Good morning lovely people, I hope you’re all well 🙂
As always, after any one of my nutrition workshops, I like to share some of the highlights here with all of you. Before we get into it, I’d just like to say thank you once again to those of you who made it ❤ it really does mean so much to me!
This time, the topics we discussed were: Fat, Protein and Supplementation. Of course we made an enjoyed some delicious healthy treats on the day and there was also time for a Q&A.
While I can’t condense a two hour talk in this blog post, here are some of the important points covered at the event.
Fat and protein are both MACROnutrients, which means that we need relatively large amounts of both nutrients to have a healthy balanced diet.
We started off discussing protein. Protein makes part of every cell of our body, in fact, after water, protein is the most abundant compound within our bodies. From cell membrane, to muscle, to bones, hair, nails, skin and everything in between, protein is a part of every single cell within our bodies and has both a structural and bio-chemical role. Therefore, the importance of this nutrient within our diet cannot be overstated. Having said that, most people in the developed world consume sufficient protein within their diet. Unless you follow a very strict diet and / or eliminate entire food groups, acquiring enough protein should not be an issue.
If, for whatever reason, one is following a strict diet or eliminating entire food groups, consuming sufficient protein can still be easily done. The important thing to remember is that protein is made up of amino acids, and our bodies need several different ones. Most plant foods which are high in protein do not contain all the essential amino acids while all animal meat and dairy do contain all the essential amino acids needed by the body. Therefore, animal foods are considered complete protein while most plant protein sources are incomplete proteins – meaning that they do not contain all the essential amino acids.
To ensure that you obtain all the essential amino acids from plant based sources, all you have to do is make sure that you mix your protein sources. The amino acids present in beans are different to those in lentils or grains. Therefore, making sure you obtain a portion of both beans and grains let’s say for any given meal will help avoid this problem.
Here, we stopped for a snack break – this time we enjoyed beet hummus with wholegrain galletti – this is the perfect example of mixing plant based protein sources. There is protein in the chickpeas and again in the whole wheat both with different amino acids.
Recipe for the hummus is here: https://holisticnutritionninja.com/2019/01/15/healthy-hummus-in-a-hurry/
Now, we moved on to our discussion about fat which started off with me explaining the different types of fats, where we get them from within our diets and what happens within our bodies once we consume them. I’m sure most of us have by now heard about so called good fats and bad fats. The difference between the two is their molecular structure.
The so called bad fats include saturated fats and trans fats while the good fats and unsaturated or polyunsaturated fats.
Saturated fats – not actually bad for us in small amounts (must be kept to a max of 30g for men and 20g for women daily)
Trans fats – often man made or found in deep fried / fast foods – if you can avoid this, do! There is no healthy upper limit.
Unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats – these are the good fats that contain essential fatty acids that our bodies cannot survive without such as omega 3 and omega 6. These types of fats are found in food items such as olive oil, oily fish, avocado, nuts and seeds and so on.
As I explained with the topic of carbs a few weeks ago, the real issue is not that carbs or in this case fats, are bad. Just try to think about the quantity, quality and source of your food next time you sit down for dinner.
Then, I moved on to explain the basis of the keto diet – the latest low carb diet trend; which despite being effective for some, it’s very hard to stick to realistically and also it’s very difficult to follow healthily.
Now, we moved on to my favorite part – making some treats! This time we made a nut free and date free energy ball since most of my recipes include the former two ingredients, I thought I’d share something a bit different. The recipe for the apricot bites will be posted here very soon. Stay tuned!
Finally we moved on to protein supplementation. While most health shops, health sections, convenience stores and even gyms are loaded to the brim with protein supplements and you now see them everywhere, provided you follow a healthy balanced diet, protein supplementation is not really necessary.
The truth is that excess protein is in now way harmful. So, if you don’t have time for a proper meal and and wish to supplement with a protein bar or a protein shake, there is certainly nothing wrong with that. More than anything else, the benefit of consuming protein supplements is convenience and ease. A post workout protein shake might make sense for most – consuming protein after a hard workout is a good idea. However, a regular meal or a snack containing protein naturally such as yogurt, eggs, cheese or nuts is just as good.
I also shared a few examples of protein supplements at the event. What I would suggest, if you do wish to use protein supplements, go for the simplest ingredient list you can to avoid consuming excess unnecessary chemicals or harmful ingredients.
Finally, at the end of the workshop, we shared some delicious coconut cookies. You can find the recipe for the cookies here: https://holisticnutritionninja.com/2019/08/26/low-carb-coconut-cookies/
Just remember, food is not just nutrients wrapped up in a pretty package – food is social, food brings back memories, food is culture, food is comfort and so much more. So, do your research, take note of what makes you feel good after you eat it and find your own balance and most importantly, enjoy your food!
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Thank you for taking the time to be here and read this ❤
Until my next post, be well xXx