Did you know that March is National Nutrition month? I’m sure we can all agree that nutrition is crucial for your health. But oftentimes people think that healthy nutrition only matters for weight loss. Time and time again I’m hearing that people are eating whatever they want but that “it’s okay because they aren’t overweight”. But did you know that nutrition impacts more than just your weight? Nutrition impacts every aspect of our lives whether you know it or not. You know that saying “you are what you eat?”. Well it’s true!
Nutrition is such a confusing subject. One day you’ll hear that whole grains are the key to good health, and the next day you’ll hear that super low carb diets are the answer. And to make things even more confusing, what works for one person might not work for you. So to help you navigate this crazy nutrition world, we’ve asked the Cornerstone Nutrition Coaches to answer some of the most popular nutrition questions.
SHOULD I COUNT CALORIES? – KIM STONE
I do not recommend counting calories for several reasons. First, it is time consuming and ain’t nobody got time for that! Second, some people get so obsessive with calorie counting that they lose sight of what’s important and having the right mindset is super important when it comes to optimal health and/or weight loss. Finally, new research has challenged the idea that a calorie is a calorie. A study that appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that even though participants ate the same number of calories, those that followed a low-carb, low glycemic index plan (which includes a variety of high fiber and minimally processed foods) burned more calories than those on the low-fat eating plan.
Instead of focusing on counting calories, focus on the bigger picture by identifying your health goal and coming up with a plan to get there. Different ways that may help you achieve your goals are to increase your dietary quality (more whole foods and less processed foods), managing stress and including physical activity that you enjoy into your daily routine.
If you truly want to track your food then I would recommend keeping a food diary so you can identify trends in your diet and see how you feel when you eat those foods. It can be very eye opening and empowering to really listen to your body and cut back/eliminate foods that simply don’t make you feel good.
DOES DIETARY FAT MAKE YOU FAT? – MORGAN FINK
Fat is one of the three essential macronutrients your body can get energy from (along with carbs and protein). This means that eating dietary fat is actually essential for our survival! Along with giving us energy, they also help protect our organs, help us absorb certain nutrients and even produce important hormones.
There are 3 main types of fat: saturated, unsaturated, and trans fat. Unsaturated fat has often been called the “good” fat. It can help you raise your good cholesterol and lower your bad cholesterol . Certain types also have anti-inflammatory properties as well. Saturated fat has some mixed opinions. It used to be viewed as something to avoid, but new studies are showing that saturated fat might actually have some health benefits. However trans fat are something that you will want to avoid entirely. They will raise your bad cholesterol and lower your good cholesterol, which can cause plaque buildup in your arteries and increase your risk of heart disease.
So go ahead and eat high fat foods such as avocado, olive oil, nuts, flax seeds, salmon, tuna, and olives. Just make sure that you don’t overdo it with the quantity. Too much of anything (even if it’s healthy), isn’t a good thing.
CONFUSED? LET US HELP!
Stay tuned for part 2 of our “Ask the Nutrition Coaches” post where you will get the answer to two more popular questions: 1) Do you need to cut carbs in order to lose weight? And 2) Why is protein so important?
If you need help navigating all of this confusing information, let us help you! Cornerstone offers nutrition counseling at all 3 of its locations for both members and non-members. Meet with a certified Nutrition Coach to figure out the healthy lifestyle habits that are right for your individual needs and goals. Call the club most convenient to you to get started:
Warrington – 215.918.5900
Doylestown – 215.794.3700
New Hope – 215-862-2200