Blog Post by Coach Julie
NCI Certified Nutrition Coach L1 & Mindset Coach
In an interview with Vegan.com, Virginia Messina, MPH, RD, commented on her disdain about the documentary “What the Health.” She said, “As a vegan health professional, I am sometimes mortified to be associated with the junk science that permeates our community. . . . I’m disheartened by advocacy efforts that can make us look scientifically illiterate, dishonest, and occasionally like a cult of conspiracy theorists. I wish What the Health had stuck to these kinds of observations and supported them with an informed discussion of the evidence. Instead, it cherry-picked the research, misinterpreted and over-stated the data, highlighted dubious stories of miraculous healing, and focused on faulty observations about nutrition science. Most of the misinformation in the film is due simply to a poor understanding of nutrition science and research. But some moments struck me as overtly dishonest.”
Vegan diets have clout, especially if you're pursuing them for moral reasons. Many people that take on vegan diets have been doing so to try and honor animals and protect them from inhuman treatment. That is a very good reason to transition to the vegan lifestyle. The way you eat, however, does not determine your moral character. Should you choose to use your nutrition as a way to express your beliefs and values, I think that's great. That does not give you permission to judge people that don't hold the same views as you. I, also, believe in the moral treatment of animals and am a huge animal lover. However, I feel better eating animal products and I do my due diligence to only source my animal products from sources that treat the animals in humane ways.
The problems that have arisen from this new vegan movement are blatant fear mongering and dogma. We have seen a radical portion of the vegan population touting claims that meat causes cancer, fat leads to diabetes and sugar is not unhealthy. These claims are inherently false. These radicalists have cherry picked information in order to incite fear in people in order to "recruit" more people to their way of life. Time Magazine wrote an article breaking down all of the false claims that were touted in What The Health. The film did get some elements correct, it wasn't complete bullshit. However, they definitely overly inflated a lot of their claims to try and claim their dietary lifestyle was far superior and healthy to other dietary modalities. If you're interested in another great article debunking the film, I would check out this great article on Vox. The article refers to the film as "sensational" and I couldn't say it any better.
You can read the full article yourself at Vegan.com. The point is, you cannot take one piece of material as gospel. Especially when the people funding and creating the piece have a bias. Usually if there’s a bias, there is also fearmongering, cherry picking, and a ton of dogma. There are perks to plant based diets for SOME people. That doesn’t make it right for ALL people. Not ALL meat causes cancer. Sugar DOES cause health issues. Fat does NOT cause diabetes. Always do research and check all of your sources. Look at both sides. To be honestly open to learning and growing as a person, you have to listen to both sides and take them both seriously. Otherwise you are deciding on something with a bias rather than a decision rooted in education and evidence.
Blog Post by Coach Julie
NCI Certified Nutrition Coach L1 and Mindset Coach
Artificial sweeteners have been the bastard of the nutrition and fitness industry lately. They are getting the blame for cancer, gut health issues, disordered eating and blood sugar spikes. But what is the truth about artificial sweeteners.
The three most popular artificial sweeteners on the market today are: aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin. These sweeteners are often found in popular foods that have been reformulated into a “zero sugar” version which often results in a reduced calorie option of the popular alternative. For example, I enjoy Sprite Zero because it offers a “treat” with dinner for zero calories where a can of Sprite is about 120 calories. Sprite Zero contains aspartame to give it the sweet flavor without the calories mounting.
These sweeteners have been on blast by the media about their “harmful” effects for years. The issue with media, is that it is almost always sensationalized to gather attention. Clicks and shares usually mean income for news media so you will often see stories overly sensationalized to garner more attention. You can see this very clearly in the amount of stories on news outlets about terrorism and violent crimes. It has created an attitude that the world is a super dangerous place, but actual studies have shown that crime has been down the last several years.
The WHO (World Health Organization) came out a few years ago and said there MAY be a link between artificial sweeteners and cancer risk. This simple, yet uncertain claim has sparked the media firestorm that has created a line in the sand between nutrition researchers and cherry picking, media outlets that are trying to boost their bottom line. In an great article by Mike Matthews of Legion Athletics, Mike shows a great graphic on where the WHO categorized artificial sweeteners. He stated, “The WHO is placing aspartame in Group 2B. Thus, according to the WHO’s assessment, aspartame is about as likely to increase your cancer risk as aloe vera, carpentry, and eating pickled vegetables.” I’m not real sure about you, but if I find joy in one Sprite Zero per day, I feel relatively safe doing so.
There have been recent studies lately that are showing that there is NO association between these sweeteners and cancer. In a recent news story on Barbend, the study has dispelled the WHO’s previous claims and actually shown that zero calorie sodas may be beneficial for health if it’s used to replace regular soda for weight loss because it aids in weight loss and reduces the overall sugar intake.
The other big concern surrounding artificial sweeteners is their effect on gut health. There have been small sample studies done in rats on the effects of sweeteners on the gut microbiome. The issue is, rat studies don’t always translate well to humans. Most of these studies were feeding the rats toxic amounts of sweeteners that would translate to obscene numbers in humans. A recent article on StrongerU as well as an article on BioLayne, show the limitations associated with the rat studies. Overall, the studies on gut microbiome have been widely inconclusive.
