12 Reasons You Always Feel Hungry; Part 3

We hope this has been a help in your day to day life if not, there are the few more reasons we can explore!

Reason 9. You are not Getting Enough Sleep

Sleep is a vital for everyone to live a healthy life but did you know that a lack of sleep can actually make you feel hungrier than normal? The two reasons behind this are; cortisol and insulin!

When we do not get enough sleep our cortisol levels increase. Cortisol is the hormone associated with the flight-or-fight response, preparing the body to either fight or run. Unfortunately, the body isn’t always smart and it responds to any sort of stress this way; and lack of sleep is a BIG form of stress. To help combat increased cortisol levels the body attempts to self-medicate by craving carbohydrates (sugar). This increases insulin in the blood, which in turn decreases cortisol levels. However, this can become a vicious cycle because insulin is also affected by lack of sleep!

If you are not getting enough sleep each night your body becomes less sensitive to insulin.  Which means that your body becomes less effective in transporting the carbs you eat to your cells so your body has to pump out more insulin to help. However, insulin also regulates our feeling of satiety (feeling full), when levels are high we continue to feel hungry which can cause us to overeat.

How to Change This Habit:

The easiest way to help combat this is to get yourself on a sleep schedule and stick to it! Figure out what time you need to go to bed in order to get a full 8 hours of sleep and make yourself go to bed. This does not mean climb into bed and turn the TV on or pull out your favorite book. When your ‘bedtime’ hits, turn out the lights and put the remote or book away and get to snoozing!

Reason 10. You are Skipping the Veggies

The majority of people do not get the recommended amount of vegetables every day. Vegetables contain important vitamins and minerals required for overall health. Dark leafy greens in particular are rich in vitamin K, which helps to regulates insulin levels. Vitamin K can also increase insulin sensitivity, which makes it easier for your body to utilize sugar from your bloodstream. If you are utilizing the sugar you are eating more efficiently than you will not require more through extra food and this will help you STOP those cravings!

Veggies are some of the rich in fiber and fiber helps slow the digestion of the foods we eat. This in turn helps us feel fuller longer and slows the digestion of sugars so we process it properly, rather than turning it into fat.

How to Change This Habit:

Include more dark green leafy greens in your diet; spinach, kale, brussel sprouts, broccoli. As well as other delicious fiber-rich veggies like carrots, celery, and sweet potato.

11. You’re Not Eating Enough Protein

Lean proteins – chicken, turkey, fish, eggs – Can help combat hunger pangs. Protein takes longer to digest, which means you feel fuller longer and are less likely to reach for that next snack. Protein has also been found in recent studies to have appetitive suppressing effects by prompting the release of hormones that encourage the feeling of being full. Along with helping keep hunger away protein also requires more energy to breakdown than carbohydrates or fat, meaning it burns more calories to digest. Protein also has a positive effect on your metabolism by promoting the growth and regeneration of muscle after working out, muscles burn more calories at rest than adipose tissues (fat).

How to Change This Habit:

Aim to consume about 0.8-1.0 gram of protein per pound of body weight. This means that a 150 person should aim to eat between 100-150g of protein per day (this equates to about 400-600 calories from protein sources each day).

Ideally, protein should be of the lean variety; chicken, eggs, turkey, fish. However, it is really easy to sneak more protein into your diet through vegetarian options – chia seeds and greek yogurt in your smoothie, quinoa in your salad, nut butter in your oatmeal, make hummus from chickpeas and dip veggies. Aim to have a source of protein in every meal and snack.

Reason 12. You’re Bored

Feeling hungry can be as simple as being bored. Studies have shown that boredom actually diminishes our ability to make good and healthy food choices, and we consume more fattening foods than we would normally. Boredom is also the most common reason people give when asked about their emotions prior to consuming food. In other words, boredom turns us into emotional eaters.

