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Can You Eat Too Much Protein?

Can You Eat Too Much Protein?

Author: Achieve Wellness Staff

Myth: As far as weight is concerned, you cannot eat too much protein. Anything beyond what your body needs will get excreted in urine

Logic: Because the body has little capacity to store proteins, it makes sense that anything consumed beyond what the body immediately needs will be excreted in the urine (similar to water – soluble vitamins)

The Science: It is true that the body has limited ability to store protein. It is also true that a portion of the protein does get excreted in the urine (the nitrogen group that shows up in urine as urea). However, the other portion of the protein (the carbon group) is readily converted to glucose or fat, depending on the body’s current needs. Ultimately, protein consumed beyond what the body needs has the same fate as excess carbohydrate or fat – conversion into stored fat.

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What Is A Calorie?

What Is A Calorie

Author: Joe Sage, NASM-CPT, FNS, WLS, CES

How would you answer someone If they were to ask you, “What is a calorie?” Some of the more common answers are “that’s what makes you fat” or “those aren’t good for you”. So, what’s the correct answer? A calorie is a unit of measurement to calculate the amount of energy given to our bodies by the amount and type of food we eat. Now, it is true that if you continually give your body more than it needs, it can result in weight gain. We get calories from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Carbohydrates and proteins both provide 4 calories per gram, alcohol provides 7 calories per gram, and fat provides 9 calories per gram. So, if a food had 10 grams of carbohydrates, we would multiply that by four to give us 40 calories.

The amount of energy, or calories, you need is going to vary based on your profession, level of activity, body composition, gender, and lifestyle. The higher your level of activity is, the more calories you would need to consume to give your body the fuel it needs. Physical activity is not the only way your body uses energy. You need energy to ensure your body is able to perform everyday functions. Some of those include breathing, heart rate, brain function, and digestion of food. Basically any bodily function that happens is fueled by calories provided by food. Making sure you have a balance between carbohydrates, fats, and proteins is important to make sure your body is getting what it needs to work optimally. Carbohydrates should make up 45-65% of your daily calories, protein 10-35%, and fat 20-35%. So even if you aren’t very active, you still need to make sure you are supplying your body with the energy it needs to perform day to day activities and bodily functions.

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Seeds for Better Health

Seeds for Better Health

Author: Achieve Wellness Member

Seeds may be tiny, but they are packed with nutrients like protein, fiber, iron, omega-3 fatty acids and other vitamins. There’s been a lot of “super seed” hype and currently you can find these seeds in plenty of packaged foods. Let’s take a closer look! Wheat germ used to be the only additive around and we would sprinkle it on yogurt, but now flaxseed, hemp seed and chia seed recipes are becoming more popular. But why bother eating them in the first place?

Flax has been cultivated for centuries. Hippocrates wrote about using flax for relief of abdominal pains and the French Emperor Charlemagne favored flax seed so much, he passed laws requiring it’s consumption! The main health benefits of flax seed are due to its rich content of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), dietary fiber and lignans. Lignans are plant compounds that have estrogen like effects and antioxidant properties and can help reduce the symptoms of PMS and menopause. Flax seed should be eaten ground as this will help digestion. Ground flax seed can be mixed with almost anything, as it doesn’t have a distinct taste.

Chia seeds have been more commonly known for growing furry clay pets. Please don’t eat those seeds, but do try eating this earthy seed for its calcium and fiber. Two tablespoons also offers as much calcium as a slice of cheese and also contains the omega-3 fat ALA.

Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are great for energy and help with depression. The light and nutty pumpkin seed houses iron, a mineral that helps maintain energy levels. They contain a chemical compound L-tryptophan, an ingredient that helps boost your mood. Roast one cup of seeds with ½ tsp each of paprika, chili powder, and sea salt for an easy on-the-go snack.

Hemp seed is one of the few vegetarian sources of complete protein, meaning that it contains all 20 amino acids key to building muscle. No need to worry about hemp’s relation to marijuana. While both are members of the cannabis family, hemp doesn’t contain THC, marijuana’s active ingredient. Sprinkle some in a post-workout shake for a pine nut like flavor.

Pomegranate seeds are a rich source of antioxidants. They help protect the body’s cells from free radicals which can cause premature aging. Nature’s “sweet-tarts”, pomegranate seeds are a juicy low-cal winner packed with vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. Add to your favorite salad and blend for a refreshing change. Adding seeds to your nutrition plan can be a fun and creative way to add quality nutrients, flavor and variety. When available, it’s best to buy organic seeds.

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