Fitness Boss

Find all your health and fitness info right here. we have an oversized choice of exercises, fitness articles , and healthy recipes to choose from. This is the Beginners Guide to Learning how to Exercise

According to a study conducted at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, there are so many ways in which you can choose a kettlebell. ...

According to a study conducted at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, there are so many ways in which you can choose a kettlebell. Mostly, the kettlebells vary in designs. There are those that are coated with rubber to protect the floors from the resulting impact. Other designs are designed specifically for competitions. Such kettlebells have a straight handle and are uniform in shape and size irrespective of the weight.

Over the years, some manufacturers have designed kettlebells with a concave face for ergonomic factors. Others like the newfangled kettlebells work the same way as dumbbells, which means that they can be loaded with plates for weight adjustments with just a single implement. For instance, kettlebell swings and getups are said to get the heart rate up and burn more fats in the same manner a cardio machine does but can do more in re-enforcing good mechanics.

Therefore, if you plan on buying your first kettlebell, it is important that you do the test before making the purchase. Start by holding up your hand and touch your thumb to the tip of your pinkie. Take note of the channel that forms on your palm. This is the point at which the kettlebell handle is supposed to rest most of the time. That is from the outside knuckle of your index finger down to the opposite side of your wrist in a diagonal orientation.

Follow this by picking up the weight and then holding the handle in the middle so that it fills the channel. Ensure that the bell rests on the back of your forearm and that the wrist at this point is straight. It is important that it does not impinge on the boney profile of your wrist. If at some point you pick up the kettlebell and it rubs against the bone protruding on the lateral side of your wrist, then this means that the weight displacement from the handle is not ideal. In other words, there is a high risk of you getting injured.

The best safety tip at this point is for you to avoid choosing a kettlebell that has a thick handle. You will realize that Onnit's handles have a diameter that is a little over an inch. This is enough when it comes to working your grip strength, while not causing unnecessary fatigue.

When performing an exercise like a swing, there is a possibility that you will be making so many reps in a single workout. The key here is to ensure that your grip does not burn out. This is mainly because it is counterproductive from a technical standpoint. When the grip is overworked, there is a chance that you will see a whole slew of mechanical problems that will occur. As for how much weight you should begin with, men can typically lift 16 kilos while women can lift 8 kilos.

Various Ways Strength Can Improve Your Life

You think bodybuilding is only used to make big muscles? That allthose who lift the weights are fans of fluffy skull on the beach thi...

You think bodybuilding is only used to make big muscles? That allthose who lift the weights are fans of fluffy skull on the beach this summer? Think again! Bodybuilding has many benefits you cannot imagine if you want to take care of your health!

 In addition to improving muscle strength, bodybuilding brings many benefits to the whole body. It has long been thought that cardio alone is good for heart health. However, studies have shown
that bodybuilding can reduce blood pressure and bad blood fat (cholesterol, triglycerides). Also, by doing muscle exercises, the heart works and gains strength. Each of our efforts during the day
becomes less difficult. Bodybuilding helps keep our heart healthy
longer, besides lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease such as
atherosclerosis or heart attack. 

Osteoporosis is a pathology manifested by excessive fragility of the skeleton, due to a decrease and alteration of bone mass. When bodybuilding is combined with a balanced diet, this activity
becomes a preponderant prevention element to fight against osteoporosis. When the muscles contract, they exert traction on the bones to which they are attached. This solicitation causes the bone
to strengthen by calcium accumulation. Measurements of bone densitometry carried out in women having started bodybuilding over 50 years show a decrease and a stabilization of osteoporosis.

Healthy Bones

Osteoporosis involves loss of bone mass and greater fragility of the bones. It affects one in four women and one in eight men after age 50. Muscle exercises cause significant stress on the bones, which causes them to solidify over training. A good way to prevent
osteoporosis is to combine a balanced diet with muscle and/or cardiovascular exercises like walking, jogging, tennis, etc.

Bodybuilding Improves Your Figure

Weight training endurance such as running have many benefits for the body (especially from a cardiac point of view), but they do not
strengthen all the muscles of the body, such as the abdominals or arms. A loss of strength in the abdominal strap is because of a prolonged use of the back muscles on a daily basis. This abnormal training of the back muscles can lead to pain, igniting discomfort.
Bodybuilding therefore makes it possible to develop and merge a large majority of the body's muscles in a targeted manner.

Prevents Back Pain

Do you know that most back pains are also muscle pain? The strengthening of the back muscles, thus allows the prevention and reduction of the famous "back pain", a real chronic disease in the
recent years. The more back muscles are toned, the longer the spinal column is secured. In addition, the muscle development of the abdominals and lumbar muscles, which play a preponderant role in the balance of the pelvis, effectively prevents back pain.
A well-adapted and well-executed weight training program helps prevent or treat back pain. About 80% of people experience low back pain during their lifetime. Strength training strengthens the back muscles and improves posture control. The back is better supported. Our spine is more stable and our movements are better executed during our daily activities. Abdominal bodybuilding: Are you a woman and you are afraid
of becoming a bodybuilder with oversized muscles? The development of muscles is more complicated to get in women. It
requires training and a special diet. The practice of bodybuilding will not give ladies big muscles. On the contrary, they will tone and refine their shape!
The great part for men is that regular practice of bodybuilding will allow you, among other things, to develop your chest, to have a stronger back, wider shoulders and, overall, a better posture quite
appreciable at the aesthetic level.

Muscle Prevents Aging

Maintaining good muscle tone is an important factor for the mobility and independence of older people. Bodybuilding can be practiced even in old age! Exercises of a muscle (called analytical exercises) do not produce almost any cardiovascular stress. By increasing
muscle mass (and thus strength and bone mass), seniors improve their balance and thus their ease of movement. Seniors can even get rid of their cane after starting a bodybuilding program.

Bodybuilding Improves Well-being

Like many physical activities, bodybuilding promotes endorphin secretion. This hormone is a natural tranquilizer that helps reduce stress. Having a more toned, stronger and healthier body allows you
to have more confidence in yourself!
Favor explosive movements at a steady pace. Perform functional exercises involving the whole body to develop broad athletic skills and a very good strength/weight ratio. Ideally, the
sessions should not last more than 30 minutes.
Do not have dumbbells? Be imaginative and do, for example, exercises in body weight or lift heavy things that you find easily at home: big cans filled with water, your cat's litter bags, your wife's handbag, etc.

Other Health Benefits

Strength training reduces the risk of colon cancer, improve diabetes control, improve sports and everyday activities, reduce stress and prevent age-related muscular decline. Muscle training is also
essential in a weight loss process.
Warning: It can be easy to get hurt if you practice bodybuilding carelessly. If you are a beginner, bodybuilding exercises should always be performed in precise and stable positions, with controlled body movements and weights. The best advice we can give you, in order to practice safely, is to be supported by a weight training coach who will create a personalized training program.

Regaining Competitive Edge in Your Workouts

 It takes a lot of time, effort and a well-structured training plan to get  good muscle. It is only if you train with a "plan"...

 It takes a lot of time, effort and a well-structured training plan to get good muscle. It is only if you train with a "plan" will you gain muscle mass in the long term. A training plan to achieve the goal of gaining muscle mass is based mainly on strength training, in which
basic exercises and isolation exercises are the main element. The goal is to encourage muscle growth by subjecting it to continuous stimulation.


A training plan to gain muscle mass poses different demands to athletes. In principle, it is based on basic exercises in which weights gradually increase. Short training series is important to maintain intensity. However, the training plan also includes sufficient regeneration phases to allow the formation of new muscle tissue.

