Today’s tip –

Food choices can impact your metabolism and energy level

What you choose to eat can impact your metabolism and that, in turn, can impact your energy level and ability to maintain a healthy weight. Nutritionists remind you that healthy eating isn’t an “all or nothing” proposition: making small, incremental changes is a step in the right direction.

Here are some tips presented by a nutrition educator from Nutritional Weight and Wellness at a workshop on the relationship between food and metabolism. This workshop, which was held March 26, was the first of a series of five free employee workshops on nutrition sponsored by the City’s Wellness Committee.

Eat fewer refined carbohydrates

Because 75 percent of people store refined carbohydrates as body fat, reducing refined carbohydrates and eating more proteins can boost your metabolism. Nutritional Weight and Wellness recommends limiting carbohydrates to 35 grams per meal. To keep blood sugar stable, it recommends eating smaller amounts of white rice, potatoes, pasta, breads with refined flour, bagels, rice cakes, etc.

Eat high quality protein

High quality protein that is minimally processed — fish, chicken, beef, eggs, etc. — can increase metabolism and decrease cravings. The recommended amount of protein is one palm-sized portion at each meal and one half-palm-sized portion at each snack.

Swap out man-made fats for real fats

Man-made fats or trans-fats are found in many processed foods such as cookies, chips, and butter substitutes. Nutritionists recommend avoiding foods with partially-hydrogenated oil and hydrogenated oil. Instead, eat small amounts of high quality, less biochemically processed fats such as olive oil, butter, avocados, nuts, cream, coconut oil, etc.

Watch out for sugar in unexpected places

Because the body can make fat from excess carbohydrates and four grams of carbohydrates is equivalent to one teaspoon of sugar, it’s important to watch out for high carb foods and foods with a lot of sugar. Read the labels and watch out for sugar in unexpected places such as cereals, granola and sweetened yogurt. When sweetener is needed, nutritionists advise a small amount of natural sugar instead of a sugar substitute. 

Drink wisely

The best beverages include water, milk, coffee with cream, berry tea and wine.

Drinks to limit include soda, chocolate milk, mocha coffee, juice and beer. Nutritionists advise avoiding diet soda because people who drink at least one diet soda a day have a 35 percent higher risk of metabolic syndrome, which includes diabetes, obesity, and heart disease, than those who drink little or no diet soda. 

Get enough sleep

Lack of sleep increases your risk of obesity and your risk of depression and anxiety. For a healthy metabolism, get between eight and nine hours of sleep each night.

Eat well

Make sure each meal contains a protein, a healthy carbohydrate (veggies are preferred) and a natural fat. For example, a healthy breakfast could be eggs and vegetables cooked in butter. A healthy lunch might be a chicken breast with a salad that is topped with an olive oil dressing.

Where to get more information

Nutritional Weight and Wellness, a Twin Cities organization dedicated to educating people on health and nutrition, has a weekly radio program called “Dishing up Nutrition” on 107.1 FM. The program is aired live on Saturdays from 8 to 9 a.m. and rebroadcast from 6 to 7 p.m. on Sundays. The organization’s website contains links to past radio programs.

The organization will be offering four more nutrition workshops to City employees in the coming weeks. For a class listing, check the article in this newsletter or the information posted on CityTalk.

Source: Nutritional Weight and Wellness

 

Published Mar 28, 2012