How to Change This Habit:

When you are about to eat or snack be conscious of why you are doing so. Ask yourself ‘why am I reaching for this snack’ and be truthful with your answer. If it is because you have nothing else to do then find yourself a task to distract yourself – go for a walk, fold the laundry that has been sitting in the hamper for 2 days, go sit outside and enjoy the day – these distractions should help the feelings of hunger subside. Another tip, first drink a glass of water and wait a few minutes. If you are still feeling hungry in 10-15 minutes then allow yourself to eat.

Thanks for reading!

Click here is you messed part one and here if you missed part two!

Come see our new facility! Email Bskinner@sstcanada.com to book and appointment today!

12 Reasons You Always Feel Hungry; Part 2

Just in case you missed part 1 of the blog, click here to get the first 6 reasons!

Reason 7. You are Drinking Your Diet

Soda, fruit juice, sugar added to coffee or tea are some of the most sugar laden foods you can consume! And you can easily consume hundreds of calories and an incredible amount of sugar in just 1-2 cups. Refer to reason #1 for why consuming high amounts of sugar is making you fatter.

And don’t think that choosing the ‘diet’ option is any better for you. Artificial sweeteners – such as sucralose, aspartame, or saccharin – can actually increase your appetite for real sugar. When you consume sugar there is a decrease in the amount of ghrelin (hunger hormone) and insulin (hormone that removes sugar from the blood) which causes a feeling of satiety. The problem with sweeteners is that they taste sweet but do not cause decreases in ghrelin or insulin, therefore, we crave more sugar to actually help reduce these hormone levels in our blood stream.

How to Change This Habit:

This one is simple, cut them out of your diet! There is no way around this one, sugar laden or artificially sweetened drinks are one of the worst things you can consume if you are trying to lose weight. Substitute for water and if you want more flavour to your drinks infuse them with lemon, limes, cucumber, or fresh mint for all the flavour and none of the sugar! Drinking extra water will also help stave off those hunger feelings.

Reason 8. You Eat Low-Fat Options

Starting in the 1980’s the ‘no-fat’/’low-fat’ diet craze swept across the food landscape. Manufacturers from Heinz to Kellogg’s began producing and marketing low-fat and no-fat everything. And consumers began chowing down! The thought: ‘It’s healthy, right?’

Wrong. Dead wrong.

The low-/no-fat craze is actually making us fatter & hungrier! Fat is not only an essential nutrient that we need to survive but it also provides food with palatable flavour and texture. When fat is removed food tastes like cardboard! So how did manufacturing companies combat this…SUGAR! Loads and loads of sugar!

A typical 126mL low-fat yogurt can contain up to 44g of sugar! That is 101% of your daily-recommended intake! If you refer back to Reason #1 you will remember that refined sugar not only spikes and crashes our blood sugar levels, causing us the feel hungry and crave more sugar but excess sugar that cannot be procced properly will turn to fat.

How to Change This Habit:

Eating healthy fat will NOT make you fat, it will actually help aid in weight loss. No, I am not lying to you. Fats takes longer to break down in your stomach and helps control blood-sugar levels, leaving you more satisfied and reducing your cravings.

And while it may sound counterintuitive, your body needs fat in order to burn fat! Dietary fat helps break down existing fat by activating PPAR-alpha and fat-burning pathways through the liver. But don’t run out and grab that big greasy pizza just yet; not all fat is created equal! Your fat sources should come from unsaturated sources; avocados, fatty fish, olives, nuts and seeds, omega-3 fish oil supplements and oils such as olive, flaxseed and canola in your diet.

Click here for part 3 of 3!

12 Reasons You Always Feel Hungry; Part 1

Hunger is a complicated function that is influenced by not just biological factors but psychological ones as well. Because of the complicated relationship between nature and environment, controlling your feelings of hunger can be a frustrating task that makes sticking to a healthy diet more difficult than it needs to be.