• Characteristics of a training plan to gain muscle mass:
• Strength training to increase the musculature
• Attention in basic exercises
• Isolation exercises as a complement


If you want to increase your muscles effectively and sustainably, you do not have to go running to the gym every day, as they say.
Less is more! With a 3 or a maximum of 4 training sessions per week and with the right training plan, you can give your muscles the necessary growth stimulus.
In addition, muscle growth (hypertrophy) occurs anyway in the resting phases. It is when the muscular tissue recovers from the effort and the cross section of the muscle increases as a process of adaptation to the increasing load of the training (more weight, new
stimuli, etc.) In other words, if you train extremely, you risk stagnating and suffering from symptoms of over-training, such as a loss of strength and a feeling of premature fatigue.

A classic effect would be, for example, to train chest and triceps or back and biceps on separate days. For a training frequency of three to four sessions per week, a triple or quad split is good.


The sessions of your training plan to gain muscle mass should last, as a rule, between 60 and 90 minute maximum. If you train too long, your muscle tissue will be exposed to hormonal stress by the secretion of cortisol. When you do not gain muscle mass in the long
term, this hormone is one of the most frequent causes. If you go over the recommended training time, you can boost even the processes of muscle loss.
Important points about the duration of training in a training plan
to gain muscle mass:

• Max. 60-90 minutes per session
• Too long a training has a catabolic effect


A training plan to gain muscle mass should base your basic exercise structure on these 4 essentials. By this we mean basic exercises like the bench press, the dead lift, the squats and the shoulder press. Since in these basic exercises the whole muscles intervene, a great
secretion of testosterone takes place. This hormone, along with insulin, plays an essential role when it comes to gaining muscle
Approximately two-thirds of the training sessions to gain muscle mass should be used in basic exercises or free-weights exercises. The remaining third can be devoted to isolation exercises
and intensity techniques.
With the help of isolation exercises, specific stimuli can be applied to encourage growth and gain muscle mass, consciously overloading the muscles and exhausting it until muscle failure. This places a huge burden on the central nervous system. The muscle reacts, adapting and increasing its cross section, which "gains strength" for the next training session.
Important points about the selection of exercises of the training plan to gain muscle mass:

• Attention in basic exercises (two thirds)
• Isolation exercises to complement (one third)


Unlike the traditional routine for gaining mass, which requires maximum strength training (with a number of repetitions between 3 and 5), in the training plan to gain muscle mass you train in the socalled area of hypertrophy (with between 8 and 12 repetitions). The
volume of training and the amount of series is to do it in comparison with the routines to gain weight and for weight loss are clearly superior.
First, 1-2 warm-up sets are always performed for each exercise with little weight and 15-20 repetitions. In this case, the main thing is the increase in the blood supply of all the relevant muscle fibers and the practice of the technique for the subsequent loading phase.
The training to gain muscle mass is in the mid range of repetitions and the intensity is the important thing.
Following the warm-up phase, the weight is chosen with which three to four sets of 8-12 repetitions each will be made. The weight should be chosen so that a clean execution of each one of the exercises can be carried out and, at the same time, supports a good
stimulus for the growth. As for the orientation, you have to be able to carry out the last repetition of the last series without needing help.
Important points about the volume and intensity of the training plan to gain muscle mass:  
• 4-6 exercises per muscle group
• 1-2 warming series before each exercise
• 3-4 work series
• 8-12 repetitions


In the training plan to gain muscle mass, optimal pause times between work series are between 60 to 90 seconds. This lapse of time is sufficient to allow the muscles to recover before resuming
the active application of stimuli in the next series of work.
In addition, a rest day should always be planned between two days of training to allow regeneration. Thus, the training model - pause - training - pause - training - training - pause (quad split) can be followed. 

Organic Foods

Today’s consumers may find a large variety of certified-organic produce, meats and other foods in traditional “health food” stores, ...

Today’s consumers may find a large variety of certified-organic produce, meats and other foods in traditional “health food” stores, and now even in conventional grocery stores. Two common questions
are whether it’s worth the extra price to buy organic food versus conventional, and whether we can trust the sign that says “certified
With great hesitation my answer to both questions is yes, but with an asterisk. The USDAorganic program is now part of an international phenomenon. The regulations are better than the previous unregulated organic movement, when anyone could say a product was
organic. Many of the guidelines are potentially good for consumers — organic animals must be raised with organic feed, filtered water and certified organic pastures, and many commonly used drugs can’t be used. Organic produce must be grown without commonly used pesticides,
herbicides and other chemicals. Many food product ingredients — additives, chemicals, preservatives and others are not allowed in organic foods. And, the program is relatively strict, helping to rid the market of dishonest vendors. So if a product has the USDAorganic label, it’s as good as the USDA’s ability to police the program, just like the rest of what the agency does for all foods sold to consumers.
But like the rest of our food supply, you have to be a careful consumer, reading labels and being aware of and avoiding organic junk food, which makes up most of today’s organic products.
True to Jerome Irving Rodale’s ideas of the mid 1900s, organic food is better, whether certified or not.
 For example, organic vegetables and fruits usually taste better. They’ve not been genetically
altered, and contain much smaller amounts of chemical fertilizers, or none at all. Moreover, many studies indicate that organic produce is more nutritious, containing more vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Some of the nutrients studied in organic produce were twice that of conventional equivalents. 
Many vegetables have been studied,including carrots, cabbage, lettuce, kale, tomatoes and spinach, with a variety of fruits studied by various researchers. The increased nutrients found in certified-organic vegetables and fruits are most likely due to better care of the soil through organic farming methods, including composting, crop rotation and cover crops.
I’ve also conducted my own research and found that some organically grown vegetables had significantly higher levels — 10 times or more — of certain nutrients such as folic acid, compared to the same vegetables tested and listed in the USDA database.
For years, nutritionists insisted that today’s conventionally grown foods were as high in vitamins and minerals as the meals of our grandparents. There is now sufficient evidence indicating this is
not necessarily the case. Reductions in food quality have taken place since the mid-1940s, when the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides rapidly became the norm in U.S. farming. A study in the British
Food Journal compared the 1930s nutrient content of 20 fruits and vegetables with foods grown in the 1980s. Significant reductions were found in the levels of calcium, copper and magnesium in vegetables; and magnesium, iron, copper and potassium in fruit. Similar trends
can be found in foods produced in the United States, with reductions in some nutrients of as much as 30 percent.
Most foods are farmed with chemical fertilizers and pesticides, with the exception of certified organic foods, which contain significantly less nitrates and heavy metals, both of which can be very
harmful, especially to children. Heavy metals enter the plants through certain chemical fertilizers  some of these fertilizers are even derived from industrial waste. As discussed earlier, important phytonutrients have been genetically engineered out of some common foods to make them less bitter. Organically grown foods don’t contain genetically engineered ingredients or genetically modified
organisms, making them a better choice. Then there’s another factor to consider when choosing organic food. Many of the foods in grocery stores are imported. The countries
of origin may not have as stringent restrictions regarding the use of fertilizers and especially pesticides as we have in this country. In fact, some countries still allow the use of pesticides that were banned decades ago in the United States. Choosing organic produce eliminates
this potential problem.
When shopping for organic food, watch out for the organic junk food — it’s all over the store! Buy the basics — real food. This includes vegetables, fruits, meats, nuts, seeds, cheese and eggs.

Buy Local?

