Cancer Prevention Through Diet And Nutrition

In an attempt to keep anyone from wasting their time reading an article that does not apply to them we need to clearly define the subject of this article. If you are comfortable with waiting for a miracle drug to cure cancer, expecting that early detection through any number of exams at your physicians’ office followed by chemotherapy in an attempt to kill the now detectable cancer cells, then this article is not for you. If however, you would prefer to avoid cancer totally by preventing it before it starts, then please read on.

When addressing nutrition and the prevention of cancer one of the hottest topics in this arena at this time are antioxidants. The primary reason that antioxidants have received increasing attention is based on the very nature of cancer cells themselves, how they are started and more importantly how they can be eliminated before becoming detectable. For most forms of cancer, they get their start when your cell’s DNA becomes damage in some form. Keep in mind that your body is generating new cells on a daily basis and that these new cells are being created based on the blue print of how they should be constructed. That blue print is your DNA. When your DNA has become damaged or during the creation process of these new cells they come in contact with free radicals they are damaged. Unchecked that damage begins going through an uncontrolled growth and at some point this once damaged cells has now become a tumor.

While there is a lot of talk about antioxidants we really need to define what they are. Antioxidants are substances that protect cells from the damage caused by molecules known as free radicals. Antioxidants are capable of stabilizing free radicals and therefore prevent some of the damage free radicals otherwise might cause. Free radicals are unstable molecules caused by incomplete electron shells which make them more chemically reactive than those with complete electron shells. There are a number of environmental factors, including tobacco smoke, over exposure to the sun, pollution, toxins in our water, pesticides used in the growing of our vegetables and various other factors can also lead to free radical formation. The most common form of free radicals is oxygen that’s correct the simple act of breathing that is required to keep us alive is the most common cause of free radical production in our bodies. When oxygen molecules become electrically charged or “radicalized” it tries to steal electrons from other molecules, causing damage to the DNA and other molecules. Over time, such damage may become irreversible and lead to various diseases including cancer. Antioxidants are often described as “mopping up” free radicals, meaning they neutralize the electrical charge and prevent the free radical from taking electrons from other molecules. Some examples of common antioxidants include beta-carotene, lycopene, vitamins C, E, and A, just to name a few. While not an antioxidant another very important mineral is Selenium, which is actually a component of antioxidant enzymes.

While diet and nutrition are beginning to get more attention we still have a long way to go, based on a number of statistics surrounding the average diet of more Americans. A simple search of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition will provide clinical research based on Diet, Nutrition and Cancer. While that may not be a big shock to you, you may be surprised to find that this particular entry has a copyright date from 1976. As a leading cause of death in the United States, one that is very preventable, one would expect to hear more about the impact of Diet, Nutrition and Exercise as it relates to the prevention of cancer. More often than not, if you pick up a newspaper or catch the news you are going to hear about the latest advances in chemotherapy, the newest drug for the treatment of cancer, the latest technology for improved mammograms and the list goes on. If you truly want to do something about the prevention of cancer you can’t wait on the news media and unfortunately not even your family physician to educate you on adopting a healthy lifestyle. Please don’t misunderstand that last comment as being a slam on doctors, because it is not. Every doctor that I know works extremely hard and puts in some very long hours.

Unfortunately, the way that our healthcare system is structured they do not get paid to educate you on a healthy lifestyle, nutrition, exercise or any of the things that you need to adopt as a comprehensive wellness program. The sad truth is that our healthcare system is setup to fix you after you’re broke, not to prevent you from getting to that point. It is truly up to YOU to take a proactive approach to learning what you need to know in order to adopt a overall healthy lifestyle/wellness program. It is important to note that a comprehensive wellness program leading to an overall healthy lifestyle is not something that you get to do for a week, a month or even just over the next year and then you’re done. This is a life long endeavor.

