Why are snacks important?

Snacks

Leading a healthy lifestyle as you know is a path that we are traveling and in which we must discover what works for us and what does not, the same when you are diagnosed with a disease such as type 2 diabetes, you start with medicines and you have to get to know your body, the response of food, working with the doctor and nutritionist on the doses, diet, amounts, type of physical activity, exercise to perform etc.

But within this path one of the tools that we can count on to keep anxiety at bay, to keep blood glucose levels stable, not to overeat in our main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) are snacks, the snacks that we can incorporate mid-morning, mid-afternoon.

Broadly speaking society  this is not something that many people have as a habit, perhaps due to lack of time, because they do not know its benefits, because they do not feel hungry at that time, because they do not have something at hand, because their main meals are made daily at different times, etc.

But incorporating snacks into our eating habits as can bring us many benefits, of course when we opt for healthy options that in addition to helping us control anxiety and eat less in our main meals, they will provide us with other nutrients that can help us to maintain good hormonal health and in general to nourish our body.

In the case of people living with a condition such as diabetes, snacks can be an ally to prevent hypoglycemia, for example, people use morning snacks to keep their sugar levels under control, because if only they have breakfast and arrive at lunch without eating anything in the middle of the morning, in some cases their sugar levels begin to drop.

But this topic of snacks, snacks or collations, can be an ally in your good diet, fat loss regimen, diabetes management but if we do not choose the best options it can sabotage us in achieving our goals.

When we are going to select a snack it is important to take into account that it is not composed of saturated fats, simple carbohydrates, sugars such as cookies, chips, ice cream, breads, soft drinks, on the contrary we should choose sources of protein, good fats, fiber.

The other thing that we must always take into account are the portions. Remember that because something is healthy does not mean that we can eat it unlimitedly because again it will be sabotaging us. For example it happens a lot with nuts and is easy to consume more than one’s need. Nuts although they are a source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats that although they are good fats, are the same fat and for each gram there are nine calories, so it is a snack wonderful but you have to eat them in small quantities.

The same happens with fresh or dehydrated fruits such as raisins, dates, figs, they are a source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, but you have to control the portions because they have fructose, which is ultimately sugar.

So which snacks or snacks should we eat?

There are many options available in the market as well as snacks that can easily and healthily be made at home. Examples of these are puffed brown rice cookies with avocado, salt and pepper or with butter from a nut such as peanuts or almonds, with toppings such as chopped strawberry or dark chocolate chips, a portion of carrots with hummus, a fruit such as a small apple, half a cup of strawberries or a peach / nectarine and some walnuts, a portion of pistachios, a chai latte with almond milk and a portion of dried fruit or a piece (two squares) of dark chocolate or sweetened with stevia.

But there are many others that you can choose, such as a hard-boiled egg with a little salt and pepper, celery / celery with a nut butter, chia pudding is very fashionable. Also popcorn (low in fat and salt), if you eat dairy it could be a serving of Greek yogurt (check that it only has between 4-6 grams of sugar), you can add a minced strawberry, some almonds.

The other important thing with snacks is to have them on hand, not only for when we are at home, but to go out with them in the purse, keep them in the car, it will take less than five minutes to put some almonds, peanuts in a bag , nuts and a fruit or a rice cracker, some carrots, or any other snack that is easy to carry because also if we have it on hand we eat that, we keep our hunger under control and we do not fall into the temptation to buy things that are not so healthy on the street.

In the case of people who manage a condition such as diabetes, they should even be prepared and always carry a fruit or other snack with them to help them keep blood glucose levels stable throughout the day.

For those who practice sports, snacks are as important as any other aspects of their routine. Simply spoken, a top up whilst exercising, before or after will ensure you get the best of your work-out and will help you live a fuller and richer life.

Read More: Key trends that will shape global food in the next 10 years.

Healthy food and physical activity, perfect partner to improve the quality of life.

healthy-food-and-physical-activity-perfect-partner-to-improve-the-quality-of-life

Healthy food and physical activity, perfect partner to improve the quality of life.

The two main factors that intervene in the person’s state of health are genetic characteristics and lifestyle. Most diseases have a genetic basis, but the individual’s lifestyle is the factor that determines what pathology he may develop over the years. In Europe, most of the main causes of death correspond to chronic diseases directly related to the lack of change in behavior associated with lifestyle, which the individual can control.

Behaviours that represent a danger for the preservation of health are considered risk factors. Two of the main ones, with the greatest negative influence on chronic pathologies, are sedentary lifestyle and inadequate nutrition.

Physically active people enjoy a higher quality of life, because they have fewer limitations that are normally associated with chronic diseases and aging; they are also benefited by a longer life expectancy. By improving our lifestyle, we reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease and cancer, the main causes of mortality in humanity.

Physical exercise increases psychological well-being and improves our mood, reinforces self-esteem, generates self-confidence and increases self-control.

It is important to promote the practice of physical and sports activity at all ages, since it implies positive changes in personal well-being, immediately after having done some type of sport. It is proven to reduce anxiety and depression problems.