With the problems in the organic industry, including the dilution of a strict standard in growing and producing the cleanest and highest quality foods, and the added costs due to the certification process,
many truly health-conscious consumers once again are looking for healthy options. They’re seeing the potential of the traditional farmer’s markets, community organic cooperatives, roadside farm
stands, and “pick-your-own” programs. Internet shopping for organic food is growing, especially in bulk quantity. These modern markets feature products grown in a “green” way — produced in line with the original organic movement despite having the name taken away by
the USDA and other agencies worldwide. And, they often include a
“buy local” slogan.
The problem is there is no regulation regarding whether it’s “green,” organic or beyond organic. One result is that, in some cases, authorities have stopped farmers from selling their products. Another
problem is the notion that products that are better than organic — the “beyond organic” movement — should be more expensive. But just because products are grown with care, without chemicals, doesn’t mean they should be more expensive. Without the “middlemen” — typically two, three or more of them taking a share before products get to the retail stores, most of these products should be less expensive
than the same or similar products in retail stores. Despite these issues, if you’re a careful consumer and talk to the farmers and those producing these products, and even visit their farms, you can usually find high-quality healthy products that are often better than the organic versions in retail stores, often for less cost. Supply and demand will help weed out the overpriced products.
Virtually all the food I buy is organic, although more and more is not USDA-certified organic. And I buy the basics — vegetables, fruits, meat, eggs, cheese, nuts and seeds. The most impressive operation
I’ve seen is the Double Check Ranch in central Arizona, where I buy all my beef. While they don’t participate in the national organic program, I have inspected their ranch and would certify them as “beyond organic.” This ranch is clean, efficient, inspected by local government, and has a philosophy of not just producing healthy food, but incorporates an approach to farming that’s good for the
land as well. (Their website provides many informative articles I buy fresh eggs from a local producer that’s not certified organic, but the eggs are better than the ones that are certified. I also buy food from local farmer’s markets if I know the food is from a good
source. And I have bulk items shipped. Most of these foods are cheaper than the organic versions in the retail stores. And, my large garden provides a significant amount of food that is also “beyond organic.”

The Organic Movement

We’re not sure just when the organic movement started. That would depend, in part, on how you define it. Certainly in the early stages, the word “organic” was not part of it. This word would not be introduced until around 1941 by a British chemist Sir Albert Howard. But
by then, the movement was decades old and had more than one front. There were those who promoted the scientific reasons for farming with a natural process; those who had more spiritual reasons to care for the land; small farmers who were being left out of big business;
those with strong social attitudes who wanted to help the “little guys” get a fair share of the profits; and consumers, who eventually had the greatest numbers and created the real change. But even before the movement was noticed, there were those few who made the observations
that growing food in the most natural soils produced better food and healthier people.
In the 1830s German chemist Justus von Liebig was formulating his agricultural biochemistry theories, which he published in the 1840s, discussing how plants utilize nitrogen in the soil along with various minerals. Natural fertilizers, he theorized, including manure, would provide these nutrients. This was the beginning of modern farming, and the movement soon branched into two: One became big business farming, with newly developing chemical fertilizers and
pesticides, and the other was the organic movement.
 Sir Albert  Howard may be one of the earliest “organic” farmers — he was from
a British farming family but learned about natural soil production and organic gardening in India in 1905.
With the influence of Howard’s writings — he called the introduction of chemical fertilizers and pesticides a great threat to the future of human health — there was a clear separation of the organic
movement and conventional farming. His writing spread throughout Europe and eventually to America.
By the early 1900s, American food manufacturers, as an integral part of the “modern farming” movement, began mass-producing the first packaged foods. This coincided with a major change from the farmer’s markets with its many single food stands, to one store that
would sell all types of food — a “super market” — complete with the latest technology of packaged foods. Small groups of concerned citizens immediately and openly protested against the mass packaging
of food. Some, including Dr. Royal Lee, began growing high quality food with natural composting, and in 1929 he began manufacturing the first dietary supplements in America using these foods.
By the 1930s, with the influence of Howard’s writings and others in America, the organic movement was organized, albeit small.
 One person who jumped on board was an engineer named Jerome Irving Rodale. He not only bought a farm and began organic gardening but started publishing a magazine on organic methods in the 1940s — and Sir Albert Howard would contribute articles. Rodale also started
a printing business that would also publish books — a business that thrives today as a multi-million-dollar corporation.
I was introduced to Rodale’s books on organic gardening in the 1960s, and soon after planted my first organic garden. As a student working part time in a health-food store, and, having studied basic
chemistry, I realized almost all the vitamins on the shelves were synthetic, not natural as they claimed. Seeing a growing market in the organic industry, the pharmaceutical companies had quietly jumped on board by producing virtually all the synthetic vitamins for the health food industry, a problem that continues today.
After studying organic gardening and natural health, and many different health-care philosophies, I decided to go back to college, become a doctor and focus on helping people get healthy.
Into the 1970s and ‘80s, the organic movement continued to hold its social, fair trade and health-oriented subgroups. Even up to the time when the USDA decided to take charge of the movement by creating a National Organic Program (NOP) in 1990 that would define organic and certify growers, manufacturers and others involved in the organic movement, there continued to be different philosophies associated with organics.
The NOP would spend the next decade gathering information from the organic movement, create standards, rules, regulations and a system to certify all those it would allow into the organic movement — often for a hefty price — under the guise that the USDA needed to
regulate the process. The result was the “certified organic” regulations, released in 2002, complete with a seal of authenticity. USDA established three levels of organic: 100 percent, 95 percent, which allowed 5 percent non-organic material, and 70 percent organic.
There was one problem: During this decade big business lobbied heavily for regulations that would make it easier and cheaper to jump on the “certified organic” bandwagon. Not only that, the large manufacturers
of processed foods, the sugar industry, large food chains and a variety of other lobbyists made sure they were part of the process.
The result was a massive growth of organic junk food that coincided with the NOP’s “organic” launch in 2002. Just before the NOP became law, I created, in 1999, the first line of
certified-organic dietary supplements made from real food. I followed the developments of the USDA’s certified organic program and prepared my formulas based on what I thought would be the requirements for organic certification. These were easily met, and today, these dietary supplements are sold by First Organics, Inc.
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) evolved from part of the movement that was the political tail. Its goal was to help companies involved in certified organic activities work with other companies
and the NOP. Unfortunately, it was a political organization not oriented to health. At its first national trade show, I was shocked at the number of organic junk food companies represented — you could
sample organic cookies made from organic white flour and organic white sugar, eat processed organic corn chips, drink organic beer, and even smoke organic cigarettes. This was the modern health food
industry! But the worst was yet to come.
There were a number of speakers discussing the value of organic certification. A keynote speaker was JI Rodale’s granddaughter, who was a main player in the Rodale publishing empire. She was so excited to see the organic movement get this far and be so successful. After
her talk, she took questions. I asked, “Are you concerned that the organic industry is made up of so much junk food that adversely affects people’s health?” Her answer was an emphatic no. She said
that people can make their own choices.
Marie Rodale’s grandfather, JI, promoted the relationship between organic farming and optimal health, and helped launch the organic movement. But now, companies making organic junk food
have become the biggest advertising revenue for the modern Rodale publishing empire. In joining with big business and the USDA, the  small farmers and start-up companies making healthy foods were left out.
Meanwhile, consumers jumped in too. They were the ones eating all the organic junk food. This was evident just by looking — at the owners, employees and others working in the “health food” industry,
including those in the stores. Go into Whole Foods, for example, and you’ll see the shelves full of organic junk. And a large part of the store is the bakery section — complete with white flour and sugar cakes, cookies and pies.
My level of disappointment in the organic movement has reached a high. My first article after returning home from the OTA show, “organic junk,” brought praise by a few but anger from industry people.
Making money, it seemed, was the goal of certified organics, even if it contributed to the explosion of obesity not only in adults, but young children. Along the way, the large companies, including manufacturers and grocery stores, along with the two “new” health food
chains, successfully pushed for the NOP regulations to be diluted — many unhealthy foods, food additives and other ingredients would now be allowed in organic foods. I began writing and lecturing more on the dangers of organic junk food, and “beyond organic” — those
small farmers, companies and consumers left out of the original organic movement who were still there hoping for healthy changes.
The organic movement had left them behind. And many legitimate farmers, manufacturers and food companies that were too small to pay the thousands of dollars to be part of the USDA’s organic movement were actually creating healthier food.
Where are we now? At the time of this writing, early in 2009, I’m very disillusioned with the government-sponsored organic programs. And because the USDA took the word “organic” for itself,
products or companies would not be allowed to use the word “organic” unless it was certified by the USDA. In addition, small farms, legitimate companies producing healthy foods and others involved in the organic movement are even being harassed by federal and local authorities because they have not embraced the movement. The result is that a small but growing movement continues, made up of consumers and health-care professionals like me, seeking the best food from good and honest people all working together for a healthier planet.
If you really want the highest-quality produce, the best option is to grow your own. If you have any yard space at all, a small vegetable plot, properly tended, can yield enough vegetables in season for your entire family. Many areas have community gardens, where many individuals share in a larger plot of land. By growing your own vegetables you can ensure their quality, reduce the price of your produce and revel in the enjoyment of producing your own food, not to mention
the extra exercise you get from working in your garden.

