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Sunday, July 21, 2013

New Superfoods & What The Food Companies ARN'T telling you!

As summer is heating up, lets take a look at a few "SUPER-FOODS" that we can use to spice up our diet and bring out the best in our training, physique, and muscularity. Just remember, nutrition is a key part to your success as an athlete. Without proper nutritional timing, you can be stuck in ruts for years and have your metabolism at a stand still and cortisol levels through the roof!

#1: Coconut oil
Coconut oil is abundant in a medium chain fatty acid that appears to protect your brain, manage blood sugar, and improve energy use in the body so you lose fat. Truly! Coconut oil doesn’t enter the cholesterol cycle, so the fat it contains won’t be deposited in fat cells.
There’s proof: A recent study of folks from Malaysia where the coconut is native found that having them eat 30 ml of coconut oil three times a day for a month led them to lose about a pound of body fat and trim their waistlines a measurable amount.
#2: Avocado

Called an “anti-obesity” food by scientists, the avocado is jam-packed with nutrients and antioxidants, and although it is rich in monounsaturated fats, studies suggest eating avocado regularly will keep you from getting fat. This is all for naught if your diet is poor, but in a typical high-protein, low-carb diet, avocados will improve your body and health.
The research is strong: Analysis of the diets of 17,567 Americans showed that those who ate more avocados had significantly lower body weight and waist circumference and a 50 percent lower risk of metabolic syndrome. And these weren’t Paleo-eaters either—impressive, no?
#3: Eggs
A perfect protein source, eggs provide a nice dose of choline, which helps with liver detoxification. This is one reason eggs have been a staple in the diets of bodybuilders for years—a clean liver means the body eliminates toxins better, supporting optimal body composition. Don’t shy away from eating them daily. Recent research shows three eggs a day will IMPROVE cholesterol, decrease inflammation, and manage blood sugar.
#4: Cocoa
You’ve heard about the benefits of dark chocolate for the heart due to it being antioxidant-rich and the happy news is that it really is that good for you. Not only will cocoa, from which chocolate is derived, support cardiovascular health, it improves insulin signaling and association studies show a higher dark chocolate intake is linked with a leaner physique. Opt for a chocolate that has over 72 percent cocoa solids—the darker the better—without added sugar. Do not eat chocolate that contains dairy, as it blocks the activity of its powerful anti-oxidants.
#5: Kimchi
Perhaps not as delicious as chocolate, kimchi is a fermented Korean cabbage dish that improves gut health and insulin sensitivity. A recent study showed that overweight subjects who ate 100 grams of kimchi at every meal for 4 weeks produced significant fat loss and decreased body fat by 1.5 percent. Blood pressure was lower and blood sugar control improved by the end of the study.
#6. Kale
Loaded with fiber, vitamin K, beta-carotene, vitamin C and manganese--which helps produce energy from protein and carbohydrates--kale is a flavorful option for your salad. Carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin in kale protect eyes against UV damage. Plus, it has some of the highest amounts of potassium--necessary for proper brain, nerve and muscle function--in the veggie world.
And as a side note:
 BEWARE of these food label scams!! They are getting increasingly popular due to the FDA's "minimal" guidelines. 

Zero calories per serving:  As long as the food item has less than 5 calories per serving, it can be rounded down and labeled 0 calories.
While .5g of fat or 5 calories may not seem like a big deal, remember that these values are "per serving", and while an entire package, box, can, or bottle of a product may contain hundreds of calories and loads of fat, as long as they can divide that package into small enough servings to meet the calorie and gram requirements to claim zero, it's legal.
Cooking Sprays and Butter Sprays - Cooking sprays are labeled as fat-free but their first ingredient is oil, which is 100% fat.  How in the world can this be?  Well, the serving size is 1/5th of a second.  What?  Last time we used a cooking spray (some of the organic ones are useful) it took about 3 seconds to lightly coat the surface of the pan.  Well, according to the manufacturer, we just used 15 servings.

Bottom line, no one uses the ridiculous and absurd microscopic 1/5th of second spray suggested serving, which isn't nearly enough product to be of practical use.

Cooking sprays aren't fat-free...they are nearly 100% fat.  In my example above, a realistic serving actually contains around 5 grams of fat and 45 CALORIES.  A far cry from the 0 number reported on their nutrition facts.

You should be! The companies are tricky and getting away with this! So now. lets be smart and take this knowledge and use it wisely!  

Josh Bezoni & Joel Marion
Founders, BioTrust Nutrition
Other Sources:
Liau, K., et al. An Open-Label Pilot Study to Assess the Efficacy and Safety of Virgin Coconut Oil in Reducing Visceral Adiposity. ISRN Pharmacology. 2011. 949686.
Ratliff, J., et al. Eggs Modulate the Inflammatory Response To Carbohydrate Restricted Diets in Overweight Men. Nutrition and Metabolism. 2008. 5(6).
Devalaraja, S., Jain, S., Yaday, H. Exotic Fruits as Therapeutic Complements for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolic Syndrome. Food Research International. August 2011. 44(7), 1856-1865.

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