Everywhere you look there is new nutrition info out there. Some complex, some simple. But at JTab, we believe that good nutrition goes beyond just eating your fruits and vegetables (although those are great places to start!) This week we go a little deeper and dive into some of the things that may be affecting your weight and body composition beyond the obvious.
- HORMONES: And we’re not just talking the typical male/female hormones. Food effects your hormones and hormones effects your nutrition. One example is sugar. We can all safely say excess sugar isn’t the healthiest thing in the world, correct? Sugar also creates inflammation and stress in your body and thus makes your cortisol hormone go bonkers. Cortisol then creates havoc on your body, killing your sleep, your mood, etc. Choose foods that help your hormones balance out, and your body will be more in balance, you will see your health skyrocket, and you will feel amazing.
- Blood sugar spiking: Bananas. They are either the devil or to be worshipped. Most science still says when you eat a high sugar food item (like a banana) alone, your blood sugar spikes causing a havoc on your body. You must pair these high sugar food with either a fat or protein (think peanut butter on a banana). This slows down the absorption of the sugar in the banana so your body doesn’t go crazy.
- More hormone talk: Men, and to a lesser degree women, should be looking to add more testosterone optimizing foods (such as brazil/macadamia nuts, eggs, grass fed beef, etc.). Optimizing your hormones (the ones you are supposed to have but modern life decreases) will create a more favorable body composition and help your health considerably. Plastics, air fresheners, receipts, scented candles, and most skin care products all have estrogen mimicking properties that can keep you from having optimal hormones and feeling your best. Again, optimal was the key word, so don’t stress over every little thing. Try to steer clear as much as possible to keep hormones under control.
- Organic: I know this gets thrown around in talk like a rag doll, but to optimize your health, hormones, and body, you should be looking to add more organic foods as you can. There is a great list to go by called the “Dirty Dozen/Clean 15”. When purchasing the foods/produce on the dirty dozen list, try to be organic as much as possible. Meats (if you eat meat) should be purchased as organic as possible, and if you can’t buy organic meats, try to get the LEANEST cuts available to you. The extra hormones from raising are stored in the fats. A good rule of thumb is a food with a thick outer peel that you don’t eat (think a banana) probably doesn’t have to be organic.
- Timing: There is lots of talk about nutrient timing. My thoughts are, as long as you get the correct calories for your body and activity level, timing is less important. The idea here is to think smart and plan ahead. Having a heavy carbohydrate meal in the morning can lead to be exhausted mid day. If you are required to have lots of energy mid day, think about high protein/high fats (the good kind) foods such as eggs, avocados, or greens. And, what about the class “3 square meals a day”. Is that the best rule of thumb? No! See how your energy levels are day in and out and tweak accordingly. Eat to fuel your body and stay energized, not just because you feel like you “have” to eat.