WHY INSTAGRAM FOODIES & THEIR PRETTY SMOOTHIE BOWLS ARE SABOTAGING YOUR WEIGHT-LOSS

We started our food Instagram account over 4 years ago, when insta-famous foodies were few and smoothie bowls didn’t exist.


We started our food Instagram account over 4 years ago, when insta-famous foodies were few and smoothie bowls didn’t exist. As time grew by, food art overtook actual nutrition and smoothie bowls became the most gourmet things. Not that we have anything against smoothies and smoothie bowls – in fact we make smoothies all the time ourselves – but the RIGHT WAY.

Whats wrong about them is It’s whats in them and how most people make them. If you look at some of the most popular bowls, they are truly beautiful to look at. Who can not click “like” when you hear it is filled with ‘super-foods’ and has the ‘vegan’ or ‘rawganic’ label attached to it.

But if you break down the typical smoothie bowl to a macronutrient level..ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! You may actually get scared because you have been trying to fill your blender with all the superfood, nut butters and fruit in the world.

Here is what you are actually doing that may sabotage your fat loss efforts:

 

Generally, the Calories are CRAZY!

Go to most Instagram foodie’s smoothie bowl – and this is what you would typically find in a smoothie bowl: Avocado, Almond milk, frozen banana, almond butter, dates, chia seeds, mango, kiwi and chopped nuts. So what are the numbers?

YIKES: This average described smoothie bowl is equal to around 1500 Calories with over 200 grams carbohydrate and 100 grams of fat! WTF?! If you were dieting you basically wouldn’t be able to eat any more in a day and your fat is more than anyone should consume – thats like 100 grams of butter! Now are you crying?!

The Happy Medium – Pick and choose all your ingredients wisely! Aim to go for less calorie-dense bowls using lighter ingredients such as berries and low fat yoghurt.

Where the Hell is the Protein?!

If you have a look at our Instagram page, all the smoothies and smoothie bowls we have ever done have over 20 grams of protein. Since protein should ideally make up 40% of our diet, where is the protein in these smoothie bowls?

YIKES! If you take the smoothie bowl described earlier,you have basically used all your calories on one bowl So if you couldn’t eat anything else for the rest of the day, without being in a caloric surplus, you would have only eaten around 5% of your protein requirements. Way off balance! Read about the benefits of protein in our previous blog post! We also a list of top 10 vegetarian sources of protein if you are on the vegetarian diet.

 

High Carb and Sugary Sweeteners you thought were Good!

a) Fruit

Most people do not know this but fruit contains high amounts of fructose which is still a sugar. Whether you are eating 50 grams of cereal of 50 grams of fruit – sugar is sugar. So all those bowls and plates loaded with fruit are not as “balanced” as you think.

YIKES! A medium-sized banana is nearly 30 grams of Carbohydrate which is the same 7.5 teaspoons of sugar.

The Happy Medium – Limit the number of fruit you have in a day. Berries are lower in calories and carbohydrate and higher in fibre so those are always a better option. We are not saying fruit is bad – there is no denying the vitamins and anti-oxidants – but you still have too much of a good thing to the point the caloric amounts overtake the nutrient benefits.

B) Dried Fruit

 

All the dates, apricots, raisins, figs, prunes and craisins you add thinking its healthy and will help you loose weight is actually the biggest sugar bomb!

YIKES! With over 83 grams of carbohydrate for only 100 grams and close to 400 calories, you’ve eaten almost 1/4 of your daily calories and over 2/4 of your daily carb requirements! Shocking we know! But maybe this is another reason why you are not loosing weight!

The Happy Medium – You are better off sticking with smaller amounts of fresh fruit that has no added sugar and is less calorie dense!

Are Superfoods really “Super”?

Based on popular use, fads and marketing gimmicks, foods that would be considered ordinary attain “super status”. Much research has shown that there is no evidence that any individual food can significantly affect your metabolic rate or assist with weight loss. Of course, its good to get your greens, vitamins and minerals in if you turn to high sugar “superfood” juices and eating lots of calorie dense items such as chia seeds, sunflower seeds, goji berries etc. These ingredients on top of all the other ones you add to your smoothie bowl are bound to be way over your calories!

