Last weekend we had the pleasure of hosting Dr Susan Kleiner for a day of nutritional lectures. Dr. Kleiner is the author of seven books including Power Eating & The Good Mood Diet. Below is a quick recap of some of the takeaways from these lectures.
#1 – Never Studies
There are a number of myths circulated in gyms and training circles that just aren’t supported in the research. For example, there are people who believe they should throw away the egg yolk as this raises blood cholesterol. There has never been a study linking the consumption of egg yolks with increased blood cholesterol. Hopefully anyone ditching the yolk will stop and reap the rewards of the nutrition contained within the whole egg.
#2 – How to See Your Inflammation
Do you live with inflammation? I don’t mean the acute type Megan and Kayla are known to display after they play basketball and sprain an ankle. I mean the day in day out type of inflammation that you live with otherwise known as chronic inflammation. Sometimes this is hard to tell the state of our cells without having some medical tests done.
Another quick way to tell if you are in a state of inflammation is to look at your gums in your mouth. Are they red, swollen and potentially receding? If so, this is an indication of inflammation of the gums and is most likely not limited solely to your oral health. While you could take an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) like ibuprofen another option would be to supplement with extra virgin olive oil. This has equivalent anti-inflammatory properties without the side effects associated with NSAIDs.
#3 – Put Sugar on the Table
Whoa! Hold on now. Are you kidding me? Isn’t added sugar one of the biggest nutritional problems people are facing? Isn’t this counter-productive to achieving the goal?
Let me explain. Most products we eat that have added sugar put more in than we would choose to add ourselves. For example, I remember eating a french vanilla yogurt and flipping over to look at the label to see they were 30 grams of add sugar to this single serving of yogurt. Now if there are around 4 grams of sugar per teaspoon this would be equivalent to adding almost 8 teaspoons of sugar to my yogurt.
I don’t think there’s anyone I could get much past one or two teaspoons. I would much rather buy plain yogurt, add vanilla and then sweeten with teaspoons of sugar than go for the version that is already flavored but has 4 times the sugar in it. Imagine if you repeated this process with every sweetened product you consume. How much added sugar do you think you could reduce from your meal plan.
#4 – With Animals It’s About What They Ate
Do you buy organic? If so, it’s interesting to note there is minimal support of organic food being healthier. There is some evidence that there is higher anti-oxidant content such as vitamin C. But otherwise organic doesn’t simply mean healthier.
With animals it has less to do with whether the animal was raised organically or not and more to do with what the animal ate. Did the animal eat grain or grass? Did it eat grass its entire life or simply at the final stage of fattening? These answers will tell you the healthiest animal food choice to select.
#5 – Be Critical of Sensational Headlines
If a nutritional headline claims something totally outlandish be wary of believing everything it claims. Writers know the headline is where they get you. A weak headline and you skip over to another story. A strong headline draws you in to find out more.
Dr. Kleiner showed one magazine headline that read ‘The 12 Most Toxic Fruits & Vegetables’. Wow! Are fruits and vegetables really toxic? Obviously not and this is an irresponsible way to identify which fruits and vegetables may have higher levels of pesticide residues. Keep this in mind when you read headlines like this.
#6 – Fat Loss/Weight Loss is Not a Goal
I think everyone in attendance loved hearing this statement. It sure brought out the smiles and allowed everyone to relax a little bit. But when we think about it this is what many people state their goal to be. Instead the goal should be increased strength, or improved nutrition or better fitness. The processes might be resistance training for 60 minutes four times a week, or eating 5 serving of vegetables per day or going for a run at lunch. The outcome will then be fat loss/weight loss.
#7 – Humans are not Cars
It’s not uncommon to hear cars used as the analogy for our bodies. We need to put fuel in the car and likewise we need to put fuel in our bodies. The difference becomes that we could drive our cars 100 mph until the last drop of gas is consumed. Our bodies our different in this regard however. As we restrict fuel to our bodies our intensity suffers. We may feel (our rate of perceived exertion) that our workouts were at top intensity but the truth is they will be much lower than what our top gear normally is. Sorry had to throw in a car analogy to be a wise guy
#8 – There is No such Thing as Natural
There are a number of terms used in nutritional marketing to help describe the products we are selecting. For example, low fat has a specific definition as to the number of grams of fat that must not be exceeded in a serving. Gluten free, organic and sugar free all are nutritional terms with precise conditions and limits on amounts to qualify.
Natural has no definition or meaning. Unless you are talking about flavorings in juice for example. So if there is natural cheese, or beef or bananas this does’t mean anything more or less than another product beside it without the word natural on it.
I’ll follow up with more takeaways from the weekend with Dr. Kleiner. This was an amazing opportunity to learn from one of the best. I’m confident our clients will get better results in less time as a result of the information learned.