It’s said, “It’s not what you do between Thanksgiving and New Year’s that matters most for your diet, it’s what you do in between New Years and Thanksgiving that counts.”
Makes sense. Throughout the year, we try to make healthy choices, maintain a good diet, and get plenty of exercise. But during the holiday season, we celebrate together, and more often than not, indulge in food and drinks outside of our normal habits.
Eat Mindfully, Not Mindlessly
With all these temptations, you’ll want a plan in place so you won’t pack on the pounds while you enjoy the festivities. Add Nutrimeal™ as a meal replacement, and you’ll savor the holidays while maintaining a healthy diet.
Try This, Not That
Nutrimeal is a low-glycemic shake, rich in dietary fiber and protein. Available in chocolate and vanilla flavors, Nutrimeal is the perfect, satisfying meal when you’re on the go. Best of all, it’s a great base to build your personalized shake. Blend it with fruits or vegetables to give it an extra flavorful boost. Or get into the season with these holiday-themed recipes. No matter how you enjoy Nutrimeal, you’ll get the following benefits:
15 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber
Complete non-GMO protein
Low-glycemic index to help reduce carbohydrate cravings and provide sustained energy, to help keep you feeling fuller, longer
As you get ready for your next family gathering, try these simple tricks to sample all your yummy favorites without the overeating misery:
Portion control. Don’t deprive yourself, just eat smaller portions and less often.
Eat when you’re hungry. Don’t eat just because food is available.
Slow down. Enjoy each bite and put your fork down as you chew.
Pay attention. Mindlessly snacking can lead to overeating. Make each meal count.
Sneak in a workout. It won’t offset all the calories you might eat, but it’ll help.
Know when and where you’ll be eating. You’re less likely to overdo it if you know you’ll be joining family for a larger dinner.
And when you’re making your holiday plans, add Nutrimeal into your routine. With these convenient, travel-sized pouches, you’ll be able to shake up some goodness as you rush from the office party to your next family function.
You don’t have to memorize the nutrient content of all your foods. You can thank nutrition facts labels for that. It isn’t necessary to recall the sodium content of your breakfast cereal off the top of your head every time you shop. But getting the most information from reading nutrition facts labels can be tough, too.
Here’s six tips for pulling out the facts that matter most to you:
Start with the Serving Size
Every number on that nutrition facts label means nothing without some context. The serving size provides the context you need.
All the amounts that follow are based on that servings size. Sometimes the whole package of food is a serving, but that’s not always the case. That’s why you have to be careful.
Relying on the label’s serving size is a good idea because you can’t trust your judgment. It’s not an insult to you—in general, people are terrible at gauging serving sizes. Research indicates the average person’s estimations are off somewhere between 40-150 percent. So, you could be eating double the number of calories you think you are.
Please fight the urge to skip right to calories or fat content. Don’t start down the label without checking the serving size to put everything else in context.
Figure Out the Type of Fat
Reading nutrition facts is often a dive into the macronutrient content of the food. That’s a helpful way to break things down and give you the information you need. But the raw numbers might not be enough to make good decisions.
This is especially true with fats.
Paying attention to the type of fat and where that fat comes from can be more important than the total number. You want to avoid trans fats, but saturated fat can be more nuanced. That’s why you need to look at the ingredient deck to figure out if the source of fat is vegetable-based (usually healthier) or animal-based (usually unhealthier). Going the extra step will help you make the healthy determination.
Check the Sugar and Find the Fiber
Fats aren’t the only macronutrient that requires extra investigation. When you’re reading nutrition facts labels, look at carbohydrates, but also note the sugar and fiber amount.
While you might avoid sugar, your diet can benefit from more fiber. These complex carbohydrates aid in healthy digestion and keep you feeling full for a longer time. And you only absorb about half of fiber’s calorie content. All these combined effects help fiber support your weight-maintenance efforts. Make sure to find the fiber when reading nutrition facts labels.
Pay Attention to Protein
Just because it’s the final macronutrient mentioned doesn’t mean protein you should ignore it when reading nutrition facts. Far from it. If you’re managing your weight or exercising, protein is key.
A lot of studies have shown dietary protein’s ability to support weight-management programs. An analysis of 51 studies found that a sufficient increase in protein—over 58 percent per day, on average—showed favorable weigh-management results.
A similar analysis showed that dietary protein increases showed favorable effects for muscle and strength during resistance training.
So, protein is a big plus for those focusing on diet and exercise. But it’s also important for general health. Dietary protein provides the essential amino acids your body needs to carry out its daily functions.