Stick around for this 3 part series about the surprising day-to-day things you are doing that are making you feel hungrier than you really are and that are in turn sabotaging your waist line. And of course, tips to combat these habits!

Reason 1. You Eat Too Many Refined Carbohydrates

Does this daily menu sound familiar to you?

Cereal with milk for breakfast, a sandwich or wrap made with white bread or tortilla for lunch, chips or crackers for your mid-day snack, a dinner of pasta or pizza and a cookie or small bowl of ice cream for dessert.

If you daily menu reads something similar to this than your problem is that you are trying to fuel your body with nutrient deficient refined carbohydrates. Refined carbs such as pasta, white bread, white rice, cookies; lack any sort of fiber that helps satiate you. Another problem with the lack of fiber is the rate at which your body has to process these foods.

When we eat refined carbs our blood sugar levels spike through the roof and our bodies have to quickly work to reduce the glucose levels in our bloodstream. Removing all the sugar from our bloodstream so quickly then results in a crash, which in turn leaves the glucose levels in our bloodstream too low, thus triggering our hunger hormones to tell you to eat more carbs to raise your blood sugar levels to a safe point. It is a VICIOUS cycle!!

How to Change This Habit:

To combat this vicious cycle choose slow digestible foods that are nutrient dense and have a low glycemic (sugar) content. Carbohydrates such as brown or wild rice, quinoa, whole grains, beans, and fruit and veggies will not spike your blood sugar levels.

Reason 2. You’re Actually Just Thirsty

Research has shown that over 60% of the time that people are thirsty they incorrectly respond by eating! The reason behind this is that the same glad (the hypothalamus) regulates signals for both hunger and thirst and we often confuse these signals.

How to Change This Habit:

The next time you are feeling the urge to snack, drink a cup of water first and wait 20 minutes. If you are still feeling hungry after this than eat something. Another great waist saving tip is to drink 1-2 cups of water prior to a larger meal. Studies have shown that those who do this tend to eat 75-90 less calories per meal!

Reason 3. You Are Trying to Multi-Task.

The feeling of hunger is not the only factor that influences the amount we eat throughout a day, attention and memory play a big part. It takes 20 minutes for your brain to recognize that you are full. Because of this, if you are not paying attention and are multi-tasking while you eat – watching TV, driving, checking your phone, working at your desk – you can easily take in more calories than you need in less than 20 minutes.

Multi-tasking also does not allow us to be mindful of what we are putting into our mouths, if we do not process that fact that we are eating we do not store this action into our memory. If our brain does not register a memory of eating than we are more likely to eat again sooner than is really required.

How to Change This Habit:

Be mindful when you eat. turn off the TV, put down the cell phone, take a break from your work. Take time and enjoy your food – the flavours, colours, smells, and textures- by doing so you will find your meals more satisfying and you are less likely to overeat or snack again soon afterwards.

Reason 4. You’re Too Stressed Out!

Have you ever heard someone or seen a meme encouraging you to eat sweets when stressed because ‘stressed’ is just ‘desserts’ spelled backwards? Well there is some real truth behind behind this saying.

Many people will say that when they are stressed they actually eat less, well this is true in the short term. With acute stress – like an exam – your body produces a hormone called epinephrine (aka adrenaline) that triggers your fight-or-flight response; temporarily shutting of hunger signals. However, chronic stress – from work, kids, finances, etc.- causes the release of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol causes the body to crave carbohydrates (ie. sugar) because this increases insulin levels in the bloodstream which helps reduce cortisol levels.

How to Change This Habit:

While you may not be able to control all the stressors in your everyday life you can do things to help alleviate the effects of stress; take a bath, spend time with friends or family and control what you are putting into your mouth. Resist the temptation to binge on something sugary when feeling stressed to help break the cycle!

Reason 5. You Are Eating Too Quickly

As mentioned in Part 1, it can take up to 20 minutes for your brain to register that you are full. So, if you wolf down your entire meal in less than 5 minutes you are more than likely going to overeat.

