The TRUTH about Potatoes, Glycemic Index, and “White Foods” — Do they help or hurt Fat Loss?

The TRUTH about Potatoes, Glycemic Index, and “White Foods” — Do they help or hurt Fat Loss?

potatoes and glycemic indexby Mike Geary, Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer
Author of best-sellers:  
The Fat Burning Kitchen & The Top 101 Foods that FIGHT Aging
I’d like to start a little discussion today about carbohydrates… and in particular, “white foods” as well as potatoes. One reason I wanted to mention this is because so many health and fitness professionals trash talk potatoes about being a bad carbohydrate choice because of the high glycemic index. Some even say such ridiculous things as “avoid any and all white carbohydrates”.

Ok, now while I certainly agree that white bread and refined white sugar are two of the worst things we can be feeding our bodies, I definitely don’t agree with avoiding any and all “white carbohydrates”. Now I know all of the buzz lately has been about colorful foods and the protective antioxidants that they contain. They tell you to focus on colors and stay away from white.

“White Foods” aren’t necessarily always the enemy

It’s true that colorful foods are great, but it is a big mistake to specifically avoid white foods! There are plenty of white foods that have specific nutrients that are hard to find elsewhere. Let’s look at a few examples…

Onions & Garlic

What about onions and garlic? They are both white and they are chock full of protective phytonutrients, vitamins, and trace minerals that aren’t easy to find elsewhere in a normal diet… such nutrients as allicin, quercetin (an important flavonoid), chromium, and other unique anti-inflammatory nutrients.

In fact, onions are so powerful for our health, that one study of centenarians (people that live to over 100 years old) identified that a common thread of these amazingly healthy individuals was that they ate a lot of onions throughout their lives.   And we also know that garlic is one of the most powerful substances for a strong immune system, among other qualities.

Cauliflower

Another example of something white that is great for you is cauliflower. Cauliflower is loaded with vitamin C, fiber, minerals, and special compounds such as glucosinolates and thiocyanates, which are specifically abundant in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage.  And a little-known fact is that some of the compounds in cruciferous vegetables help to combat other estrogenic compounds in our food supply and environment and can help prevent excess belly fat.  So eat up on that cauliflower!

Mushrooms

Not many people realize this, but surprisingly, even white mushrooms have high levels of unique nutrients and antioxidants. White mushrooms are high in a couple types of antioxidants called polyphenols and ergothioneine.  And some types of mushrooms, such as portobella mushrooms, are surprisingly good sources of Vitamin D.

Potatoes

Now that also leads us to another example – white potatoes (which by the way, can also be found in red, yellow, purple varieties, etc). Many health professionals claim that potatoes are a bad carbohydrate because they are thought to have a high glycemic index. First of all, if you’ve read my Fat Burning Kitchen ebook, then you understand that glycemic index is not necessarily the most important factor in choosing your carbohydrates.

While a generalization can be made that most low glycemic index carbohydrate choices will help you lose body fat easier than high glycemic index choices, it is not all that it’s cracked up to be. There are many other factors that determine how your body will react-to and process the carbohydrates you ingest, such as glycemic load and also how you combine the high GI food with other foods such as protein, fiber, and fats, which all slow down absorption of the ingested carbs.

For example, using glycemic load as an example… it is known that watermelon has a high glycemic index. However, the glycemic load of a normal serving of watermelon is just way too low for your body to start packing on body fat just because you ate a high glycemic index fruit. You would have to eat such an enormous quantity of watermelon just to get enough grams of carbohydrates to have any negative glycemic effect, that it is just non-sensical.

Not to mention that watermelon is also a great source of vitamins, minerals, and lycopene. There’s just no reason to avoid it simply because it has a high GI.  My point is… candy bars, cupcakes, and donuts make you fat… NOT watermelons, carrots or potatoes… French fries excluded of course, since those are typically fried in highly inflammatory cooking oils.

Also, as i mentioned, food combinations are important in how your body processes the carbohydrates and the associated blood sugar and insulin response you receive. For example, if you mix a high glycemic index carbohydrate with an extra source of fiber,healthy fats, or even certain proteins, many times the blood sugar and glycemic response will be slowed down considerably by the way you combined the food.

