As your Shape-Up For Summer (SU4S ) 2019 challenge is underway, and the Memorial Day weekend around the corner, I will be sending healthy tips and articles I feel are helpful and worth your time to purview. Below is an article by Sophia Ruiz from InBody that gives important facts about why eating fruits and vegetables are so important for our health and our ability to lose unwanted and unhealthy levels of body fat.
I have condensed this long article and but a link on the bottom if you have an interest in greater details. In bold will be thoughts I feel more important to take note of and is not the authors.
May you see a wonderful improvement in the next 5 weeks. See what you can accomplish.
The Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables
A condensed version of article by Sophia Ruiz, InBody, USA
With the modern prevalence of cheap fast food and the standard American diet, it’s no surprise that most Americans don’t hit the daily recommended intake of 2 to 3 cups of fruits and vegetables. (Robert recommends 5 or more servings for great results!)
Between restrictive diets that deteriorate the quality of life, fast food, and the inherent flaws of the Standard American Diet, many may be missing out on the amazing health benefits that fruits and vegetables have to offer. These profound health-promoting qualities lie in the high antioxidant, fiber, and water-soluble vitamin content.
Fiber Is Your Friend!
Fiber has a wide array of health benefits including lowering the risk of developing diseases like diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and more. It may also be beneficial for those who already have diabetes in its proven ability to improve insulin sensitivity — a major issue for diabetics.
For those seeking to improve body composition, research shows that adding fiber to your diet can amplify weight loss goals. Although the exact mechanisms behind the benefits are not all defined yet, studies show a clear association with high fiber intake and markers of health. Considering fruits and vegetables are the highest-fiber foods available to us, they are a huge contributor to fiber intake.
Fiber and Gut Health
To add to the list, the friendly bacteria that live in our gut also thrive off of fruit and vegetable fiber. Because our body doesn’t absorb fiber, it becomes readily available to these bacteria that ferment it. Anti-inflammatory short-chain fatty acids are released as a by-product of this process and are key to protecting the health of the gut. They may also have metabolic implications, including appetite regulation and correlation with lower insulin levels.
Fiber-Rich Fruits and Veggies
Fiber is exclusively found in plant foods, which is just another motivating reason to boost your vegetable and fruit consumption. The level of fiber is dependent on the individual vegetable or fruit.
Fiber Content of Fruits and Vegetables
Lentils 11.7g/3.5 oz
White Beans, raw 17.7g/3.5 oz
Kidney Beans, canned 6.3g/3.5 oz
Kiwi 3.39g/3.5 oz
NOTE: To protect the high fiber content of these foods, avoid peeling which can reduce fruit and vegetable fiber content.
Folate, specifically, also plays a critical role in energy production. Folate is essential to the Folate Cycle which assists in converting homocysteine to methionine in the Methionine cycle. ( Note from Robert: Folic Acid is not the same as Folate. folic acid is a synthesized version of vitamin B9 that is added to processed foods and the common version used in supplements. Folates are found in vegetables and fruit! ) With the help of other B-vitamins, methionine is eventually converted into ketobutyrate, which is a key contributor to mitochondrial energy production in the Krebs Cycle.
The well-known health benefits of fruits and vegetables due to their high antioxidant, fiber, and water-soluble vitamin content, like the B-complex and vitamin C, are the basis for the encouragement of including them in your diet. Government bodies currently recommend 1 and ½ to 2 cups of fruits and 2 and ½ to 3 cups of vegetables per day, depending on your sex and age, for optimal health. (Note from Robert: More produces great results)
Restrictive diets that exclude or significantly reduce plant consumption may result in deficiencies of these nutrients, specifically and most likely, vitamin C and fiber. It’s best to discuss a plan for implementing these diets in detail with your doctor after blood work, making sure adopting one of these diets won’t lead to deficiency.
You can include more of the plant foods mentioned above in your diet by consciously planning your meals. Try substituting your snacks for fruits or veggies or include a vegetable in every meal. If you meal prep, it’s really easy to prepare your fruits and veggies in bulk for easy access and consumption!
With the amazing health benefits of fruits and vegetables, abundant availability, and easy preparation, it’s so easy to get these beneficial foods into your diet and achieve optimal health and nutrition.
For the full article go to FULL ARTICLE
Sophia Ruiz is a health and wellness freelance writer & blogger. As an Instagram influencer, she uses her platforms to promote consumer empowerment through education.
Robert’s comments and notes:
After 50 years of working with members on losing weight through exercise and various diets, I have learned that weight loss and fat loss is accomplished through proper eating and nutrition, and your shape, tone, and fitness levels are accomplished through a proper exercise program (of cardio, resistance and strength training, flexibility and posture.)
The most effective way I have found to lose body fat and NOT muscle is eating enough vegetables and fruit (not juices), drinking enough water (about eight 8-ounce glasses), and quality protein (not too much or too little, about 1 gram per 3.lbs of body weight for the average sedentary person and more for highly active persons.
If you’re focused on healthy eating, then you’ve likely heard of the ketogenic (keto), Paleolithic (Paleo), Atkins, and Whole30 diets. But what’s the best way to determine the most appropriate diet for your needs and preferences?