How to Change This Habit:

When eating your meal take time to chew your food completely; put your fork down between bites; chat with your friends or family around the table; drink water between each mouthful. In short, slow down! All of these tips will allow your brain to catch up to your stomach and help keep you from overeating.

Reason 6. Your Social Media is FULL of Food Pics

Scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram can be just as bad for you waistline as actually eating sugary, deep fried, fatty treats! Seeing pictures or videos of food actually enhances our desire to eat those foods. Even if you are not initially hungry or are not in need of food these visual triggers cause our bodies to send signals to the brain prompting it to release ghrelin, a hormone associated with triggering hunger.

How to Change This Habit:

Try unfollowing some of the Instagram accounts and Facebook pages that highlight sugar laden, fatty, deep fried treats and instead follow feeds that feature healthier options.

Click here for park two!

Need to get you diet back in good order? Email Bskinner@sstcanada.com to get our SST lean body program.

Did You Waste Your Time With Your New Years Resolution – Part 2

If you missed our first 5 tips to keeping your New Years Resolution, click here to check them out

6. Keep Track of Your Progress

One of the easiest way to keep you motivated on your way to your goals is to track your progress. Track your workouts and weights you used, track your weight and body composition, track your nutrition. When you’re in the thick of it you do not always see the progress you’re making, however, if you keep track of what you are doing day to day and look back in a couple months you will be surprised at how much has changed!

Tracking your progress will also allow you to see things such as a tendency to eat too much at dinner, missing more workouts as the week goes on, you haven’t increased the weights you are using at the gym. Seeing what you are doing on paper (or an app) will allow you to make adjustments to your plan and give you a better chance of sticking to your resolution

7. Celebrate your Progress

A great way to keep yourself motivated towards your goals is to celebrate the smaller victories along the way. Lost 5lbs?! Treat yourself to a new workout outfit! Added 10lbs to your squat, go for a massage (your sore muscles will thank you!). When you celebrate the steeping stones you will be more likely to want to keep pushing for the next one, making your ultimate resolution easy to maintain.

8. Reward Yourself with Non-Food Items

When you celebrate your progress, make sure to avoid doing so with food! Using food to reward your fitness or dietary progress is undermining your ultimate goals and may reinforce an unhealthy relationship with food. Instead celebrate with self-care (massage, pedicure, a bath), treating yourself to something you normally would not (a new outfit, a new book), or a trip or activity you have wanted to do.

9. Make Adjustments

As you progress, you should check back on the goals you wrote down from time to time. This will allow you to tweak your goals if needed. For example, if your goal was to lose 10lbs by the end of March and on February 5th you have already lost 8lbs, you should try making your goal more difficult! You can also look to add more detail to your goal, instead of just squatting 135lbs, how many reps do you want to do? In order to make your resolutions sustained behavioral changes you must be able to self-reflect and be flexible.

10. Know that Set Backs are Normal

You are human, you are going to make mistakes and the world will not end! Going to a birthday party and eating some cake or missing a few days in a row at the gym should not be enough to derail all your hard work. DO NOT GIVE UP THAT EASILY!

Allow yourself some freedoms and guilty pleasures now and then, not only will this allow yourself some sanity but it will also make big setback less likely to occur. For example, if you LOVE chocolate do not deny yourself chocolate altogether, switch to dark chocolate and allow yourself a couple pieces on Sunday evenings as you prepare for your week. Allowing yourself this small treat once a week will make you less likely to gorge yourself on the plethora of chocolates around on Valentine’s Day.

With the help of these tips you will be well on your way to your goals for 2018! Let make this year your best year yet.

If you need some extra help sticking to your resolution, enlist the help of our SST coaches and our incredible Adult fitness programs. We have a program for every fitness level and every goal!

Check out our incredible 2 for 1 deal we have going on in February!

