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Monthly Archives: March 2017

Good or Bad Carbohydrates

Frequently referred to as ‘carbs’; carbohydrates are the primary energy source for the body, and they’re a vital part of any healthy diet. As part of good nutrition for children, it’s not recommended to avoid carbs, however, it’s vital to understand that not all carbs are similar. Carbohydrates can be either simple or complex based on their chemical makeup and what your body does with them. Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains and legumes, comprise of longer chains of sugar molecules, these generally take more time for the body to break down and use. In turn, this offers you with a more even amount of energy.

What are Simple Carbohydrates? Simple carbohydrates comprise of easy to digest, basic sugars with little real value for your body. If they are higher in sugar and lower in fiber, then they aren’t good for you. Vegetables and fruits are in fact simple carbohydrates, still composed of basic sugars, though they are radically different from other foods in the category, such as cakes and cookies. The fibre in vegetables and fruits changes the way the body processes their sugars and slows down their digestion, making them a bit more such as complex carbohydrates. Given are some of the simple carbohydrates that you need to limit in your diet: candy, soda, sugar, artificial syrups, white rice, white bread and white pasta, pastries and deserts. You can consume simple carbohydrates on occasion, however, ensure that you don’t want them to be your primary sources of carbs.

What are Complex Carbohydrates? Complex carbohydrates are considered to be good due to the longer series of sugars that make them and take the body more time to break down. They usually have a lower glycaemic load, which means that you’ll get lower amounts of sugars released at a more consistent rate. Choosing complex carbohydrates over simple ones is a matter of making some simple substitutions when it comes to meals. It’s recommended by a sports nutritionist to have brown rice instead of white rice or have whole wheat pasta instead of plain white pasta. Always look at the label to know if a packaged food is made of simple or complex carbohydrates. Go through the box so you know what exactly you’re getting. If the first ingredient is whole wheat flour or whole oat flour then it’s likely going to be a complex carbohydrate.

Glycemic Factor One way of classifying the carbs is describing them as being either simple or complex, however, nutritionists and dietitians, nowadays, use another concept to guide people in making decisions about the carbs they select to eat. Through the glycemic index of a food you know as to how quickly and how high your blood sugar will rise after eating the carbohydrate contained in it, as compared to eating pure sugar. Lower glycemic index foods are healthier for your body and you’d tend to feel full longer after eating them. Not all, but most complex carbs fall into the low glycemic index category. The glycemic load takes into consideration not only its glycemic index, but also the amount of carbohydrate in the food. A food can have carbs containing high glycemic index, however, if there’s only a tiny amount of that carb in the food, it won’t really have much of an impact. Just be sensible about the carbs to opt to consume. Avoid low nutrient dessert and consider the levels of sugar and fiber in carbs, and look to eat whole grains, fruits and vegetables to get the energy your body needs daily.

All about DHA Supplements

It is actually quite hard to find DHA supplements that have more DHA than EPA! This is because EPA is easier and cheaper to produce and helps boost a company’s profits.

The best ratio is to have at least 2:1 DHA to EPA with a minimum of 250mg of DHA per capsule or soft gel.

Purity is another main concern with all the contaminants the fish carry these days, as fish oil is by far the best source possible. Vegetable sources like flaxseed contain ALA fatty acids which are rarely if ever converted into DHA.

To avoid this just make sure your chosen DHA supplements have been molecularly distilled to remove any remaining toxins like mercury, lead and arsenic. Again, many on the market do not do this and you can unwittingly ingest these toxins. So check the website or label with care.

The importance of DHA is illustrated by the fact that over 30% of an adult brain is composed of it! This is also why it is vital for brain health and with over 90% of us being deficient in it as it must only come from our diet, it is vital to select a supplement with care to make sure you receive enough.

Other benefits of DHA supplements include prevention of heart disease, a weapon in the fight against breast and prostate cancer, effective treatment of arthritis and lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure levels to name a few.