Don’t Miss the Micronutrients
The essential vitamins and minerals are listed on the label. This will help you see how much nourishment you’re actually getting from what you’re eating.
On most labels, you’ll also see a percentage of daily value. That number is based on recommended daily allowances, which are about avoiding deficiencies. It doesn’t consider optimal amounts needed to live your best life.
Sodium is one micronutrient you won’t find with the other vitamins and minerals. It’s typically listed with the macronutrients. And if you’re watching your sodium intake, check this important number.
Keep Your Health Goals in Mind
Every person is different. Everybody has different health goals. That makes each label look different to each individual.
You have to look at labels through the lens of your own health goals. When you do that, each number starts to take on new meaning. Here’s one example: if you’re managing your weight, a low-calorie count might be intriguing. But if you’re a body builder, high calories might be more important.
And don’t lose sight of the big picture. Put what you’re about to consume in the context of what you will or have eaten over the course of an entire day. Think of nutrition as a daily bank account. What have you put into your nutritional savings account and what will you be withdrawing?
Reading is Fundamental
Get in the habit of reading labels and learning about the nutritional composition of your food. Over time this becomes easier and eventually will become second nature. You’ll never have to memorize every detail. But at some point, you intuitively begin to know the nutrient content of the food choices in front of you. Educating yourself will help you reach for healthier alternatives to fuel your life.
This is all part of getting serious about your food. In coordination, you should write down your health goals. Then ask how you want food to fuel your life, and what ratios of macronutrients (carbs, proteins, and fats) make you feel the best and help you achieve the health you desire? After you have your health goals, utilize a nutrition facts panel to help you achieve them.
But, remember, there is still no substitute for eating as many fruits and vegetables as possible, exercising, choosing healthy sources of protein, and ensuring you get optimal amounts of all essential micro- and macro-nutrients your body needs for optimal health.
It’s that time of year for many of us. No, I’m not talking about football season and new television shows. Back to school season is here. We make sure they have appropriate school clothes, all the important supplies they need, and we send them off to learn and make new friends. Often overlooked, an important factor for success is their nutrition and overall health. Are we arming them with everything they need to be successful?
You have probably heard it before, but the majority of us don’t eat as healthy as we should. Research shows it is even more unlikely that children eat an optimal diet. No matter how hard we try, some kids are just picky eaters, making it even more difficult. The consequences of a less than stellar diet are not always obvious, especially in adults. The results of a poor diet are much more obvious in children, though, and can have a long-lasting impact on their future.
Supplements for All Ages
Do your children and teens need supplements? If they are like most kids they do. It is very unlikely they are even meeting the minimum recommended dietary standards during the most important time for growth and development in their lifetime. If they are, they are definitely the exception according to a government review. Across the entire age range, both males and females were unlikely to get adequate vitamin E, magnesium, vitamin A, potassium, and fiber. Adolescent females tended to have low reported intakes of nearly all the nutrients investigated by the committee.
Taking a good quality multivitamin/mineral helps ensure adequacy of many of the nutrients that may be missing in their diet. In addition to simply preventing a deficiency, a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that multivitamin/mineral supplements actually support aspects of brain function in healthy children, improving performance and
accuracy on tests of attention.
There are individual nutrients which can have a big impact on several aspects of health and learning. Vitamin B12 deficiencies have been shown to impact neurological development and negatively impact cognitive performance years later. Zinc deficiencies are relatively common and can slow normal growth and development. A study in Thai school children actually showed zinc supplementation resulted in greater gains in height compared to a placebo group after 2 months. Other research shows that inadequate omega-3 fatty acid levels may be associated with an increase in behavior problems, emotion regulation, and anti-social traits.
In addition to their role in neurological development and effect on emotional health, a new study by Swedish research has shown that omega-3s may improve reading ability in mainstream and healthy schoolchildren.
A Healthy Immune System
Another common concern with children returning to school is good immune health. Good hygiene practices (hand washing), adequate sleep, and a nutrient rich diet (which likely includes a multivitamin/mineral) are important in maintaining good immune health.
Probiotics are another consideration when it comes to supporting immune health. Research published in the Clinical Nutrition journal showed that Lactobacillus GG (LGG), a strain of probiotics, decreased the risk of upper respiratory tract infections in children attending day care centers. The researchers also found that the rate of absence due to infection was lower in children receiving LGG when compared to placebo.
Whether your kids are in daycare, preschool, or K-12 schools, optimal learning, and cognitive health is dependent on more than books and teachers. Make sure they have the advantage of a healthy diet and superior nutritional support for overall mental and physical health.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.