Physical activity and sport are synonymous with health, expressing values ​​of life, joy, desire for progress, freedom, and movement, to share, to socialize, all these aspects are enrichment both personal and group.

Therefore, in the psychological field for all people, physical exercise is essential.

What recommendations should be considered before starting regular physical activity?


The fundamental recommendation is that before starting a physical activity training plan, visit your doctor for an exam and thus obtain a certificate of fitness for the beginning of a physical activity. This evaluation is carried out by specialized cardiologists. The evaluation consists of a complete physical examination, blood and urine tests, and an electrocardiogram. The exercise stress test or exercise test is a fundamental diagnostic technique that is used mainly for the diagnosis of angina pectoris in patients with chest pain and to assess the response of the heart to exercise.

When we do physical exercise, what eating guidelines should we take into account?

The pre-workout diet should be based on foods rich in carbohydrates and low in fat and protein. This will prevent delaying gastric emptying and diverting blood flow from the muscles to the stomach and avoid an upset stomach.

Food should contain little fiber and fat, which avoids discomfort in training. The tolerance time of the last meal prior to physical activity is individual, although there is a general indication that 2 to 3 hours prior. Consume 200 to 400 ml of an isotonic drink with a carbohydrate concentration no greater than 7-8%. During training it is suggested to continue consuming 100-150 ml of drink at 15 min intervals during the first hour of physical activity. It is important that the athlete choose the drink that best suits his taste and flavor.

To replenish the body’s carbohydrate reserves after exercise, a key element for all athletes, during the first 6 hours after physical activity, which reduced glycogen reserves (muscle reserve HC), foods rich in HC are recommended high glycemic index (maltodextrin – glucose – ripe banana – spaghetti – orange juice). The glycemic index is a system that allows the “quality” of the different carbohydrates contained in individual foods to be compared, and provides a numerical index based on measurements of the blood glucose after ingestion. After this important period, you can incorporate foods with moderate glycemic index carbohydrates in your normal and usual diet.

Many athletes, especially those who want to sculpt their body, follow a diet based on protein consumption. Are there special recommended diets depending on the type of sport practiced or the result you want to obtain?

Yes. There are diets, although it is appropriate to call them a “specific food plan”, which are applied according to the type of sport and according to the objectives that an athlete sets. Among the meal plans, are those based on a higher percentage of protein in the intake (hyperprotein diets) and low percentages of carbohydrates and fats. This type of eating plan aims to stimulate the consumption of fat and carbohydrate deposits that the body has, obtaining a faster weight loss than a balanced eating plan, and an increase in muscle mass if it is doing exercises. It is important to take a medical check when you are doing this type of protein diet to avoid eating imbalances.

How long do you have to wait to digest depending on your physical activity?

The appropriate time that is suggested is about two or three hours, since food takes, on average, four hours for its digestion in the small intestine, and if we exercise too soon we can suffer, in some cases, stomach pains , nausea, vomiting, dizziness and even cramps, due to the contraction of the muscles and the extra need for oxygen.

Is there the famous “digestion cut”, which prevents us from getting into the sea or the pool immediately after having eaten?

Hydrocution, or popularly “digestion cut” (an inappropriate term, since it is not at all a failure of the digestive process), is a thermodifferential shock (temperature difference) characterized by a syncopal state caused by abrupt contact with cold water, which triggers a reflex called the immersion reflex (the heart rate decreases and the most superficial vessels contract), which causes an inhibition of breathing and circulation, generating a cardiac overload that causes, in some cases, a cardiorespiratory arrest.

As we know, food digestion increases blood circulation in the stomach and duodenum that are processing it, thus reducing the blood supply to the rest of the body

Then yes:

the water temperature is below 27 ° C.

we have been exposed to the sun for a long time before bathing.

we have performed very intense exercises or physical work, with great sweating

we take psychotropic drugs

we are right after a hearty meal

A reasonable waiting time of 1 to 2 hours after eating or exerting is recommended. Other recommendations, which are common sense, and that will help to avoid sudden changes in body temperature, is to gradually enter the water and not do a very intense exercise before bathing.

Read more: Dates, the best allies of the long-distance athlete

Eating For Allergies: Healthy Swaps For Everyday Staples

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Eating For Allergies: Healthy Swaps For Everyday Staples

If you’ve lived with an eating for  allergy for a long time, perhaps your entire life, then you’re probably well aware of the alternatives. If, however, you’ve recently developed an eating for allergy, or maybe your child has, then knowing which foods to avoid, and importantly, which foods you can substitute, is incredibly important.

We’ve detailed a few of the most common allergies here, and offered advice on what you can sub in to replace them. Where appropriate, we’ve even mentioned where an alternative might be better for you, even if you don’t have allergies.

Swap: Almond butter for peanut butter
The first and most obvious on our list is the peanut. Millions of children and adults around the world suffer from an allergy to peanuts and other tree nuts — often just peanuts. Cases range from mild to severe, and exposure to peanuts can be fatal for those with an extreme allergy.

Swapping almonds in for peanuts is a good idea, and a great way of introducing healthy fats and protein back into your diet. Almonds are also rich in vitamin E, which is fantastic for maintaining healthy skin and hair. Almond butter can be spread and blended just like peanut butter, and the flavour is more delicate than peanut butter, too.
Tip: Almonds add an awesome crunch when sprinkled with coriander on top of curries and salads.