Vital Vegetables and Fruits

So far we’ve looked in depth at the three macronutrients — carbohydrate , proteins and fats — as the basis of good nutrition. Now let’...

So far we’ve looked in depth at the three macronutrients — carbohydrate, proteins and fats — as the basis of good nutrition. Now let’s shift gears and take a look at a group of foods that really should
have their own distinct classification — vegetables and fruits. Plant foods should make up the bulk of your dietary intake because they contain vitamins, minerals and, just as important, phytonutrients.
And, there are thousands of phytonutrients that scientists believe may have an even more important role than vitamins in promoting health and preventing disease. Fruits and vegetables also contain
small amounts of protein and essential fatty acids, and are a key source of fiber and prebiotics, which are both essential for good health, as we will learn in the following chapter.

 Generally fruits are foods that contain a seed within, whereas vegetables have a separate seed. Both contain some carbohydrates, some high enough for those who are carbohydrate intolerant to avoid.
These include most potatoes, corn, watermelon, pineapple and dried
Some foods that are technically fruits are usually thought of as vegetables — these include avocados, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, squash and other fruits that are not sweet. But basically, vegetables
and fruits are all plant foods that should make up the bulk of the diet.
Most people don’t eat enough vegetables and fruits, and there are very, very few who eat too much of this good thing. I often recommend as a general guideline that people try to eat at least 10 servings
of vegetables and fruits per day. Many of these should be raw, and most, if not all, should be fresh.
What is a serving? Traditionally many have considered a serving to be a half-cup. More recently, however, many dietary guidelines have recommended different approaches for measuring servings. For instance, a serving of lettuce might be a cup and a half; a serving of carrots might be one medium carrot; a serving of broccoli is one medium stalk, and a serving of asparagus is five spears. Using guidelines like these will help you to eat more vegetables than using the traditional
half-cup serving.

EVOLUTION_18 Super Fruit and Vegetable Beauty Blend Powder, 15 Servings :

Vegetables: The Main Course

Many people think of vegetables as a tedious side dish. But it’s best to consider vegetables part of a main dish. This may require adjusting the way you think about your meals. Think first what your maincourse vegetable will be, and then make your other foods the side
dishes — usually some sort of protein or an unrefined carbohydrate. In this way you can make vegetables the bulk of your diet. Experiment in creating other types of meals around vegetables. For
instance a vegetable omelet with onions, red and yellow peppers and zucchini makes a meal out of eggs at breakfast. A vegetable-based organic-chicken soup with garlic, leeks, carrots, celery, and even
green beans and yellow squash, is a bowl full of nutrition for lunch.
Even Mom’s meat loaf can be adjusted to include half vegetables — start with chopped onions, red or yellow bell peppers, zucchini, fresh parsley and garlic, and then add freshly chopped meat and at least
two whole eggs, and season with sea salt and spices of your choice. In choosing your vegetables don’t overlook cooked greens. Some of the most neglected vegetables, such as kale, mustard greens, rapini,
Swiss chard, collards and the common spinach, are also some of the most nutritious. These bitter leafy vegetables are full of valuable phytonutrients, as well as a host of vitamins and minerals. Once you get used to the idea of cooking greens, some meals just won’t seem complete without them — truly, cooked greens can be served as a delicious bed for just about any protein food, from beef to fish. Greens can simply be steamed and served with a little butter or extra-virgin olive oil and sea salt. Or, add other vegetables to the mix, such as leeks, chopped white onions, mushrooms or red and yellow peppers.
Cook your greens until they are slightly tender, but be careful not to overcook, lest you lose the vital nutrients. Just when they turn bright green is about right.

Choose a Rainbow of Colors

In addition to eating enough vegetables it is important to eat a variety of these foods as well. The reason is that different vegetables containvarying amounts of specific nutrients. For instance a serving of leaf lettuce supplies a high amount of beta carotene but only a small amount of vitamin C, while a serving of Brussels sprouts contains high levels of vitamin C with a small amount of beta carotene.
One of the easiest ways to ensure that you eat enough variety in vegetables is to use the “rainbow” technique. Choosing vegetables in a rainbow of colors will help ensure a variety of nutrients. For example, carrots and winter squash, which are orange, are high in beta
carotene, which is converted by the body to vitamin A. Many green vegetables are high in vitamin C   a serving of broccoli, for example, is very high in vitamin C. In addition to orange and green vegetables, consider purple eggplant and cabbage, red peppers, white, green and
red onions, white cauliflower, yellow summer squash, brown mushrooms and many others. Each of these colorful vegetables contains its own unique set of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.

A Salad a Day

In reaching your goal of 10 servings of vegetables and fruits per day, it’s important to make sure much of this is raw. In fact, each meal should contain some raw food. Salads, large and small, can easily provide this raw food. Your salad can be a snack, a side dish or, with
some added protein, it can be a meal in itself. Salad is a low-stress food, with no cooking involved and minimal cleanup. The base for a great salad, of course, is something green — fresh lettuce, spinach or even young kale. Buy organic and buy often, but avoid iceberg lettuce as it has one of the lowest overall nutritional values of all vegetables.
The little bags of baby greens are fine so long as you eat them quickly. You can also buy whole heads of green- or red-leaf, Romaine, Bibb and endive lettuces. Then, for a few days of really quick salads, clean a whole head of lettuce, dry the leaves well (spinning works great) and refrigerate them in an airtight container with a piece of paper towel. Your lettuce will be ready to go when you need it.
Use a variety of raw vegetables such as carrots, chopped red and yellow peppers, purple cabbage, tomatoes and avocados. Separately, these can be used for meals that don’t contain a salad. In addition,
steamed and chilled green beans and asparagus also liven up a salad. Chopped walnuts, slivered almonds, piñon nuts, gourmet olives, capers and artichoke hearts make a salad even more exotic.
To make your salad into a true meal, add some protein. Lightly grilled tuna, wild shrimp, sliced beefsteak, hard-boiled eggs or shredded goat cheese are some options. Of course, a great salad requires a delicious dressing. My healthy salad dressing is great (recipe follows),
but simple extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar is fine too. Always use your own homemade dressing and avoid the additives that come out of a bottle.
The best way to add fruits to your diet, including berries, is to use them as they are — as a snack, a healthy dessert, or made into recipes such as smoothies. Some of these are discussed in the chapter on
snacks. Fruits are also a delicious part of a salad; for example, an arugula salad with sliced pears and goat cheese, or an apple walnut salad with greens.

