Thursday, 13 July 2017

The need to educate ourselves: Nutrition

Young or, not so young, we are in desperate need as human beings, of education when it comes to our own nutrition and health.  By that I mean, we need to educate ourselves and stop waiting for the government or some big company to tell us what's good or bad.

I had to do a quick post between clients today. I'm in the process of discussing nutrition with some of my athletes right now. I love tackling nutrition basics with them, because I am often surprised at what young people (or people in general) are eating, and I learn so much when I look up ingredients and nutritional information.

This athlete, as with many it seems, enjoys grabbing "food" at Tim Horton's.  This athlete is also a type 1 diabetic (keep that in mind while reading this).  On her food log, one day for breakfast she had to following from Timmy's:

-Bagel Breakfast Sandwich
-Blueberry Muffin
-Medium Iced Capp

From just the bagel, muffin and the processed cheese on the bagel, here are the ingredients she's having to start her day;

(From Tim Horton's downloadable pdf ingredients list):

Roasted Garlic & Cheese Bagel: Enriched wheat flour, water, garlic, mozzarella cheese (modified milk ingredients, bacterial culture, salt, calcium chloride, enzymes, cellulose, natamycin), parmesan cheese (modified milk ingredients, salt, enzymes, calcium chloride, bacterial culture, cellulose, sorbic acid), vegetable oil (canola oil or soybean oil), wheat gluten, sugar, salt, dehydrated toasted onions, yeast, cornmeal, corn syrup solids, dehydrated roasted garlic, calcium propionate, potassium sorbate, garlic powder, acetylated tartaric acid esters of mono and diglycerides

Processed Cheddar Cheese: Cheese (milk, modified milk ingredients, bacterial culture, salt, rennet and/or microbial enzyme, calcium chloride, colour, lipase, sorbic acid), modified milk ingredients, water, sodium citrate and/or phosphate, glucose, skim milk powder, salt, acetic acid, sorbic acid, soy lecithin, soybean oil (for slice separation), carboyxmethylcellulose, colour, citric acid.

Wild Blueberry Muffin: Bleached enriched wheat flour, water, sugar, wild blueberries, soybean and/or canola oils, liquid whole eggs, leavening (sodium bicarbonate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate), modified cornstarch, salt, cellulose gum, monoglycerides, guar gum, xanthan gum, corn syrup solids, whey powder (milk), enzyme (amylase), natural flavour

She was shocked by this when I showed her this. But in addition to that information, here are the total numbers regarding the nutritional information about this breakfast she chose:

Calories 1120kcals
Fats 41g
Sodium 1520mg
Carbs 151g
Sugar 69g
Protein 31g

Here it is broken down into words;

-Half a day of calories for some people
-Large amount of predominantly bad fats
-Over half the RDA (recommended daily allowance) of sodium
-Way more carbs than most people should eat in a day (and low quality sources)
-17.25 teaspoons of sugar (just under the equivalent of 2 cans of pop)
-low quality protein sources

A general human's body would be taking a beating having this all at once, let alone a diabetic human being. But again, I don't really blame her. She was never taught to delve into the nutrition information more. None of us are. But we need to - it's proven from the information above. And unfortunately, this is happening everyday, among so many people.

-If we want to lead a healthier lifestyle, we need to start taking the time and energy to learn more about what we're putting into our bodies (in particular when we have a disease like diabetes).

-We need to minimize the amount of times we eat out (this athlete eats out often).

-We need to eat real food. Real foods have one ingredient (itself).

-Create habits that promote eating at home or eating homemade meals/snacks (always a healthier option).

And most importantly - We need to care about what we put in our body.