All four of the above-mentioned food plans are low-carb in nature. Keto and Atkins take a deliberately low-carb approach to eating, but Atkins does not limit protein, while keto is low-to-moderate in protein; another key difference is that while Atkins is generally touted as a short-term weight loss solution, keto is viewed as a lifestyle.
Meanwhile, the Paleo and Whole30 diets involve the elimination of processed foods and grains—categories known for their high carbohydrate content.
Now let’s highlight each of the four diets and dive into their similarities and differences.
Founded by Dr. Russell Wilder at the Mayo Clinic, the ketogenic diet was created in 1924.1Today it’s viewed as a tool that utilizes metabolism to shift energy pathways in the body. The idea is that you can achieve ketosis—a shift from using carbohydrates as fuel to using fats—by consuming specific percentages of macronutrients.2
Here’s the keto macronutrient breakdown:
70% of daily calories from fats
20% of daily calories from proteins
10% of daily calories from carbs
By restricting your carbohydrate intake between 20 and 50 grams per day, and subsequently increasing your fat intake, your body initiates the process of ketosis and produces ketone bodies. Ketones are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver.
To this end, since excess proteins can easily be converted to blood sugar, it’s ideal to opt for full-fat rather than low-fat protein options.
Most keto dieters track their macronutrient levels to monitor their dietary progress; some even test their blood, breath, or urine to confirm they are in a state of nutritional ketosis.
Those who follow the ketogenic diet avoid processed foods, starchy vegetables, gluten, grains, legumes, and sugars (including natural ones). Instead, they eat nonstarchy vegetables, nuts and seeds, meats and poultry, fish and seafood, eggs, low-glycemic fruits like berries, heart-healthy fats, non-nutritive sweeteners like stevia, and full-fat dairy options.
The keto diet is known for reduced feelings of hunger as compared to other diets. It is also known for promoting the breakdown of fat rather than muscle during exercise and in some cases has been said to enhance exercise performance, as ketone-made ATP releases more energy than glucose-made ATP.3 Stress reduction is another benefit of keto.4
The Atkins diet was developed by Dr. Robert C. Atkins in the 1960s and promotes weight loss by encouraging dieters to track their “net carbs”—that is, the difference between an item’s carb content and its fiber content.5 For instance, if three spears of asparagus have 1.8 grams of carbs and 0.9 grams of fiber, then their net carbs total 0.9 grams.
A low net carb quantity is ideal in the Atkins diet. It’s also worth noting that the definition of net carbs isn’t regulated, and the term is used rather loosely. The above explanation outlines what is taught in the Atkins program.
The diet consists of four phases:5
Phase 1: Induction
This initial phase lasts about two weeks. During this time, the dieter cuts carbs from the diet, with the aim of consuming 20 grams of net carbs per day.
Those who follow the Atkins diet avoid consuming processed foods, starchy foods, sugars, grains, nuts, legumes, and alcohol during this phase. Instead, they eat “foundation” vegetables like asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, celery, cucumber, and green beans. These vegetables should comprise 12 to 15 grams of their net carbs. They also eat meats and poultry, fish and seafood, eggs, heart-healthy fats, and full-fat dairy.
Phase 2: Balancing
Dieters continue to get 12 to 15 grams of their daily net carbs from foundation vegetables in this phase. And while they still avoid foods with added sugar, they can start incorporating nutrient-dense foods like berries, as well as nuts and seeds, back into their diet. This phase should last until the person is 10 pounds from their target weight.
Phase 3: Pre maintenance
Dieters stay in this phase until they reach their goal weight and continue broadening the range of foods they eat during this time. They can add up to 10 grams of carbs back into their diet each week and revisit items like fruits, starchy vegetables, and whole grains.
Phase 4: Lifetime maintenance
The fourth and final phase is simply maintenance for dieters who have reached their goal weight.
The main difference between Atkins and keto is that while both promote a low-carbohydrate diet, Atkins doesn’t limit protein intake nor encourage a higher fat intake. While the Atkins diet is viewed as a weight-loss solution, keto is meant to induce major—and, if followed carefully, longer-term—metabolic changes.
Chances are you’ve heard the phrase “caveman diet.” The Paleolithic diet focuses on the consumption of high-quality foods, with the aim of avoiding processed ingredients and instead adopting our ancestors’ eating habits from the Paleolithic era.
Paleo emphasizes items that were once procured by hunting and gathering and limits foods that became mainstream when farming took off approximately 10,000 years ago, such as dairy products, legumes, grains, added sugar, and hydrogenated oils.
In short, the Paleolithic diet proposes that modern dietary practices are misaligned with the human body.6 Dieters who swear by Paleo consume high quantities of vegetables, meats, fish, and healthy fats, along with fruits, nuts, and seeds in moderation. Research reveals that the diet may trigger weight loss among other benefits.6
Contrary to keto and Atkins, there is no official macronutrient profile defined for Paleo. That said, nutrient-dense yet starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, and natural sweeteners like maple syrup, are generally allowed in Paleo but not in keto (and only sometimes in Atkins).
