There are all kinds of nutrition bars available, from energy bars, to protein bars, to weight control, to gluten free, to breakfast bars, and the list goes on. Unfortunately, many of these supposed “nutrition” bars are really just glorified candy bars.
What to look for when selecting a nutrition bar:
Sugar – Look at the nutrition label and see how many grams of sugar there are per serving. . .and does a full bar equal 1 serving? Select a bar with 5 grams or less sugar per bar.
Fiber – Don’t rely on fortified bars to meet daily fiber needs. Isolated fibers, such as inulin, chicory extract, and oligosaccharides do not necessarily provide the same benefit as foods naturally rich in fiber. Select a bar that provides ~3 grams of fiber. Ideally this fiber will come from whole grains, dried fruit, and/or nuts included in the bar.
Vitamins and Minerals – Don’t use a nutrition bar to try and meet 100% of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamins and minerals. Look at the food label and see if it’s providing 100% of the RDA. There are potential side effects from consuming too much of certain vitamins and minerals. Select nutrition bars that do not provide 100% of the RDA for vitamins and minerals.
Continue reading ‘Is your granola bar a candy bar in disguise?’ »
Multivitamins are marketed as a form of insurance to ‘bridge the gap’ between what you consume and what you need to ensure your needs are met. There’s much debate on whether or not multivitamins are truly beneficial and the potential for them to cause more harm than good.
One Size Does Not Fit All
Everyone’s nutritional needs are different. A man does not have the same nutrient needs as a woman, a child does not have the same needs as an adult, a pregnant woman does not have the same needs as a post-menopausal woman, etc.
If you go to the vitamin aisle you’ll see all the options tailored to meet the needs of different groups. For example, you’ll find Centrum Silver, Flintstones chewables, and Men’s One-A-Day. However, nutrient needs are more specific to the individual. The standard daily value that meets the needs of one individual may be too high or too low for another, even within the same group/category.
No Standard Formula
Continue reading ‘Vitamins – Do You Need a Multivitamin?’ »
I want to talk about the fat in your diet. When it comes time to lose weight one of the first steps is to switch to a low fat diet. I want to caution you not to drop your fat intake too low. Yes, you need to watch the fat calories, but some fat is needed everyday for optimal health.
Fat is an essential component of a healthy diet providing energy and the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Some types of fat even reduce your risk for certain chronic diseases, such as heart disease.
What’s important is the amount and type of fat. I recommend restricting fat intake to ~30% of your total daily calories. This would mean if you are consuming 1500 calories per day, 450 calories or 50 grams would come from fat sources.
Now, you need to make sure these fat sources are healthy. Here are examples of healthy fat sources to include in your diet in moderation:
Some fat in your diet actually promotes weight loss by helping you feel full longer, decreasing your likelihood to snack too much and overeat!
February is American Heart Month. In recognition of American Heart Month you can access Heart Health Made Easy at a 25% savings. Learn more about this take action guide to lower cholesterol and blood pressure at http://www.hearthealthmadeeasy.com.
All the best,
Lisa Nelson RD
Be Heart Healthy and Lose Weight