Phil’s Healthy Salad Dressing

Mix in a glass jar with tight-fitting lid:
• 8 ounces extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
• 2 ounces or more apple-cider vinegar
• 1 tablespoon fresh or dried parsley
• 2 teaspoons sea salt
• 1/2 teaspoon mustard
Option: Add 1 to 2 tablespoons plain yogurt, or sour cream.
Use other good-quality oils for variations in taste.
Shake well before serving. Refrigerate.

The Bitter Truth

It’s now clear that naturally occurring substances known as phytonutrients, or phytochemicals, found in vegetables and fruits, may be more important to good nutrition than vitamins and can help prevent and treat cancer and other diseases. Their actions halt the production of cancer-causing agents in the body, blocking activation of these chemicals, or suppressing the spread of cancer cells that already exist.
The vegetables and fruits researchers think are most capable of preventing cancer and other diseases, including heart disease, are green leafy vegetables, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, onions, citrus
fruit (not the juice), grapes, red wine, green tea and others. The more bitter, the better.
How many times have you heard that if something tastes good then it must not be good for you, or vice-versa? While this is a gross generalization, many people avoid eating bitter-tasting vegetables
and fruits, which are particularly high in the natural disease-preventing phytonutrients that cause their bitterness. In general, the more bitter the taste, the more rich the food is in these phytonutrients.
For plants, these bitter-tasting substances — the healthy phytonutrients — serve as natural insect repellents and pesticides. Some are even toxic to small animals like birds, mice and rats, including some compounds in cabbage and Brussels sprouts. Generally, higher
amounts of bitter-tasting phytonutrients are found in sprouts and seedlings than in mature plants. This provides young plants with a type of natural protection from being eaten at an early stage of life,
before the chance of reproduction. But you would have to consume pounds and pounds of vegetables daily to ingest toxic amounts of
Despite the therapeutic and nutritive value of phytonutrients, the food industry is solving the so-called “problem” of bitterness in fruits and vegetables by removing these healthful chemicals through genetic engineering and selective breeding. Unfortunately, our culture has associated bitterness with bad taste instead of health promotion. Now
many agricultural scientists, who want foods sweeter, are changing our food supply for us — they are literally removing the healthy components from certain foods in order to sell more food products. And they are succeeding. Canola oil, for example, contains significant reductions of phytonutrients due to selective breeding. And transgenic citrus is now a reality — it’s sweeter, but it’s also free of
limonene, the bitter substance that can help prevent and treat skin cancer.
 Cancer researchers propose that a heightened sense of bitterness might be a healthy trait, allowing people to select foods with the highest phytonutrient content. This view contrasts with the food industry’s practice of measuring the content of these bitter phytonutrients merely as a way of developing new non-bitter, phytonutrientdeficient
strains. So while some nutrition scientists propose enhancing phytonutrients in foods for better health, the standard industry practice has been to remove them for better taste. Indeed, the lower
amount of bitter compounds in the modern diet reflects the “achievement” of the food industry. The irony is that as agricultural scientists remove more phytonutrients from plants, farmers have to use even more chemical pesticides to protect their crops; thus consumers are
left with the double-whammy of vegetables and fruits with less nutrition and more harmful pesticides.
In addition to bitterness, an astringent taste is also associated with healthy phytonutrients. These tastes can actually be quite attractive.
Consider a fine aged Bordeaux wine or a high-quality green tea.
Unfortunately, these are exceptions and sweetness is a dominant taste preference, or perhaps “addiction” is a better word.
You can get more phytonutrients into your diet by eating foods that have a natural bitter or astringent taste. Zucchini and other squashes, pumpkins, cucumbers, melon, citrus and many other vegetables
and fruits, along with almonds and many types of beans, contain natural phytonutrients, as do red wine, green tea and cocoa.
Eat as much of as many types of vegetables and fruits as you can, both cooked and raw. Making these healthy vegetable choices is just another journey on the road to optimal health and human performance.
In addition to variety, the highest quality vegetables and fruits may be those that are organically grown, as discussed in the next chapter.

Making Wise Protein Choices

For most people getting enough protein should not be a problem as there are many healthy options. These include eggs, meats, fish and...

For most people getting enough protein should not be a problem as there are many healthy options. These include eggs, meats, fish and dairy foods. For those who won’t eat these foods, getting enough
protein can be a challenge. Soybeans and certain combinations of legumes and grains can supply all essential amino acids, but you risk not getting adequate protein, and generally must eat more carbohydrate than needed. For most people obtaining sufficient protein is relatively easy, especially when choosing animal sources.
Choosing the best animal proteins means finding the best sources. This may be organic, grass-fed, free-range, kosher and whatever other labels are used to differentiate the highest quality eggs,
meats, fish and dairy foods from those obtained from poorly treated animals. In some cases, visiting a smaller local farm, for example, will help you decide. Some of today’s local farmers are not only healthconscious but actually care about their animals and how their operations
impact the environment.
The human body, especially the intestine, is well adapted for digesting animal-source foods, having evolved on a high-meat/fish, low-carbohydrate diet with varying amounts of vegetables, fruits and
nuts. While the popular trend in recent decades has been toward the misconception that meat consumption is unhealthy, there are a variety of unique features of an animal-food diet that are vital for health and fitness. Here are some of them:
• Animal foods contain high levels of all essential amino
• Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient found only in animal
• EPA, the most powerful fatty acid, and the one preferred
by the human body, is almost exclusively found in animal
• Iron deficiency is a common worldwide problem and is
prevented by eating animal foods, which contain this
mineral in its most bioavailable form.
• Vitamin A is found only in animal products (conversion
of beta carotene in plant foods to vitamin A is not always
efficient in humans).
• Animal products are dense protein foods with little or no
carbohydrate to interfere with digestion and absorption.
• People who consume less animal protein have greater
rates of bone loss than those who eat larger amounts of
animal protein.
I will highlight the main animal protein sources below, and will comment about soy products and protein powders.

