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Category Archives : Vitamins & Minerals

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Ditch The Diet Drinks

A strategic use of a diet soda to get you through a sugar craving may keep your diet on-track, but a new research review indicates that diet sodas don’t actually help you lose weight. A collaborative project headed by researchers at the Imperial College London’s School of Public Health found that consuming diet drinks might cause people to eat more calories by stimulating their sweet-sensitive taste buds. (They also found that much of the research showing a link between diet sodas and weight loss was financed by food and beverage companies.)
Many nutrition experts disagree with this finding and believe that zero-calorie beverages can help people manage calorie intake. The bottom line seems to be that they are better than a full-sugar soda, but the smartest plan is to wean yourself off that sugary taste.

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Fat Loss Strategies

There is more than one way to skin a fat cat. A recent study published in the Journal Of Sports Science And Medicine compared a low-carb weight-loss plan versus a traditional “clean eating” strategy. Over 12 weeks, one group ate only 30 gram of carbs a day for the first four weeks and then added an extra 10 grams each week for the next eight weeks. They did not count calories.
The other group stuck to a daily calorie deficit of 30 percent below their maintenance needs. They ate a combination of 15 percent protein, 30 percent fat, and 55 percent carbs. Both groups trained with weight for the entire 12 weeks. At the end of the experiment, the body-fat percentage and waist circumference decreased by similar amounts in both groups. The low-carb group added more muscle while the other group gained more strength. However, neither of those improvements were statistically significant.

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The Right Crash Diet

Ketogenic diets seem to be the new hot thing … again. A form of ultra low-carb dieting (usually fewer than 20 grams a day, or five percent of total calories), ketogenic diets are difficult to maintain, but one recent study shows when they might best be utilized. Information published in the European Review For Medical And Pharmacological Sciences shows that when you have two weeks to lose five pounds, keto is your best bet.
In the experiment, two groups of healthy participants went on a low-calorie diet (about 800 calories a day) for three weeks. One group received only five percent of their calories from carbs, while the other consumed 20 percent of their total calories as carbs. Both groups ate plenty of protein and about 35 to 40 percent fat. At the end of the experiment, the low-carb group has maintained significantly more muscle than the higher-carb group. While ketogenic diets are not recommended for long-term use (they can hamper production of anabolic hormones), they can be your best choice for fast fat loss.

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Omega Man

How fish oil supplements can promote growth and combat crippling muscle soreness
By George L. Redmon, PhD, ND
 
PQ: “These fatty acids decrease exercise-induced elevation of cortisol, known as the muscle-wasting hormone.”
“Our research demonstrates that 3,000 mg·d-1 omega-3 fatty acid supplementation minimizes the severe, delayed-onset muscle soreness that results from strenuous eccentric strength exercise. This information has obvious relevance to athletic populations but also to other groups such as physical therapy patients and newly admitted cardiac rehabilitation patients, as muscle soreness, if left unchecked, can slow the progress in adapting to a new exercise program.”
—Doisy College of Health Sciences, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Saint Louis University
 
Over the last decade, the list of products and foodstuffs that help improve muscle performance and assist individuals engaged in a variety of athletic endeavors recover more efficiently have skyrocketed. Some of those well-known products are arginine, beta-alanine, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), carnosine, casein protein, citrulline malate, creatine, glutamine, leucine, whey protein, as well as various antioxidants ( N-acetylcysteine-NAC, resveratrol, vitamin E, vitamin C). Despite these heavy hitters, one of the most underutilized and underpublicized recovery agents that is gaining more attention is omega-3 fatty acids. Best known for their ability to reduce the risk factors associated with heart disease, which is based on research conducted by two Danish scientists in 1978. These scientists discovered that Greenland Eskimos had less coronary heart disease than Americans, Europeans, and even present-day Japanese in spite of existing on a diet predominantly composed of fatty fish. Today, it is now a widely known fact that omega-3 fish oils comprise exceedingly high amounts of polyunsaturated fats called EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) that play a major role in maintaining heart health. In 2002, following years of conclusive data and a mountain of established research findings, the American Heart

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Micronutrient Madness

A smoothie flavor standby is kicked into overdrive with a surprise ingredient.
By Amanda Burrill, MS
 
Are you downing the same old protein shake every day? I am going to awaken your taste buds. Let’s teach that old blender some new tricks.
I began playing with bell peppers because they are delicious, subtle—the capsaicin level, what makes some peppers “spicy hot” is very low—and they are very low calorie. You may think tossing half a red bell pepper into the mix would destroy an otherwise tame smoothie by turning it too savory. Not the case, it turns out. The pepper actually complements the mild sweetness of strawberry and carrot and adds just the slightest hint of pepper. Sometimes my culinary misadventures are putrid, but not this one.
I expect anyone reading this at least loosely tracks their macronutrients: carbs, protein, and fats. This shake lines up a large number of micronutrients—the vitamins and minerals your body needs in small amounts to function optimally. Some of us fitness folks get into a regimented fueling routine that while healthy on a macro level, might be lacking in specific vitamins and mine/rals. Over time this adversely affects the body. We combat this by changing it up as much as possible.
And here’s a pro tip: Don’t be afraid to use frozen strawberries for this recipe. Not only can frozen be more affordable, but research indicates frozen fruits carry higher levels of antioxidants because they were flash frozen at the height of their season and ripeness. Let’s blend.
 
Ingredients
1 cup strawberries
1 small carrot
½ of a small red bell pepper (seeded)
1 tablespoon hemp hearts
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
6 oz. favorite milk (I like unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
Handful of ice
 
Total (per serving): 281 calories, 25 g carbs, 25 g protein, 8 g fat, 7 g fiber
Directions
Combine all ingredients in a blender, beginning

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