Carbohydrates have an important role to play in overall health and wellness, eating too little or the wrong kinds can actually hamper your health goals.
Are personal trainers qualified to give nutritional advice?
The most annoying myth in the field of nutrition; “What you eat only impacts your weight and your risk for diabetes and heart disease.” The reality is what you eat sets the foundation for your overall health…t.
Myth: Soy has an estrogenic effect on the body and should be avoided especially by those who have a family history or personal history of breast cancer or have underlying hormone imbalances.
Studies & Articles:
Isoflavones made simple - genistein's agonist activity for the beta-type estrogen receptor mediates their health benefits https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16513288/
Selective estrogen receptor modulators and phytoestrogens https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18843590/
Phytoestrogens and their human metabolites show distinct agonistic and antagonistic properties on estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) and ERbeta in human cells https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15084758/
Soy intake related to menopausal symptoms, serum lipids, and bone mineral density in postmenopausal Japanese women https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15084758/
Effect of soymilk consumption on serum estrogen concentrations in premenopausal Japanese women https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9839524/
Effect of soymilk consumption on serum estrogen and androgen concentrations in Japanese men https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11303585/
Hormones in Dairy Foods and Their Impact on Public Health - A Narrative Review Article
Natural occurrence of steroid hormones in food https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26258087/
Milk, dairy intake and risk of endometrial cancer: a 26-year follow-up https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21717454/
👉“The prevailing popular nutrition advice online may increase consumer confusion, skepticism and even avoidance of dietary advice.” - This quote is from a study in the Online Journal of Public Health Informatics. The study reviewed where individuals were getting most of their nutrition advice from and the possible dangers it could pose, it showed social media was a big source. Are you guilty of seeking nutrition advice online? Do you check the credentials of the individual giving said advice? Is nutrition part of their scope of practice (you would be surprised at how many professionals speak out of their scope of practice when it comes to this topic)? Although Nutritional Sciences are advancing and have come a long way, the confusion and appearance of drastic changes in nutritional advice are mostly happening thanks to the media and the online community jumping on poor quality/biased scientific literature, cherry-picking studies to suit an agenda/view, misinterpreting the studies, creating hype for various reasons, and a list of logical fallacies... Unfortunately, this irresponsible reporting and actions have negative consequences with individuals possible harming themselves or giving up on nutritional science. This is why working with a Nutritionist is very important as well as turning off the radio, ignoring the next meme, or online article that talks about nutrition/diet/food circulating in your newsfeed are the best thing you can do for your health and stress level🧘♀️.
👉If you are tired of being confused then I can help you with my background as a Nutritionist & Natural Health Practitioner.
Dana Clark CNHP CHC CHN CLE
I have been getting a lot of questions about my opinion on the new “Beyond Meat” options being offered at various establishments and thought it was time to just lay it all out in a post. So here it goes...
First, let’s consider the establishments that sell beyond meat options, do they actually sell healthy options? No, they don’t so that should be a red flag right there. Burgers and breakfast sandwiches are not healthy options they are something you have occasionally not regularly.
Are “Beyond Meat” patties healthier than burgers or other meat substitutes? Let’s break it down.
As you can see they are not healthier, so if you are switching to this burger or menu item for health and wellness reasons you are better off finding an eating establishment that actually has healthier menu items or make your own lunch to go.
If you are consuming it for ethical reasons such as lower carbon footprint. It may be a better option if consumed on occasion. However, if we factor in a poor quality diet has been shown to be a major contributor to chronic diseases and illness, frequent/regular consumption may lead to the opposite effect. Being unhealthy and treating chronic disease increases your carbon footprint if you need to rely on medication. Just a little food for thought.
Dana Clark, CNHP, CHC, CHN, RNC, CLE
As a Nutritionist, I am bombarded with individuals who have “googled” their nutrition or have taken advice from unqualified “experts” and often have to debunk the information received. I already tackled Keto and now I am going to tackle 3 Nutrition Fads that make us Nutritionist go cray cray…
There is a lot of solid science that shows that fasting 10-12 hours a day (time restricted fasting) has a lot of health benefits for most individuals and I always encourage my clients, when appropriate, to implement this simple daily fast as part of their lifestyle practices. Fasts that last longer than 12 hours, however, do not have conclusive quality science backing it up. What we do know about longer fasting is that it can cause low energy, fatigue, moodiness, muscle loss, and slows metabolism. It may put the body into starvation which leads the body to store calories as fat much quicker or prevents the body from releasing fat stored in adipose tissue. Longer fasting durations also increases the risk for malnutrition, elevates cortisol levels, contributes to hormone imbalances in women, may lower glucose tolerance especially in women, and causes poor quality sleep… Ask yourself if this is a risk you want to take, will these health imbalances help you reach your end goal? Instead, learn to eat a healthy whole food balanced diet and implement a simple 10-12 hours time restricted fast.
Update: December 2019: I have come across even more research that supports time restricted fasting. For every positive there is a possible negative that should be individually considered when one fasts longer than 12 hours however. So if you are considering starting or currently doing time restricted fasting it is even more important to sit down with a Nutritionist to see if it right for you and you are not doing harm and just reacking all the benefits.
