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To Eat Soy Or Not

 

Turn over many a nutrition bar or box of veggie burgers, and you’ll often find soy protein isolate (SPI) featured prominently on the ingredient list.

While there’s disagreement among nutritionists over whether soy is part of a healthy diet (some are concerned about its estrogenic properties but others like it as a protein source for those who don’t eat meat), most agree that SPI, its super-processed offspring, should be avoided.

“A big issue with soy is that we’re eating more of it than ever before and in very processed forms like SPI,” says Middleberg Nutrition founder Stephanie Middleberg, MS, RD. So SPI may have started out as a plant, but once it gets to you, it’s far from it.

Here are four reasons nutritionists say you should probably ditch soy protein from your diet:

1. A lot of its nutrients have left the building. “Soybeans are a great quality protein because their amino acid content is similar to that in meat, and they’re a good source of fiber, minerals, and complex carbs,” says Middleberg. But to create SPI, soybeans are chemically engineered to “isolate” their protein, and this process strips out all of the other nutrients the original bean contained.

2. It contains unhealthy additives. Foodtrainers founder Lauren Slatyon, MS, RD, says that the chemical process used to isolate soy protein often leaves behind substances you don’t necessarily want to be eating, like aluminum and hexane. “Think of bathing in toxic bath oil,” Slayton says. “Even once you dry yourself off, some residue remains. Want to eat that residue?” The spray drying method used for soy can also form nitrites, compounds that can form carcinogens in the body, she explains.

3. It’s probably genetically modified. According to the USDA, over 90 percent of the soybeans grown in the U.S. are genetically modified, so most SPI comes from altered beans. “This means soy protein isolate is chemically modified, processed, and filled with pesticides,” says Middleberg.

4. It may upset your stomach. Many people have allergies or intolerances that make it hard to digest soy. But even if you’re not one of them, soy protein isolate may make your stomach rumble, says Slayton. This is because SPI has a higher concentration of trypsin inhibitors, chemicals that reduce available trypsin—an enzyme that helps digest protein—in the body.

So what to do if you’re a soy-loving vegetarian? Skip products with SPI and opt for “natural, whole protein sources like beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds, and organic, non-GMO natural sources of soy like edamame, tofu, and tempeh,” Middleberg suggests.

Slayton also suggests sticking to fermented soy sources, like miso, tempeh, and natto. “Fermentation increases the digestibility of soy, adds good bacteria, and reduces the plant estrogen content in soy foods,” she explains.

And in the end, both nutritionists agree: Like most things, soy is best enjoyed in moderation—and sticking to whole (rather than processed) foods is always a good plan.

 

Source:   http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/how-healthy-soy-protein-isolate#ixzz29KNo4bpk

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Eat To Balance Your Hormones

The hormone leptin is released from your fat cells after you eat to tell your body to stop feeling hungry and start burning calories. So the more leptin the merrier, right? Not exactly. The more fat you have on your body, the more leptin you produce, and excess leptin can eventually cause your body to become resistant. If your body is resistant to leptin, the hormone can’t do its job. The goal is to optimize your leptin levels by choosing foods that work to increase your body’s sensitivity to leptin and strategically raise levels of it when necessary. Here are a few of the nutrients you should look for.

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA): This type of omega-3 fatty acid stimulates leptin production by increasing the metabolism of glucose. It’s found in cold-water fish, such as wild salmon, mackerel, sardines, and herring. (Farm-raised fish are not a great source of EPA or other omega-3s because their diet makes them produce more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3s. Omega-6 fatty acids encourage inflammation and can counter the healthful effects of omega-3s.) Other types of omega-3s can cause a temporary dip in leptin levels, which can help you kick-start a sluggish metabolism.

Protein: One study found that increasing protein to 30 percent of total daily calorie intake improved participants’ leptin sensitivity, which resulted in overall lowered calorie intake. Good sources of protein include yogurt, Pacific wild salmon, turkey, eggs, and peanut butter.

Zinc: This mineral acts like EPA, in that it raises leptin levels. Oysters, red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals, and dairy products are all good sources of zinc.

 

Source:  http://www.jillianmichaels.com

 

 

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The Best Pre- and Post- Workout Snacks

Food is fuel. Skimping before workouts is not the path to success. It only increases the lack of energy and promotes the loss of muscle mass.
Since basic exercise does not burn all that many calories, the purpose is to build muscle mass to aid in muscle-caloric burn. High intensity interval workouts are recommended for best results.
Although some studies differ on the effectiveness of the timing of your workouts (AM vs. PM in relation to an empty stomach vs daily caloric ingestion), you should eat something before your workout.  In turn, allow enough time for digestion and aim for 1.5-2 hours prior to your workout. Higher fat content meals can increase digestion time and an Increased intensity of your workout can interfere with the blood needed to provide nutrients to muscles during a workout.

Pre-Workout:

  • Eat 1.5 – 2 hours before your workout to allow for digestion.
  • An ideal pre-workout meal should consist of : 10-35% protein; 45-65% carbohydrates; 20-35% fat.
  • Examples: Yogurt, Oatmeal.

 

Post-Workout:

  • Eat within an hour of intense workout in order to refuel the body’s cells which aids in proper recovery and lean muscle build-up.
  • An ideal meal consists of 4:1 carbs:protein.
  • Examples: Chocolate Milk, Hummus on Whole Wheat Pita.

 

Sources:  http://www.askmen.com; http://www.everydayhealth.com

 

 

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