Alright, so back to my point that white potatoes are actually a healthy carbohydrate as long as you eat them in the right form… and please don’t ruin them by deep frying them into french fries either! French fries are one of the most evil things ever invented for your health, but only because we ruin them by soaking them in a scorching bath of trans fats in the deep fryer from the refined or hydrogenated vegetable oils that are typically used.

Keep in mind that potatoes contain so many vitamins and minerals that the list is way too long to even try.

One Warning though about potatoes:  Please note that potatoes do contain low level toxins called glycoalkaloids (it’s the plant’s protection mechanism) that are concentrated in the skin, so it is a good idea to always peel potatoes before making any dishes with them.  This article explains about the toxins in potatoes and how to still enjoy potatoes while minimizing the toxins.

Will 7-9 potatoes per day make you fatter?

On the topic of potatoes not being so bad after all, I don’t remember where I saw this referenced, but I recently saw a particular study that had participants eat about 7-9 whole potatoes per day for several weeks.

At the conclusion of the study, the potato eaters had actually consistently lost weight!  I’d venture a guess that the reason the people lost weight is that they were probably so full from eating all of those damn potatoes, that they actually consumed less calories than normal! An average sized potato only has about 100-120 calories, and I can surely imagine you’d be full constantly from eating 7-9 potatoes each day.

Of course, this does NOT mean that french fries are okay to eat!  Those will only make you fat, and the inflammatory trans fats will lead to an early death.  Seriously… fries are one of the most deadly foods in our food supply.  Plus, deep fried potatoes build up dangerous acrylamides from the frying oil reacting with the starch, and these compounds are carcinogenic.

Anyway, back to the 7-9 whole potatoes per day… Now I would never recommend going to those extremes, but my point is that an occasional potato a couple times a week is not going to hurt your efforts to get lean, especially if you combine it with some other fibrous vegetables and maybe a healthy fat and some protein. On that note, I have one of my favorite recipes for you, using potatoes.

Geary’s Lean-Body Potato Side Dish:

  • Desired quantity of baby potatoes (I like to use this mixture I found recently at a health food store… it is a mixture of white, red, yellow, and purple baby potatoes)
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 or 2 onions
  • a couple cloves of garlic, finely chopped (or mashed garlic from a jar, organic preferably)
  • 1 or 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, grass-fed butter, and/or virgin coconut oil (sometimes I mix a bit of all 3)
  • a little salt and pepper to taste (I like using a sea salt instead of normal commercial salt)

Cut the baby potatoes into slightly smaller pieces and place in a steamer until soft all the way through. Slice up the peppers and onions into strips and add with the chopped garlic into a pan with the olive oil and/or butter and/or coconut oil. Cook the peppers, onions, and garlic until tender, and then add the steamed baby potatoes. Stir it all together and serve. This is a delicious and healthy side dish that goes great with chicken or grass-fed red meat.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little topic today about potatoes, healthy carbohydrates, glycemic index, and my awesome healthy potato recipe idea!

If you enjoyed this article today, feel free to share this page with your potato-loving friends and family.

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Back to school Chiropractic Tips

This article is written by Dr. Steven Cannon, Chiropractor – Neurohealth Chiropractic

The kids are already back to school. For most people this means pencils, notebook paper an mountains of textbooks.

But sending your child to start, or return to school requires some homework from the parents. Here at Neurohealth Chiropractic, we endeavor to be both your chiropractor and educator.

So here are some tips for a healthy start Back-To-School:

BACK CARE 101

Ergonomics: yes ergonomics are just as important for kids as they are at the office. Slumping over a school classroom desk, just like slumping over a work desk, can lead to a lifetime of poor postural habits. Which then in turn will lead to musculoskeletal disorders, spinal joint restrictions (vertebral subluxations) and an increased likelihood of adult onset osteoarthritis.

Students are spending more and more time at computers these days. The following are guidelines that we all should be taking note of:

 

  • Sit up straight with feet flat on the floor or on a footrest;
  • Keep lower arms level with the table and wrists straight;
  • Sit close enough to the keyboard to eliminate stretching but far enough away to avoid leaning;
  • Tap the keyboard lightly. Don’t pound away;
  • Place the mouse within easy reach of the dominant hand;
  • Try and hold the mouse loosely. Don’t squeeze;
  • The monitor should be at eye level, 40-60 centimeters away;
  • If using a laptop, a docking station should be used with a detachable keyboard, separate mouse (instead of finger pad) and the middle of the screen should be at eye level;
  • Take short breaks every 20 minutes. Get up and move around. Go and get a drink of water;
  • Exercise your eyes frequently. Look away from the monitor and focus on distant objects, which will help your eyes blink.

