Wellfie Wednesday Tip #88: Simple Nutrition #EatMorePlants

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Wellcome back! This week’s post is brought to you by @AaronPerezPT. Enjoy!

     I hate diets almost as much as I hate math. So, today I’m going to combine both in a post you will love! I want to talk about some simple math for smarter choices when it comes to food. The nutrition tip uses a “Carb:Fiber” ratio, which involves a little label reading as well. I think I first heard about this from a @MikeEisenhart tweet a while back. I couldn’t find the tweet, but I at least asked nutrition nerd / #Wellfiewednesday editor / super hero, Patrick Berner (@TheFuelPhysio), to verify that this is indeed decent nutrition advice if that makes ya feel better. If I recall correctly…

     For this ratio, simply divide the total number grams of carbohydrates by the grams of fiber. Dr. Michael Greger recommends a ratio of 5:1 or less. If any higher, put it back on the shelf. A higher ratio will be seen in those foods that are more processed than others. Here’s a great video from Dr. Greger’s Nutrition Facts Website explaining this rule. Essentially, the “process” of making these “food-like substances” takes the fiber out (and nutrients), and adds in a lot of refined carbohydrates/additional sugar, for taste and palatability. You may notice that most of the carbohydrates are consisting of sugars. Side note, “food-like substances” is a phrase stolen from @MichaelPollan. I still love his 3 simple nutrition rules:

  1. Eat real food
  2. Not too much
  3. Mostly plants

     Anyway, ideally you want a ratio less than 5:1, more like a 2:1 or 3:1, which can be obtained using the idea of #EatMorePlants. A serving of broccoli or lentils for example will yield this ratio. 

     Applying the math to my own life, I came to the sad realization that one of my favorite “healthy breakfasts” consisting of honey nut cheerios with a fruit cup was not much better than a donut. No wonder it tasted so good. 

   
  
    
  
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    Dole pineapple fruit cup: 15 g total carbs, 1 g fiber, 14 g sugar

Dole pineapple fruit cup: 15 g total carbs, 1 g fiber, 14 g sugar

   
  
    
  
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    1.5 cups Honey nut cheerios (2 servings because who’s really eating ¾ cup of cheerios?): 44 g total carbs, 4 g fiber, 18 g sugar

1.5 cups Honey nut cheerios (2 servings because who’s really eating ¾ cup of cheerios?): 44 g total carbs, 4 g fiber, 18 g sugar

   
  
    
  
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    1 cup skim milk: 12 g total carbs, 0 g fiber, 11 g sugar 

1 cup skim milk: 12 g total carbs, 0 g fiber, 11 g sugar 

Meal total: 71 g total carbs, 5 g fiber, 43 g sugar

Carb:Fiber Ratio (goal 5.0 or less): 14.

   
  
    
  
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Double chocolate donut from Dunkin Donuts: 39 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 18 g sugar

Carbs:Fiber (goal 5.0 or less): 18.0

     I challenge us to check the nutrition labels on our foods today. Let us know what the ratios are looking like for your meals. You may be surprised, and quickly begin to realize Sugar is everywhere! Following these rules may simplify nutrition label reading #FocusOnFiber. It would also greatly improve our health.

In closing,

#EatMorePlants #EatMorePlants #EatMorePlants #EatMorePlants #EatMorePlants #EatMorePlants #EatMorePlants #EatMorePlants #EatMorePlants #EatMorePlants #EatMorePlants #EatMorePlants

     Thanks again for all of the #WellfieWednesday support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@AaronPerezPT@DianaKlatt@kuhnalyssa_spt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Wellness Wednesday Tip #12: Try a Handful of Almonds!

Happy Wellness Wednesday!

     This week’s tip is to Try a Handful of Almonds! By far one of my favorite snack ideas and also one of the easiest. You can consume them alone or mix with other nuts or even some dried fruit. Almonds are sometimes on the pricier side of the nut family, but surely pack a nutritious punch that makes them worthy of the cost. A single serving of plain almonds, now that’s about a once or quarter of a cup, contains roughly 160 Calories. Including 14g of fat (represented almost entirely by your healthy unsaturated fats, poly and mono), 6g of carbs (3g being dietary fiber), about 6g of protein, and an excellent source of antioxidants, Manganese, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Copper, Vitamin E, Riboflavin, even some Calcium, Iron, and Potassium. (1) Now that’s a lot for just a handful of nuts!

     The latest research on almonds, concludes that nut consumption has an association with a lower risk of heart disease by showing improvement in cholesterol levels. (2) While also providing the numerous health benefits that stem from consumption of foods high in antioxidants. (3)

     Now remember, you can buy almonds in all sorts of varieties now. They are found salted, roasted, honey roasted, habanero, wasabi, BBQ, chocolate, and loads of other flavors. The only thing I have come to notice with the flavored kind are the differences in the level of saturated fat and sodium, usually a bit higher. So consider your overall dietary intake when deciding if you can add in those addition discretionary calories.

     Go ahead and try a handful of almonds today and let us know how it goes! Thanks again for all of the #WellfieWednesday support, be sure to post your pictures again this week and tag Eric (@Eric_in_AmERICa) or myself (@PBernerSPT) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- Dr. Patrick Berner, PT, DPT

- Dr. Eric Uveges, PT, DPT

1.     http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3085/2

2. Musa-Veloso K, Paulionis L, Poon T, Lee HY. The effects of almond consumption on fasting blood lipid levels: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Journal of Nutritional Science. 2016;5.

3.     http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2012/fo/c2fo10152a

 

Wellness Wednesday Tip #1: Try Some Blueberries

Happy Wellness Wednesday!

     I want to start by saying thank you to everyone that joined in on the #WellfieWednesday launch last week. We hope to increase the trending of this hashtag and continue to educate on how to live a healthier lifestyle. So as a way to help out, we’ll be giving out a weekly tip that you can try to incorporate into your day. They are only meant to be suggestions, so please feel free to post your own personal accomplishments towards better health. 

     This week’s tip is to try a handful of blueberries! I’m starting with blueberries because they are by far my favorite fruit, both for taste and the handful of health benefits they provide. 

 

Blueberries are packed with (1): 
     Vitamin C
     Dietary fiber
     Manganese
     Polyphenols, specifically anthocyanins

These substances aid in tissue formation, strengthening of your immune system, bone development, and processing of cholesterol and other nutrients (1). 

 

A regular consumption of blueberries has been shown to:

Promote cardiovascular health (2)
     By reducing blood pressure and arterial stiffness (3)
     Improve lipid profile (2)
     Lower chronic inflammation (2)

More information and resources on scientific research can be found through the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council.

     Though blueberries can be found all year round. Now is the time to grab some blueberries, as according to the Farmer’s Almanac, the best time for harvest is July and August (4), so stock up! I recently bought four pints for only five bucks! And in case you didn’t know, blueberries can easily be frozen and make a great addition to any smoothie, replacing the ice in this case. 

Hope you give them a try. Let us know if you do, using #WellfieWednesday

Enjoy your day and thanks for reading!

-       Dr. Patrick Berner, PT, DPT

-       Dr. Eric Uveges, PT, DPT

References:

1.   http://www.blueberrycouncil.org/healthy-living/blueberry-nutrition/ 

2. Yang B, Kortesniemi M. Clinical evidence on potential health benefits of berries. Current Opinion in Food Science. Apr 2015;2:36-42.

3. Johnson SA, Figueroa A, Navaei N, et al. Daily blueberry consumption improves blood pressure and arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women with pre-and stage 1-hypertension: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Acad Nutr Diet. Mar 2015;115(3):369-77.

4.  http://www.almanac.com/plant/blueberries