For those of you that are more of the do it yourself type people there are a large number of resources available to help you. From the internet to a staggering number of books that are published each year on the subject of healthy living, diet, nutrition, anti-aging. A very comprehensive guide to an overall healthy lifestyle that is very practical, pack with references to clinical research and an overall easy read is The Metabolic Plan”, by Stephen Cherniske. The good news is that there is something for everyone. If you would prefer not to wade through mountains of information there are an increasing number of centers dedicated to Wellness, Healthy Lifestyles, and many of these facilities provide life coaches to help keep their clients accountable and on track. Even for the most dedicated person having an accountability partner of some type is a good idea to help during those stages of life where the motivation level just is not where it should be. Lastly, there are an increasing number of physicians that take a holistic approach to healing that includes a balanced approach which is one of the best approaches. In a perfect world our health would always be controllable through a balanced diet, good supplementation and exercise. However, the stark reality is that there are times that even our best efforts are not enough and we are forced to turn to a pharmaceutical to keep us in the game of life. In short all forms of healing have their place there is not a one shoe fits all solution that will work for everyone, all the time.

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Nutrition Education Is Becoming More Valuable

It is possible to increase the value of your nutrition education in any career path of health. Of course we all know that with time and experience comes value. But what many don’t realize is that today more than ever, nutrition is becoming more and more important. This is due to the rise of obesity, degenerative disease and as medical care and insurance are becoming more out of reach for the average person.

This trend will continue as the population grows older, and many people are more aware that they want to stay healthy while warding off disease. Even the President’s Cancer Panel is making recommendations that insurance coverage should include wellness programs, nutritional counseling and take a more active role is providing American’s access to healthier foods. Professionals with a nutritional education will be providing counseling and education to the population while filling jobs within the wellness programs.

It is also becoming more apparent that all people need to help their bodies, in light of the knowledge that chemicals and toxins are abundant in modern society. In fact, research using infant’s cord blood that was collected from American hospitals in 2005 by the American Red Cross found and average of 208 chemical toxins. This surprising news prompted Congress to draft a letter to the American Chemical Council encouraging more studies to determine the true toxicity of these chemicals.

Eating the right foods and cleansing our bodies is more important than it has ever been. Nutrition is a widely sought after field as more of these types of studies come to light and people realize they want to be proactive with their health instead of waiting for disease to set in.

Update your education so you can stay in touch with the reality that holistic health along with body cleansing are becoming more popular. It us up to us to learn about body cleansing and how it can work with the health of the overall population. We must teach how certain foods suppress our natural immunity and how they affect our bodies’ natural ability to cleanse and detoxify.

Nutritional education is becoming an increasing valuable field. Increase your value more by gaining more knowledge in holistic therapies such as supplements and holistic bodywork including massage therapy and lymphatic drainage. Most important, educate yourself on body cleansing, colon cleansing and herbs that help the process. Your clients will feel better, progress more quickly and thank you for saving their health.

Ensure Society’s Health As A Food And Nutrition Manager

In many areas of society, food and nutrition experts are required to ensure that the dietetic aspects of people’s health are looked after. These experts are part of the field known as Food and Nutrition Management, and their titles include dietary managers, nutrition technicians, food and nutrition managers, food service coordinators and quality control technicians. Although tasks vary among the different positions, there are some skills that are common among all Food and Nutrition Management experts. For example, all employees in this field practice in accordance with the code of ethics while participating in a variety of settings. In addition, many create master menus, supervise the preparation of food products and special feedings, follow standardized recipes and production procedures as well as supervise food distribution and operation procedures according to standards. Lastly, all Food and Nutrition Management workers are well versed in sanitation according to established policy, procedures and regulations. Starting salaries average around $40,000 and can reach $45,000 to $55,000 after five years of progressive management experience. Work can be found in: hospitals, seniors’ residences, nursing homes, extended care facilities, industrial cafeterias, airline food services, food manufacturers and community agencies.

However, before you can enter the workforce, a food management degree or diploma is required. Centennial College’s two-year Food and Nutrition Management program allows students to get a well-rounded education in food, nutrition, business and human relations. To apply for one of the only post-secondary nutrition programs in the Greater Toronto Area, there are some prerequisites. First, you must present at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. In addition, you must have compulsory English 12C or U or skills assessment, or equivalent and Math 11M or U or 12C or U or skills assessment, or equivalent.

