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Fine Lines of Nutrition

Over the years we all have been bombarded with many helpful tips with regards to nutritional health. The many different diets, foods, supplements, olive oil or vegetable oil, wines, beer, fish, garlic, butter or margarine, egg beaters, egg whites, no carbs, low carbs , low fat, high protein, etc…………. Some of these ideas and thoughts are good, some are bad, and some can be good but in preparation they become bad. A lot of nutrition is not about counting grams of this and calories from that, but what is done with these nutrients at the chemical level. So, lets answer or clear up some nutritional concepts.

1. The benefits of fish:

The reason for this rise in the awareness of fish consumption is for the valuable Omega 3 fatty acids found in CERTAIN but not all fish. The beneficial fish includes: tuna, king salmon, atlantic salmon, pacific herring, anchovies, lake trout, mackerel, dogfish, sablefish, lake white fish, and blue fish. The fish must not be farm raised (it robs the fish of Omega 3). Fried fish does not count, most bought fried fish is not a good source anyway, but if you spend the money to get a nice piece of atlantic salmon and fry it, you rob and change the chemical aspect of the salmon. So, proper fish, environment and cooking style to maximize the benefit.

*butternuts and walnuts are a good source of omega 3’s also*

2. Olive oil is good for you:

Yes, if it is not used for frying. Frying changes the chemistry and makes it bad for you. Try grilling, poaching, broiling or frying in wine or water then seasoning with olive oil. Replace the vegetable oil in salad dressings with olive oil.

3. Butter or Margarine:

Butter is composed of short chain fatty acids which are used by the brain and heart for metabolism. Margarine is full of transfatty acids and the by products of its metabolism is bad for the body. NOW, that doesn’t mean a stick of butter a day. If used in moderation, butter is very beneficial for the body.

4. What about eggs:

The best egg would be organic eggs, which are high in omega 3’s. Egg beaters or other fake eggs are bad for you. Eggs are not bad for you if in moderation, 2/day will not hurt and is a good source of protein and essential fatty acids. We’ll save the cholesterol myth for another time.

5. Diets:

Short and sweet “diets are horrible and dangerous”. Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig are not diets, they are lifestyle changes. Having healthy eating habits is the way to go, this is a lifestyle change and not a diet.

6. Carbohydrates:

Carbs are a must for our body to survive. Some will say it is just grains that are bad for you. To keep this short and to the point, limit your grains to whole wheat not bleached grains (but only one slice a day). Carbs are found in everything we eat, so you can’t avoid them, just monitor the bad carbs that come in.

7. Some good habits:

Spices are great for cooking (garlic, turmeric, onions, ginger, pepper, etc…) they are packed with anti-inflammatory chemicals and other nutrients. Replace soda with green tea, water and juice (your body will thank you).

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