The Incredible, Edible Egg
Eggs are not just incredible, but what I would call the perfect food all wrapped up in one single cell. Yes, that’s right, an egg is an individual cell, and contains the most complete and highest protein rating of any food, including all amino acids. Two eggs contain more than 12
grams of protein, just over half in the white and the rest in the yolk. in addition, eggs also contain many essential nutrients, including significant amounts of vitamins A, D, E, B1, B2, B6, folic acid and especially vitamin B12. Eggs also contain important minerals including
calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and iron. Choline and biotin, also important for energy production and stress management, are contained in large amounts in eggs. Most of these nutrients are found in the yolk of the egg.
The fat in egg yolks is also nearly a perfect balance, containing mostly monounsaturated fats, and about 36 percent saturated fat. And, egg yolks contain linoleic and linolenic acids — both essential
fatty acids. Eggs have almost no carbohydrate (less than 1 gram),  Some Facts about Eggs
The taming of chickens and other fowl for egg production dates back to before 1500 B.C. in China. Today, eggs come in many sizes and shell colors, not just white and brown. Depending on the type of
chicken that laid them, some eggs have tints of green, blue and red.
Eggs, of course, should always be stored in the refrigerator. Because of their porous shell, there is slight evaporation of moisture from the inner egg through the shell, which changes its flavor and freshness.
If you are not using them quickly, store your eggs in a sealed container to prevent loss of moisture. Never store eggs next to highly flavored foods, such as onions and fish, because they will easily absorb odors from these foods. Always store eggs with the large side up, which suspends the yolk effectively within the egg white.
Chefs know that room-temperature eggs are easier to work with; when boiled, they don’t crack, the whites are easier to whip, and the yolks “stand up” more when fried. If you’re separating eggs, however,
the colder ones are easier to work with. Speaking of boiled eggs, they should never really be boiled but kept just at a slight simmer until done. Furiously boiling them results in rubbery whites and less-tasty yolks. One way to prevent the shells from breaking during boiling is to use a pin. Prick the shell on the large end of the egg with a pin. This allows the air pocket, found in
the large end of the egg, to escape during cooking. Otherwise, if the air can’t escape, the pressure builds and it may crack the shell. The best way to cook soft- or hard-boiled eggs is to place them in cold water (1/2-inch above the eggs) and bring to a boil. Take off the heat immediately. For soft-cooked eggs, remove after 2-4 minutes, depending on your taste, and run under cold water. For hard-cooked eggs, cover and let sit for 15 minutes, then rinse in cold water and
keep refrigerated until ready to use. (An egg that is less than two days old is very difficult to peel when hard-boiled.)
Finally, before you buy eggs make sure they are relatively fresh by looking at the date. Or, you can shake them close to your ear; if you hear a sloshing sound, it means they’ve lost a lot of moisture over time and there’s a big air space in them — avoid these. Eggs also contain a natural barrier — an invisible protective coating that keeps out bacteria. Never wash eggs before storing because you will
remove this natural protection.
making them the perfect meal or snack for the millions who are carbohydrate intolerant. Ounce per ounce, eggs are also your best food buy with hardly any waste. And, with so many ways of preparing them, eggs are delicious. While most people love the taste of eggs, many are still concerned about eating them because of cholesterol.
For most people, eggs can be part of a healthy food plan. I eat several whole eggs every day. In the chapter on heart disease I’ll address the issue of cholesterol, and how adding more eggs to your diet can actually decrease your cardiovascular risk.
Eggs are only as healthy as the hens that lay them, since the nutritional make-up of eggs, especially the fat, depends upon what the chickens eat. For this reason you should avoid run-of-the-mill grocery-store eggs that have been produced in chicken factories. Unfortunately this includes most eggs on the market. The healthiest eggs come from organic, free-range hens. Even better; buy eggs from a local farmer who lets chickens eat healthy, wild food and organic feed. Free-range means that the hens are allowed to roam where they can eat bugs and vegetable matter, yielding eggs with a better fat profile, with more monounsaturated fat and more essential fatty acids.
So-called “omega 3” eggs come from chickens fed flaxseeds. Often these hens are not free-range nor certified organic and are still housed in very crowded hen factories.
Here’s the Beef It’s no bull — if you want to be healthy, beef really is “what’s for dinner.”
Consider that just 3 ounces of lean porterhouse contains 20 grams of protein, and just 6 grams of saturated fat, balanced by a healthy 7 grams of heart-friendly monounsaturated fat. In addition to
being an excellent source of high-quality protein, beef is also rich in B vitamins, glutamine, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and other vital nutrients. Organic and natural beef have not been treated with antibiotics or given growth-stimulating hormones.
You can buy naturally raised meats in some grocery and healthfood stores, and local sources may be even better. Look for nearby farms and ranches that sell meat from animals that have been raised
on grass, not fed corn and without the use of growth hormones, antibiotics and other chemicals used by most stock-growers. Whether you live near a farm that sells natural or organic meat, or order from
a ranch that can ship to you, you may wish to save money and buy a large quantity of beef so that you always have some on hand. The meat will keep well in a freezer until it’s time to make another order.
When cooking beef, keep it on the rare side. Studies show that beef cooked medium, medium well, or well done is associated with higher rates of stomach cancer. This is due to the production of carcinogens (certain nitrogen compounds) created during cooking. Heatsensitive
nutrients, such as the amino acid glutamine, are also significantly reduced in meat cooked beyond rare. The less cooked the better. Bacteria in beef is usually due to the food-handling process. While
bacteria can reside on the surface of meat, it won’t get inside unless the meat is ground. Almost all cases of food poisoning involving meat are from sources that have been ground ahead of time. For this reason, ground meat should be thoroughly cooked unless it’s freshly ground just before eating it.

The Poultry Flap
I rate eggs and beef as the best sources of protein but give poultry a poor rating due to how most of these animals are raised and processed. If you find an excellent source of chicken and turkey, and
you really enjoy eating it, these are great protein foods. The poultry industry has done such a good job telling you on paper how healthy chicken is over other meats, but this is untrue. In
fact, because of lower standards, chickens are generally raised in more unhealthy environments than cattle and other animals. Today’s chicken house is really an overpopulated filthy city, containing
100,000 birds or more, cooped up in tiny boxes or very crowded conditions. Because of this, most chickens are given many chemicals and drugs to counter common diseases and infections. The best birds for the table are organically raised — they’ve not been treated with or fed any chemicals or drugs; instead, they are given certified-organic feeds and filtered water. This may be the safest of all poultry. Many grocery stores and health-food stores carry organic chickens and turkeys. In addition, you may be able to find birds such as these from a local farm.

The Catch to Fish
Fish can also be a great source of protein and some contain significant quantities of essential fatty acids, especially omega-3 fats. However, just as with other protein foods, some fish are healthier choices over others. The best sources are wild fish, not farm-raised.
In general, avoid seafood that includes the so-called bottom feeders, those fish and other sea species that eat from the ocean’s floor, where the potential for consuming toxic material is highest. This is especially true for those species that feed close to shore. Flounder, sole, catfish and crab are some examples of foods to avoid eating regularly. Oysters, clams, mussels and scallops are also sources of potential pollutants. Clams are perhaps the worst seafood to eat, especially
when raw, since they normally filter out and concentrate viruses and bacteria, heavy metals and other chemical pollutants from the waters in which they live. If you enjoy eating seafood, here are some tips fordoing so more safely and more nutritiously:
• Choose fish caught in waters farther away from polluted,
industrial areas. Some examples are Canadian salmon,
sardines and herring.
• Look for cold-water fish like salmon, dark tuna, sardines
and other small fish that contain higher amounts of
omega-3 fat and EPA.
• Eat smaller fish and crustaceans: trout, bass and shrimp
and avoid marlin, white tuna and swordfish. Smaller and
younger fish have not accumulated the toxins found in
larger fish and older species.
• Limit your intake of shellfish, and choose smaller species
such as smaller shrimp.
• Avoid precooked fish, and prepared or processed
seafood such as breaded fish or seafood, fish cakes,
ground fish and imitation crabmeat.
• If you catch your own fish, ask local authorities about the
limits of safety. Some regions recommend limiting how
much of certain species you should eat in a year.

Unfortunately, the oceans, rivers and lakes are becoming so contaminated that wild fish are containing levels of toxins that are dangerous. I recommend limiting fish to once or twice a
month or less, and even less than that for children and pregnant women.
The picture is worse for farm-raised seafood — this should always be avoided. These foods often include antibiotics, pesticides, steroids, hormones and artificial pigments. Unfortunately, they are
becoming popular due to availability and cost. For example, farmraised salmon makes up 95 percent of the salmon on the market today. Since these fish are raised in confined, crowded and unsanitary
conditions, the threat of disease and parasites is great. To combat disease and parasites, some fish farmers add antibiotics to salmon feed, and treat the salmon and their pens with pesticides. Some fish are also treated with steroids to make the fish sterile, and growth hormones to
speed them to market size and reduce production costs. In addition, since farm-raised salmon do not naturally eat crustaceans that naturally make the flesh pink or orange, salmon growers often feed color additives to pigment the flesh.