Kombucha, like all beverages made with sugar fermentation (beer, wine), is a sugar-containing beverage; don’t kid yourself. Depending on brewing/fermentation technique, 95% or less of the sugar used is consumed by the bacteria. The average home-brewed Kombucha contains 2-6g of sugar in an 8 oz. glass. The sugar present is what we call extrinsic a.k.a added or free sugars, these are the sugars that are not needed by the body for health, and instead contribute to weight gain, and increases risk for various diseases through inflammation and stress… Let’s be real here, this alone should be a clear indication this beverage should not be consumed as part of a healthy lifestyle, but kept to special occasions. Add on to this that currently, health benefits of consuming Kombucha are inconclusive and some studies have indicated risk of the brew producing toxic bacteria, alcohol, and causing liver stress. Store bought Kombucha is generally higher in sugar then home brewed Kombucha and may have unhealthy additives added. Nothing says healthy like sugar and the potential for toxic bacteria!
Juicing & Juice detoxes:
Juicing removes the fiber (needed for detoxing) and other important synergistic components that regulate the fructose in the body as the fructose is no longer an intrinsic (whole food) sugar and now hits the body hard (stressing the body during a detox is counterproductive). Although touted as being a great source of available antioxidant, in actuality it’s the opposite, those quality antioxidants (important in detoxing) are actually bound to the fiber that has been removed leaving you with fewer antioxidants. The sugar effect of the juice has hypernatremic effect removing water from the cells, thus not supporting health. In addition, sugar also impedes vitamin and mineral absorption (again not supporting wellness and the bodies ability to detox). So ditch the juice detox or daily juices and aim for quality properly formulated smoothies/shakes made from whole foods. If you are interested in doing a detox speak with a Holistic Nutritionist, not a salesperson!
If you want to make healthy changes with your diet, take the time to invest in quality sourced information and advice from a Nutritionist instead of wasting your time, money, and health on gimmicks.
Dana Clark, CNHP, CHC, CHN, CLE
Keto, or the Ketogenic Diet, might seem like the latest diet trend, but it was actually created almost 100 years ago, originally designed to help children with unmanageable epilepsy. This diet drastically limits carbohydrates, causing the body to use fat as energy, rather than glucose. When the body starts using fat as energy, it also produces ketones. This side effect can reduce the frequency of seizures in some children with epilepsy when medication doesn’t work.
Another side effect is...quick weight loss. Ding Ding Ding - how sexy is that? Because of this side effect, it has been used in a clinical setting for emergency weight loss (under medical supervision and risk factor analysis of course). Fast forward to 2018, and now it's a new diet trend.
Why does it ‘work’? Keto is a very restrictive way of eating, so of course weight loss is going to happen. Why it doesn’t work? So many reasons, but mainly because of its restrictive regime, many people can’t sustain it over the long term.
To make Keto work, you need to stay in a state of ketosis, leaving any flexibility of just living or what other people might refer to as ‘cheating’ not possible. Not to mention the fact that macronutrients need to be monitored very closely making it necessary to count everything consumed. As a Holistic Nutritionist, I love food journaling and I use it as a temporary tool for my clients. Having said that, to constantly keep such detailed tabs on your food intake is not a healthy or sustainable practice. It is my goal to help my clients develop a healthy relationship with food. I want them to be able to enjoy ‘living moments’ such as pizza and cake on occasion, without guilt or major repercussions beyond a little feedback from their bodies the next day.
In my practice, many of my clients come in with digestive issues, and as a Holistic practitioner, I know how important our gut biome is needed for overall health. A healthy gut biome supports our immune system, stabilizes inflammation, regulates hormones, allows us to metabolize our nutrients, reduces our risk for various diseases, and supports healthy weight management. I am often rebalancing client’s gut biome and addressing their digestive issues. What Keto is not? A digestive system and gut biome friendly diet. It lacks the various forms of fiber, much-needed prebiotics, and resistant starches (which come from legumes, quality intact grains, root crops). Many of the foods consumed on the keto diet, for example, dairy fats, increase inflammation in the digestive system, stress the digestive organs, as well as suppress a healthy gut biome. BUT you’ll lose weight, so all good, right?
Oh man, my nutritionist rant is bubbling up....here’s another thing, I am often addressing inflammation with clients. There are some theories out there that suggest Keto helps inflammation due to its effects on adenosine levels, but the science is still out on whether this is true or not. When it comes to nutrition and its effects on our health, we need to look at the big picture.. Nutritional science is not linear. It would be irresponsible of me to look at one concept or one benefit when there are so many intricacies to consider... Sadly, fitness professionals or ‘Influencers’ lack the formal nutritional education and tend to take the micro view and focus on one aspect of a ‘diet’. My larger, nutritionally focused view takes into consideration that dairy and high animal product consumption increases inflammation in the body through various mechanisms from the gut biome to the bodies ph.levels...I could go on.
I know you’re thinking - “But I’ve seen it work!” Here’s why - Keto requires individuals to drop added sugars, and ditch a large number of processed foods. This alone will result in weight loss, regulate blood sugar levels, and reduced pain associated with inflammation. These changes are ones I promote to all my clients; this is what we call an overlap effect and this is why we see benefits, sadly with Keto, it doesn’t last due to the points I made above and much more. This is why I don’t recommend Keto to my clients, especially when there are more sustainable and wellness-focused ways for my clients to reach their goals that do not have the potential for negative health outcomes in the future.
Other well documented articles/videos on the keto diet
Dana Clark CNHP CHC CHN CLE
Check out this episode of Flying for Flavour with yours truly talking about this exact topic with Stephanie & Cynthia
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