YIKES! 100 grams of Chia seeds is 500 calories! Thats already on average 1/4 of most women’s daily caloric intake requirements.

The Happy Medium: You can fill your micro nutrients in less calorie-dense ways. Try having more balanced meals such as a large amount of greens in salads, a limited fruit and if you really want super foods make sure they are portioned!

Healthy Fats are still FAT!

Most foodies go all out when it comes to coconut oil, nut butters and other nuts. Yes these are good for you but at the end of a day – a fat is still a fat! Whether you are eating butter or olive oil, peanut of almond butter, there is still that element of fat which will break down in the same way in your body.

YIKES! 100g of chia seeds has 33 grams of fat which is the same as two and a half tablespoons of butter!

 

The Happy Medium: Limit the amount of fat you are putting into your smoothie bowl. Ideally – choose one healthy fat at a time and portion it. Also make sure you limit the amount of fat you eat in a day!

SO….To conclude. If you eat too much of anything, even when its a good thing, you will gain FAT! So the next time you try to copy an ‘insta-foodie’s art work, you’ll think twice!

For more information on how to get the right diet for you check out the NutriEats Website(www.nutrieatsfoods.com) for the right personalized plan.

WHY THE INDIAN VEGETARIAN DIET IS MAKING YOU FAT!

The Indian vegetarian diet could be the main reason you are not losing any weight and instead keep on getting fatter every year.


 

The Indian vegetarian diet could be the main reason you are not losing any weight and instead keep on getting fatter every year. Everyone thinks that as a vegetarian, you only eat vegetables but this is not the case with the Indian vegetarian diet; it is mostly compromised of wheat and rice and the only vegetables consumed are usually starchy potatoes that are cooked (fried) beyond the point of recognition, killing most of the nutrients. Snacks meanwhile, are usually a fatty high carb mix that are just not good for you. Common examples include bhajias, samosas, chips or some Indian sweets. It is also clear that the diet severely lacks in protein.

There are many reasons why people choose to go vegetarian or vegan. Some are compelled by the environmental impact of confinement animal feeding operations (CAFO). Others are guided by ethical concerns or religious reasons. However, many people also choose a vegetarian diet because they’re under the impression that it’s a healthier choice from a nutritional perspective. This is not necessarily true.

Several studies have shown that both vegetarians and vegans are prone to deficiencies in B12, calcium, iron, zinc, the long-chain fatty acids EPA & DHA, and fat-soluble vitamins like A & D.

 Let’s take a closer look at each of these nutrients on a vegetarian or vegan diet.

 

Vitamin B12

Recent studies have found that 68% of vegetarians and 83% of vegans are B12 deficient, compared to just 5% of omnivores. B12 deficiency can cause numerous problems, including:

    •       Fatigue

    •       Lethargy

    •       Weakness

    •       Memory loss

    •       Neurological and psychiatric problems

    •       Anemia

A common myth amongst vegetarians and vegans is that it’s possible to get B12 from plant sources like seaweed, fermented soy, spirulina and brewer’s yeast. But plant foods said to contain B12 actually contain B12 analogs called cobamides that block the intake of, and increase the need for, true B12.

Calcium

On paper, calcium intake is similar in vegetarians and omnivores (probably because both eat dairy products), but is much lower in vegans, who are often deficient. However, calcium bioavailability from plant foods is affected by their levels of oxalate and phytate, which inhibit calcium absorption and thus decrease the amount of calcium the body can extract from plant foods. So while leafy greens like spinach and kale are relatively high in calcium content, the calcium is not efficiently absorbed during digestion. One study suggests that it would take 16 servings of spinach to get the same amount of absorbable calcium as an 8 ounce glass of milk. That would be 33 cups of baby spinach or around 5-6 cups of cooked spinach. This suggests that trying to meet your daily calcium needs from plant foods alone (rather than dairy products or bone-in fish) might not be a great strategy.

