Sugar for the office of diet supremacy. Like any election, all candidates have their flaws, but that’s a major reason why I’m writing this column, Naked Truth: less confusion, more answers, and a place for you to turn when you’re sick of reading everything and just want to know what to believe.
I’m not here to break the news. I’m here to make sense of it all so you can live a healthy life without all the added stress and second-guessing. And while you can safely assume any plan that includes the words “cookie” or “miracle” is full of sh!t, trying to tackle every new diet trend would be an impossible task. Instead of naming names, here are three tips to help you figure out what actually works and what might work best for you.
1. Avoid any plan that points out one “enemy.”
So many new trends in the health and fitness world use smart marketing techniques to both scare you and promise quick results. Neither is usually valid, which is why it’s important to read this next part very carefully: Weight loss is a complex topic. It’s about calories, food quality, hormones, health history, genetics, exercise, body type, food sensitivity, age, and even your family history.
Does that mean you need to become a nutrition expert before trying any new eating plan? Hell no. But it does mean that if any diet suggests changing one element is the “key to success,” you should run. Fast.
It is a gross overstatement to say that avoiding any one of the following items is “all it takes”: carbs, fat, wheat, dairy, gluten, sugar, late-night eating, or processed and/or packaged foods. Can adjusting your diet around these things lead to weight loss? Of course. But it’s not the long-term solution. Why? Because it relies on unnecessary restriction of foods you might enjoy, which limits the likelihood that you’ll stick with it.
Yes, some people might actually need to avoid certain foods or ingredients due to food allergies (which is an entirely different, super-interesting topic), but the truth is most people are overreacting and cutting foods from their diet because they’ve been tricked into believing these “bad foods” are a health problem. They’re not.
For the most part, odds are you don’t have a food allergy—no matter how much the latest book might try to convince you otherwise. Case in point: Research found that 86 percent of people who thought they were gluten intolerant were not. And scientists estimate that only one to two percent of people in the world actually suffer from gluten intolerance. If you’re truly allergic to a food, then you’ll experience a reaction in your body when you eat it, similar to how pollen crushes my sinuses every summer.
If you’re trying to understand nutrition, it’s best to consider the words of Mike Israetel, Ph.D., professor of exercise science at Temple University:
“Ultimately, successfully countering weight gain and obesity is a combination of many nutrition and behavioral principles that keep the fundamentals (like calorie balance) in mind. Catchphrase demonization of a single nutrient as a magic-bullet cure is unlikely to ever be the solution, and–in fact–more likely to create problems and confusion about how to fight obesity.”
2. Think of dieting like dating (hear me out).
Looking at what works for your friend, sister, coworker, or favorite Instagram star is a bad idea. And yet, that’s often how a lot of people get inspired to start a new diet. Instead, think of dieting like dating .
You wouldn’t choose to be in a relationship with someone who you despise from day one, so why would you do that with the foods you eat. Every. Single. Day. Anything that sounds like it might make your life miserable is going to be a problem. Your body might survive just fine, but your mind won’t. You will quit the plan, you will learn to hate healthy eating, and you’ll probably end up more frustrated and confused than when you started.
Forget dumping your paycheck on anti-aging creams and injectables. The Fountain of Youth can be found in your kitchen.
In his new book, “The Age Fix: A Leading Plastic Surgeon Reveals How to Really Look 10 Years Younger” (Grand Central Life & Style, out now), Dr. Anthony Youn devotes an entire chapter to diet.
“The foods you choose can affect the development of wrinkles, skin-tightness and elasticity, and even how likely you are to get a sunburn,” Youn, who’s based in Michigan, tells The Post.
“Making changes in your diet can wipe years off your face,” says Youn.
It’s worked for Martha Stewart, still luminous at 74. “Everything we do affects how we age. And food is one of the most powerful — and fundamental — tools we have,” Stewart tells The Post.
Here, Youn shares 10 foods that will help you turn back the clock.
These edible seeds are “a dietary superstar,” says Youn. “[They’re] packed with zinc, a mineral that can improve skin’s rejuvenation rate and boost cell growth and repair.”
These edible seeds are “a dietary superstar,” says Youn. “[They’re] packed with zinc, a mineral that can improve skin’s rejuvenation rate and boost cell growth and repair.”
