Encouraging manageable lifestyle changes for health and happiness, through research and personal experience.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Sports Drinks - from a student

It's been a while since I've had a student discussion post submission that I liked so much I wanted to share it on this blog - but without further ado here is a post about sports drinks from one of my Sport Nutrition students, Keriana S!  I hope you enjoy :)
Sports Drinks
          I’m sure you've all heard the story about the Florida Gators Football team and the discovery of Gatorade! If you haven’t, go check it out http://www.gatorade.com/company/heritage (it’s pretty cool!). Basically, the four researchers who led the study found that there are two major factors that play an important role in an athlete’s ability to perform at an optimal level. These factors are: Electrolytes and carbohydrates.
          So what exactly do electrolytes and carbohydrates have to do with sports drinks, and how do they help athletes perform at their highest level? Let’s start with electrolytes! If you’ve taken chemistry you know that many salts (such as NaCl) dissociate into ions when placed into an aqueous solution.  For example, if we drop a lump of NaCl into a solvent such as H2O, it will break down into Na+ and Cl-. This solution can now conduct electricity and is considered an electrolyte solution (Silberberg, 2014). The ions inside the solution are now called electrolytes! Other common electrolytes include: calcium (Ca2+), potassium (K+), and magnesium (Mg2+) etc…
          The wonderful idea behind sports drinks is that you can consume readily available electrolytes and your body doesn't have to break down the salts (So clearly this is a better option than shaking table salt into your mouth!). The electrolytes can be taken directly into your system and used to replenish and balance fluids and help with muscle function. As you know, these functions (and almost every other function in our bodies) rely on concentration gradients, and ions play a huge role in this process.
          Now let’s look at carbohydrates. Many sports drinks contain a high level of carbohydrates in order to help athletes quickly refill their glycogen stores. For example, Gatorade (on average) contains 34g of carbohydrates per 20 ounces of product (Gatorade.com, 2016). It is recommended that athletes only consume sports drinks with carbs after at least 1 hour of exercise (Story, 2012).  The problem with sports drinks is that many individuals who are not engaged in physical activity for an hour or more, tend to choose them as a snack. Sports drinks are not recommended for the average population because it is not healthy to consume 34 grams of carbohydrates as a snack (that’s a lot of sugar!). The American Heart Association recommends 25-37.5 grams of added sugar per day.
          In conclusion, athletes and individuals engaged in moderate – intense exercise for at least an hours are encouraged to consume sports drinks in order to replenish fluids, glycogen stores and electrolytes. Gatorade and PowerAde are the top rated sports drinks on the market today and offer sugar free options for individuals who are not engaged in exercise. When choosing a sports drink, it is important to make sure that your choice includes potassium and sodium. It is best to choose a sports drink with 6-8% carbohydrates for optimal glycogen replenishment (Roberts, 2009). Although sports drinks can be very helpful in replacing lost electrolytes and carbohydrates, water is always the best option when it comes to properly hydrating the body.

O'hare, J. (2011). Who Drinks What: Identifying International Drinks Consumption Trends. London:Euromonitor. 25(6), 27-28. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
Roberts, A. (2009). Sports Drinks Fact Sheet. Sports Dietitians Australia. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
Silberberg, M. (2014). The Molecular Nature of Matter and Change (7th ed.).

Smith, J. (1997). A Look at the Components and Effectiveness of Sports Drinks. Retrieved March 12, 2016, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
Sports Drink Recommendations for Exercise in the Heat and Cooler Conditions. (2010). Retrieved March 12, 2016, from Gatorade Sports Science Institute.  
Sugars, Added Sugars and Sweeteners. (2015). Retrieved March 12, 2016, from American Heart Association. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Prebiotics and Probiotics

This week I have a discussion post from one of my Nutrition students on the differences, purposes, and sources of prebiotics and probiotics!  Thanks to Madison L. for allowing me to share!
Prebiotics are food components that feed the good microbes in your gastrointestinal tract. When prebiotics are consumed they help the good bacteria that is already in your gut thrive and multiply (Newgent, 2014). Prebiotics are found in foods such as bananas, artichokes, onions, garlic, leeks, yams, legumes, bran, leeks, chicory, whole grains, corn and apples (Marie, 2014). These foods contain prebiotics know as fructo-oligosaccharides that are non-digestible components for humans, but the microbes in your intestines are able to digest them as their own food source. For infants, prebiotics come in the form of galactooligosaccharide which is in breast milk. This helps set up the microbes that are getting established in the intestines and protect the infant from dangerous microbes (Marie, 2014). Prebiotics are also available in tablets if you don’t eat these foods or don’t eat enough of them.
Probiotics on the other hand are the actual microbes that are found in foods that you consume and they are “just like those naturally found in your gut. These active cultures help change or repopulate intestinal bacteria to balance gut flora” (Newgent, 2014). Foods that contain probiotics include yogurt, sour cream, kefir, cream cheese, some cheeses, sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, kombucha, ginger beer, kefir water, soy sauce, and miso paste. There are many other probiotic-containing foods found throughout various cultures in the world, but those are some of them. There are also probiotic supplement pills that can be taken as well. Probiotics help to introduce different strains of bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract that you may be lacking for whatever reason. These varied strains are part of what makes up the composition of your gut microbiota and the benefits of different probiotic strains each have some specific things they help with, like processing of a certain vitamin or boosting your immune system (Newgent, 2014). Here are some conditions probiotics have shown to directly help with: irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, infectious diarrhea, skin conditions, urinary and vaginal health, allergy prevention, cold prevention, and oral health (DiLonardo, 2014). Probiotics can also help in a kind of “pre-digestive” fashion. For instance, they can increase the availability of minerals and vitamins in grains, legumes, and vegetables because of the lactic acid which, for example in the case of grain products, can “make the vitamins and minerals in the flour more available to the body by helping neutralise the phytates in flour that would interfere with their absorption. The acids slow down the rate at which glucose is released into the blood-stream and lower the bread's glycaemic index (GI), so it doesn't cause undesirable spikes in insulin” (Blythman & Sykes, 2013). This action of increasing the healthy parts of foods and lowering the bad ones is a very beneficial aspect of probiotic foods because it can help us make sure we get all of the essential nutrients in our diet. The benefits of probiotics could relate to much more but not enough research has been done to conclusively determine an exhaustive list of their effects.
Both of these foods play a role in promoting a healthy gut microbiota. A healthy gut microbiota is important for various reasons, and in an informative Tedx talk by Jeroen Raes (2012) implicates an unhealthy microbiota population within our intestines to be culpable for many diseases and health conditions such as cancer, IBS, eczema, diabetes, obesity, Crohn’s disease, arthritis, autism, asthma, and more. Also, he notes that our digestive system has a lot of nervous tissue and he suggests that the mircrobial content of our gut has an effect on our mental state and behavior, citing studies that show “anxiety behavior or exploratory behavior of mice is determined by what flora they have,” which could be the case in humans as well. Since our gut microbe is impacted by prebiotics and probiotics we consume, our consumption of them could relate to the health effects and conditions listed above and care should be taken to make sure that it remains in an optimal, stable state.
Based on what I have learned, I would make the following recommendations:
- Read labels to know if something actually contains probiotic strains. Some foods can be either probiotic or not, depending on how they were made. For instance, pickles can either be preserved with heat and vinegar or they can be cultured with probiotics. On the package you will see things like, “contains live and active cultures” and specific strains listed on the ingredients list on most foods that do contain probiotics.
- If you don’t like the taste of fermented/cultured foods that contain probiotics (they are usually sour) a supplemental probiotic pill can be taken instead. It is important to note that there are a lot of brands and some have different strains of probiotics than others or they have more probiotic units. This can also be kind of pricey as opposed to including probiotic-rich foods in your diet. Generally speaking though, you can get more probiotics from a serving of probiotic food than out of a pill.
- If you do not usually eat/drink probiotic-rich foods it may be beneficial to ease into it, consuming a small amount and working your way up to a normal serving. Sometimes people experience digestive discomfort and a sort of unpleasant purging reaction if too much is taken at one time and someone is not used to it. Besides this, there is no mention of any harmful consequences of consuming prebiotics or probiotics.
- Be aware of high sugar content in some probiotic foods. For example, yogurt can often have very high sugar content, even as much as ice cream. In this situation the large amount of sugar negates the health benefits of the probiotics. That being said, there are many brands that do not have much sugar or offer plain, unsweetened versions.
- Pair prebiotic foods and probiotic foods together. This is called synbiotics. Doing this maximizes the benefits of these foods because the probiotics have an immediate, direct source of fuel. An example would be topping a bowl of yogurt (the probiotic source) with a banana (the prebiotic source)(Newgent, 2014).
- Keep in mind that pasteurization and heat kills probiotics. For instance if you cook up some chicken with some fermented soy sauce, the probiotics will be destroyed by the heat. Also, some foods that use probiotics in the process may or may not have them in the end if they are pasteurized or heated (like sourdough bread for example).
- After taking antibiotics the composition of our gut flora changes and may or may not recover during our lifetime (Raes, 2012). Some researchers have conducted research around prebiotic and probioitic use with antibiotic use and have concluded that probiotics can help reestablish good bacteria back into our intestines after a dose of antibiotics have wiped them out and that prebiotics can help the remaining good bacteria proliferate back to balanced levels (Kresser, 2014). This would help people avoid fluctuations in their gut microbiota that could lead to negative consequences down the road.
Blythman, J. & Sykes, R. (2013). Why sourdough bread is good for you. The Guardian. Retrieved October 9, 2015, from http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/jun/22/sourdough-bread-good-for-you
DiLonardo, M. (2014). What are probiotics? WebMD Retrieved October 7, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/features/what-are-probiotics
Kresser, C. (2014). What to do if you need to take antibiotics. Chris Kresser. Retrieved October 7, 2015, from http://chriskresser.com/what-to-do-if-you-need-to-take-antibiotics/
Marie, J. (2014). The best prebiotics to eat. Livestrong. Retrieved October 7, 2015, from http://www.livestrong.com/article/476744-the-best-prebiotics-to-eat/
Newgent, J. (2014). Prebiotics and probiotics: The dynamic duo. Eat Right- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Retrieved October 7, 2015, from http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/vitamins-and-supplements/nutrient-rich-foods/prebiotics-and-probiotics-the-dynamic-duo
Raes, J. (2012). The gut flora: You and your 100 trillion friends. TedxTalks Brussels. Retrieved Oct. 7, 2015 from http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/Jeroen-Raes-at-TEDxBrussels;Belgium

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Which Milk Benefits You Most?

So, I haven't fitness blogged in... over 4 years.  I've started a Dr. Fit Britt Facebook page where I can share information that I read in research articles and fitness magazines - a way that I can pass along information without reinventing the wheel.  Occasionally I get around to doing that, all I can do is do what I can and when I can!  But it is something I am passionate about, so I will keep trying.
This semester, I am teaching a Personal Health class as well as a Nutrition class, in which students have to research and post a weekly discussion.  I thought this one below had some great information, and requested permission to share it on my blog!  
Thank you to Jennifer G for the following:
There are all different types of milk you can drink depending on what kind of benefits people would like to receive from it. I mainly grabbed information from different researches on just three of the most common types of milk people drink, which are cow milk, almond milk and soy milk. All having different kinds of benefits depending on what the milk is made from.  
Cow Milk 
Cow milk to say the least is the default choice for most people for milk. It's natural and its benefits are what mostly what people are after in drinking it. It has an excellent source of protein and calcium and vitamin D, which is commonly great for bones (Girdwain, 2014). Although it may seem it contains a lot of sugar, it is actually just natural sugar coming from lactose, not added sugars like those that may appear in other alternative milks (Gans, 2015). The downside of it though is that some milks could have added hormones, which could be bad because it isn't natural to our bodies. Usually milk now though comes hormone free or as the label says rBGH-free, just meaning there was nothing added to it hormone wise (Girdwain, 2014). Cow milk may also be a problem for some because it contains lactose. If one is lactose intolerant, his or her body may not be able to break down the lactose in milk because of a missing enzyme in their body called lactase which is needed to break down the lactose in milk or milk products (Girdwain, 2014). Even if this isn't the case for some, an excessive amount of cow milk can mean an abundance of saturated fat and too much vitamin A, which can actually end up weakening bones instead of helping them get stronger (Subramanian, 2014). Despite this, cow milk is a great source of daily natural protein, calcium and vitamin D.  
Almond milk 
Almond milk is one of the alternatives if people don't enjoy or can't have regular cow's milk. In all it's glory, almond milk may taste good and may seem as a good alternative to regular milk, it is lacking a great amount of calcium and protein compared to cow milk (Callahan, 2012). Almond milk has about a gram of protein per serving compared to what eating a regular serving of almonds (twenty-three almonds is 6 grams of protein), which people could probably get the protein easier by just eating the almonds (Callahan, 2012). The upside to almond milk though is that it does have lots of vitamin E which is also from the almonds (Callahan, 2012). Sugar wise, depending on the type you buy (unsweetened or sweetened) most almond milks have lots of added sugar in them which isn't natural from the almonds (Gans, 2015). The most recommended kind of almond milk is just getting a "light" version to still have the great taste, but less the added sugar (Gans, 2015). Almond milk also is lesser in calories and has no saturated fat or cholesterol (Subramanian, 2014). In the end, almond milk is a good alternative for lesser fat and calories in milk, but considering the lack of protein and the added sugars people mainly only drink it for the taste and have to get that protein elsewhere that they don't get from drinking regular milk. 
Soy Milk 
Lastly, soy milk is the most common alternative for those who are lactose intolerant or just to those who don't like the taste of regular milk. Considering it is high in protein as well as lactose free, it is getting people the most benefits out of not drinking regular cow's milk (Deakin University of Australia, 2013). Like almond milk, soy milk may have more added sugars for the taste, which the recommendation is getting a "light"or unflavored version because of that (Deakin University of Australia, 2013). Soy milk is also cholesterol free and contains seven to eight grams of protein, which is just as much as cow milk along with fewer less calories (Gans, 2015). It is also rich in calcium, equalling the about the same percentage as there is in cow milk (Gans, 2015). Considering this, soy milk provides the best alternative for people with taste preference or health purposes, and it almost gets the same benefits as regular milk besides the added sugar.  
Ultimately, regular milk is commonly known the best to drink for its benefits in natural protein and calcium. But if someone's health is at risk by cow milk, it is commonly best to drink soy milk. I found that almond milk seems to be just for a taste preference or another alternative to soy milk and regular milk because of its added sugars and lesser benefits. But it is all up to the person in what health benefits they really would like from drinking milk.   
Callahan, M. (2012, May 15). Milk Alternatives: Are They Really Better for You, or Is It Hype?  Retrieved September 29, 2015 (Links to an external site.milk-alternatives-are-they-really-better-you-or-it-hype/  
Deakin University Australia. (2013, April). Milk.  
Gans, K. (2015, March 18). Which Type of Milk Is Healthiest? Retrieved September 29, 2015
Girdwain, J. (2014, January 23). The Best Milk Is... Retrieved September 28, 2015
 Subramanian, C. (2014, February 26). Milk-Off! The Real Skinny on Soy, Almond, and Rice. Time. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Power in Protein

I purposely saved protein as the last macronutrient to discuss.  People don't seem to have the same fear of protein as they do with fats or carbohydrates, and it is thought that in general, most Americans get plenty of protein.  My question to you is: are you selecting the appropriate sources?

While carbohydrate and fat are the main sources of fuel during a bout of exercise, protein still has many essential purposes.  It provides the building blocks for bones and muscles, creates enzymes responsible for producing energy and repairing muscle after exercise, and creates the transport systems for nutrients and oxygen within the body.

How much should I eat?
Just as we discussed with Carbohydrates, your protein consumption should be related to your body weight and activity level.  The current "recommended daily allowance" for protein for adults is 0.8 g/kg of body weight.  This equates to approximately 10-35% of one's caloric consumption.  However, in the research lab I work in, we encourage participants to eat 45% of their calories from protein.  This helps to build and maintain more muscle mass when combined with a resistance training program (additionally it has been proven more successful than higher carbohydrate amounts in our weight loss programs).  A more fitness-friendly suggestion is to consume one of the following:
- For more endurance based individuals: 1.2-1.4 g/kg of your body weight
- For those who focus on resistance training: 1.6-1.7 g/kg of your body weight

Here is my example: On average, I work out 1 hour a day, 5 days a week.  I perform moderate intensity resistance training and cardio.  I would probably start with 1.2-1.3 g/kg of protein in my daily diet, and then increase my protein intake if I didn't feel like I was consuming enough calories in a day (for instance, if I was losing weight when my goal was to increase muscle size). 

A review of the calculation:
1. Take your weight in pounds and divide by 2.2 to get your weight in kilograms.
2.  Select your level of physical activity and the corresponding grams of protein you would like to start with.
3.  Multiply your weight in kg times the number of g/kg of protein for your activity level.  I suggest starting with the low to mid number in the range.
I suspect most of my readers will be in the 1.0-1.5 g/kg range.   

Here is my personal example:
125 lb / 2.2 = 57 kg
57 kg * 1.2 g/kg = 68.4 grams of carbohydrates/day

Now, if you do the math between my carbohydrates, protein, and fat examples - you'll realize that based on this calculation, I am still eating way less protein than carbohydrates, AND protein is definitely not 45% of my caloric intake.  But you will also see that it only adds up to about 1570 calories total.  This is where I would start adding more healthy protein (not carbohydrate or fat) to my diet to continue to increase the caloric intake to a comfortable level for me.

What kind should I eat?
You probably remember from early science classes that "amino acids are the building blocks of protein."  There are 20 amino acids (AAs), and our body can produce about half of them itself.  These are called nonessential AAs, because it is "not essential" that we obtain them from our diet.  The remaining AAs are "essential" for us to obtain in our diet because our body cannot produce them.  So when we discuss types of protein, we talk about complete sources that contain all of the essential AAs (typically animal proteins such as meat and dairy products), and incomplete sources that may be missing out on a few of those essential AAs (vegetable proteins such as grains, legumes, nuts and seeds).  A common suggestion is to pair two incomplete proteins within a meal (or throughout the day) to make sure you obtain all of the essential AAs.  Some examples include soybeans + rice, wheat bread + peanut butter, pinto beans + corn tortillas. 

Here is a chart from my textbook that shows you the amount of protein you can find in common foods (click on the chart and a larger version will open in a separate window):

In addition to making sure you are obtaining all of the essential amino acids, it is also important to opt for protein sources that are healthier for you - such as being lower in fat.  Here are a few pointers to keep in mind:
- Look for lean cuts of meat.  "Prime" and "Choice" are going to be good options.
- Prepare the meat in a way that limits added fat.  Opt for the grill where fat can drip off, instead of frying.
- Try to limit your consumption of red meat as well as deli meats (excess consumption can lead to colon cancer).  Buy deli meats that are non-cured and nitrate-free.

When should I eat them?
It is best to combine protein and carbohydrates during every meal and snack.  This will keep you feeling full longer and gives your body the nutrients it needs throughout the day as you go from task to task.  
Here are a few exercise-specific tips:
- Consume carbohydrate and protein in a 3:1 ratio after an exercise session to stimulate recovery of glycogen stores and maximize muscle synthesis.
- The aforementioned may also help to decrease muscle soreness.
- It may be best to consume smaller portions every 1-2 hours post-exercise to sustain the elevated synthesis rates.

And to end, here is an interesting tidbit for vegetarians:
This is news to me, so I am going to quote it straight out of my trusty textbook:  "Proteins derived from plant foods are approximately 85% digestible, those in a mixed diet of meat products and refined grains are approximately 95% digestible.  Based on these differences, it is recommended that people who eat no flesh or dairy products consume 10% more protein daily"

Textbook resources:
*Sport Nutrition for Health and Performance; 2nd Edition.  Manore, Meyer, & Thompson.

Have a HEALTHY day!
~Fit Britt

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fearful of Fats

We should all just avoid fats because eating fat will make us fat... right?  Well, not necessarily.  As we've discussed before, making sure we don't eat too many calories (and also burning excess calories through physical activity) is going to be key in not gaining fat... and for the record - eating too many carbohydrates or protein can also lead to fat gain.  So let's be a little more gentle with our fear and hatred of fats (of course we all love the taste!) and obtain a better understanding of why they NEED to be part of our diet, and which types are beneficial and which to avoid.

I didn't mention this last week when we discussed carbs, but fat and carbohydrate are actually the two types of fuel your body uses during exercise.  When you perform more sustained, endurance-type exercise, you will utilize more fat as your fuel source.  And believe it or not, fat is our primary source of fuel at rest as well (no need to feel guilty sitting around reading my blog... you are burning fat right now!  ).  There are also certain nutrients that we obtain from the fats in our diet: Vitamins A, D, E and K, as well as the essential fatty acids linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid (Omega-6 and -3 respectively).  These nutrients are needed for many metabolic processes and also to make various compounds within the body.  They make up the cell membranes, parts of the brain and spinal cord, keep skin and tissues pliable, protect the organs, and store energy.  All sorts of good and necessary things!

How much should I eat?
The major concern with fats is that they are more calorie dense than protein and carbs.  Both carbs and protein contain approximately 4 calories per gram.  Fat, on the other hand, packs 9 calories per gram!!  That means if you ate the same size morsel of fat as carbohydrate, the fat morsel would contain more than twice as many calories!
The general recommendation is for 20-35% of your caloric consumption to come from fat.  It is rare to come across a suggestion based on your body weight like we discuss for both carbohydrates and protein.  I would advise calculating your carbohydrate (see last week) and protein (see next week) based on your body weight and activity level, then divide that number by 0.75 to get an idea of your total caloric intake.  The 0.75 is accounting for 25% of your diet coming from fats.  Here is an example:
- If I calculated my carbohydrate and protein intake to be 1,500 calories a day,
- I would then calculate 1,500 / 0.75 = 2,000
- This means that I should start out by eating 2,000 calories a day, with 500 calories/day as my fat allotment.
- Notice I said "start out by eating..." unless you get your metabolism tested, this will be a bit of a guessing game getting you to the appropriate caloric intake.

What kind should I eat?
Once you have figured out your fat caloric allotment, I'm sorry to tell you, it is not a free for all.  Now we need to focus on the specific types of fat you should consume in your diet.  Words to look for on a food label:
GOOD FATS - Pick these!!  
- monounsaturated 
- polyunsaturated
Both of these can actually improve your cholesterol levels, potentially assist in regulating insulin levels, and decrease your risk of heart disease.  They are heart healthy!
BAD FATS - Try to avoid these!!
- saturated: comes primarily from animal products.  This should be less than 1/3 of your fat calories for the day... meaning if you are allotted 500 fat calories, less than 165 calories should be saturated fat (that's only 18.5 grams of fat!)
- trans: these fats have been processed to increase the shelf life.  They typically have negative effects on blood cholesterol levels.  Avoid these as much as possible.
- hydrogenated: Foods may say "trans-fat-free," but if you look at the list of ingredients and either "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" is listed, then there is some level of trans fat in that food.  Most likely < 0.5g per serving... but if you indulge in more than one serving, that number adds up!

What are good sources?
As I just learned in my textbook*; animal fats provide ~40-60% of their energy as saturated fats and 30-50% as unsaturated, whereas plants provide only 10-20% of their energy from saturated and the rest from unsaturated.  I am not saying that you should not eat meat - but certainly aim for leaner cuts of meat and discard all visible fat.  Additionally, try too cook it in a way that the fat will drip off (grilling) as opposed to  continue marinating around the meat (pan frying or baking).

Another good rule of thumb in selecting your fats: unsaturated fats are typically more liquid at room temperature (oils = unsaturated, butter and Crisco = saturated).  And since we are always hearing about getting in our Omega's, here is where you can get them:
Omega 6: vegetable oils (sunflower, safflower, corn, soy, peanut)
Omega 3: leafy green vegetables, soy products (including oil), seafood, canola oil

Finally, I will leave you with a list of good sources of healthy, obtained from another great resource**.  Try to obtain your "fat fuel" from these:
Foods low in saturated fat: popcorn, nonfat yogurt, skim milk, fig bars, graham crackers, roasted chicken breast, pancakes, 1% cottage cheese, 1% chocolate milk, dried beef
Foods high in monounsaturated fat: black olives, olive oil, almond oil, canola oil, dry almonds, avocados, peanut oil, dry roasted cashes, peanut butter, cooked beef, roasted lamb, roasted veal
Foods high in polyunsaturated fat: safflower oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, dry walnuts, sunflower seeds, margarine, corn oil, canola oil, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, tofu

Textbook resources:
*Sport Nutrition for Health and Performance; 2nd Edition.  Manore, Meyer, & Thompson.
**Sports and Exercise Nutrition; 3rd Edition.  McArdle, Katch, & Katch

Health Tip of The Day


About Me

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What do you call the people in my field... Fitness Professionals? Fitness Enthusiasts? I like to think that describes me. I have a Bachelors degree in Exercise Science from UNC-Chapel Hill (2003) and a Masters in Teaching from East Carolina University (2004). I have successfully defended my dissertation for a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology at Texas A&M, and will officially graduate in May 2014.  During my time at TAMU, I obtained great research experience in the Exercise and Sport Nutrition Lab
My background includes managing fitness facilities (both corporate and campus recreation), health promotion work (health screenings, seminars, and health fairs), teaching group exercise (mostly step, sculpting, high energy cardio, and yoga), and personal training (over 10 years of experience). I have taught a personal training certification prep class (using NASM's material), personal health lecture courses, and strength training and yoga activity classes as adjunct faculty at George Mason University, Texas A&M University, and Western Washington University.  I am also currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Texas A&M for online undergraduate Health Ed classes including Consumer Health, Environmental Health, and Human Sexuality. 
I love that you need to be continually learning in this field, and have a strong passion for sharing what I learn with others. I have various certifications to include: 
- ACSM Health Fitness Specialist 
- NASM Personal Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist, Performance Enhancement Specialist 
- ACE Lifestyle Weight Management Consultant 
- AFAA Group Exercise Instructor 
- YogaFit Levels I and II