Where do Americans Get the Most Sodium?

Companies behind highly processed packaged foods that are in the way of you and that thinner waistline you are working for may want you to think that issues with sodium come from how many times you shake that salt shaker. But, this may come to a surprise to many of you, that is far from the truth.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has published a breakdown of where Americans take in sodium from, the real source of high sodium diets is:

Josh Bezoni Fitness Sodium Breakdown

77% from processed foods

12% from naturally occurring sources

6% added at the table

5% added during cooking

Now it might start to make sense why many companies want you to think that high sodium intake stems from others and not their processed foods.

A high sodium diet can have a very negative impact on your health by increasing your blood pressure which can lead to several problems down the line. It can also ruin an otherwise good diet, which is why the consumption of processed foods should be reduced if not completely avoided.

One issue with packaged foods is that it may be harder to control the portions, further increasing the amount of sodium you consume. Take eating a bowl of cereal as an example. How many people actually stop to look at the Nutrition Facts panel and attempt to stick to the actual suggested serving size? Probably less than you think and that means that a lot of people are consuming more than they should of these packaged and processed foods that are high in sodium, calories and carbohydrates.

The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. You should not stop taking any medication without first consulting your physician.

What You Must Avoid When Having Breakfast

Many people are mislead about what a “healthy” breakfast consists of. Breakfast is a very important meal, especially when you have established certain body transformation goals that you are working very hard to achieve. But making bad choices when it comes to your first meal of the day can significantly slow down your progress or keep you from reaching those goals entirely.

For those of us looking to get or stay healthy, the challenge is knowing what breakfast options are good for your body. Cereal is seen as excellent breakfast – it’s fast to prepare and can be very delicious. But did you know that choosing the wrong type of cereal could be what is keeping you from your body transformation goals? If you decide to have cereal often, one thing you must avoid are GMO cereals.

GMO, or Genetically Modified Organisms, are becoming increasingly harder to avoid for people who are not actively looking out for it. Although biotechnology corporations will be the first to support the so-called great benefits of GMOs, keep in mind that they have a financial stake in the rest of us believing their claims.

The heavily processed ingredients found in GMO cereals can be very bad for that waistline you are working to reduce but they also have some even scarier risks that you must be aware of in your trek toward a healthy, fit lifestyle. Studies have repeatedly shown that consumption of GM foods leads to an increase in the potential for:

  • Accelerated aging
  • Allergies
  • Altered genes associated with cholesterol synthesis, insulin regulation, and protein formation
  • Changes in liver, kidney, and spleen function
  • Infertility
  • Immune system compromise

Taking note of these potential risks to our health, there have already been many countries that have banned the use and sale of genetically modified crops used to make many of the foods we eat.

The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. You should not stop taking any medication without first consulting your physician.

Count Macronutrients instead of Calories

If you are trying to meet your weight loss and body transformation goals by counting calories, then you know how difficult and tedious it is. In the end, it starts to feel more like a chore to have to be mindful of the calories contained in what you eat and that leads many people to give up too soon. But what if there were a better, more balanced way of taking into account what you eat? Counting macronutrients, not calories, is that way. Unlike counting calories, counting macronutrients requires no more than simple math and can help a person eat more balanced meals rather than trying to hit a daily calorie intake goal. A greasy burger can help you stay within your calorie goals for the day, but it won’t be very good for your body overall.

Counting macronutrients is simple. The 3 macronutrients a person needs to track in order to drop body flab are protein, carbs and fat. Each macronutrient has a set caloric value and they are:

Carbs = 4 calories per gram.

Proteins = 4 calories per gram. 

Proteins, Carbs and Fats are 3 essential Macronutrients.

Proteins, Carbs and Fats are 3 essential Macronutrients.

Fats =  9 calories per gram.

If you can determine the number of grams you should eat of each macronutrient, you will also be effectively controlling your daily calorie intake but in a way that will allow you to maintain a healthier diet than just counting calories alone. The great thing is that the formula needed to figure out how many grams of each macronutrient a person should consume is very simple:

First you must multiply your body weight by 10 to figure out what your daily calorie intake should be. If you weigh 180 pounds, that would be 180 x 10 which is 1,800.

