Monday, April 29, 2013

Protein, Protein, and More Protein!


Over the past couple months I’ve been getting a lot of questions regarding protein. Why take protein? How much do I need? Do women need protein? Whether you're new to working out or are a seasoned pro, a quality protein powder is a necessity! Simply put, protein is the single most important thing you must consume daily to build new muscle tissue. Muscle wouldn't exist without it! 

While you can get your protein from food sources - and it's recommended that you do - protein powder is a great addition to ensure you get enough on a daily basis. Not to mention protein supplements are convenient and fast absorbing for before and after your workouts, so you can really take your results to the next level.

Getting the right protein is important, and there are a number of different types that you'll need to choose from to accomplish your goals.
Whey protein powder is a top quality and fast acting protein that's perfect immediately after your workout for optimal absorption.
Casein protein powder is a slowly digesting protein that can help provide a steady stream of amino acids to the muscles for longer durations. Casein is perfect to take right before bed, for all night recovery.
Egg and Rice protein powders are a fantastic option for anyone who's a vegetarian or who is lactose intolerant – if either of those are a concern for you it's definitely something you'll want to consider.
Once you know what type of protein you want to use, the next step is to identify the nutritional values within that specific protein.
First, you should always check the calories per serving. Both weight loss and muscle gains boil down to your calorie intake, so you'll want to be sure the protein you choose aligns with your goals. Generally protein powders are divided into lean, meal replacement and weight gainers.
Next, make sure the grams of protein per serving are adequate for your goal. A good general rule of thumb is to consume 1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight. Be sure to spread this amount throughout the day as your body can only absorb 35-40 g per sitting. 
Another important thing to look at when picking your protein supplement is the carbohydrate and fat content. In addition to calories and protein, these should also be accounted for in your daily nutrition plan.
Finally, consider taste. Since you should definitely enjoy the healthy foods you eat, make sure to choose a flavor that you think will appeal to your taste buds. My personal favorite is chocolate because it is a health option for my nagging sweet tooth!
If you have any questions regarding your protein intake or any exercise/nutrition needs please feel free to contact me anytime! Looking forward to helping everyone reach their health and fitness goals!

For more health information, please visit us at Southwest Age Intervention Institute.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Supermarket or "Little Shop of Horrors"

Sarah Kavanagh

Last month 15-year-old Sarah Kavanagh from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, gathered more than 200,000 signatures in an on-line petition pressuring Gatorade to remove a controversial flame-retardant chemical from their popular drink.  As a result of all the social media attention Gatorade announced that they would comply within the next couple of months.

Had Sarah not drawn attention to the use of this (BVO) or brominated vegetable oil, who knows how long Gatorade would have continued the use of this harmful chemical hidden in their colorful “healthy sport drinks!”

I have to think forever…

Chemicals that are used as weed killers, flame-retardants, and sunscreens are startlingly common in your supermarkets!

These chemicals won’t be listed on the back panel as “carcinogens,” “paint chemicals,” or “beaver anal-gland juice.”  They will be hidden under names like “Butylated HydroxyAnisole” or believe it or not, “natural flavoring.”

Here are just a few to look out for next time you’re shopping.

Acesulfame Potassium (Acesulfame-K)
What it is:  An artificial sweetener 200 times sweeter than sugar often used to mask a bitter aftertaste.
Found in:  More than 5,000 food products, including diet sodas and no-sugar-added ice cream.
What You Need to Know:  Animal studies have linked the chemical to lung and breast tumors and thyroid problems.

What it is:  An artificial sweetener made by combining two amino acids with methynol.
Found in:  More than 6,000 grocery items to include diet sodas, yogurts, and the sweeteners NutraSweet and Equal.
What You Need to Know:  The FDA has received thousands of consumer complaints due mostly to neurological symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, memory loss and epileptic seizures.

Titanium Dioxide
What it is:  A component of the metallic element titanium commonly used in paints and sunscreens.
Found In:  Processed salad dressing, coffee creamers and icing to make them appear whiter.
What You Need to Know:  Titanium is a mined substance that’s often contaminated with toxic lead.

What it is:  The active ingredient in the weed killer Roundup commonly used on corn and soy crops genetically engineered to withstand a heavy dousing of the chemical.
Found in:  Most non-organic packaged foods containing corn and soy derived ingredients.  It’s a systemic herbicide, taken up by the plant which means you eat it.
What You Need to Know:  Exposure to this chemical has been linked to obesity, learning disabilities, and infertility.

Butylated HydroxyAnisole (BHA)
What it is:  A petroleum derived antioxidant used to preserve fats and oils.
Found in:  Beer, crackers, cereals, butter, and foods with added fats.
What You Need to Know:  Studies have shown BHA to cause cancer in the forestomachs of rats, mice, and hamsters.

What it is:  Beaver anal gland juice.  Really.  Beavers combine it with their urine to mark their territory.
Found in:  Vanilla or raspberry flavoring in processed foods, labeled as “natural flavoring.”
What You Need to Know:  It’s beaver anal gland juice.

These are only a small sample of the toxic chemicals hidden in processed foods.  As more and more of these toxins accumulate in our system, they place severe stress on our organs.  We have to improve our health in order to lose weight efficiently and long term success is difficult if you don’t address this hidden culprit behind the excess fat we carry.

For more health information, please visit us at Southwest Age Intervention Institute

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Vitamin D May Lower the Risk of Diabetes in Obese Adolescents

Vitamin D Supplementation
In April, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a report suggesting that vitamin D3 supplementation could lower the risk of developing diabetes. 

In an article in “Life Extension”, 35 adolescents were randomized to receive a placebo or 4000 IU of vitamin D3 per day for six months.  Blood samples were taken at the beginning of the study, at 3 and 6 months, and analyzed for Vitamin D, fasting glucose, and insulin as well as other factors.

The study revealed the body mass index (BMI) and glucose levels were similar between the two groups at the end of the trial but those who had received Vitamin D3 had significant increases in serum 25-hydroxy Vitamin D as well as a reduction in fasting insulin.  As insulin is a storage hormone, this was a significant find.  By increasing Vitamin D, a significant decline in fasting insulin occurred similar to that of any powerful prescription drug.  Per Dr. Catherine Peterson, an associate professor of nutrition and physical exercise at the University of Missouri, “We saw a decrease in insulin levels, which means better glucose control, despite no changes in body weight, dietary intake, or physical activity”.

The study revealed that obese individuals process Vitamin D half as efficiently as normal-weight people.  It was explained that Vitamin D gets stored in fat tissue which keeps it from being processed normally.  As such, obese patients would consume twice as much Vitamin D as their lean peers just to maintain sufficient levels of Vitamin D, a key vitamin in human function.  

The message for clinicians was to check Vitamin D status in their obese patients as they were likely to have insufficient amounts.  This has proved true even in SAII's aging patient base and adding Vitamin D3 to their diets is seen as an effective addition to treating obesity and its associate insulin resistance which heightens weight gain and stifles weight loss.

For more information about the Risk of Diabetes in Obese Adolescents, or for general health information, please feel free to contact us at Southwest Age Intervention Institute.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Dr. Van Beest Visits the Playmakers Talk Show

Dr. Van Beest shares insights on health, energy and vitality for the busy executive during his March 2013 appearance on the Playmakers Talk Show, heard on 570AM KLIF.