Nutrition Label Getting a Makeover?

The FDA has proposed changes to the Nutrition Facts Label that would put a greater emphasis on calories, added sugars, and nutrients such as Vitamin D and Potassium, while also reporting more realistic serving sizes. Unfortunately, obesity rates in America continue to rise, as does the incidence of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. It is no secret that nutrition plays a huge role in the prevention and treatment of these diseases, and thus it is more important than ever to start paying attention to what’s on our plate!

So, what are the proposed changes? (click here to view the old vs new label)

    Greater emphasis would be placed on on calories.

o   Calories would be enlarged and bold at the top of the nutrition label. When trying to maintain or lose weight, paying attention to total calories is important to ensure that you are not exceeding your goals.

    ‘Added Sugars’ will be included.

o   Many foods, such as fruits, contain naturally occurring sugars. An added sugar refers to the sugar that was added during the production process. Foods high in added sugar include soda, sweetened yogurt, sports drinks, and candy. Over consumption of these foods has been linked to obesity.

    Calories from fat would no longer be included.

o   Research has shown that the type of fat is more important than the amount of fat. Total fat, saturated fat, and trans fat will continue to be listed. Limiting intake of saturated and trans fat is important for heart health.

    Serving sizes would be updated.

o   Serving sizes on the current label rarely reflect what people actually eat, as portion sizes have increased dramatically over the years. This may lead the consumer to underestimate how many calories he or she is actually eating during one sitting.

    Amounts of potassium and Vitamin D would be required.

o   Vitamin D is important for bone health, while potassium can lower blood pressure and prevent hypertension. Evidence suggests these nutrients can be very beneficial in the prevention of chronic disease

 

 The grocery store can be an overwhelming place, and reading a nutrition label is not as simple as it seems. It is quite common to feel unsure of what to look for when reviewing a nutrition label, and some people admit to skipping the label all together. The proposed new nutrition label is designed in a way that is meant to be more consumer friendly so that shoppers can make informed decisions about what goes into their shopping cart

 

The evidence is undeniable that eating nutritious foods can protect against many health complications and chronic diseases. The proposed nutrition label has many positive changes that would make it easier for shoppers to choose more healthful options, and it is encouraging to see the link between nutrition and disease being recognized. Whether the new nutrition label will be passed or not remains to be seen, but it is important to remember to always read your labels and stay savvy about what you put into your body!

Advertisements

Spring Clean Your Metabolism!

The weather is warming up and no doubt the thought of getting into a swimsuit is on your mind. But, does it seem like you do everything possible to lose weight, yet the scale won’t budge? It could be your metabolism is to blame! Metabolism is the process by which the body makes and uses energy (calories) for everything from the cellular absorption of nutrients to running a marathon. The more calories your body burns per day, the easier it is to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. What you eat, how you eat it, the type of exercise you do, and even how you sleep can all impact your metabolism. If you feel like your metabolism is running at the speed of a slough, it’s time to spring clean your metabolism by using these five tricks to rev up your body’s motor and drive the numbers on the scale down.

Drink plenty of water

Staying hydrated is essential in order to flush out all the toxins and metabolic byproducts our body creates daily. As you lose weight, you create even more toxic byproducts as fat is burned. If these products build up in your body, they can drain your energy as well as affect your health. Drinking at least 64 ounces of water daily will help to ensure you are hydrated. Cold water may also give your metabolism a small boost because some energy is required to heat the body, so try drinking a glass of ice water with each meal. If the taste of plain water bores you, spice it up by adding a slice of fresh lemon, lime, or even cucmber to your water for a refreshing change!

Challenge your muscles

Right around age 30, metabolism starts to slow. This age related decline in metabolism is caused due to a losee of lean body mass, or muscle. In fact, you lose about 2% of your muscle mass yearly. This can be counterbalanced, however. Muscle is the most important predictor of how well you burn calories and body fat. Regular strength training with weights or resistance bands (aim for at least twice a week) is essential to building muscle mass and slowing age related muscle loss. The more muscle mass you maintain and develop, the more calories you will burn each day- even as you are sleeping! Another perk for resistance training- your metabolism will stay elevated for hours after you finish your workout.

Don’t skip breakfast

When you skip breakfast, you sabotage the rest of your day and your weight loss efforts. Studies show people who eat a healthy breakfast weigh less than people who don’t. In fact, even The National Weight Control Registry, which is a registry of people who have maintained a 30-pound (or more) weight loss for at least a year, shows that 78% of participates eat breakfast everyday and 90% report eating breakfast at least five days per week . When you eat breakfast, you are doing two things. One – you are jump-starting your metabolism. Your body does not begin to burn calories as effectively until you eat something. Two – You are preventing excessive hunger that is more than likely to occur later in the day if you skip a meal. Remember, excessive hunger leads to cravings, which leads to overeating. Breakfast does not have to be big or consist of only typical breakfast food items. A sandwich or small plates of dinner leftovers are just as effective as a breakfast as an egg white omelet. Need a quick breakfast on the run- toss together almond milk, frozen berries, low fat cottage cheese, cinnamon, and a splash of vanilla into the blender- blend, pour, and go!

Fight stress

Although easier said then done, lowering your stress level is essential if you wish to successfully lower the scale. Both physical and emotional stress stimulate the release of stress hormones such as cortisol, a steroid that slows metabolism and promotes fat storage, especially in the abdominal area. Avoiding stress, or reducing stress, can help to decrease the production of this hormone and in turn elevate your metabolism. For a quick stress reducer, try taking slow, deep breathes. You can breathe deeply anywhere and in any situation and just the act of doing so slows heart rate and helps to lower stress hormones.

Hit the hay

When our bodies do not get enough sleep ( 7 to 8 hours a night), the physical stress placed on our body is even higher. This can lead to an elevated production of cortisol along with other stress hormones, which can promote weight gain. In addition, fatigue can trigger food cravings and increased appetite, making it challenging to stay on track with a healthy eating plan. To make matters worse, lean body mass is regenerated in the last few hours of restful sleep, which, if missed, can lead to a smaller percent of lean body mass production, slowing metabolism. If you only sleep a few hours per night, try adding 30 minutes onto your sleep schedule every week until you can successfully sleep for at least 7 hours.

What are so of your biggest challenges when it comes to boosting metabolism?

Copyright ErinPalinski.com 2012. All Rights Reserved.

For more information, check out my website, America’s Belly Fat Fighter, at www.erinpalinski.com

Follow me on twitter @DietExpertNJ