Iron

Vegetarians eat a similar amount of iron to omnivores, but as with calcium, the bioavailability of the iron in plant foods is much lower than in animal foods. Plant-based forms of iron are also inhibited by other commonly consumed substances, such as coffee, tea, dairy products, supplemental fibre, and supplemental calcium. This explains why vegetarians and vegans have lower iron stores than omnivores, and why vegetarian diets have been shown to reduce non-heme iron absorption by 70% and total iron absorption by 85%.

Zinc

This is another case where bioavailability is important; many plant foods that contain zinc also contain phytate, which inhibits zinc absorption. Vegetarian diets tend to reduce zinc absorption by about 35% compared with omnivorous diets. Thus, even when the diet meets or exceeds the required daily amount (RDA) of zinc, deficiency may still occur. One study suggested that vegetarians may require up to 50% more zinc than omnivores for this reason.

Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA

Plant foods do contain linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3), both of which are considered essential fatty acids. In this context, an essential fatty acid is one that can’t be synthesised by the body and must be obtained in the diet. However, research has highlighted the benefits of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA & DHA. These fatty acids play a protective and therapeutic role in a wide range of diseases: cancer, asthma, depression, cardiovascular disease, ADHD, and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

While it is possible for some alpha-linolenic acid from plant foods to be converted into EPA & DHA, that conversion is poor in humans: between 5-10% for EPA and 2-5% for DHA. Vegetarians have 30% lower levels of EPA & DHA than omnivores, while vegans have 50% lower EPA and nearly 60% lower DHA. Moreover, the conversion of ALA to DHA depends on zinc, iron and pyridoxine—nutrients which vegetarians and vegans are less likely than omnivores to get enough of.

Fat-soluble vitamins: A and D

Perhaps the biggest problem with vegetarian and vegan diets is their near total lack of two fat-soluble vitamins: A and D. Fat-soluble vitamins play numerous and critical roles in human health. Vitamin A promotes healthy immune function, fertility, eyesight and skin. Vitamin D regulates calcium metabolism, regulates immune function, reduces inflammation and protects against some forms of cancer. These important fat-soluble vitamins are concentrated, and in some cases found almost exclusively, in animal foods: primarily seafood, organ meats, eggs and dairy products. This explains why vitamin D levels are 58% lower in vegetarians and 74% lower in vegans than in omnivores. A single serving of liver per week would meet the RDA of 3,000 IU. To get the same amount from plant foods, you’d have to eat 2 cups of carrots, one cup of sweet potatoes or 2 cups of kale every day.

Final thoughts

 

With care and attention,it’s possible to meet nutrient needs with a vegetarian diet that includes liberal amounts of pasture-raised, full-fat dairy and eggs, with one exception: EPA and DHA. These long-chain omega fats are found exclusively in marine algae, fish and shellfish, so the only way to get them on a vegetarian diet would be to take a microalgae supplement (which contains DHA) or bend the rules and take fish oil or cod liver oil as a supplement. Still, while it may be possible to obtain adequate nutrition on a vegetarian diet, it is not optimal—as the research above indicates.

Also, it’s not really possible to meet nutrient needs on a vegan diet without taking quite a few supplements. Vegan diets are low in B12, bioavailable iron and zinc, choline, vitamin A & D, calcium, and EPA and DHA. So if you’re intent on following a vegan diet, make sure you are supplementing with those nutrients.

It’s worth pointing out that there are genetic differences that affect the conversion of certain nutrient precursors into the active forms of those nutrients and these differences may affect how long someone will be able to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet before they develop nutrient deficiencies. This explains why some people seem to do well for years on these diets, while others develop problems very quickly.

From an evolutionary perspective, it is difficult to justify a diet with low levels of several nutrients critical to human function. While it may be possible to address these shortcomings through targeted supplementation, it makes far more sense to meet nutritional needs from food.

So whether your goal is to lose, gain or maintain your weight, it’s important to know that eating a diet that is lacking in essential nutrients will not benefit you in any way, even if it seems like a healthier option.

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