Did You Waste Your Time With Your New Years Resolution?! Part 1

So the first month of 2018 has come and gone; how are those New Year Resolutions treating you?

If you’re like the majority of people, when the New Year comes along you start making resolutions. Promises to save more money, keep in touch with friends and one of the most popular, get in better shape! Well, the resolution part is easy but sticking to your goal, that is the hard part!

According to some research, upwards of 92% of New Year resolutions do not succeed!! With the odds stacked against us, the easy thing would be to join the masses and just give up, but my resolution was to make sure YOU stick to your resulution. So, I put together my top 10 tips to help you stick to those resolutions and be a part of that illustrious 8%! IT’S NOT TOO LATE!

1.Make sure your Resolutions are Realistic

Haven’t been to the gym in a couple years? That’s okay, but your resolution probably shouldn’t be to start going to the gym 7 days a week. Not only is that a really daunting task (even for someone who goes to the gym regularly!) but it sets you up for failure. What happens when you miss one day? It makes it easier to talk yourself out of the next, and the next, and next thing you know your resolution is down the drain!

Rather, aim for something that is more realistic and maintainable. Start with aiming to go 2 or 3 days a week (if it’s been a while you will be sore and you will be happy to give your body some extra rest!). Once you get into the swing of things add an extra day, a couple weeks later add another. Before you know it, it will become second nature to get to the gym on a regular basis and you will avoid feeling overwhelmed and defeated by the gym

2. Be Specific

Vagueness is the enemy when it comes to goal setting. If you don’t know exactly what you’re working towards how will you know when you’ve attained it?

Instead of saying you want to lose weight or get stronger make specific, measureable, time-bound goals for yourself. For example:

– I want to lose 10lbs and 7% body fat by March 31st, 2018

– I want to back squat 135lbs by May 1st, 2018 (I’m well on my way!!)

Are making statements like this scary? Yes.

Is there a chance you may not meet this goal? Yes.

However, giving yourself something specific to work towards will make it more likely for you to stick to your goals.

3. Go Public

Making a silent promise to yourself will not cut it, tell the world! Tell your partner, your friends, make a statement on social media; making your goal public gives you accountability. Yes, telling people about your goals may make you feel vulnerable but it will also push you to stick to your goals.

 

4. Enlist a Friend

Having a gym buddy will make you, and your friend, more likely to stick to your plan. If you know you are meeting someone at the gym you are less likely to skip going and if you want to cancel you have someone asking you why. Accountability is key!

Can’t find someone who wants to go to the gym with you or your friend lives far away? Have a friend check in with you and ask how things are going periodically. Having someone to answer to increases the likelihood that you will stick with it.

5. Plan Ahead

In order to stick to your resolution you need a plan. If you have no idea what you are going to do to achieve your goal then how are you going to get there?! Take some time each week to plan out your upcoming week. Pick the days and times you are going to go to the gym, plan your meals for the week, make a shopping list, prep your meals, put together healthy on-the-go snacks.

It may sound like a lot, but taking an hour or two once a week will make it SO much easier to stick to your goals as your busy week gets rolling. You are less likely to make a quick stop at the drive-thru when you know you have dinner prepped in the fridge or you have healthy snacks stored in your car. Having a shopping list at the grocery store will make you less likely to throw the unhealthy foods in the cart. If your gym time is in your schedule, you are more likely to go! Planning gives you direction!

 

If you liked our first 5 tips, check back soon for Part 2!

If your resolution need an extra helping hand, check out SST’s incredible Adult Fitness Programs!

With supportive coaches, encouraging training partners and an energetic environment; the results you want are not out of reach!

Check out our incredible 2 for 1 deal we have going on in February!

 

Improving Speed and Vertical Jump: Nutritional Considerations

Running (Speed) and jumping (Power) are skills necessary for successful performance in sports, and must therefore be prioritized during training. We have previously covered how to increase your speed and vertical jump through training (click here). However, much like the way you look, nutrition will also impact your ability to run faster and jump higher.

