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

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #70: Don't Let Food Labels Confuse You!

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week brought to you by Patrick (@PBernerSPT). 

     This week's tip highlights one of the many things wrong with how companies label their food products. It's an issue I have been aware of for quite some time, but this post was sparked when I came across Peel Back the Label, a movement aimed at separating facts from fear mongering in food labeling (@PeelBackLabel). "Consumers have a right to both truth and transparency in food labeling. It’s time to peel back the label on deceptive marketing tactics." And that's really what some companies are doing with their labeling. They utilize the latest buzz words to draw in consumers, phrases such as "Gluten-free" "GMO-free" "No Hormones Added" are used time and time again, even when the products will never contain them anyway. You've probably noticed "Gluten-free" being placed on literally everything now, even fruits and vegetables. Though gluten is the protein portion of wheat flour, providing structural characteristics to baked goods, and will hardly ever be found elsewhere. 

     However, my favorite misleading claim is "No Hormones Added," especially when added to poultry/chicken products, as it is ILLEGAL to sell poultry in the United States that was raised with added hormones. From the USDA: "Hormones are not allowed in raising hogs or poultry. Therefore, the claim "no hormones added" cannot be used on the labels of pork or poultry unless it is followed by a statement that says "Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones."" If you were to look close enough on your packaging, you'll notice the claim followed by ** and than that federal regulation phrase in small print, likely hidden somewhere else. 

     Take a closer look at what you're buying and let us know what you find. And 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 (@PBernerSPT@Eric_in_AmERICa@AaronPerezPT@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew