Older & Wiser with Sue Grant

2 Surprising Myths About Fat That'll Make You Rethink Your Diet

Fat Chance!  I just read a fascinating article by registered dietitian Matthew Kadey in the June 2019 issue of Idea Fitness Journal concerning  some common myths and realities about fat in foods.  You might be surprised  by these findings– read on!

The Myth:  Fat-Free or Low Fat is Healthier

The Reality: The low fat-craze led to the formulation of thousands of lower-fat products, from yogurt to cookies.  However, fat tastes good, so when it is removed or reduced from a food, it loses a lot of its flavor.  To make up for this loss of flavor, manufacturers often add artificial flavors, salt, and sugar –not exactly a nutritional bonus!
Bottom Line: As long as you don’t overindulge, it’s better to enjoy foods in their natural, full-fat state.

 

The Myth:  Coconut oil is a “Super-food”

The Reality:  Often demonized for its upper-high saturated fat content (91% of its calories) coconut oil has experienced a renaissance.  Its supporters claim that it can help with building muscles, losing weight, improving heart, liver and kidney helps, and even taming frizzy hair! 
But coconut oil is not nearly the health boosting, fat-fighting miracle that its fans want it to be.
“There’s no strong evidence directly tying coconut oil either to a greater or reduced risk of cardiovascular disease,” says Patrick Wilson, RD, PhD, assistant professor of exercises at Old Dominion University.
Officials at the American Heart Association still say we should steer clear of coconut oil, citing concerns about its potential impact on cardiovascular health (Sacks et al.2017).
Bottom Line:  If you like the flavor or the moistness it adds to baked goods, it’s probably fine to include modest amounts (no more than a tablespoon daily) as part of a healthy eating plan.

 

I’ll continue to keep you updated as more research is published about health and nutrition.  In the meantime,  keep moving, and keep enjoying your unprocessed, natural foods!

Sue Grant holds numerous certifications within the health and wellness industry.

  • Certified as a personal trainer by the ACE
  • Certified as a Master Instructor for the FallProof Program
  • Certified by the Arthritis Foundation
  • Certified in Older Adult Fitness by the American Institute of Fitness Educators

Sue has also studied personal training and group fitness through U.C. San Diego’s Fitness Professional Certificate program. Click here to find her collection of DVDs.

Added Sugar, Added Risk: The Bitter Truth Masked By Sweetness

Do you remember your parents lecturing  you not to eat too much sugar because it would lead to obesity or dental cavities?  They were right – these health concerns have been scientifically confirmed.

But Wait!  There’s More!

New meta-studies have shown that added sugars (like sucrose and  high-fructose corn syrup) to be risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD), type 2 diabetes, abnormal lipids and hypertension.  These sugars, which are slipped into muffins, ice cream, soft drinks, and so many other products during processing are a real cause for concern.  The good news is that the naturally occurring sugars in fresh fruit are not a problem.

Cardiovascular Disease:

CVD risk becomes elevated once added sugar intake surpasses 15% of daily calories. To help put that math into real-life terms, this means that your risk for CVD will increase if you drink more than 7 sugar sweetened beverages a week.  Even worse, the CVD mortality risk increases with an increase in sugar intake. 

Type 2 Diabetes:

Habitual consumption of sugar sweetened beverages is independently associated with a greater incidence of type 2 diabetes.   Again, the data also supports the recommendation to consume a wide variety of fruits, which have naturally occurring sugars and have not been linked to the incidence of type 2 diabetes.

Blood pressure and blood lipids:

Randomized controlled trials have shown an association between higher intakes of sugar and harmful increased concentrations of triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL (low density lipoproteins) cholesterol and blood pressure.  The researchers explain that consumption of fructose in sugar sweetened beverages increases liver fat synthesis, which results in higher concentrations of circulating triglycerides and cholesterol. 

How much is too much sugar? 

The American Heart Association recommends that adult females consume less than 6 teaspoons, or about 25 grams of sugar daily.  Adult males should consume less than 9 teaspoons, or 38 grams of sugar daily. 

“But I love my diet coke!”

The negative health risks of consuming  too much added sucrose and fructose clearly indicate that we should eat whole foods, as opposed to processed foods, as much as possible. However, going “cold turkey” can seem like a grim proposition.  Keep in mind that small changes can make a difference.  Cutting back on sugar sweetened beverages will help.  Check the nutrition labels on your favorite yogurt and breakfast cereal. I was shocked to see that my beloved granola has 15 grams of sugar in a single serving!   (I found a much lower sugar cereal instead and have added a piece of delicious fresh fruit to my breakfast routine – very satisfying!)

Be mindful about the added sugars in everything you eat, including sauces, salad dressings, crackers and bread.  You probably won’t be able to avoid all sugar sweetened products, but if you start limiting them in your daily diet, you’ll be much better off.

Just think of the lectures our parents could have delivered if they knew then what we know now about sugar!       

Sue Grant holds numerous certifications within the health and wellness industry.

  • Certified as a personal trainer by the ACE
  • Certified as a Master Instructor for the FallProof Program
  • Certified by the Arthritis Foundation
  • Certified in Older Adult Fitness by the American Institute of Fitness Educators

Sue has also studied personal training and group fitness through U.C. San Diego’s Fitness Professional Certificate program. Click here to find her collection of DVDs.

By Collage Video | | Healthy, tips, Weekly Blog, weight loss, Wellness | Read more

Have a HEART! Helpful Tips for a Healthy Heart

Do you know the signs of a heart attack?  Do those dramatic scenes in a movie come to mind where the man clutches his chest and falls to the ground?

Both men and women can indeed experience intense chest pressure, but WOMEN CAN EXPERIENCE A HEART ATTACK WITHOUT CHEST PRESSURE!  Instead, women may feel dizziness, extreme fatigue, lightheadedness or fainting, shortness breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, or extreme fatigue. 

heart health

Even though heart disease is the Number 1 killer of women in the United States, women often attribute the symptoms to the flu, acid reflux, or normal aging.  Check out the American Heart Association website www.heart.org for more information.

The good news is that 80% of cardiovascular diseases may be preventable with education and action.  The American Heart Association recommends five 30 minute moderate exercise sessions each week.  While this may seem daunting, it is important to note that these sessions can be broken up into two or three 10 or 15 minute segments throughout the day.   As I always say, “A little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing!” 

Keep moving for a healthy heart!

 

 

Related Posts:
Women Over 40: Listen Up
Vitamin EX: The Magic Pill

 

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