Within this food management program, you will find a balance between practical application learning and theory-based lectures. Training occurs by students participating in on-campus food labs as well as in a seven-week placement in their fourth semester. During the placement, students have the opportunity to apply what they have learned as well as gain more knowledge by working alongside industry professionals. Please note that there are pre-job placement requirements that must be met by students of Food and Nutrition Management, which can be viewed on the admission page. In addition to placement and lab sessions, students study courses such as: Introduction to Computing, Human Aging, Nutrition, Mathematics for Food Service Management, Purchasing for the Food Service Industry, Medical Nutrition Therapy, Supervision Practices and many more.

This is also one of the nutrition programs accredited by the Canadian Society of Nutrition Management (CSNM). Food and Nutrition Management graduates are automatically eligible for membership in the CSNM and OSNM (Ontario Society of Nutrition Management). CSNM membership is a requirement of the Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long Term Care to work in a long-term care facility and most acute care facilities.

Women,nutrition & Life Work Together!

Women today are busier than ever before. Their stress is exacerbated by today’s fast paced, pre-packaged, convenience based society and the toxins that come from antibiotics and household cleaners. Iron-deficiency anemia is very common in young women.

While women’s role in the food chain is essential to produce that all-important resource, food, it paradoxically does not guarantee women even minimum levels of nutrition. Women are often responsible for producing and preparing food for the household, so their knowledge — or lack thereof — about nutritions effect on the entire family. Women with adequate stores of iron and other micronutrients are less likely to suffer fatal infections and are more likely to survive bleeding during and after childbirth. Women in developing countries are also regularly deficient in vitamin A, iodine, and energy. Women of child-bearing age are recommended to take folic acid supplements and consume a folic-rich diet. Women are also at higher risk for developing osteoporosis and need more calcium and vitamin D to prevent it. Studies showed that women with vitamin D insufficiency absorb less than 10 percent of available calcium.

However, even among the poor, different groups of women are affected differently by macro development policies, such as the commercialization of agriculture or family planning. The conflict between women’s (economic) earning role and (biological and social) mothering role results to some degree in a squeeze on child care, with consequences for child health and nutrition. While women will be mothers too, motherhood is just one part of the inexorable life cycle. We need programs to increase women’s awareness, self-confidence, and motivation to act. Men must be educated about the cost to society of neglecting women and the need for affirmative action for women, which arises both from the fact of their greater work burden and their unique reproductive roles. The issue of women’s nutrition status and roles is crucial to the proposal for nutrition as a basic right for all in the 1990s, in which human development goals are paramount over economic goals. Programming for women’s health must extend beyond their role as mothers to encompass their non-reproductive and work-related energy and health needs.

The nutrition tips for women broadcast on the news often imply that nutrition may magically cure all kinds of diseases. The role of nutrition is to feed our bodies. 1 nutrition tip for women is to regularly include iron-rich foods such as meat, shellfish, beans and enriched cereals in your diet. The effects of high levels of protein-energy malnutrition and anemia among women. Low birth weight is a result of poor nutrition and can jepardize the health of the new generation. The ultimate constraint of time affects the extent to which women can acquire nutritional goods and services and allocate them to improving their own well-being or that of their families. The best way to give your body the balanced nutrition it needs is by eating a variety of nutrient-packed foods every day. In some respects, men and women have different nutritional needs, largely due to differences in male and female hormones.

“If you look at the current federal dietary guidelines for kids, there is no difference in nutritional needs for males and females until age 9,” says Elaine Turner, PhD, RD, associate professor in the department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Pregnancy drives the role of women and nutrition. If you need fewer calories, the calories you take in need to pack a lot of nutritional punch. One way that traditionally-minded woman can continue to keep their strength and health within the cycles of the creation,is through the use of berry plants. Berry plants ,with great nutritional value are not a stand alone, but as a supplement.