An article published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research studied the effects of a 4 week energy restricted diet on sprint & jump performance, body composition, and hormone profiles in elite male track athletes… the results were amazing.

A 25% caloric restriction (750 cal/day; carbs & fats reduced, protein held at 2g/kg/day) combined with regular training resulted in:

  1. Significant reduction in body mass and fat mass. Athletes lost about 1lb a week.
  2. Maintenance of lean muscle mass.
  3. Improved 20m sprint and countermovement jump.
  4. Unaltered testosterone levels.

How can this be explained?

Increased power-to-weight ratio. Reducing body weight while preserving muscle allows you to still produce the same amount of force but now you have less weight to move around, resulting in faster, more explosive movements!

Taken together, this research further supports what we focus on at SST: getting athletes leaner and stronger to improve their speed and power.

Are you in need of some speed training, or getting ready for your season and feel like you need that extra help….SST will be holding a two week Training camp for speed/power and strength

Please contact me asap as I can only take 10 players for this exclusive camp

Chris Anderi

Head Strength Performance Coach SST Burlington

MSc candidate, Physiology & Nutrition

CSEP-CEP

Chico7@sstcanada.com

A Glass of Wine a Day… Enhances Fat Loss?!?!

We’ve all heard the saying that a glass of wine a day is good for our health. After all, low-moderate alcohol intake (~1 glass) has been found to reduce the risk of obesity, type II diabetes, and fatty liver disease. What about fat loss? Can a daily glass help you lose weight?

This cannot be true. Wine is a source of calories and don’t you have to reduce your calories in order to lose weight? Yes, while this is part of the equation it’s not the only way. Increasing energy expenditure will allow you to burn more calories throughout the day. If you recall, we recently covered a 2 part series on brown fat vs white fat (click here to view). Whereas white fat promotes fat storage, brown fat is highly thermogenic, meaning that it burns many calories in order to produce heat.

Why am I referencing brown fat?

A recent study uncovered that daily low-moderate alcohol consumption increases the “browning” of white adipose cells in mice. In two separate studies, mice were fed a moderate amount of alcohol (8% alc) every day for 1 month and 4 months. Despite a higher total caloric intake, mice gained significantly less weight then their non-alcohol control, which was attributed to higher energy expenditure. In fact, after 4 months of daily alcohol consumption the following was observed;

  1. Reduced white adipose mass and cell size.
  2. Increased activity of brown adipose genes.
  3. Reduced blood glucose, triglyceride, fatty acids.

The take home message is that a single glass of wine a day may yield some very beneficial health outcomes. These benefits quickly disappear with excessive alcohol consumption, and become harmful to your health.

For the latest up to date research on sport specific training and nutrition, please follow SST on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/SSTCanada-Sports-Specific-Training-124642447546329/) and Instagram (@sstburlington).

Also, stop by and try our RESULTS Only Butts & Guts boot camp. We will show you how to combine your training with proper nutrition to get you the results you want.

 

Please email me directly to receive your complimentary nutritional session

Chris Anderi

Head Strength Performance Coach SST Burlington

MSc candidate, Physiology & Nutrition

CSEP-CEP

Chico7@sstcanada.com

The Many Benefits of Intermittent Fasting (Part 2)

The Many Benefits of Intermittent Fasting (Part 2)

Intermittent Fasting is a great way to improve your body composition, as it’s proven to safely and effectively promote fat loss while providing additional major health benefits.

For a reminder on the health benefits associated with intermittent fasting, please click here for part 1

IF to increase fat loss is also enhanced by adding training into the mix!

TRAINING WHILE FASTING ACCELERATES FAT LOSS!

After a typical 8-10 hour overnight fast, our glycogen stores become depleted and we are better able to mobilize and burn body fat for energy.