After that, it is time to break down the 1,800 calories you should consume into a ratio of 40% protein, 30% carbs, and 30% fat. Protein is the most metabolic nutrient, so it should be what a fat burning diet is built around. Your body will also benefit from carbs and fat, so 30% of each is a great start.

To break down how many grams of each macronutrient you need, just multiply your daily calorie intake target by the percentage of each nutrient that you should consume.

For protein, for example, that would be: 1800 x 40% which equals 720 calories. But how many grams should that be? Just divide 720 calories by 4 grams (there are 4 calories per gram of protein) which will give you 180 grams.

An individual weighing 180 pounds should consume about 180g of protein. If you follow the same math for the other macronutrients, that same individual will have to consume 135g of carbs and 60g of fat daily.

The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. You should not stop taking any medication without first consulting your physician.

Beware the Blender: Drinking Better Smoothies

When the seasons change and the weather gets warm, everyone should make staying hydrated a priority. It is common knowledge that steering clear of sugary drinks like soda, sports drinks, and fruit juices is a critical component of a healthy diet. However, what many people might be surprised to learn, is just how bad one of the alternatives, the fruit smoothie, can be. How bad is it? Fruit smoothies can actually have as much as three times more sugar (so approximately 120 grams) in them than a can of soda!

Popular smoothie franchises do great business by advertising their products as a delicious way to help you trim down your waistline. That simply is not true. Even the small sizes can have as much as 100 grams of sugar. That is the equivalent of twenty-five teaspoons. It is difficult to find that amount of sugar in almost any food, of any variety. It is nothing short of shocking that these allegedly “healthy” smoothies can pack so much bad news in one cup.

The good news is that the recipe for smoothies should be easy enough for anybody to master. You just need a blender! Creating a better alternative to your favorite store-bought smoothies is as easy as reading the whole fruits that store claims to use, then going home and making one for yourself. It may not be quite as sweet as what you would be able to buy pre-made, but that is exactly the point. Fruits naturally pack more than enough sugar for most people to enjoy them as an actually healthy, nutritious source of fuel for the day. To take your snack or meal replacement to the next level, throw in some vegetables as well! Cucumbers, celery, carrots, and leafy greens all make excellent additions, because they are gentle on your taste buds but still deliver a sizeable heaping of vitamins and minerals.

The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. You should not stop taking any medication without first consulting your physician.

Fitting a Healthy Breakfast into your Schedule

For healthy consumers with a fast-paced lifestyle, it can be hard to make time to always eat right. To fit taking care of oneself more comfortably into many modern schedules, a huge industry of health foods has exploded in recent years. One meal that has enjoyed a particularly meteoric rise in emphasis is breakfast. Today, it is common knowledge that the first meal of the day is probably the most important one. It sets the tone for your waking hours, gives you energy to start strong, and plays a large role in determining how well you will be able to make healthy food choices throughout the afternoon and evening. In terms of being quick and easy-to-make, breakfast does not get much simpler than cereal.

MCL_cereal_aisle_101651084_Moats_310High-fiber cereals occupy a lot of space on many supermarket shelves. However, there are so many from which to choose that it has become next to impossible to identify the real winners. In terms of overall health benefits, things to consider include both completely organic grains and, when possible, sprouted grains. Sprouted grains are especially great to improve health for a number of reasons. They increase digestibility and our absorption of minerals. They also tend to have a much higher amounts of antioxidants, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B.
Food for Life® offers an especially great suite of cereal products. The Ezekiel 4:9® line is a definite champion in terms of cereal options. Unlike most other boxed choices, Ezekiel cereals are made from whole grains, not flour. When grains are pulverized into flour, they devolve into a processed carbohydrate which more quickly enters the body and can cause spikes blood sugar levels. That can result in the body creating more fat and in chronic inflammation. Whole grains, however, are more natural and, therefore, more slowly and beneficially digested. So, when looking to purchase an easy breakfast choice to get your day started right, always take the time to double check exactly what is inside the food you are putting inside of you.