Anemia is the most common form of malnutrition, afflicting an estimated 47 percent of women worldwide, and anemia in pregnancy is one of the leading causes of maternal death. For maximum effect, improving women’s nutrition should begin long before pregnancy. Improving nutrition by maintaining a healthy diet before and during pregnancy and also during lactation can help to ensure adequate gestational weight gain, prevent weight loss during lactation, help strengthen the immune system, and delay HIV disease progression. Good nutrition is important for all pregnant and lactating women irrespective of their HIV status. Ignorance about the symptoms of malnutrition, such as the lethargy and depression caused by iron deficiency, may be dismissed as “normal” or unimportant, further exacerbating the problem. Addressing women’s malnutrition has a range of positive effects because healthy women can fulfill their multiple roles — generating income, ensuring their families’ nutrition, and having healthy children — more effectively and thereby help advance countries’ socioeconomic development. Well-nourished mothers are more likely to have infants with healthy birth weights, and such children are less likely to ever suffer from malnutrition. For reasons including women’s reproductive biology, low social status, poverty, and lack of education, they suffer from nutritional imbalances. After the first year of life adolescent girls are particularly vulnerable to malnutrition.

What Should My Child Be Eating For Optimal Health?

Understanding healthy eating has become a huge challenge in our society. Our ancestors living thousands of years ago did not have this challenge. They ate what grew and what they could catch. Before the advent of agriculture, people ate what was naturally supplied.

While I have been studying nutrition for 46 years, I am not an expert, since I am not a scientist and have not done my own research. What I share with you comes from my personal experience with my children and grandchildren.

Rather than laying out a specific way of eating, I am going to write about what I have learned about what NOT to eat.

Below is a partial list of things not to feed your children:

Sugar

Corn syrup

Glucose syrup

Wheat syrup

Rice syrup

Potato starch

Modified food starch

White foods – white bread, white rice, rice milk, white pastas, white wheat flour

Processed grains

French fries

Sodas

Trans-fats

Vegetable oils other than coconut and olive oil

Preservatives and food colorings – or anything that you can’t pronounce!

You might not think you are feeding your children many of these, but if you look at the labels, you will find many of these non-foods in packaged and refined products. In fact, most refined foods will contain one or more of these items.

For your children to be healthy, they have to be eating foods that are nutrient dense. Not only do none of the above items have any nutrient value, they rob the body of nutrients, creating the weight and health problems that are endemic to our society.

What are the nutrient-dense foods? The most nutrient dense foods are organically grown vegetables. Next are fruits, followed by beans, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds – in moderation. If you are not a vegetarian, highly nutritious forms of animal protein are organically fed grass-finished beef and lamb (grain-finishing beef and lamb changes the composition of the fat and causes many health problems), free-range organic poultry, and organic free-range eggs. Mercury-free fish is very healthy, as the oil provides the important omega-3s.

Regarding dairy products: pasteurization kills the enzymes in dairy and can cause problems such as asthma and allergies. Pasteurization also causes milk and other dairy to become difficult to digest, also contributing to illness. Unless you can get very clean, raw organic milk and cheese from grass-finished cows, it is better to avoid dairy. Due to the difficulties in absorption of pasteurized dairy, it is not a good source of calcium – despite what the dairy industry claims. My children were brought up on raw Alta-Dena dairy products and did very well on them.

The right kinds of fats are also important. Coconut oil is the best to cook with and olive oil is the best in salad dressings.

How do get your children to eat like this? The only way I know of, which is what I did when my three children were growing up, is to eat this way yourself. I chose not to have anything in the house that I didn’t want them to eat, so everything they ate was healthy while they were in the house. I never insisted that they eat. I just put the healthy food out and they ate as much or as little as they wanted to eat.

It is also important to determine you own and your children’s metabolic type, which you can do by reading William Wolcott’s “The Metabolic Typing Diet.” This will help you to know if your child does better on animal protein or vegetable protein. While it is important to have healthy choices in the house, it is equally important not to insist that your child eat the way you do. You might be a rapid metabolizer who needs a lot of meat, while your child might be a slow metabolizer who needs more vegetable protein.

If you want to be healthy and have healthy children, the very best thing to do is read as much as you can about healthy eating, and then decide for yourself what you want to do for your family.