Combine this with an intense early morning training session before breakfast and you can really tap into those fat stores!

After scanning the literature, I’ve derived two possible explanations as to why combining exercise and IF may be more beneficial than either on their own.

  1. Increased lipolysis (breakdown of fats) and fat oxidation (using fatty acids for energy).

Male participants consuming 0.8g/kg bodyweight of carbohydrate an hour before cycling had significantly less fat oxidation during the session. Researchers attributed this to the blunting of lipolysis that was caused by the insulin release. From a practical standpoint, this could mean having breakfast after your morning workout.

  1. Increased blood flow to abdominal region during fasting.

In a 2007 study, participants had a 50% increase in abdominal blood flow after a 72 hour fast. This blood flow was suggestive of increased lipolysis of abdominal adipose tissue (belly fat)!

However, if you’re looking to achieve optimal fat loss from training while intermittent fasting, you are more susceptible to muscle loss. This is because training itself is catabolic, meaning that rep after rep set after set you are continuously tearing away at your muscles. If not careful, you can actually start breaking down muscle to be used as an energy source!

This problem can be avoided by supplementing with BCAA’s during/ right before your workout. Leucine (the most widely studied BCAA) is well known to stimulate protein synthesis and reduce protein breakdown.

Because BCAA’s are already in their simplest amino acid form, they bypass the liver and enter the bloodstream directly. This means they can be utilized within minutes after ingestion, unlike other forms of protein like whey and casein.

For this reason, BCAA’s offer muscle sparing and protein synthesis benefits before, during, and after training!

If you are looking for an opportunity to put this theory to the test, stop by SST for any one of our many weekly Butts & Gutt’s boot camps (several early morning options!)

 

Chris Anderi

Head Strength Performance Coach, SST Burlington

MSc Candidate, Physiology & Nutrition

CSEP-CEP

chico7@sstcanada.com

 

10 Foods Staples to Throw Out From Your Kitchen NOW!! – Part 4

Every household needs pantry staples; they are essential for easy meals and an on-the-go lifestyle! But there are some staples that are not worth their convenience. Here is our final installment of our #pantryoverhaul! If you missed our first three installments check them out here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 .

9. Microwave POPCORN

microwave-popcorn

Microwave popcorn is one of the worst snacks to be keeping in your pantry. The chemicals used in the artificial butter flavoring – diacetyl- has been linked to sever respiratory disease or ‘popcorn lung’. Diacetyl is thought to be harmless when consumed, but when heated to high temperatures, diacetyl vaporizes and becomes toxic. While ‘popcorn’ lung is usually only seen in those who work in packaging factories do you really want to be consuming and inhaling this chemical in any amount?!

Maybe even more concerning are the chemicals sprayed on the inside of your microwavable bag. perfluoroalkyls, perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctane sulfonate are all used to prevent the grease and oil from soaking through the bag, when heated these chemicals fuse onto the popcorn. These chemicals have been found to interrupt the endocrine system, causes thyroid issues, and may be linked bladder cancer.

If all that wasn’t enough to turn you away from this toxic snack a typical bag can contain upwards of 25 grams of fat, 500+ mg of sodium and 600 calories!

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Whole Kernel Popping Corn

Do not fret popcorn lovers! Popcorn can be a relatively healthy snack as long you prepare it the right way. Air-popping is the best way to ensure that you are getting the most out of your popcorn, avoid all the toxic additives, and you can add your own flavours! A small amount of melted coconut oil, fresh dill and a little bit of salt is my favourite!

BONUS! What staple to throw out of your fridge…

10. MARGARINE

The main ingredient in margarine is usually a vegetable oil. The problem with vegetable oils is that they are liquids at room temperature so they must go thorough hydrogenation in order to harden the oils. To do this the oil is subjected to high heat, high pressure, hydrogen gas and a metal catalyst (typically nickel) this forces the oils to become saturated with the hydrogen and in-turn firming it up. However, the final product is a lumpy grey mess that needs to be processed even further. Emulsifiers are added to remove the lumps, bleach is added to move the grey colour, the mixture is then steamed in order to remove the chemical smell, and finally synthetic vitamins, artificial flavour and colouring is added.