Swap: nut milk for dairy
If dairy is your foe, then swapping it out in favour of nut milk (or mylk, as it’s often called), could be the way forward.

Nut milks are made by blending and pressing different nuts, then mixing with spring water, and sometimes a natural sweetener or thickener. You’ll need to experiment with the kind of nut milk that suits your tastes, as they all have their own unique flavours. Making them yourself is easy, but can be costly. We recommend buying your nut milk from any large supermarket. You’ll find cashew, almond and hazelnut in most places.
Tip: Nut milks don’t do so well in coffee, but if we had to choose one, it’d be cashew milk, as it has the mildest flavour, and the best texture.

Various swaps for eggs
Eggs used to be a problem area for people with allergies, but with so many replacements, if you’re making your own food, then it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. This brilliant post over at She Knows, details four great substitutes for eggs, including bananas, applesauce, flaxseeds and a mixture of oil, flour and water.
Swap: buckwheat for wheat-wheat
Don’t let the name fool you — buckwheat is 100% wheat and gluten-free. It’s also high in protein and can be found in seed form, or ground into flour. Check out these cool recipes for buckwheat bread, and for dessert, try buckwheat pancakes.
Those are a few of our favourite swaps for your everyday staples. Got one that you love? Let us know on Facebook.

Read More: Why Choose All-Natural Food Over Processed

FitBites Love Hemp Protein

Let’s talk about Hemp Proteinhemp protein

We’re always looking for new and exciting ways to get as much delicious nutrition into our FitBites as possible. So, when we came across hemp protein which not only ticks all of our ‘organic’ and ‘gluten-free’ boxes, but also provides a substantial vegan-friendly protein source, we were pretty excited.

 

Let’s clear something up straight away, though; when we talk about hemp, we are talking about the same family of plants that marijuana comes from, but hemp seeds do not contain anywhere near enough psychoactives to produce an effect (less than 0.3% by weight.)

How is Hemp Protein Made? 

The hemp seed is harvested, before being separated from its husk and pressed to remove the oil. The oil goes on to be used for other purposes, while the resulting seed ‘cake’, is ground into a fine powder – this is the hemp protein that we mix into FitBites Protein HIIT balls.

Amino Acid Jackpot 

Unfortunately, a lot of other non-animal and non-dairy proteins are poor alternatives, having either a pretty low protein content, or other nasty side-effects (usually digestive.) Hemp protein is not only high in protein, it also contains all 21 amino acids, including the nine we can’t make inside our bodies – meaning we have to get them through our diets. Those nine essential amino acids are:

  • histidine
  • leucine
  • isoleucine
  • lysine
  • methionine
  • phenylalanine
  • threonine
  • tryptophan
  • valine

These amino acids aren’t just important for building muscle after hitting the gym, either, they’re crucial to allowing all of your body’s organs and systems to function properly, from your kidneys and liver, to your brain and nervous system.

Fatty acids 

The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are found in hemp protein are naturally occurring, they’re not added in. They’re essential, too, for optimum brain function and for helping to reduce inflammation (omega-3.)

You’ll only find tiny amounts of these fantastic fatty acids in FitBites, because they’re pretty small, but if you’re interested in their health benefits, we would recommend doing a bit more reading about them. You could start here.

Vegan-friendly 

We’ve mentioned it already, but we were incredibly excited to start using hemp protein, because we know that for vegans, finding good sources of protein can sometimes be challenging. We would love it if, after trying our Protein HIIT balls, you bought yourself some hemp protein to use as a regular supplement.

Two tablespoons of hemp protein contains around 15g of protein.

If you have questions about hemp protein, or any of our other ingredients, we’d be happy to discuss them with you. Join us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Spirulina Stretch Uncovered

Did you know that spirulina is the richest source of plant protein in the world? Its protein content is around 60% of its weight, and gram-for-gram, it has more protein than red meat, chicken and eggs. How could we not use it, right?

What is spirulina?

It looks pretty simple – spirulina is a blue-green algae (technically a cyanobacteria) that grows in water. It’s a single-cell protein, but amazingly, is packed with other nutrients like iron, and amino acids like leucine. Leucine is a very popular amino acid in its own right, used by athletes in many sports for healthy, natural muscle recovery.

Our Spirulina Stretch ball is also made from 40% apricots, and with good reason. As well as being high in vitamins A and C, dried apricots are a great source of fibre and catechins, which help to reduce inflammation. That’s good news if you’re running, lifting weights, or putting stress on your joints.

Another ingredient we love in Spirulina Stretch is almonds. As well as being a great protein source, almonds are high in vitamin E (vitamin E is actually a group of 8 different nutrients), a powerful anti-oxidant and healthy heart supporter.

Almonds also contain good amounts of copper. Copper enables all sorts of reactions to take place in the body, and helps to keep blood vessels flexible and healthy.

The other ingredients in Spirulina Stretch are medjool dates and coconut. That’s it. Nothing else. No added sugar or preservatives at all.