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Spring In To Better Health with The Gulf Coast Nutrition Eating Plan
By Brenda Valen, BS, CNC, CNHP

Here in Florida, come February, most of our cold winter weather is behind us and we will quickly be heading into warmer temperatures. With the warmer weather comes the thought of shorts, T-shirts, beach fun and picnics. This means we cannot hide behind our sweats any longer and must face our New Year’s resolutions of better health and weight loss.

I am a firm believer that with better health overall one’s body will transform with a healthier weight and tone. Of course, exercise is important, but for some it is much better to start making changes with diet and supplementation first before moving into an exercise program. Simply increasing movement with walking or swimming can be enough for a great transformation.

The first step to helping your body get healthier is to feed it the right foods that will nourish and rebuild healthy new cells. The right foods can stimulate your organs, hormones and neurotransmitters to perform as they are designed to. Whereas eating lots of high sugar, processed foods and unhealthy carbs can alter or even halt the normal pattern of these bodily functions altogether.

This does not mean that you can never eat sugar or have a treat again. This is not what any health practitioner means when we encourage healthier eating and lifestyles. But a treat is just that, an occasional treat, and not part of your everyday meal planning.

When educating about healthy eating I like to enlighten people first as to the amount of sugar they need and the amount they may typically get. It can be a huge difference. We do need some glucose (sugar) which is used as fuel by every cell in our body. But to have a normal blood glucose level there is approximately 1 teaspoon of sugar in the blood consistently. And to maintain that 1 teaspoon constant you only need between 8 to 12 teaspoons of sugar in ALL the food you are eating throughout your day. The standard American diet can provide anywhere from 36 on the average up to 100 teaspoons of sugar daily.

This total sugar includes added sugar such as in pastries but it also includes all the glucose that carbohydrates break down into once in your body. Because carbs do just that, break down into glucose. This includes simple carbs such as bread, pasta, and cereals and complex carbs which come from our fruits and vegetables.

But how do you know how many teaspoons of sugar you are getting, as that information is not listed as such on a nutrition fact panel. Follow this simple calculation to find out:

When looking at a nutritional label -take the total amount of carbohydrates grams (not the total sugar) listed, then subtract any amount of fiber grams listed. Take the resulting number and divide by 5 (typical grams in a teaspoon of sugar). This will give you the number of teaspoons of sugar that the food will be converted into within your body. See the example here.

Take Total Carbohydrates - example: 45 carbs

Subtract Fiber - 5 grams of fiber

40 carbs divided by 5 = 8 teaspoons of sugar

What is interesting is that most do not realize that a single cup of brown rice will have 8 teaspoons of sugar, the same with oatmeal. For some that is quite literally all the sugar you need for the entire day!

You may notice that as the fiber in a food rises the teaspoons of sugar it converts to decreases. The Fiber grams are part of that total carbohydrate amount and are not digestible, therefore subtracted from the equation. Fiber helps keep your blood glucose stable and reduces the amount of sugar that can flood your system.

This is just one part of the Gulf Coast Nutrition Eating Plan, which includes plenty of all the nutritional components that your body needs to feel strong, energetic and healthy - lean proteins, healthy fats, and non-starchy carbohydrates. The GCN Eating Plan includes lots of nutrient-dense foods that promote overall health and well-being. The diet minimizes inflammation producing foods and maximizes health promoting foods so that your body can work optimally as you return to health.

Stop by and pick up your Free copy of the GCN Eating Plan today.

Yours In Health
Brenda Valen, BS, CNC, CNHP