 

Backpacks: An over-stuffed, incorrectly packed or worn backpack can result in a serious injury and affect young developing spines.

How heavy is heavy? Even a backpack weighing 15 percent of a student’s body weight is too heavy to maintain a standing posture. This will cause undue stress on their young spines and can cause vertebral subluxations leading to postural changes and even scoliosis.

The current recommended guidelines is a maximum of 10 percent of your body weight should go into the backpack. This means if you weigh 30 kilograms, then 3 kilograms is the maximum. So with today’s primary school kids, after you put the lunch box and water bottle in you are already at the maximum weight.

To further minimise impact of the backpack, it is also recommended that both shoulder straps be used to help distribute the backpack’s weight evenly between the shoulders. And then the waist strap should also be used, to help distribute the weight onto the hips away from the shoulders.

In addition to creating chronic backache for years to come, improper use of the backpack will trigger neck and shoulder disorders. A study from the University of Sydney showed that the backpack’s weight and length of time had a direct correlation with neck and shoulder posture. The study concluded with that forward head posture increases when carrying a backpack with a heavy load. When we adopt forward head posture, it leads to straightening of the normal curve of the neck, a condition linked with osteoarthritis, headaches and neck pain.

Many schools these days have their own backpacks, with their own logo on the bag. Good news is that all these backpacks are approved for developing spines. They just need to be used correctly i.e. wearing, packing, and weight.

Footwear: Skimpy footwear and platform shoes may be fashionable, but they are certainly not what your feet need! Shoes that cannot provide adequate support can throw your whole skeleton out of alignment. If the foot is excessively pronating (rolling in), this will cause torsion at the knee when walking, running, or standing. This will then cause a shift in body weight into the pelvis, causing hip and low back problems. It can also lead up the whole entire chain causing the shoulders to not be level and to tilt.

Therefore correct footwear from an early age is very important.
Here are a few tips to remember when buying new school shoes

  • Make sure there is plenty of wiggle room in the toe box;
  • Never buy a show for your child to grow into;
  • Avoid hand-me-down shoes if at all possible;
  • Check the length of the foot, from the longest toe. Caution: this is not always the big toe, as 10% of the population has the second toe as the longest;
  • Make sure the shoe bends in the toe box;
  • Check the heel counter and make sure the shoe is supportive around the heel as this controls the foot, and helpt pronation.

Nutrition: Studies have shown a direct link with nutrition and the child’s ability to learn.

Skipping breakfast is not be an option. If you don’t give the body fuel in the way of good nutrition, especially first thing in the morning, it will not function and be able to retain simple instructions and directions.

An easy option, is to use whole ingredients, and mix them in a blender to make a smoothie for people on the go. Adding fresh berries, coconut water, raw egg, LSA (linseed, sunflower, almond meal) together can be one way to get started. Check out our book in reception on different juicing and smoothie ideas.

Parents should focus on natural, whole foods, such as whole grain cereals and fresh seasonal fruits. ‘White’ sugar and flour should be avoided. These give a sudden spike in energy, but what goes up quickly will come down just as quickly and crash and burn.

You should also avoid heavily processed items that are laden with chemical additives.

Pack water instead of soda and juice poppers. And choose raw, organic nuts over candy. Research shows that excessive sugar consumption weakens the immune system and impairs cognitive function.

Sleep: To be able to thrive, we must sleep. If you are not getting enough sleep each night, your body is not recovering and the brain cannot switch off and restore itself.

Lack of sleep not only leads to poor cognitive function but also leads to hallucinations and personality changes.

We are well aware how fatigued we are after spending the whole night awake, and lacking sleep. Lack of sleep has been shown to be linked with increased motor vehicle accidents, increase in body mass index (BMI) and greater likelihood of obesity. It also has links with increase risk of diabetes, heart conditions and psychiatric disorders such as depression and substance abuse. It also decreases one’s ability to pay attention, react to signals or remember new information. This point is particular important to note for children.