Other Meaty Matters
In addition to beef, poultry and fish, other meats are also good sources of protein. Pork and lamb are popular meats, and recently meats such as buffalo and elk have appeared in some groceries. When
choosing these meats use the same guidelines as with beef and poultry — buy those that are organic or raised naturally at a local farm.
Wild game, including big-game animals such as deer as well as small game such as rabbits and game birds, is also another great source of protein. Wild-game meat is generally leaner but higher in
essential fatty acids than domestic meats. While hunting your own meat is nearly ideal, there is a growing concern in some areas like the northeastern United States that the use of pesticides and other environmental chemicals has affected wild animals. But in general, wild
game is much safer than store-bought meat. Generally avoid ground meat of any kind unless it has been freshly ground right before deep freezing or eating it. Ground meat is a haven for bacteria and can ferment in your intestine much worse than whole meat. If you like ground meat or have a recipe that requires it,
it’s best to buy a large piece of meat and then grind it up just before cooking — most butchers, even those in large groceries, will do this for you. Also beware of other meats that have already been cut, such as sliced meat, chopped meat and stew meat. Try to buy as large a
piece of meat as possible and cut it yourself. Processed meats can also be unhealthy choices. Most sausage, lunch meats and other processed meats are not only ground, but also
may contain high amounts of sugar and chemicals that you don’t want to eat. However, it is possible to find organic bacon and hams
that have been cured with honey and with no harmful chemicals. The most nutritious parts of the animal to eat are the organs and glands. In our society, the liver is the most common organ food, with stomach, brains, kidneys and others only rarely eaten. However, when a lion kills his prey, it’s the organs and glands that are first devoured. The muscle, what we refer to as the “meat,” is often left for the scavengers. Unfortunately, with our polluted environment, organ meats such as liver are becoming more dangerous since it’s the liver’s job to filter the blood and remove toxins from the body. If you enjoy liver and other organ and gland meats, be sure to find a very good source.

Say Cheese!
Cheese and plain yogurt are dairy products that contain quality protein without many of the problems associated with milk. This is especially true if you can find organic products made from raw milk. Also consider that goat and sheep milk are much more compatible for
humans than cow milk. These cheeses can be found in many stores and on the Internet.
Whichever type of milk they’re made from, cultured products such as cheese and yogurt are good sources of complete protein with the lactose, or “milk sugar” reduced by friendly bacteria in the culturing process. To be sure that an item is fully cultured, check the “Nutrition Facts” on the label; the carbohydrate should be very low. (Of course you want to avoid the fruit-flavored and sweetened varieties of yogurt that are always full of sugar — sometimes a half-dozen
teaspoons or more!) It’s important to remember that dairy is also high in B fat. So you
must be careful to eat cheese in a way that maintains balance with your intake of A and C fats. If you are recovering from an inflammatory- related illness, such as cancer, heart disease and the others discussed in this book, limit or avoid dairy products. In addition, avoid so-called “American” cheese, cheese spreads and other processed cheeses. These highly processed products, which outsell natural
cheese, are usually several types of unripe cheeses, ground up with
added chemical stabilizers, preservatives and emulsifiers.

Curds and Whey

Remember Little Miss Muffet, eating her curds and whey? These are the two proteins found in milk. Whey protein is the thin liquid part of milk remaining after the casein (the curds) and fat are removed. Whey is the part of the milk containing most of the vitamins and minerals,

including calcium, and it’s a complete protein. During the making of cheese, which mostly is produced from curds, whey is often fed back to the animals for nutritional reasons.  The whey component of milk contains a group of natural sulfurcontaining substances called biothiols that help produce a key antioxidant in your cells (called glutathione). Because it helps the immune system, whey has been used to help prevent and treat many chronic conditions, from asthma and allergies to cancer and heart disease. It can also help improve muscle function. Most people who are allergic
to cow’s milk can usually consume whey without problems. Small amounts of lactose are found in whey (much less than is found in liquid milk) but this is usually too little to cause intestinal problems, even in most people sensitive to lactose. In those who are truly lactose- intolerant (probably less than 5 percent of the population), this amount of lactose could be a problem.
Most cheeses are made from curds, but some are made from whey. Italian ricotta is the most common one; check the ingredient label on ricotta to make sure the main ingredient is whey. Whey is
also made into powders for use in baked goods and smoothies as discussed below.
The curds from milk are used for most cheese making. Cottage cheese is the best example of what curds look like. However, the curd is the protein in milk most people are allergic to when there’s a dairy allergy. Newborns and young children are especially vulnerable to curds because their intestines and immune systems are too immature to tolerate this protein.

The Soy Story

While soy is a vegetarian source of a complete protein, it’s often a problem for most people. One reason is that most soy in use today is highly processed and concentrated. Whole green soybeans or

edamame are an example of a whole food, and a good source of protein. With a relatively small amount of simple processing soy can be made into tofu, also a good food. This is how most soy has been consumed for many years, and studies of these populations seem to show
that soy has health benefits when consumed as a food. But most soy today highly processed and concentrated. For example, many soy powders used in food products and supplements are so concentrated that a serving or two would be like eating a pound or more of real soybeans — something most people would never even consider. For this reason, it’s best to avoid all processed soy products, including soy-protein isolates and caseinates and hydrolyzed soy. The
more soy is processed, the worse it can be. Monosodium glutamate (MSG), a one-time commonly used powder that makes food seemingly taste better (still used in Chinese and other restaurants) is made by processing soy. So products containing isolated or hydrolyzed soy
also include some MSG (but it is not required to be listed in the ingredients). Many people, especially children, may be intolerant and even allergic to soy in all forms. In addition concentrated soy isoflavones, used in dietary supplements can pose serious dangers, including hormonal
imbalance, which can increase the risk of cancer, particularly for post-menopausal women, the very audience these products are marketed to by the big companies.

Protein Powders

Soy, milk, whey, egg and other foods are commonly sold to supplement the diet. These have value when used cautiously. Certainly avoid any of these powders if you’re intolerant to those foods. In addition, avoid all powders that have been isolated, caseinated or  hydrolyzed. These products are touted as being highest in protein — which is true, but at the expense of being highly processed and containing MSG. Those marked “concentrated” are the least processed of

the powders and are an acceptable part of a healthy diet. Egg white powder is the least processed of all the powders. This and whey concentrate are the best and healthiest of all these products. (If you use egg white powder in a blender, you must include a small amount of fat otherwise it will create a large volume of foam — great for meringue but not for smoothies and other recipes.) Most importantly, when choosing protein sources look for real food. Fresh whole eggs, whole pieces of meat and fish, raw-milk cheese as tolerated. Avoid the processed protein products — cold cuts, frozen foods, processed cheese, etc. If you need to increase protein intake with a food supplement, use egg white powder or a whey concentrate. These foods also contain a variety of important vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Another key food group — which complements these protein foods rather well — are vegetables, the topic of the next chapter.

Once you’ve determined the right amount of carbohydrates for your body, and balanced your fats, proper protein intake is relatively easy...