Healthy (wo)man Walking

Don’t consider walking from the fax machine to the copier as exercise, it isn’t! Because we have to walk as part of our regular day, walking is often overlooked as a viable form of exercise. Walking doesn’t have the flash or mystique of a spinning or yoga class, but it should be the staple of any health regimen because the motion of walking aids in the circulation of blood, lymphatic and cerebrospinal fluids. By keeping these fluids moving, walking reduces the negative effects of stress and toxicity on the body. It also requires little more than a supportive, comfortable pair of shoes; no fancy equipment and no expensive gym memberships and very little physical damage to the body. Brisk walking can have as much has 80% of the benefit that running does without all of the physical damage and injury to the feet, ankles, knees, hips and lower back.

When we walk briskly (for the specific purpose of exercising) for 20-30 minutes, at least three times per week, we may reap many benefits including:

1. Improved blood circulation, bringing more oxygen and nutrients to the body’s 100 trillion cells; improved elimination of wastes and toxins. This equates to increased energy and vigor, better sleep and sharper mental acuity. This process of moving healthy nutrients into the cells and removing toxins and wastes is described in my book Bio-Logikal: Your Guide to Optimal Health as the exchange of life”.

2. Activating muscle tissue. Studies show that it is common in our society for us to lose muscle mass as we get older. By walking (or other exercising), we can maintain more muscle mass longer and later in life. The more muscle mass we preserve, the better our metabolism and generally the healthier we remain.

3. Improved acid/alkaline balance in the body. In my book Bio-Logikal, an entire chapter is devoted to the concept of pH (acid/alkaline) balance in the body. Maintaining proper pH is a significant factor in regaining and maintaining your health.

In the beginning, how long you walk or how fast is not important. The focus should be getting out there and doing it….everyday. Just walk! As your fitness level improves, you will naturally be able to walk faster and for longer periods of time.

Your Heart Rate: A brisk walk that raises your resting heart rate by approximately 50% is sufficient. To calculate your resting heart rate, sit in a chair for 5 minutes without talking. Using a watch with a second hand, check your pulse with your index and middle finger just next to your Adam’s apple. Here you will feel a strong pulse. Count the number of beats in a 30 second period, then double that number; this is your resting heart rate.

An example: If your heartbeat count is 40 beats in 30 seconds, your resting heart rate is 80, and your target (heart rate for exercise) would be 120 beats per minute, or 60 beats counted in 30 seconds. An easy way to calculate the target rate is to multiply the number of beats you counted in thirty seconds at rest by three. In this example, we simply tripled the resting heart rate of 40 counted in 30 seconds: the target heart rate when exercising would be 120 beats per minute (40 x 3 = 120).

Tips: If you are walking to the point where you can’t catch your breath or are having cramping, you are going too fast for your fitness level. A good suggestion and guideline for walking is that you should be able to walk with a friend and maintain a conversation without getting out of breath.

If weather is a challenge, go to your local mall to do your walking. The scenery really helps the time fly by! If time is a factor or there are no malls nearby, a simple treadmill can be a worthy purchase. When walking by yourself, listening to you

What To Look For When Seeking Good Sports Nutrition

In order to get maximum return from regular exercises, sportsmen nowadays are cautious about what they eat. Many choose to take sports supplements or sports nutrition so as to put the good things into their bodies. However, this can be a tough job without a good knowledge on nutrition.

Some people simply rely on the nutritional facts and benefits given by the manufacturer. Sure, most of the things you buy at the health store have labels, but first of all, you have to learn how to read them. How about those stuff like gummy bears and burgers? They don’t come with labels. The truth is as the pace of our society increase, eating has become a chore to some, rather than a chance to build and heal our bodies. Often, people go for what is convenient instead of what is good to the body. As such, finding the right nutritional fact about what we eat is important to our health.

The first thing you need to learn is to know how to read the labels on the food or supplement you buy from the store. You can ask yourself question like what is important, what do those number mean, how to tell if a company is being sneaky on their label. Learning how to read the content and nutritional value of the food or supplement is important because by knowing what the ingredients are, you will know if the food is for you. This is especially important for those ingredients that show up in the top few lists because most labels lists ingredients in terms of their percentage content in the product. If a food contains 50% sugar, you should decide whether you need that food to fuel your body.