So with our children, to thrive academically, they need sleep – and lots of it. According the National Sleep Foundation the average school age child (5-10years) should be achieving 10-11 hours of sleep per night.

Children with fragmented sleep were characterised by lower performance on (neurobehavioural functioning) measures, particularly those that were associated with more complex tasks such as a continuous performance test or symbol-digit substitution. These children have also been shown to have higher rates of behavioural problems reported by their parents.

Over-scheduling, non-enforced bedtimes, sharing a bed with a sibling and breathing problems – such as sleep apnea, and snoring – can rob a child their night’s rest. It is also essential to keep televisions, video games, radios, and telephones out of your child’s bedroom during sleeping hours as these only serve as distractions and will disturbed their sleep.

Checkup: Between the endless trips to the shopping mall for new shoes, new clothes and new school supplies, take a few moments to schedule a back-to-school chiropractic check up for your child. This will help their nervous system to start the scholastic year free of interference and flourish their learning.

And also don’t forget to bring in your child’s school backpack, so that we can check the bag and instruct on proper use of the backpack.

Chiropractic for Olympic Champions!

William Moreau, DC, serves as chief medical officer for Team USA at Rio 2016 Olympic Games

July 18, 2016—The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP), the voice of the chiropractic profession, highlights the role of doctors of chiropractic (DCs) in the care of amateur and professional athletes, citing the continued leadership of William Moreau, DC, DACBSP as managing director of sports medicine for the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and chief medical officer for Team USA at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

With chiropractic care now established as a key component of the health services available to Olympic and Paralympic athletes, experts at the F4CP note that the care provided by a DC helps to maximize overall health and maintain peak performance among athletes.

“Olympic and Paralympic athletes access care from a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals, including DCs who hold additional ACBSP certifications in sports chiropractic (an active Diplomate American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians (DACBSP) or Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician certification is necessary), as well as advanced techniques in soft tissue cares, joint mobility, active care and others,” said Moreau. “Chiropractic plays an important role in preventive, maintenance or injury specific care, and contributes to enhanced clinical outcomes and high patient satisfaction levels among all athletes.”

Doctors of chiropractic – who receive a minimum of seven years of higher level education – are primary care professionals for spinal health and well-being, and are qualified to diagnose, treat and manage a broad spectrum of health conditions.

For athletes, chiropractic care can help to reduce the risk of injuries, accelerate recovery time and improve health and performance through enhancements in range of motion, flexibility, balance, muscle strength and other key factors.

 

(Usain Bolt receiving Chiropractic Care before his race) 

Sherry McAllister, DC, executive vice president, F4CP, states, “It is gratifying to witness the demand for and growing utilization of chiropractic care among professional athletes. The evidence-based, hands-on chiropractic approach utilizes a variety of techniques, including spinal manipulation, to help restore functionality of the spine and nervous system to ensure optimal well-being, and inevitably fuel competitive athletic performance.”

4 YOGA POSES TO MASTER THIS SUMMER

During the summer, it feels like plans are never ending and a new invite pops up on your calendar every day! Although we usually think of summer as a season of relaxation, these months can get pretty busy – sometimes to the point where you actually have to set aside time for yourself. We love a good Netflix binge as much as the next person, but we’ve also discovered that there are more productive options if you need to de-stress… and, surprise!, you won’t end up feeling like a couch potato after. One of our favorite ways to unwind is by getting active, whether that means taking a walk outside, lifting weights in the gym or hitting the mat for some yoga. Active movement helps to clear your mind and strengthen your body. Plus, it’s a great way to show off your athleisure #AEOSTYLE! Today, we’re grabbing our yoga mats and breaking down four yoga poses to master this summer.

CRESCENT LUNGE (Anjaneyasana):
Alignment Tips: Make sure you’re on the ball of your back foot and that your hips are square. Sometimes it helps to put your hands on your hips and psychically align them so that they’re facing the front wall. Keep your back heel firm on the floor and the back leg strong as if you were trying to touch the back of your knee to the ceiling. To your own degree, bend your front knee as close to 90 degrees as possible. Reach your arms overheard and breath deep.

Benefits: Stretches hip flexors & legs; strengthens thighs and glutes; opens chest; improves balance

Master these 4 yoga poses by the end of summer!

