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

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

Wellness Wednesday Tip #41: Know Your Sodium Intake

     Happy Wellfie Wednesday folks! Welcome back! This week’s tip is to Know Your Sodium Intake. Research strongly supports the reduction of sodium within your eating pattern for safer blood pressure levels and risk reduction of heart disease and stroke. Approximately 80% of the American population consumes well over the recommended daily intake of 2,300mg, our intake averaging more than 3,400mg/day. And for those individuals with high blood pressure, hypertension, the recommendations are far less at 1,500mg/day.

     Sodium intake can be deceiving because a majority of it doesn’t come from the salt you add at the table, but is the amount found in the foods you eat, most notably processed foods. Check out the infographics below from the CDC and the American Heart Association on how easy it is to consume too much sodium and how to make healthy swaps.

     Our suggestion this week is to become more aware of your sodium intake and more conscience of your health. Remember hypertension is “the silent killer” so best to be proactive. Go ahead and give the USDA SuperTracker a try or even just myfitnesspal and see where your daily sodium intake is. Based on that, start thinking of ways you can make small changes to your eating pattern to reduce the sodium. Reducing processed goods and consuming more plant-based foods is a great start!

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

- WW Crew