The process of hydrogenation also produces trans-fat, which raise bad cholesterol levels, decrease insulin responses, and are associated with heart disease.

 

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Organic Grass-fed Butter

benefits_of_grass_fed_cows

Butter has had a bad-rep for many years because it contains large amounts of saturated fats and cholesterol. However, recent research has shown that saturated fats actually can help improve lipid (Cholesterol) profiles. Eating small amounts of saturated fats actually raises your good cholesterol (HDL) and helps reduce harmful LDL cholesterol levels.

The health effects and nutrient levels of our food depend largely on what the animal ate. Cows who eat grass produce much more nutritious by-products which contain more vitamin K, Omega-3’s and other heart healthy vitamins.

Thanks for tuning into this blog series! Be sure to share with a friend and help spread the #pantryoverhaul

If you have any questions about this blog series or any of our other series contact Courtney (cplewes@sstcanada.com) at SST Mississauga

10 Food Staples To Throw Out NOW!! – Part 3

Welcome back to our pantry overhaul series! If you have missed the first 6 pantry items to trash check out Part 1 & Part 2 of this series.

Quick and easy meals and snacks are great and almost essential for our sanity and schedules. Sometimes, however, seemingly healthy options can be our worst enemies.  Our next two items can be very tricky…

7. CANNED SOUP

Soup can be a great healthy quick option for meals, however, a lot of canned soup should be re-labelled as canned liquid sodium! Some varieties can contain upwards of 800mg of sodium per cup. That is over 1/3 of your daily recommended intake in one cup of soup!!

Many canned soups are also packaged with plastic linings that often contain BPA’s, are flavoured using MSG, and all those veggies in there are left pretty much nutrition-less after the high heat and pressurization from the packaging process.

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Sodium-free Chicken or Vegetable Stock

Alton Brown's Garden Vegetable Soup as seen on Food Network

Soup is one of the easiest and quickest meals you can make! Keep a few boxes of low-sodium broth in the pantry and throw whatever you have lying around in the fridge into a pot – corn, potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, onion, garlic, celery, green beans. Blend it to make a creamy soup or don’t to have a clear broth soup. Add chicken, meat balls, or shrimp. Add your own salt, hot sauce, or fresh herbs. The possibilities are endless, delicious, and nutritious!

8. GRANOLA BARS

Bars can be a great on-the-go or emergency snack but be cautious! While the word granola may make you think of whole grains, whole nuts, fruit all wrapped up in a convenient bar most granola bars have suffered the same fate as trail mix.  Many are made more like candy bars containing sugar, molasses, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, marshmallows, chocolate, artificial flavours, any many chemicals that cannot be pronounced. Some Bar can contain upwards of 30+ grams of sugar in a single bar; spiking your blood sugar and actually making you hungrier in the long run (check out this post to see how).

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Bars made with whole foods, short ingredient lists and high in fibergranola bar

While any type of bar may not be the healthiest option (always try to eat your food as close to its natural state as possible) their convenience cannot be matched and there are some options that are healthier. Make sure to look at the nutrition label, your bar should contain at least 5 grams of fiber. This will help moderate your blood sugar levels and keep you full. Look at the ingredient list, it should be short, all ingredients recognizable – Oats, whole nuts, fruit – and sugar, or any derivative of it, should be as far down the list as possible.

Thanks for tuning in this week! Check back next week when we look at pantry items 9 & 10. One of which is probably the MOST toxic food item almost every household has and needs to throw out now!!

If you have any questions or comments about this post make sure to ask in our comments section or email SST Mississauga’s Lead Strength Coach, Courtney  ( cplewes@sstcanada.com ).

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