Once you’ve determined the right amount of carbohydrates for your body, and balanced your fats, proper protein intake is relatively easy to determine. For example, if you find that 40 percent of your
macronutrients are carbohydrates, and 30 percent fat, the remaining 30 percent as protein would probably be the optimal amount for you.
As convenient and oversimplified as that may sound, that’s how it turns out for most people. Find the first two pieces of the puzzle and the third falls neatly into place.
However, there’s no need to determine percentages — or grams, calories or any other quantity. Instead, make the appropriate changes as outlined in these chapters, beginning with carbohydrates, and let it all fall into place; your intuition will become a powerful ally.
Coralee Thompson, M.D., simplifies protein needs even more. “At each meal eat the amount of dense protein food such as meat, fish or eggs that fits in the palm of your hand.”
We all need protein every day for optimal health and increased human performance. This is true at all ages, for males and females, and whether you are walking 30 minutes a day or training for a 1,000-
mile race.
Larger body frames and those performing a lot of physical work usually need more protein. Growing children also need relatively higher amounts of protein for development. In fact, throughout life
there is still a significant and continuous need for protein.
Protein is necessary for so many healthy bodily functions, discussing it all would fill several books. Here are just a few examples:
• Enzymes important for balancing fats, digestion and
hundreds of other metabolic activities necessary for optimal
health require protein.
• Protein is essential for maintaining neurotransmitters —
the chemical messengers used by the brain, the rest of the
nervous system and gut for communication.
• Protein is a key element for building new cells, especially
for muscles, bones, organs and glands, throughout life.
• Oxygen, fats, vitamins, hormones and other compounds
are regulated and transported throughout the body with
the help of protein.
• Protein is necessary to make natural antibodies for the
immune system.
• Protein contains key amino acids for health. For example,
cysteine is necessary for the body to make its most powerful
antioxidant, glutathione, and glutamine is used to
fuel the intestine for optimal function, especially for
digestion and absorption of nutrients.
• Protein is important for the production of glucagon in
relation to controlling insulin and blood sugar.

Studies continue to show that the protein recommendations by the USDA are too low. These recommendations have resulted in reductions in protein intake by some people, with dire health consequences.
Even the argument that protein can harm the kidneys, especially those with kidney problems, is losing ground as new studies show that restricting dietary protein in those with kidney problems
can actually increase the risk of death.
Most of this confusion about protein requirements comes from old and outdated research. When determining protein needs, researchers measured the amount of protein taken in through food,
then measured protein by-products to determine the amount lost.
Many studies on protein requirements, especially research that established today’s RDA levels, only measured the protein by-product nitrogen, excreted in the urine. They failed to consider the amount
lost in sweat. This is clearly an important means for excreting the nitrogen from protein breakdown. Urea production alone may not accurately reflect all aspects of protein breakdown. This is one reason
many earlier studies on protein requirements showed such low numbers.
Today, there are better, more accurate ways of determining protein needs through more elaborate measurements. These show that for most people, protein needs are higher than the old recommendations indicate.

How Much Protein?

The answer to this question depends on you — your lean body mass, your level of physical activity and other factors, including what makes you feel best. There is a wide range of healthy and safe protein intake that can provide many benefits. In addition to what has already been stated about finding your protein needs, for those who still need help understanding this important issue I’ll discuss protein needs in grams using the USDA’s recommendations to further put
this subject into perspective.
The problem with this level of protein is that it’s the bare minimum for an inactive person. And, it’s based on body weight and not lean muscle mass. This amount is 0.8 grams of dietary protein per
kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight. Based on this, a person weighing about 70 kilograms or 150 pounds should consume 60 grams of protein per day. This can be obtained with two eggs at breakfast, a salad with fish at lunch and a small steak at dinner.
But for most active, healthy people, this amount is insufficient. Recent studies show that protein requirements should be twice that of the USDAsuggestion. Based on these studies performed over the past several years, and my clinical experience, I prefer to recommend a range of normal that includes the minimum amount of 0.8 grams to about 1.6 grams per kilogram of body weight. For most athletes, and those with very physical jobs, the amount of protein may still need to
be increased above this level. Those involved in jogging/running, biking, swimming and other aerobic-type exercise, usually need more protein because the normal continual process of building muscle may actually be greater than that of weight-lifters.
For most active, healthy people, a normal protein intake over 1.0 grams per kilogram of body weight, usually closer to the 1.6 number, is best. Following are some examples of food servings that provide
these amounts of protein:

• For a 175-pound person, the daily protein intake may be
128 grams. The protein foods that would provide this
include three eggs and cheese at breakfast, a salad with a
hefty serving of turkey at lunch and salmon for dinner.
• For a 145-pound person, the requirement may be about
106 grams: two eggs for breakfast, a chef’s salad for lunch
and a sirloin steak for dinner.
• And for the person weighing 125 pounds, who would
minimally require about 90 grams of protein: two eggs at
breakfast, tuna salad for lunch and lamb for dinner.

If you’re 200 pounds or more, or appreciably under 125 pounds, just estimate the protein requirements based on the above numbers.
For example, at 200 pounds, that’s 25 percent heavier, so 25 percent more than 128 grams of protein is 160 grams. Clearly, eating more protein than the body can utilize can be
unhealthy. But if you require more than 100 grams a day, that’s not excessive, it’s what your body needs. Eating the amount of protein your body requires is not a high-protein diet, it’s getting your proper requirements!
Sometimes, when unhealthy people consume normal amounts of protein they won’t feel good because something else is wrong. For example, as protein intake increases, so does your need for water, which helps eliminate the normal by-products of protein through the
kidneys. That’s part of the old argument that protein is a stress on the kidneys; it most certainly is if you are dehydrated.
Or, if you’re under significant stress and your stomach does not make sufficient amounts of natural hydrochloric acid — the first chemical stage of protein digestion — protein digestion can be a problem that could give you symptoms of intestinal distress. Addressing
the cause of the problem — the stress and stomach, not the protein — is the best remedy. Or, another potential protein problem may occur if  you combine a steak with some bread or a potato — this is a significant stress for the stomach, and indigestion often follows.

Amino Acids

Just as carbohydrates are made up of sugars, and fats are composed of fatty acids, dietary protein is made up of building blocks called amino acids. In order to obtain these vital components, the intestine must do its job. First, protein must be efficiently digested in the intestine,
resulting in breakdown into amino acids. Second, these amino acids must be absorbed into the body. Once absorbed, the amino acids are used either as individual products, or recombined as proteins. For
example, the amino acid tryptophan is used to make certain neurotransmitters in the brain. Or, recombining many amino acids provides for the manufacture of new muscle cells.
There are at least 20 amino acids necessary to human nutrition, all of which are indispensable for optimal health and human performance.
While some amino acids can be manufactured in the body by other raw materials from food, others called “essential amino acids” must be taken in through the diet. While amino acids that are made
in the body are sometimes referred to as “non-essential,” this is misleading as all amino acids are essential.
In general, animal foods are the best sources of protein and contain all the amino acids. Overall, the highest-rated protein food is eggs, followed by beef and fish. With the exception of soybeans, which are mostly carbohydrate, vegetable foods individually contain only some of the amino acids. Combining the right non-animal foods can provide a complete amino-acid meal. But eating all the amino acids at one meal is not necessary.
For those who don’t eat animal products, obtaining all the amino acids is accomplished by combining enough variety, since no one plant-based food, except soybeans, contains all the amino acids (although soy is very low in the amino acid methionine). Certain combinations of plant foods, such as beans and rice, or whole grains and
legumes, can provide a complete protein. However, combining meals high in carbohydrates (such as rice, beans, grains, etc.) with protein can reduce digestibility, with the result that some protein will not digest into amino acids, and some amino acids won’t get absorbed.
This is discussed in a later chapter. In the next chapter I’ll discuss
some of best ways to obtain protein from the diet.

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