For food that do not have nutritional facts or do not have any label at all, sometimes you can request for one. Most fast food restaurants can give you a copy of the nutritional facts about the food they sell. If not, you can do some research online to find out the nutritional facts of some of the food you commonly eat.

Surprisingly, there are a lot of myths about sport nutrition. A lot of wrong information on nutrition is floating around all over the place, especially the internet. Ensuring you receive the correct nutrition is important. It will encourage your success in any sport or non sport activity that you participate in.

Three Reasons Why Orthopedic Rehab Is Helpful

If you have ever had a surgery or serious injury, you know that it can be physically exhausting to recover properly. Most surgeries or major traumas require specific exercises and protocols. Orthopedic rehab is designed to deal specifically with injuries involving the musculoskeletal system. Issues in this field often include sports accidents, such as torn tendons and broken bones, tumors, and even infections. Following a recovery protocol specific to your injury and operation can help you to recover faster and more fully. Here are three reasons why.

Regain Function

After a serious injury or medical condition, our bodies often attempt to compensate for the trauma. For example, when a person limps, it is an attempt to take pressure off of a damaged body part. As a result of this natural compensation, the muscles and tendons surrounding the injured area can often weaken or atrophy from lack of use. This is further exacerbated following an operation. Orthopedic rehab helps the patient focus on strengthening the repaired body part and the area surrounding it. Without a directed recovery, most patients will continue to favor the injury, resulting in a lifelong limp, hitch, crook, or other physical abnormality.

Prevent Injury

As discussed above, the human body will tend to protect a damaged area by shifting the workload to other limbs, tendons, or muscles. Even after the area has been surgically repaired, the human body will continue trying to shield it. If the body does not re-learn that the damaged body part is okay, the overuse of other areas could result in further accidents. This example is often seen in athletes with an injured leg or foot; in an attempt to protect the weakened area, the athlete puts more force into their cuts, pivots, or jumps with their good leg. This can result in damage to the strong leg or foot if too much strain is placed on it. Conversely, if the surgically repaired area is never re-strengthened, it is more apt to suffer the same failure as before through normal use. Orthopedic rehab can help patients regain the strength lost through trauma and an operation.

Avoid Surgery

In some cases, orthopedic rehab can help patients suffering from physical trauma avoid an operation altogether. This can be achieved through directed exercises or by altering how a person performs physical tasks. In the case of a weak back, a therapist might work with the patient on how to sit, stand, sleep, and bend over. The proper use of the back, coupled with specific exercises designed to strengthen the weakened area, can reduce the amount of pain a patient is feeling. In many cases, this approach can entirely solve any issues a patient is having, rendering surgery unnecessary.

In conclusion, orthopedic rehab can be helpful in resolving a number of physical ailments. Patients should wholeheartedly work with their physical therapists for a better recovery experience.

Understanding Occupational Therapy

Much of what we know about proper practices and methodology in the world of occupational therapy is advanced by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). AOTA establishes the guidelines for practitioners in the United States. It publishes these guidelines, as well as general information about the practice, in their publication “Framework: Domain and Process.”

The most recent edition, the third edition, was released in 2008. The Framework is a guide for practitioners to assess patients’ needs and help them find better solutions to achieving their goals. It provides the structure for this assessment in three basic steps: Evaluation, Intervention, and Targeting of Outcomes.

Understanding the Framework will allow you to get the most out of your relationship with your medical professional and your treatment. By equipping yourself within the Framework, you can better achieve your goals.

Evaluation

Evaluation is the first part of the discovery process. On paper, the evaluation portion consists of finding out what a patient has done and is able to do. Your practitioner will want to find out what sorts of jobs you’ve held in the past, how you were able to perform those jobs, and whether or not your environment, coworkers, own work ethics, or outside factors contributed to your success or failure at that job. Your doctor might speak to you, people you’ve worked with, or family members to get a clearer picture of what is going to be suitable for you as a worker.

Intervention

According to the AOTA’s Framework, intervention is a collaborative process. After the interviews, you and your practitioner will work together to devise a plan that utilizes your personal strengths in the job market. Part of this plan is finding a compromise between your personal goals and the practical applications of this plan.

