Don’t Cut Out the Carbs

I have heard many times from many individuals they are on a diet so they are cutting out the carbohydrates or trying to significantly reduce the amounts they are eating, but this isn't the way to go and can cause low energy levels, muscle waisting, feeling fatigued and intense cravings. In fact studies show if we are not getting the proper amount of carbohydrates we often have dreams about consuming foods high in carbohydrates.

There are 2 types of carbohydrates, simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are generally loaded with sugar and have little nutrients and should be limited. They are refined, meaning they have been processed and a lot of the nutrients have been removed. Avoiding simple carbohydrates (or simple sugars) is important, they are things like white breads, candy, white rice and cookies and break down into sugar in the body. However it is important to understand fruits are considered a simple carbohydrate because of the amount and type of sugar they contain (fructose). It is a natural sugar and fruits contain fibre, vitamins and minerals so they do provide us with nutrients. Fruits should be consumed in moderation, are not a bad option but vegetables are generally a better choice.
Complex carbohydrates are the other type of carbohydrate and they are also known as starches. Complex carbohydrates are not refined, contain all the parts of grain and therefore have a lot more fibre, vitamins, minerals and protein making you feel fuller longer, and don't cause a spike in blood sugar. They include, brown rice, whole wheat breads, pastas, cereals, oatmeal, sweet potatoes etc.

Here are some more reasons complex carbohydrates are so important.

* Carbohydrates are a macronutrient, meaning our bodies need them in relatively large amounts to support normal function and health
* they provide the body with energy and are organic as they contain carbon which is an essential component of all living organisms.
* They are the primary fuel source for our bodies, particularly our brain and are used during exercise
* The AMDR (acceptable macronutrient distribution ranges is 45%-65% of our daily energy intake (fat is 20%-35% and protein is 10%-35%)
* Complex carbohydrates are full of vitamins, minerals, protein, fibre and much more

If you are trying to lose weight, it's all about balance, cutting carbohydrates alone is not a good idea, for the reasons above. Finding the proper balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat is essential to a health lifestyle.

So don't cut the carbohydrates!!

Grocery Store Tips

Hi Everyone!
I just wanted to start by introducing myself, my name is Brianne Ozimok and I am a personal trainer and nutrition specialist at Lifesource. I am a recent graduate of Acadia University, where I graduated with a BSc in Nutrition, Dietetics with Kinesiology. Needless to say I have a keen interest in nutrition and hope I can help provide knowledge and some interesting facts to help with healthy eating. I thought it would be good to start with grocery store tips, since this is where it all begins- here we go!

1. Stay on the outskirts of the store- everything you need can be found along the outside; vegetables, fruits, meats, breads, milk and alternatives, all on outskirts. Entering the isles can be dangerous, it’s where packaged, processed food exists and where we are more likely to just buy a product because we see it rather then actually needing it.
2. Make a list and stick to it- we generally start “getting in trouble” when go to the grocery store without a list, we buy on impulse and generally pick up things we don’t need.
3. Never shop on an empty stomach- you are more likely to buy more then you need, things that are easily prepared or pre-made, processed foods that are higher in fat, sodium and calories. When we are hungry we tend to crave high calorie foods that are easily broken down in the body to provide immediate energy and this is what we will buy.
4. Be aware of “deals”- it’s only a deal if you need it. Buying on special or in bulk can be good, but only if it’s needed and the product will be eaten. Sometimes buying in bulk or getting more of one thing because it’s on special causes us to eat more of that product because we have more, and we don’t want it to go bad. So buy what you need! Stick to your list!
5. Go for colour- When looking for vegetables and fruit, get as much colour as you can into your cart. Colour helps our meals look appetizing and appealing. We start every meal with our eyes, we see our food first and eat with our eyes therefore the more appealing/colourful the meal the more we will enjoy it.
6. Frozen can be as good as fresh- don’t be afraid to buy frozen vegetables or fruit. Vegetables especially can go bad quickly so picking up frozen ones and using them in soups is perfect. They don’t go bad as long as they stay frozen, and you will always have vegetables on hand if you can get to the grocery store on time.
7. Look for whole wheat or whole grain- read the label! Sometimes the ingredient list can be long and confusing, so make sure the first ingredient is alway whole grain or whole wheat.
8. Read the label- make sure you read all labels- if anything has sugar as the first ingredient should be left on the shelf. Keep in mind that anything without a label is even better, ie- fruit, vegetables, meats- no label= no processing!

I hope these quick tips help next time you are in the store!