Good Nutrition Advice

For a healthy body and mind

Month: January 2017

carbs are bad

Nutrition Myths: Carbs Are Bad For You

For decades, fat was the enemy, but today the media has found a new scapegoat: Carbs…

And generalizing about carbs and insulin seems to get more popular by the year. In fact, in the eyes of many, the glycemic index and the insulin index seem to rank foods by how dangerous they are. Like cholesterol, insulin is misunderstood as being unilaterally harmful.

Yet our bodies need and produce both substances. Cholesterol serves to make pregnenolone, and from there many other hormones, such as testosterone. Insulin is required to store glucose (the sugar in your blood) or use it for energy; it was one of the very first hormones to be discovered, and the first to be investigated in the context of sensitivity.

Early evidence suggested that carbs caused insulin insensitivity. This can be true in diabetics and in insulin-resistant people overeating carbs, but not in healthy people on a healthy diet. This said, there is no denying that modern society makes it very easy to overeat carbs: Processed carbs are often delicious and seldom very filling, despite being high in calories.

Cutting carbs (especially processed carbs) can be a viable fat-loss decision, if it helps you eat less. But if cutting carbs makes you miserable and always hungry, you should consider other options. If you wish to lose weight, what matters is not to replace fat by carbs or carbs by fat, but to end most days on a calorie deficit.

The Truth: Carbohydrates have been vilified long enough. As long as you don’t overindulge, starches are not inherently harmful.

 

These Three Nutrients May Help You Sleep

Recent research has shown that missing a few hours’ sleep each night can have a dramatic effect on your immune system and overall health.

We all know that when we’re tired we can more easily come down with a cold or flu and this is because our immune system is not working at its optimum. Too little sleep can also result in weight gain. Chronic sleep deprivation, can make you feel hungrier than normal and trigger weight gain by affecting the way your body processes and stores carbohydrate. Here are three nutrients that may help with insomnia:

1. Magnesium: This mineral is known as ‘nature’s tranquilliser’ and has a calming relaxing effect on the body in general. It is particularly helpful if your sleep is being disturbed by cramps as it is a muscle relaxant.

2. Theanine: This amino acid comes from green tea and not only helps maintain a calm alertness during the day but also a deeper sleep at night.

3. Tryptophan: Your body needs this amino acid in order to make serotonin, the relaxing and calming brain neurotransmitter. Tryptophan occurs naturally in fish, whole grains, chickpeas, almonds, eggs, bananas, dates and organic dairy.

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