Intervention is an attempt to change some habit or action that previously kept you from success. Identifying unwanted or non-vital habits and replacing them with more desirable habits in a safe environment with lots of outside support helps increase the chances that these habits will be maintained as you move into the workforce.

Targeting of Outcomes

Occupational therapy acknowledges that adjusting to the workforce is an ongoing process. It might take multiple plans, or multiple attempts, before the original goals of the practitioner and client are met. This section of the Framework is meant to allow the doctor and patient to modify their approach and change any aspects of the evaluation or intervention plan.

For some people, occupational therapy is a single interaction between client and practitioner that creates a habit. For others, it is the beginning of a lifelong process, with doctor and patient constantly working in tandem to achieve ever-changing goals. In either situation, the hard work of both the specialist and patient leads to success. An understanding of this relationship can help navigate the varied decision-making involved in the day-to-day practice of occupational therapy. The Framework highlights the value of this relationship and can be a useful tool.

The War On The War On Carbs

For those that love carbs, you’ve been taking a beating lately. Don’t eat carbs, they make you gain weight say the “experts”. Lately, there has been a complete war on carbs and as someone who loves their carbs… it’s time to start a war on the “war on carbs”

Carbs are essential, there’s just no getting around it. Whether your goal is to lose weight or increase sport performance, you’ll just do yourself a disservice if you abandon our friend the carb. For all high intensity, short duration activities, muscle glycogen is the source of energy and muscle glycogen comes from… carbs. Even endurance activities of moderate intensity use glycogen as 50% of your energy needs. In fact, the one limiting factor on your sport performance will be the lack of availability of carbohydrates. Even during low intensity exercise when your body uses a higher percentage of fat as its fuel source, it takes a good supply of carbohydrates to fuel that process. Ever play a sport or involve yourself in a high intensity workout program and you hit the proverbial “wall”… that’s because your body has a lowered supply of glycogen EVEN THOUGH your body has a great supply of fat. Want to perform better… eat your carbs.

What if you want to lose weight; surely you need to decrease your carb intake. After-all, carbs MAKE you fat right? Carbohydrates provide you with variety, necessary nutrients and volume to your diet.

Recommended ranges for carb intake is between 45-65% of your total intake. Weight loss occurs when there is a calorie deficit and not a particular macronutrient profile.

Weight loss occurring on low-carb diets is generally attributed to 2 things… a lower overall calorie intake and loss of body mass. Ever start a diet that restricts your carb intake and seen great results in the beginning weeks? Lower carbs mean lower muscle glycogen stores. For every gram of glucose lost through glycogen you also lose 2.7 grams of water with it. This loss of glycogen combined with water loss is the contributing factor in the initial big losses seen.

Some studies you will read (actually the newspaper headlines you will read… very few read the actual studies) will tell you that we are gaining weight faster than ever even though our fat intake is down. This is partially true. The PERCENTAGE of fat intake in our total diet is down but the actual grams of fat consumed is unchanged all while the total calories consumed in our diets has increased. As well, most studies rely on self-reporting and people generally report eating less than they actually do.

Consider in the 1900’s the typical diet had a higher intake of carbohydrates and a lower intake from fat. Even though our dreaded enemy the carb was consumed at a greater rate, we have only seen the rise of weight issues in the past few decades. In short, the increase in the rise of weight gain we see as a society is largely due to increased calorie and decreased activity.

So, here’s what is so good about carbs:

1. They provide nutrients that you can’t get from fat or protein
2. Adds bulk to your diet
3. Stabilizes blood sugar levels
4. An adequate supply of carbs in your diet spares your body from turning to protein as an energy source meaning that protein can do its job.
5. It’s the body’s preferred energy source
6. Your brain only uses carbs as its energy source
7. You need carbs in order to fuel the process of fat burning

All this doesn’t mean run out for a dozen donuts. Select good choices of veggies, fruit, whole grains… eat ’em up… yum!

Losing weight doesn’t have to be so complicated. Like they say, there is more than one way to skin a cat and there is more than one way to lose weight. Don’t let your fitness plan be swayed daily by the changing tides of news headlines.