3. Tomato Paste
Want to make your whole-wheat pizza healthier? Top it off with more tomato paste. “[It’s] an easy way to get a good dose of lycopene, which has profound anti-inflammatory benefits, [and inflammation] contributes to skin aging,” Youn says. It can also help with sun protection. Studies have shown that eating five tablespoons of tomato paste every day can reduce the risk of sunburn, Youn says. When fresh tomatoes are in season, they’re also a great source of lycopene.
4. Dark Chocolate
Want a sweet treat for your skin? Try a chocolate bar with at least 70 percent cocoa. It’s packed with flavonols that can fight sun spots and increase blood flow for a dewy, sun-kissed glow.
A cup of this dark-hued fruit provides a shot of vitamin C, which promotes collagen elasticity. A 2012 UK study found that women who often consume vitamin C have fewer wrinkles. The key is to have it regularly. “Vitamin C is water soluble, which means you can’t store it,” Youn explains. “You should eat a serving of vitamin C-rich foods every day.” One cup of berries a day should do the trick.
By Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD
As a sports nutritionist, I consult for pro teams and privately counsel professional and competitive athletes in numerous sports, as well as fitness enthusiasts. Pros and weekend warriors definitely have different nutrition needs, but they do have one thing in common: In order to get the most out of being active, everyone needs to eat properly to help their bodies recover from the wear and tear of exercise.
Here are six rules to follow, and how to prevent overdoing it, which can cancel out the weight-loss benefits of breaking a sweat.
Eat within 30 to 60 minutes after exercise.
If you’ve had a particularly tough workout, try to eat a “recovery” meal as soon as possible. Exercise puts stress on your muscles, joints, and bones, and your body “uses up” nutrients during workouts; so post-exercise foods are all about putting back what you’ve lost, and providing the raw materials needed for repair and healing. In fact, it’s the recovery from exercise that really allows you to see results in terms of building strength, endurance, and lean muscle tissue. Not recovering properly can leave you weaker as you go into your next workout, and up your injury risk.
Think beyond protein.
Protein is a building block of muscle, so it is important post exercise, but an ideal recovery meal should also include good fat (also needed for healing muscles and joints), as well as plenty of nutrient-rich produce, and a healthy source of starch such as quinoa, sweet potato, or beans. These foods replenish nutrients that have been depleted, and provide energy to fuel your post-exercise metabolism. A great post-workout meal might be something like a smoothie made with either pea protein powder or grass-fed organic whey protein, whipped with fruit, leafy greens, almond butter or coconut oil, and oats or quinoa, or an omelet made with one whole organic egg and three whites, paired with veggies, avocado and black beans.
Keep it real.
The phrase “you are what you eat” couldn’t be more true. Nutrients from the foods you eat food are the foundation of the structure, function, and integrity of every one of your cells. Your body is continuously repairing, healing, and rebuilding itself, and how healthy your new cells are is directly determined by how well you’ve been eating. In short, your body is essentially one big miraculous construction site that’s open 24/7. So even if you’re lean and you burn a lot of calories, avoiding highly processed food and eating a clean, nutrient rich, whole foods diet can help you get the most out of all of your hard work, including cells that function better, and are less susceptible to premature aging, injury and disease.
If weight loss is one of your goals, it’s important to not overestimate how much extra food you “earned” working out. In fact, it’s incredibly easy to “eat back” all of what you’ve burned. For example, in a one-hour elliptical session, an average woman burns about 490 calories. A large salted caramel Pinkberry contains 444 calories, and a 32 ounce high-protein pineapple smoothie from Smoothie King clocks in at 500 calories. Even if you don’t splurge on treats like these, you may be tempted to sneak a little extra almond butter, or be less mindful of your oatmeal or fruit portions, and those extras can add up. And if you’re going to be eating a meal within an hour of finishing up a workout, you don’t also need a post-exercise bar or snack.
Plus, easy fixes to ensure your weight-loss efforts actually stick.
If you had a nickel for every time you went on a diet … Or, scratch that, if you actually lost a pound every time you went on a diet, well, you’d have no reason to diet!
Unfortunately, for a lot of people, diets tend to cause more frustration than actual weight loss. And the reasons are way simpler than you might imagine. In the end, virtually every diet fail comes down to three simple factors, according to nutritionists. Avoid them, and you’ll be well on your way to weight-loss success.
Fail No. 1: You’ve Picked a Diet You Can’t Follow Forever
“The No. 1 reason why diets don’t work is because they are not sustainable for the long term,” says nutrition and food scientist Danielle Starin, director of nutrition for the Nutritionix nutrition database. That applies not only to drastic juice cleanses as well as fad and deprivation diets, but to otherwise healthy eating strategies that just don’t fit your individual lifestyle or preferences.
