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Understanding Protein

Here we go again, talking about protein. Why are trainers always talking about protein? What are good sources of protein? How are sources of protein different from each other? Why do I hear so much about whey protein? These are questions that I frequently hear while training my clients. Lets take some time to understand and learn a little more about protein.

Protein is responsible for building, maintaining, and repairing muscle tissue. As a result, the importance of protein manifests itself in an exercise regimen. Trainers are always talking about protein because protein helps to speed recovery time from bouts of exercise. With recovery, the body grows stronger and makes progress.

When considering protein sources it is important to consider the difference in proteins. There are two types of protein, incomplete proteins and complete proteins. Complete proteins contain all of the essential amino acids where as incomplete proteins are lacking in these essential amino acids. Amino acids are basically the building blocks of protein. It is very important to include proteins that contain these essential amino acids, especially the branched chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine). Good sources of complete proteins include animal sources such as chicken, fish, beef, etc. Fish also contain omega three fatty acids which are also very beneficial. Other great sources include egg whites, milk, cottage cheese, tuna fish, etc. Incomplete protein sources include beans, nuts, etc.

Protein can also be supplemented in many forms. There are many supplement companies that market various forms of protein supplements. Studies have shown that whey protein tends to be the best supplement form of protein. Above egg and soy, whey protein has a better ratio of amino acids and tends to speed up recovery time. If your diet is lacking protein, you may want to consult your doctor and include a whey protein supplement to your diet. As always, best of luck!!!


14 Foods to Help You Live Longer

Here are 14 "superfoods" and the superpowers they bestow are outlined below. Try these amazing foods and be on your way to better health.

1.) Beans-they lower cholesterol, fight heart disease, stabilize blood sugar, reduces obesity, and helps to relieve hypertension. Try to eat four 1/2 cup servings a week.

 2.) Blueberries-they lower the risk of heart disease and cancer and help to maintain healthy skin. Try to eat 1 to 2 cups a day.

3.) Broccoli-it boosts your immune system, reduces the incidence of cataracts, builds bones, and fights birth defects and heart disease. Try to eat 1/2 to 1 cup a day.

4.) Oats-lower cholesterol, reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes, and are high in fiber and protein. Try to eat five to seven servings a week.

5.) Oranges-they support heart health while preventing cancer, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic ailments. Try to eat one a day.

6.) Pumpkin-lowers the risk of various cancers, while promoting healthy skin. Try to eat 1/2 cup a day. 7.) Soy-prevents heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis, as well as relieves menopausal and menstrual symptoms. Eat at least 15 grams daily.

8.) Spinach-lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, and a variety of cancers. Try to eat a cup a day. 9.) Tea (black or green)-boosts the immune system, helps prevent cancer, and lowers stroke risk. Drink a cup a day.

10.) Tomatoes-lower cancer risk and helps to protect the skin. Try to eat one tomatoe a day.

11.) Turkey (skinless breast)-helps to build a strong immune system and is a great low fat protein. Try to eat 3 to 4 three ounce servings a week.

12.) Walnuts-reduces the risk heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Eat 1 ounce five times a week.

13.) Wild Salmon-lowers the risk of heart disease and cancer. Eat it two to four times a week.

14.) Yogurt-great source of protein and calcium, helps promote strong bones and a healthy heart. Try to eat two cups a day.

Try to include these super foods into your diet and be on your way to a happier, healthier, and longer life.


Low-Carbohydrate Diets

Many promoters of different "fad diets" would have us believe that a special substance or combination of foods will automatically result in weight reduction. This is simply false. In order to lose weight, you must eat less, or exercise more, or do both.

There are about 3.500 calories in a pound of body weight. To lose one pound a week, you must consume about 500 fewer calories per day than you metabolize. Most fad diets, if followed closely, will result in weight loss as a result of caloric restriction. However, they are invariably too monotonous and are sometimes dangerous for long-term use. Moreover, dieters who fail to adopt better exercise and eating habits will regain the lost weight and possibly more.

The most drastic way to reduce caloric intake is to stop eating completely. After a few days, body fats and proteins are metabolized to produce energy. In the absence of adequate carbohydrate, fatty acids may be incompletely metabolized yielding ketone bodies and thus ketosis. Prolonged fasting is unsafe, because it causes the body to to digest proteins from its muscles, heart, and other organs.

Low-carb diets also produce ketosis. As it begins, large amounts of water will be shed, leading the dieter to think that significant weight reduction is taking place. However, most of the loss is water rather than fat; the lost water is regained quickly when eating is resumed. Appetite, often reduced during ketosis, also returns when a balanced diet is resumed.

As you can see, fad diets really just do not work. There is no substitute to a healthy diet and exercise. By burning more calories than you consume, weight loss will be inevitable. Not only will you lose weight, but chances are it will be easier to maintain. So try to eat a good well balanced diet and combine it with a good exercise regimen.  As always, best of luck!!!

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