DANCER (Natarajasana):
Alignment Tips: Keep a slight bend in your standing leg & shift weight on to this leg. Bend your back leg up to your degree slowly, simultaneously catching your foot or ankle with one or both hands if possible. You can reach one arm in front to help your balance. Keep your neck long and head high.

Benefits: Improves balance; strengthens legs and core; stretches shoulders and chest

Master these 4 yoga poses by the end of summer!

ONE LEGGED KING PIGEON (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana):
Alignment Tips: Keep your shin on the ground parallel to your mat to protect the knee. Slightly angle your back hip and from a straight leg, bend the back leg up. Catch the ankle or foot with one or both hands, or rest it in your arm as seen below. If you cannot reach back or bend the leg up, that’s fine! support yourself upright using both arms in front.

Benefits: Stretches thighs, chest and shoulders; stimulates abdomen & internal organs

Master these 4 yoga poses by the end of summer!

ONE LEGGED KING PIGEON II (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana II):
Alignment Tips: Start with shins on the floor and core reaching high. Slowly backbend to your degree and catch one leg within your arm as your raise it. Reach the other arm toward the ceiling and breathe. If you need back support, bring your lower hand to your lower back and breathe.

Benefits: Stretches torso and deep hip flexors; improves posture; strengthens back; stimulates abdominal organs

Master these 4 yoga poses by the end of summer!

10 Life-Changing Reasons to Drink More Water

Has it occurred to you today that you are thirsty? Guess what – by the time you experience the sensation of the thirst, you are already dehydrated. That thirst is your body calling for re-hydration.

Your body is composed of roughly 60% water1. That means when we are dehydrated – and most of us spend our days constantly dehydrated to some degree – we are affecting the performance of the majority of our body.Nearly all of our systems do not function as well without the proper water intake

So, really, what does this mean? Why should we drink more water?

  1. If you don’t drink water, you will die. It’s that important. Depending on our environment, we can live only a few days without water – maybe a week. We can live much longer without food. For most of us, we should prioritize the consumption of water far more than we currently do.
  2. Prevent cancer. Yes, that’s right – various research says staying hydrated can reduce risk of colon cancer by 45%5, bladder cancer by 50%6, and possibly reduce breast cancer risk as well.7
  3. Be less cranky. Research says dehydration can affect your mood and make you grumpy and confused.3 Think clearer and be happier by drinking more water.
  4. Perform better. Proper hydration contributes to increased athletic performance. Water composes 75% of our muscle tissue!4 Dehydration can lead to weakness, fatigue, dizziness, and electrolyte imbalance.
  5. Lose weight. Sometimes we think we are hungry, when actually we are thirsty. Our body just starts turning on all the alarms when we ignore it. For those of you trying to drop some pounds, staying hydrated can serve as an appetite suppressant and help with weight loss.
  6. Have less joint pain. Drinking water can reduce pain in your joints by keeping the cartilage soft and hydrated. This is actually how glucosamine helps reduce joint pain, by aiding in cartilage’s absorption of water.
  7. Flush out waste and bacteria. Our digestive system needs water to function properly. Waste is flushed out in the form of urine and sweat. If we don’t drink water, we don’t flush out waste and it collects in our body causing a myriad of problems. Also combined with fiber, water can cure constipation.
  8. Prevent headaches. Sometimes headaches can be caused by dehydration, so drinking water can prevent or alleviate that nasty head pain. Next time your head hurts, try drinking water.
  9. Make your skin glow. Our skin is the largest organ in our body. Regular and plentiful water consumption can improve the color and texture of your skin by keeping it building new cells properly. Drinking water also helps the skin do it’s job of regulating the body’s temperature through sweating.2
  10. Feed your body. Water is essential for the proper circulation of nutrients in the body. Water serves at the body’s transportation system and when we are dehydrated things just can’t get around as well.

 

Quick rules of thumb for drinking water:

  • Drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water (if you weight 160lbs, drink 80oz of water each day).
  • Carry a bottle everywhere with you as a reminder to keep drinking.
  • Eat raw fruits and vegetables – they are dense in water. You can get water from food, not just from beverages.
  • Drink water and other fluids until you urinate frequently and with light color.