Since it’s National Registered Dietitian Month, the staff here at the Newtown Athletic Club—a premier health and wellness center near Langhorne, PA and all of Bucks County—wants to share some important information with you about nutrition. To help you maintain a healthy lifestyle in 2017 and far into the future, here are the top 10 nutrition facts you need to know:
- Almost everyone already knows that added sugar contains empty calories. However, due to its high fructose content, it’s now considered to be a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, obesity and type II diabetes; all of which kill millions of people each year.
- It’s not uncommon for people to be Omega-3 deficient. To counteract a deficiency, it’s best to get Omega-3 fats from animal sources, including grass-fed meat, fish, fish oil and Omega-3 enriched or pastured eggs. By doing so, you’ll avoid a deficiency in these fatty acids and help prevent a wide range of diseases.
- The “perfect diet” doesn’t exist. Since everyone’s health is affected by a variety of factors— including body type, genetics, culture and environment—a diet that works for one person might not work for the next. By experimenting with different diets, you’ll be able to find a long-term solution that works for YOU.
- Artificial trans fats are responsible for raising bad cholesterol and lowering good cholesterol, as well as causing abdominal obesity, insulin resistance and inflammation. Also referred to as partially hydrogenated oils, they are created by combining unsaturated fats with hydrogen gas at a high temperature to mimic saturated fats. Linked to a number of serious diseases, artificial trans fats should be avoided at all costs.
- Vegetables are filled with minerals, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and also a ton of trace nutrients that science is just beginning to discover. Studies have shown that eating vegetables enhances one’s overall health and reduces their risk of disease.
- As an important hormone in the body, Vitamin D is responsible for providing you with energy, keeping your bones and muscles strong, and promoting proper brain function. However, most people are deficient in this hormone because of a lack of sun exposure. A deficiency has been associated with a number of diseases and especially mental illnesses. If sun exposure is not an option, you can take a Vitamin D supplement or a tablespoon of cod fish oil every day to prevent or reverse a deficiency.
- Refined carbs like processed grains, for example, are known to cause extreme spikes in blood sugar, followed by a rush of insulin in the blood. This can activate fat storage and lead to insulin resistance and a number of diseases, including obesity and diabetes.
- Don’t be fooled: Supplements can never completely replace “real food.” Rather than relying on supplements to provide you with the nutrients you need, it’s smarter and more beneficial to factor nutrient-rich food into your diet.
- A “diet” is NOT a long-term solution. Instead, you must commit to a lifestyle change. Although a diet can help you achieve short-term results, it’s not a long-term solution. In fact, most people that lose a significant amount of weight on a diet end up gaining it back once they feel like they’ve reach their “goals.” Adopting a healthy lifestyle change by combining healthy eating habits with exercise is the most substantial approach.
- Processed foods are NOT healthy. Throughout the process, a lot of the beneficial nutrients in the food like fiber, for example, are taken out, and unhealthy ingredients like trans-fat, refined wheat and sugar are added. Moreover, processed foods are filled with a variety of artificial chemicals that have never been proven safe for human consumption. Essentially, processed foods are produced by removing the good and replacing it with the bad. Remember, a rule of thumb is to always eat “real food,” and to stay away from anything that looks like it was made in a factory.
Interested in learning more about nutrition? With a membership at the Newtown Athletic Club, you can participate in nutrition group sessions for free. To learn more, visit our health club in Newtown, PA, complete the form below, or call 215-968-0600!