Wellfie Wednesday Tip #136: "Ultra-Processed" Foods

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week is brought to you by Patrick (@TheFuelPhysio). So this week a study was released that spoke on “ultra-processed” foods and researchers found an associated 14% higher risk of dying early with every 10% increase in the proportion of ultra-processed foods. Though they do conclude that further research is needed to confirm their findings, meaning it’s not something that necessarily needs to be shouted from the mountain top.

They term ultra-processed foods as “manufactured industrially from multiple ingredients that usually include additives used for technological and/or cosmetic purposes.” "Ultraprocessed foods are mostly consumed in the form of snacks, desserts, or ready-to-eat or -heat meals." Basically those foods with a laundry list of ingredients you can’t pronounce. Some critics of the study mention that the researchers don’t go into enough detail as to explaining what foods are actually considered “ultra-processed.” Because yes, most food is “processed” as it is probably cut, trimmed, washed, sealed, and packaged.

Now what we do have tons of evidence on are the benefits of eating “whole,” “real,” “natural,” (whatever you prefer to call fruits, veggies, grains, legumes, and other protein sources). So instead of trying to purposely avoid something, look to adding or swapping for healthier options. And it may take a little effort, initially. Read your labels. Choose minimally processed, if possible. Choose plant-based foods!

For me, I’m not going to never eat bacon again, but I do make an effort to limit the amount I consume and swap for healthier options.

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) 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