FATS-The Body’s Most Concentrated Source of Energy

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In our ongoing effort to discuss and define proper nutrition, we have covered carbohydrates and now move on to fats in your diet.  Dietary fat is the most concentrated source of energy provided by the diet.  When oxidized, fat yields more than three times the amount of energy than amino acids or glucose.

In addition to providing energy to the body, dietary fats also play a role in the absorption of the fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) and in bionutrient conversions, such as the conversion of carotene to vitamin A.  Dietary fats are also instrumental in regulating the digestion and absorption of food by slowing the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach which prolongs the emptying time and creates a longer lasting sensation of fullness after a meal.

There are two types of fatty acids which give fats their distinct flavors, textures and melting points.  They are referred to as “saturated” and “unsaturated” fatty acids.   Each classification exemplifies the ratio of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids within fat containing foods.  For example, the predominant composition of saturated fats is saturated fatty acids; therefore, foods considered rich in saturated fats such as beef, whole milk, cheese, butter and cream have a higher percentage of saturated fatty acids than unsaturated fatty acids.  Furthermore, foods that are rich in saturated fatty acids are also usually high in cholesterol.  Plant and vegetable derived foods such as peanut butter, oatmeal, plants, seeds and nuts are rich in unsaturated fatty acids contain no cholesterol and are therefore a preferable source of dietary fat.

Although dietary fats are looked upon as an undesirable nutritional component, they are quite necessary as they provide the body with the essential fatty acids,  linoleic acid and alpha linolenic acid.  Fortunately, the essential fatty acids can be easily obtained from many foods such as vegetable oil which contains 50% linoleic acid.  Incidentally, linoleic and linolenic acid are vital for normal growth, a healthy circulatory and nervous system and for keeping the skin and other tissues of the body fit and youthful.

In health and honor,
Will Smith aka THUNDER

William Smith is the President / CEO and Founder of the INTRAFITT Corporation which was established in California in 1992. Will has won more than twenty-eight bodybuilding championships and is also known for his role as “THUNDER” on television’s American Gladiator between 1990 – 1992. He is a National and International Speaker on Performance Nutrition and Exercise Science. Continue reading

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Carbohydrates…The Body’s Most Preferred Source of Energy

Visit us at our website….www.intrafitt.com for your Individualized Nutrition & Exercise Program!  Got a question regarding nutrition or exercise?  Send an email to gladiator@intrafitt.com

Carbohydrates are the body’s chief source of energy for all metabolic functions and anaerobic muscular exertions.  Additionally, carbohydrates are necessary for the digestion and absorption of the other macronutrients.  Fats, for example, require carbohydrates for their breakdown in the liver and to provide energy intermediates for their complete oxidation in the muscle cells.

Dietary carbohydrates can be characterized as sugars, starches, or cellulose.  Simple sugars, such as those found in fruits and honey, are easily digested by the body, as are the double sugars maltose and sucrose also known as table sugar.  Starches, however, because of their long polymer  chains of glucose, require prolonged enzymatic action in order to be broken down into glucose for metabolic use within the body.  At some point all dietary sugars and starches must be converted by the body into a common molecule; glucose (also referred to as blood sugar) before they can enter the anaerobic phase of energy metabolism.  A large portion of the circulating glucose, once it enters the bloodstream is used as a source of fuel bu the brain, blood and nervous system.  Excess glucose is converted to glycogen and stored in the muscles and liver as an immediate energy reserve.  Any remaining glucose (even after glycogen stores have been completely gilled) is likely converted to fat and stored throughout the body in addipose tissue.  This action helps to explain how body fat stores can increase even when the over consumption of calories are derived from carbohydrates exclusively.

 Although carbohydrates are considered the body’s chief source of energy, foods that contain high concentrations of refined sugars tend to have an adverse effect on blood glucose levels and can actually decrease the energy supply to the brain and nervous system. 

 This is of primary interest to most athletes, since eating large amounts of refined sugars can dramatically raise blood glucose levels, causing a rapid secretion of the hormone insulin.  Insulin, which is produced and secreted by the pancreas, functions as an energy storing hormone, that enables muscle, liver and fat cells to take up and use glucose either as an immediate source of energy or as an energy reserve in the form of glycogen or glycerol.  Excessive amounts of insulin however, force blood sugar levels to fall to unacceptably low levels, simultaneously causing sugar cravings and feelings of lethargy.  This is turn, creates a strong desire to consume more sugary foods in an attempt to reestablish normal blood glucose levels.

In good health,
Thunder!