So what does “long term” mean? Way more than a few weeks or months until you’ve lost the weight – it means for life, she says. Otherwise, you’ll gain it all right back. Sound familiar? Research from the University of California–Los Angeles shows that while most people can lose about 5 to 10 percent of their weight on just about any diet, on average, they end up gaining it all back – and then some.
The Fix: If you can’t see yourself following your current meal plan for the rest of your life, throw it out the window and brainstorm some healthy eating changes you could actually stick to for years to come, Starin says. The weight loss is bound to happen more slowly that it will on a crash diet, but it’ll be longer lasting. Plus, as you get comfortable with whatever your healthy changes may be – eating five servings of fruit and veggies per day, say, or cutting out sugary sodas – you may decide you want to make other healthy swaps, too. With this strategy, over time, you’ll just keep getting healthier and healthier.
Fail No. 2: You’re Eating Too Few Calories
To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you’re taking in each day. But that shouldn’t be by that big of a margin, says registered dietitian Wesley Delbridge, spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. After all, while the U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines state that the average woman needs between 1,600 and 2,000 and the average man needs between 2,200 and 2,800 calories per day in order to maintain a given weight, as a general rule, eating any fewer than 1,200 or 1,400 calories a day (depending whether you’re a man or woman) is not only dangerous to your health, but it can counteract your weight-loss efforts, Delbridge says. When you cut your caloric intake too low, your body dramatically slows its metabolic rate and begins to hold onto any sugar and fat it can, rather than burn it, he says. Basically, it thinks you’re starving, so it does everything in its power to hang onto whatever you do consume, he says. What’s more, with not enough food to fuel your biological processes, your body also begins to break down muscle, your metabolic powerhouse, for energy. The result: a lot of hunger and a scale that won’t budge.
March is National Nutrition Month, sponsored by The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and dedicated to helping Americans eat more healthfully. This year’s theme is “Savor the flavor of eating right.” Use this month to focus on your health and eating habits and develop healthful habits that will last way past March. Here are 5 tips to improve your health:
Eat more fiber
According to the Mayo Clinic, fiber can provide an array of health benefits. Fiber aids in weight loss or maintenance, by keeping you full from meal to meal, and it can help lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease, since it aids in regulating blood sugar levels and in removing bad cholesterol from your body. The recommended daily fiber intake for men and women is 38g and 25g respectively. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes can all be great sources of fiber. To get the most benefits from your fiber intake, combine it with a lean protein, which slows digestion, further stabilizing your blood sugar levels and keeping you feeling full for longer.
Improve your bone health
Osteoporosis and low bone mass is extremely prevalent in older adults. In order to prevent bone disease, an adequate intake of vitamin D and calcium is recommended. In practice, 95 percent of Americans do not consume enough vitamin D, and 49 percent of Americans do not consume enough calcium. Take control of your bone health and add vitamin and mineral rich foods to your diet. One 3oz. portion of salmon contains 75 percent of your daily vitamin D recommendation, and 2 cups of dairy can provide 40 percent-50 percent of your daily calcium recommendation. Strength training is another great way to improve your bone health as well.
Track what you eat
By tracking your daily food intake, you not only become more aware of what you’re putting in your mouth, but you become more accountable for it as well. Tracking food is easy with apps like MyFitnessPal or LoseIt. Tracking your food will show you what you’re doing well already, areas where you can improve, and your eating behavior patterns. Did you know you were a persistent late night snacker? How about a social eater? This knowledge can be empowering and help you take the next step in making healthier life choices.
The joy of eating is that one size doesn’t fit all. Some of us eat to live, while others live to eat. For those with certain chronic conditions, like diabetes, food choices are closely tied to disease management, while others may customize meals in an effort to lower their risk of developing heart disease or another condition.
Some of us love to create in our kitchen, while others prefer takeout.
Whatever your preferences and goals, the key is to develop what the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans describe as healthy eating patterns, which meet your wellness goals, fit your lifestyle and fall within your budget. According to the Dietary Guidelines, healthy eating patterns support a healthy body weight and should help prevent and reduce incidence of chronic disease, with a person’s nutritional needs met primarily through diet.
Why are healthy eating patterns so key? They take into account quantity, proportion, variety and all the different foods and beverages a person consumes; they’re also meant to be adaptable. By thinking about our dietary patterns, we can develop consistency and create opportunities to experiment with different foods.