Some social media influencers have argued that these sweeteners promote obesity by increasing cravings. Here’s the thing, this argument also has no conclusive evidence of this. As a nutrition coach, I believe if you maintain a 80-20 diet in nutritious foods and use these zero calorie foods and drinks as a “treat” that subs for the higher calorie options, you’re going to be just fine. I don’t believe that these foods drive cravings more than any other food option. Realistically, this argument could be made about most highly processed, higher carb foods, they also tend to promote cravings because carbs do not offer the satiating effect you receive from protein.
With all of the recent research, I’m not willing to tell any of my clients to stop choosing zero calorie sodas over regular sodas. I would caution that too much of any good thing can be a bad thing. The studies have not shown conclusive evidence of causing harm in small amounts. If you are drinking obscene amounts of these sweeteners, we need to have a different conversation because I would assume you’re having health issues. Those issues would be associated with dehydration NOT the artificial sweeteners. Overall, the benefits of artificial sweeteners far outweigh the potential risks, if used in a reasonable amount.
There are a few key nutrients that can make the sometimes challenging task
of balancing your blood sugar easy and approachable! These three key
nutrients are: fat, fiber, and protein. Other diabetes resources focus on
limiting or even removing certain foods from your diet, but instead we’re
going to focus on adding these three key nutrients to your plate each time
you eat. . .
THE BLOOD SUGAR
sugar and other forms of carbohydrates.
•Fat often gets a bad rep in the media and becomes feared by
many, grabbing the non-fat or low-fat options at the grocery
store or coffee shop. However, fat is a vital macronutrient
essential in everyone's daily diet.
fat to absorb the goodness of these specific vitamins. So
eating avocado or salad dressing on a salad will function
both for flavor and aiding the absorption of those fat-
soluble vitamins in vegetables.
•Fat helps keep us full and satiated. This is simply because this
macronutrient takes longer to exit the stomach, so when your
meals or snacks contain fat, they help keep you satisfied longer
and keep hunger away.
•Fat can also slow down carbohydrate absorption, which means
a more steady blood sugar response after meals and snacks..
•Fiber is great because it prevents us from getting hungry
again soon after we've eaten and can help regulate blood
•There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble.
•Soluble fiber dissolves in water. Soluble fiber is helpful for
our cholesterol and blood sugar regulation.
•Insoluble fiber is not dissolvable in water and will aid in
moving food through our digestive system.
•A great way to increase fiber in your daily diet is to keep the
skin on vegetables and fruit. So, for instance, if you're
making a soup, scrub the carrots well to clean off any dirt but
leave that beautiful orange skin on the vegetable to retain
•Protein is a macronutrient that plays a vital role in balancing
our blood sugars.
•Protein can be derived from animal-based sources such as
meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy. Protein can also be
derived from plant-based sources such as whole grains,
legumes, beans, nuts, and seeds.
PUTTING IT INTO ACTION
Rice or Pasta
- Coach Kayli
Does this sound like you?
You’ve been crushing your workouts these last 5 days and avoiding all of those favorite high sugar snacks you love.
You’ve been led to believe that the only way to lose weight is to give up the things you love and move more.
I mean everyone has heard the phrase . . .
Eat less, move more right??
That’s how Sally lost all her weight on IG.
But, after day 5 of going to the gym everyday and starving yourself you find yourself with very little willpower to say no.
Anyone can restrict themselves for 5 days.
After a while though you find yourself battling some intense cravings! Missing all those favorite foods you thought you had to give up in order to lose weight. So Tuesday morning when Joe brings in donuts to work and you got less than 5 hours of sleep the night before, guess what happens?
That’s right you cave. You eat the donut and it’s the best tasting stale donut you’ve ever had.
So that’s right, you grab another one. Maybe you stop there or maybe you walk by after another hour and grab a third.
By lunch though you are feeling like crap. Both physically and mentally. You are having a sugar crash from the spike in blood insulin levels as well as beating yourself up for caving.
This usually leads to 1 of 2 things.
You say F it and write the whole day off and tell yourself you will start again on Monday.
You scold yourself and start restricting again and punishing yourself in the gym for the “mistake”.
Both of these lead to the exact same conclusion.
They are a never ending cycle of working your ass off to lose 10-15lbs only to gain it right back.
What if I told you there was a better way? An easier way?
A way to curb those intense sugar cravings for good?
Would you be interested in learning more? If so, keep reading.
If you want to stop this never ending cycle for good you have to send the right signals to your body and brain.
Here are the 3 Ways I help break the Sugar Addiction Cycle for my online coaching clients.
If you would like to take it a step further and have someone map out your fat loss success journey for the next 6 months then click the application for coaching below and let us show you the proven RISE method we have used with 100’s of clients that used to struggle just like you.
Kayli Montoya-Huston - NCI Certified Nutrition Coach & Personal Trainer
Kayli is a certified personal trainer and online coach that specializes in fitness, wellness, nutrition, mindset, mobility and everything in between.