- What did you learn that was beneficial to you? Be specific (i.e. give specific examples and references). Why did you find this beneficial? How will you apply what you have learned to your personal lifestyle?
In this class I have learned that eating healthy does not necessarily mean consuming less calories, skipping specific food groups, or skipping whole meals; but rather, eating healthy means consuming all types of foods in a balanced way. What surprised me most was that healthy eating actually means consuming many calories, but they have to be beneficial; they cannot be so called “empty calories.” Foods that are considered high in calories but still healthy are dried fruits and avocados. Cereal is a good breakfast option because of the high percentage of fiber and calcium. While consuming many healthy calories is important, maintenance of healthy weight means balancing energy consumption with energy expenditure. Calculating the amount of calories a person needs to expend depending on the amount they consume on a daily basis is based on age, sex, weight, and activity level (Colditz, 2013). Eating the right foods at the right time is also important because you do not want certain macronutrients staying in the system for a long period of time. For example, eating carbohydrates as a pre – exercise snack is a good option, because it is quickly available to be used by the muscles during exercise (Clark, 2008). Another thing I found interesting was that fruits have many different types of sugars. Eating many different fruits is a good option because the sugars are metabolized by different pathways at different rates, making it another good option as a snack prior to exercise. For myself, I am going to start eating a bigger assortment of fruits, I already eat cereal in the morning because I can prepare it myself and is a quick option.
- Discuss useful information that you learned about each of the following and their role in exercise: carbohydrates, protein, fats, and supplements. Be sure to reference material from the course and provide comprehensive analysis. (Minimum 1 paragraph on each topic underlined above)
I found it interesting that a diet that is high in protein could just as easily be high in fat. For example, steak, bacon, eggs etc are foods that may have a high protein content but are also foods that are really high in fat. Saturated fats raise total serum cholesterol (Gillman, 2013), these types of fats are mostly found in animal products, such as a steak. A diet low in saturated fats will be better for the heart because it will reduce the risk of developing atherosclerosis, and is also better for overall athletic performance (Clark, 2008
The main concern in regards to dietary fat is its primary association with coronary artery disease. Specifically the types of fat that are consumed in the diet is very important. For example, people should consume less then 10% of their total calories from saturated fats, such as meats and cheeses. Better fats are the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which include fish, olive oil, and nuts (Colditz, 2013). Trans fatty acids should be completely removed from the diet because along with saturated fats they increased the serum cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of coronary artery disease (Colditz, 2013).
The type and amount of carbohydrates consumed have different effects on postprandial glucose levels and glycemic index. For example, carbohydrates are traditionally classified as simple, which are sugars, mono- and disaccharides; or complex carbohydrates, which are starches, polysaccharides (Liu & Willett, 2013). Complex carbohydrates raise blood sugar at a slower rate compared to simple carbohydrates, and are therefore healthier for controlling ones glycemic index. A diet with a high glycemic index, has been shown to increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus; which itself is associated with an increased risk of developing coronary artery disease. Healthy eating can be achieved by changing the foods that we consume that have a high glycemic index such as, pizza, rice, and pancakes, with foods that have a lower glycemic index, such as fruits and vegetables (Liu & Willett, 2013).
Adding supplements to ones diet can be a non-pharmacological, and rather natural way of promoting a healthy diet. Some examples of commonly used herbs and supplements include, capsicum pepper, Coenzyme Q10, garlic, green tea, and ginseng. Capsicum pepper is a commonly used home remedy for the treatment of allergic rhinitis and conjunctivis. Coenzyme Q10 can be used in conjunction with statins to prevent muscle pain associated with statin use. (Baker & Rosenson, 2013) Besides herbal supplementation, vitamin supplementation can be used for the promotion of a healthy diet, but also may be required in certain conditions, for example pregnancy (Fletcher & Fairfield, 2013). Deficiencies in vitamin stores may cause severe disease, such as rickets in children when there is a deficiency in vitamin D, anemia in the case of a deficiency of folate and vitamin B12, and scurvy, in the case of a deficiency of vitamin C.
- What have you learned about maintaining your weight, putting on lean mass and/or taking off weight healthfully? Give a specific example(s) and provide a reference(s). How is this information useful to your health?
Weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight has three components: 1. Diet; 2. Exercise; and 3. Behavior modification. Men have an easier time losing weight because they have more lean mass and less percent body fat, these two factors together lead to an increase in energy expenditure (Bray, 2013). Age is also a factor in weight loss and maintenance. With increased age comes a decrease in metabolic rate; it declines by about 2% per decade (100 kcal/decade (Bray, 2013). It is important to set goals for weight loss so the person can see results and stay motivated. An initial weight loss goal of 5 – 7% of the person’s current body weight is a good initial goal to set.
It takes approximately 22kcal/kg to maintain a single kg in a normal adult (Bray, 2013). In a person who eats a reduced calorie diet and has an increased energy expenditure will lost weight initially, but in 4-6 months the metabolic rate will go back to equilibrium to reflect the reduced calorie intake and increased energy expenditure. Many diets promote healthy weight loss, these include: balanced low calorie, low fat low calorie, moderate fat low calorie, low carbohydrate, and the Mediterranean diet.
- What have you learned about your neighborhood, society, etc.? How will this benefit you?
In my neighborhood, I have discovered that it has many healthy food options if I want to go eat out with my friends, but still be in control of the foods I am eating. Grocery shopping is another healthy food option. In my neighborhood we have a Trader Joe’s, which takes pride in the fact that they have many natural organic food options. This will be beneficial to me because I will not be tempted by poor quality food and instead I am surrounded by healthy options.
Other then the food choice options in my neighborhood we have many options for exercise and outdoor activities. For example, I spend most of my days in class, but after I am able to go to the gym. The ease of having the gym in my neighborhood, guarantees that I will go. We also have some parks in my neighborhood; this is really convenient because I can just go and hang out there with my friends, and we can play sports or games, which makes exercising more fun and feel less like a chore.
- Reflect on your progress you have made towards your goals, and changes you have made in your diet and/or exercise regimen. How did this class help you with your goals and/or any changes you have made? How do you plan on continuing forward and using this knowledge in your future? Add any relevant information in your reflection that you find necessary.
I have been overweight for as long as I can remember. Three years ago I decided to make a change; I was sick of feeling tired and lazy all the time. I was also scared of developing the many health problems related to being obese, especially diabetes. However there are many other problems that are associated with obesity such as, cardiovascular diseases, like hypertension and coronary artery disease; gastrointestinal diseases, like nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; pulmonary conditions, such as obstructive sleep apnea. Besides these, obesity can lead to orthopedic and dermatological problems, and perhaps most importantly can have a very severe effect on mental health (Klish, 2013)
In this class I learned what it means to have a healthy diet. I used to think that if I only ate one meal a day, I would loose weight and be healthy. Now I know that even though a person might loose weight in the beginning by not eating properly, in the end the person will gain weight again when they start eating properly. The key is moderation and healthy choices, as well as adding in the right amount of exercise on a daily basis.
So far I think I am doing great. I have cut out soda and other soft drinks like the textbook says to because these are simple sugars that have empty calories. I am going to increase the number of complex carbohydrates in my diet and decrease the amount of animal protein I eat so that my daily fat intake is also reduced. I have also started to change my dairy from whole fat to low fat. Hopefully as I continue on my weight loss and healthy lifestyle journey I will reduce the risk of developing the many diseases associated with improper food intake.
Gillman, M. (2013). Dietary Fat. UpToDate. Waltham, MA: UpToDate
Colditz, G. (2013) Healthy Diet in Adults. UpToDate. Waltham, MA: UpToDate
Liu, S., Willet, W. (2013). Dietary Carbohydrates. UpToDate. Waltham, MA: UpToDate
Fletcher, R., Fairfield, K. (2013). Vitamin Supplementation in Disease Prevention. UpToDate. Waltham, MA: UpToDate
Bray, G. (2013) Overview of Therappy for Obesity in Adults. UpToDate. Waltham, MA: UpToDate
Rosenson, R., Baker, S. (2013) Statin Myopathy. UpToDate. Waltham, MA: UpToDate
Clark, N. (2008). Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidelines , fourth edition. Human Kinetics. kindle edition
Klish, W. (2013). Comorbidities and Complications of Obesity in Children and Adolescents. UpToDate. Waltham, MA: UpToDate