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A Nutritional Sunday

Hiya! How was everyone’s weekend? Well for once, I was not working this weekend. No, I was not out painting the town red either. Rather, I was sitting in a classroom 9 hours a day for my Nutrition & Wellness course.

I’m doing it through CanFitPro, the same Canadian national certifying body as my personal training certification. With personal training, all I can do is give nutrition advice based on Canada’s Food Guide. With this certification, I’m allowed to give nutrition and lifestyle counselling, including individualized diet plans and recommendations. Plus, it gives me a little more authority on the subject!

I’ve always been a food and nutrition enthusiast, so I knew a lot going in. But there were a lot of things I learned this weekend in my course. Here are just a few of them :)

 

1. Protein not only helps in the growth and repair of tissues, but also regulates hormones. Protein is especially important for women in menopause and can help out with hot flashes.

 

2. Digestion of carbohydrates begins immediately in the mouth when our saliva hits it. Protein and fat don’t get digested until they hit the stomach.

 

3. Excess sugar gets a lot of blame in the recent increase in Type 2 Diabetes. But artificial sugars are just as much to blame! A study found that Diet Coke (not regular coke!) was a commonality in children who developed Diabetes after birth. What happens is when the sweet liquid hits your tongue, your brain sends a message to send out insulin to regulate sugar levels in your blood. Except there is no sugar in your blood! Thus your body’s ability to use insulin gets all screwed up. Enough to scare someone out of not only Diet Coke, but many sugar-free sweeteners!

 

4. A lot of people will skip carbs, or a morning snack, before working out so their body has no glucose to burn. The theory is, that instead of burning glucose (your body’s preferred energy source) it will instead burn up fat stores for energy. But burning fat without the presence of glucose also produces a waste product known as ketones.

Ketones are toxic. They alter the pH of blood and can result in coma or death. This is called ketosis and usually identified by an odour to the urine or breath similar to a combination of nail polish remover and ripe pineapple.

 

5. Trans fats come from a process called hydrogenation. It’s when hydrogen molecules are added to oils so they remain solid at room temperature. Margarine is the perfect example of this. But many foods have a “partially hydrogenated ____ oil” in them. Read labels carefully, especially on popcorn, nut butters (even almond and soy butter!) crackers and chips.

Vegetable shortening is another hydrogenated oil and found in many packaged baked goods and even homemade pie crusts!

Remember that the recommended trans fat limit per day is only 2g. My personal recommendation is none. And packaging laws are such that companies can claim 0g trans fat when there is under 0.5g. A small presence of trans fat can be okay, assuming you’re only having one serving and not eating other trans fats throughout your day!

 

**Bonus Lesson**

I apparently have a balanced, aka “neutral” body pH! Most people are typically acidic. High body acidity has been linked to many diseases and is the basis of a lot of nutritional theories. I have no idea how this happened as I eat dairy, animals and drink beer. Perhaps I really am just BalanceSusan :)

 

This is the first post in a new weekly series on nutrition and healthy eating. Sundays are now the day to take a look at what we’re eating and try to make good choices for the upcoming week!

Question of the Day: Any name ideas for this new series? “Nutrition Sundays” sounds l-a-m-e. Mystery prize for the person who comes up with the winning title!

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