The best source of omega3 in the world currently is the hoki fish from the pristine oceans of New Zealand as they have the highest DHA levels of any species and the lowest level of contaminants.

Now you know more about DHA supplements and what to look for, you can confidently go about selecting the very best to start enjoying all the many amazing benefits they bring.

Protein Bar

Nutrition bars can play different roles in maintaining healthy diets. For example, there are sports nutrition bars that serve as meal replacements or snacks. There are also nutrition bars for various health needs, such as multivitamin bars, diabetic-friendly bars, anti-aging bars, beauty bars, energy bars, low-carb, weight management bars, protein bars, etc. Before developing the formulation of a nutrition bar, supplement companies should identify their target consumer market and their desired nutritional needs.

Nutrition bars for serious trainers/professional athletes. In sports bars, pre-exercise bars will typically feature less protein and more carbohydrates and fiber. Recovery bars or post-exercise bars will offer more than 15 grams of protein and a moderate to high level of carbohydrates. 3 According to Mintel, a market research company based in Chicago, both soy and whey protein bars are more popular with younger consumers. 4

If you plan on creating nutrition bars that meet the health needs of Baby Boomers or the elderly, consider adding anti-aging ingredients such as resveratrol and other wholesome nutrients that support healthy aging of bones, eyes and cognitive health.5

Nutrition bars for children. With more parents favoring better-for-you snack options for their children, nutrition bars specially formulated for children have high market value. Formulations should be low in fat and sugar and should contain key ingredients such as whole grains, fiber, natural fruit extracts, calcium, Vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids and other specific nutrients for growing children.6 Claims such as “made with organic ingredients” or free from artificial ingredients are more attractive options for parents.

Nutrition bars for women including sub-categories such as teenage girls, pregnant women and menopausal women. Health-conscious women use nutrition bars either as meal replacements or as a snack. “Beauty bars” containing skin anti-aging ingredients such as antioxidants like green tea, B vitamins and other nutrients that enhance skin health are extremely popular. For women that are pregnant, nutrition bars that contain omega-3 fatty acids, folic acid and vitamin B12 are popular because these ingredients play an important role in the neurological and bone development of an infant.7-8

Omega 3 Fatty Acids Foods

Two crucial types of Omega 3, namely DHA and EPA are mostly found in specific varieties of fish. Additionally, other major types include ALA which is mostly found in plant based food sources including seeds and nuts. Omega 3 helps reduce triglyceride levels which is a huge boon. If you have high triglyceride levels, it means that you are at increased risk with regard to heart disease. Omega 3 also helps in keeping rheumatoid arthritis at bay and works as an anti inflammation agent too. This also helps in keeping depression at bay and works as an anti depressant which is another major benefit.

When it comes to babies, DHA is one of those essential fatty acids which aid in neurological and visual development, particularly for infants. Studies have shown that Omega 3 rich diets help lower overall inflammation, thereby keeping asthma at bay. Fish oil has also been seen to lower ADHD symptoms in case of children. It has also been seen to boost mental skills including retention, learning and thinking. In fact, studies have also shown that Alzheimer’s disease or dementia can both be kept successfully at bay courtesy Omega 3. There are severalOmega 3 rich foods benefits that you will be able to enjoy as a result.

When it comes to getting all the Omega 3 fatty acid foods benefits for your system, you should ensure that you choose the right foods. Some of the best sources are fishes including salmon, anchovies, herring, sardines, tuna, mackerel, bluefish, sturgeon and lake trout. You will also find ALA in foods like flaxseed, walnuts, flaxseed oil, soybean oil, canola oil and walnuts among others. The latter is a good snack to try out whenever you feel like putting something in your mouth. Omega 3 is a godsend for your body and you should not neglect the wide ranging benefits offered by these fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids foods can be found across a wide variety of plant and animal based sources. These will keep you healthy, happy and safe from several kinds of ailments and other issues.