In addition, Paleolithic dieters—who have the option to consume healthy fats like olive or coconut oil—generally get fewer calories from fats than their ketogenic and Atkins counterparts. And unlike keto and Atkins, but similar to Whole30, Paleo is a dairy-free food plan.
Whole30 co-creator Melissa Hartwig, CISSN introduced her 30-day diet in 2009.7 The elimination program consists of cutting out certain food groups over the course of a month.7
For 30 days, Whole30 participants steer clear of added sugars (including natural sweeteners), alcohol, grains, legumes, and dairy.
Carrageenan, MSG, and sulfite should also be avoided.
Even baked goods and processed foods prepared with otherwise approved ingredients are far from ideal, as eating these treats will—according to the program—make it difficult to keep cravings at bay. Those who slip up are asked to restart the food plan from day one.
But there are exceptions to the rule: Despite the list of banned ingredients, ghee and clarified butter, natural fruit juices, certain legumes (green beans, sugar snap peas, and snow peas), vinegar, coconut aminos, and salt are all considered acceptable ingredients.7
Recommended foods include meats and poultry, seafood, eggs, high quantities of vegetables, some fruits, natural fats, and plenty of herbs and spices. It’s best to eat foods with few ingredients—or, ideally, only one ingredient because the item in question is unprocessed.
There are countless diets out there. And ultimately, although Whole30 is structurally different from keto, Atkins, and Paleo, the program urges dieters to avoid processed foods, eliminate refined sugars, and lower their carb intake.
This article doesn’t advocate any particular diet. Before starting any diet please consult your healthcare practitioner.
Atkins® is a registered trademark of Atkins Nutritionals, Inc.
Whole30 ® is a registered trademark of Thirty & Co, LLC
Wheless JW. History of the ketogenic diet. Epilepsia. 2008;49(Suppl 8):3–5.
Volek JS et al. Comparison of energy-restricted very low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets on weight loss and body composition in overweight men and women. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2004;1(1):13.
Cox PJ et al. Acute nutritional ketosis: implications for exercise performance and metabolism. Extrem Physiol Med. 2014;3:17.
Hallbook T et al. The effects of the ketogenic diet on behavior and cognition. Epilepsy Res. 2012;100(3):304-309.
Mayo Clinic. Atkins Diet: What’s behind the claims? Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/atkins-diet/art-20048485/. Accessed June 7, 2018.
Mayo Clinic Staff. Paleo diet: What is it and why is it so popular? https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/paleo-diet/art-20111182/. Accessed June 7, 2018.
Whole30. The Official Whole30 Program Rules. https://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/. Accessed June 7, 2018.
This content is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Individuals should always consult with their healthcare professional for advice on medical issues.
U.S. News evaluated and ranked the 41 diets below with input from a panel of health experts. To be top-rated, a diet had to be relatively easy to follow, nutritious, safe, effective for weight loss, and protective against diabetes and heart disease. The Mediterranean diet took the top spot, while the government-endorsed DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, came in second.
DIETS COME AND GO, teasing and tempting with dreams of that elusive hot body. Eat what you want! Pounds melt away overnight! No one approach is best for everyone. Regardless of the “program” you are on, be it the “See Food and eat it” approach or Paleo, it is your “Dietary Approach” and affects your health and how you look and feel for better or worse.
To create the latest edition of the rankings, U.S. News editors and reporters spent months winnowing potential additions to our diet roster and then mining medical journals, government reports, and other resources to create in-depth profiles for those that made the cut.
Each profile explains how the diet works, determines whether its claims add up or fall short, scrutinizes it for possible health risks – and reveals what it’s like to live on the diet, not just read about it.
To see the list, and how your favorite diet is ranked, use the link below. A very helpful resource. Your diet is one of the important factors of a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle also includes fitness/exercise/activities, mental/emotional/spiritual, and simply enjoying life, family, friends, and pets!
Now in its ninth year, Best Diets delivers the facts about and ranks 41 diets on a range of levels, from their heart healthiness to their likelihood to help you lose weight.
Can you see the finish line, challengers? A shout out to Greg Farinsky, Hillary Jones, Linda Ellis, and Teresa Ontiveros for a great week of effort! 7 days. 168 hours. 10,080 minutes. Time left in the 2017 SU4S Challenge. Stay focused!
Greg Farinsky, Hillary Jones, Linda Ellis, and Teresa Ontiveros
Workout Effort 100%
Nutrition Effort 100%
Total Effort 92%
Hayley McConnville, Kathy Hoffman, Robert Burns Rene Rimlinger, and Melane Barney
Total Effort 83%
*The weekly top 3 is based on the ‘Greatness Board’ self-assessment points.
REVISED Date: Thursday, May 25th Time: 6:30pm – 7:30pm Where: Shape-Up Health Club // SPIN Studio Speaker: Christina Ratusznik Cost: FREE
Christina will take you through the different departments of the grocery store, what you should buy and what you should avoid. She will discuss the things you should always have on your grocery list and what to leave off.
Learn how to shop, prep, and make meals for a healthy lifestyle. Learn the benefits of different food. Learn what you should be putting into your body and why.