As a first step, you need to decide on an eating pattern that best fits you. This is the foundation toensure you’re able to stick with it. To start, do a self-assessment, asking these questions:
- What are your goals?
- What are you willing to change?
- How skilled are you in food preparation?
- Do you eat out more, or will you cook?
- How many meals and snacks do you usually eat daily?
- What types of food do you like and dislike?
Celebrate National Nutrition Month by making small changes that will lead to big improvements.
Unlike “National Pancake Month” or “National Whipped Cream Month,” National Nutrition Month is a yearly occasion that you can and should celebrate for 30 days straight. In fact, why stop at the end of March? I hope that, once you try the following tips, you’ll want to continue practicing them all year through.
Here’s how it works: Try one tip each day, starting today. (You can change the order, but be sure you try each one.) Then, repeat.
1. Cut portions.
If you think leaving just a little something on your plate won’t matter, think again. It will. Small amounts of uneaten food add up to calories that stay on the plate – not on you.
2. Sip while you sit.
Bring a cup or bottle of water with you whenever you sit (at your desk, in the car or in front of the TV, for example). Although moving is better than sitting, at least you’ll be performing a healthy habit when at rest.
3. Make a move.
Take the stairs, park a few blocks away or otherwise become inefficient and take extra steps to get where you need to go.
4. Have a vegetable at breakfast.
Most people save their veggies for dinner, but it’s healthful to think outside the cereal bowl and veg out at breakfast. For example, add a sliced tomato to your cheese sandwich or some mushrooms to your eggs.
5. Find fiber.
Whether it’s a bran cereal, nuts, oatmeal or an array of other fiber-filled foods, added fiber can make you feel fuller longer and provide a, well, moving experience.
6. Flip the package over.
Read nutrition labels to see what’s really in your food. Don’t be fooled by a flashy front-of-package claim.
7. Don’t fear fat – but don’t go overboard.
Fat has more calories than other nutrients, but it has multiple benefits. If you watch your portions, you can enjoy its decadence.
8. Don’t have guilt as a side dish.
If you overindulge at a meal, move on.
9. Be mindful.
Unless you’re driving, close your eyes when you eat. Notice the food’s texture, temperature and flavor.
10. Pick plants.
Protein derived from plant sources such as seeds, nuts, tofu and tempeh, as well as from grains, can help lower cholesterol, improve your heart health and add a satiating blend of flavors to extend Meatless Monday to the rest of the week.
11. Tap into your dark side.
Dark chocolate has been shown to have heart-healthy benefits and it can certainly boost your mood. Be mindful of portions, though, to help keep yourself feeling happy.
12. Eat something fishy.
Enjoy fish as a dish at least three times a week. It’s heart-healthy, low in fat and contains beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.
13. Take time for tea.
Tea contains polyphenols, it’s good for your bones and it provides a soothing cup of comfort in any season.
14. Cook with your kids.
Don’t think of this interaction as cooking lessons. Rather, realize that teaching your kids to put together a meal is a lesson they can use for the rest of their lives.
15. Shake the salting habit.
Replace salt with lemon, herbs and spices.
How “Flexible” is Your Flexible Diet?
Bag of whey protein under your arm, digital food scale sticking out of your bag, MyFitnessPal ready and loaded on your phone and bottle of Walden Farms in hand, you proclaim to your pals –
“It’s okay, I’m on a flexible diet.”
Looking at you like you just told them you were going to use your new-found leg strength from all your squatting to jump to the moon, your buddies start laughing.
“What’s flexible about bringing half a kitchen on holiday with you?”
“why’s there a blender in his holdall”
and “is that a bottle of Coke Zero in his pocket or is he just pleased to see me?” they wonder.
What’s Your Problem?
The problem, my friend, is that you’re bastardizing flexible dieting.
The clue is in the name – FLEXIBLE.
Someone asked me to sum up flexible dieting for them last week. It took a while, but I eventually landed on –
“Flexible dieting is the process of tracking your food intake, and aiming for certain calorie and macronutrient ranges. How closely you hit them depends on your goals.
The concept is that you eat mainly nutrient-dense, “healthy” foods, but you can consume some nutrient-deficient foods, provided you stay within the aforementioned calorie and macronutrient guidelines.
By not imposing unnecessary restrictions, it essentially means that a person never breaks their diet. It preaches healthy habits and moderation, while allowing you to maintain a social life, and reaching whatever physique and performance goals you have.”
- 1 2