Continue reading

Nutrition-Are All Calories the Same

Welcome again to the INTRAFITT Individualized Nutrition and Exercise Program updates! You can always find us on the web at www.intrafitt.com

I wanted to continue on today talking about Nutrition in the Simplest Form. Basically, there are six essential nutrients that the human body requires to keep it nourished and healthy. These include Protein, Carbohydrates, Fats, Vitamins, Minerals and Walter. The term “essential” is used to describe these nutrients because they must be provided to the body in order to sustain life and to prevent a deficient or diseased state. Of the six nutrients listed, only three provide energy to the body, while the other three help to release energy inside the cells. Typically, these two categories of essential nutrients are referred to as the Macro-Nutrients (energy providing nutrients needed by the body in larger amounts)and Micro-Nutrients (energy releasing nutrients needed by the body in smaller amounts).

 The Macro-Nutrients, when metabolized provide energy and heat, which are used to support all of the metabolic functions (heart beat, digestion, muscle contraction, concentration and comprehension) of the body and mind. The fuel potential of the energy nutrients is expressed in calories. Just as a meter is a measure of distance, a calorie is a measure of energy and is defined as the amount of heat needed to raise one milliliter of water one degree centigrade. Therefore foods that are high in calories (dried fruits and nuts) are also high in energy, whereas foods that are low in calories (strawberries, melons and vegetables) are low in energy as well. Perhaps this is one reason why people who eat low-calorie foods to lose weight have little to no energy to exercise in the course of their day.

You might wonder where calories are derived from. If you look at this question from the standpoint that a calorie is defined as the total amount of heat energy needed to raise one milliliter of water one degree Celsius, then YES all calories when oxidized yield the same amount of heat energy. Perhaps the question should be “are all calorie sources the same?”

Take for example the two individuals illustrated below. Each individual has a recommended calorie intake of 520 calories per meal and both eat the exact same foods within the meal. The difference however, is that they each eat varying amounts of the food items listed and as a result end up producing a very different endocrinological response. In other words, the regulatory effect associated with the different amount and types of food eaten can have a favorable or unfavorable influence on the metabolic process and can last for three to six hours after a meal.

 Individual #1 (500 Calories per meal)

 6 oz Chicken breast: 186

7 oz Yams: 210

1 Tbs Peanut butter: 100

3 oz Broccoli 24

Total: 520 
 
 Individual #1 (500 Calories per meal)

 8 oz Chicken breast: 248

2oz Yams: 60

2 Tbs Peanut butter: 200

1.5 oz Broccoli 12

Total: 520 
 
Now lets assume that the same two individuals perform cardiovascular exercise for thirty minutes later that evening. As illustrated below, Individual #1 exercises within his/her target heart rate while Individual #2 exercises above his/her target heart rate. Although Individual #2 likely burned more total calories than Individual #1 at the end of the thirty minute session, they both theoretically burned the same amount of fat calories.

Some would argue that exercising at an intensity that is above the recommended training sensitive zone (for fat burning) is more beneficial because a higher number of calories are burned at the end of an equivalent exercise duration. This is perhaps true, however, exercising at high intensity, although may burn more calories, will more than likely train the body to become more efficient at burning sugar than fat and may very well promote hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) symptoms that can ensue for up to twelve hours after the exercise session has ended. That is one of the reasons I always recommend wearing a heart rate monitor when exercising.

Individual #1

Calories Burned: 1000

Fat Burned: 60% @600/cal

Sugar Burned: 40% @400/cal

 Individual #2

Calories Burned: 1500

Fat Burned: 40% @ 600/cal

Sugar Burned: 60% @900/cal

 

Next time we will begin discussing carbohydrates in your diet!

 For your own Individualized Nutrition and Exercise Program, please visit us at www.intrafitt.com

In good health,

William Smith

William Smith is the President / CEO and Founder of the INTRAFITT Corporation which was established in California in 1992. Will has won more than twenty-eight bodybuilding championships and is also known for his role as “THUNDER” on television’s American Gladiator between 1990 – 1992. He is a National and International Speaker on Performance Nutrition and Exercise Science.
 
 
 
 

 

Perceived Nutrition

Welcome again to the INTRAFITT Individualized Nutrition and Exercise Program updates!  You can always find us on the web at www.intrafitt.com

 I’ve developed this blog to talk regularly about how exercise and proper nutrition can bring you the results you are looking for in obtaining overall good health in body, mind and spirit.  I believe this all starts with a balanced diet and regular and consistent exercise; as these two components work in concert to improve energy, strength, concentration and self respect; all of which will inadvertently accelerate and improve overall health, attitude and productivity!

 Today lets talk about “Perceived Nutrition.”  Nutrition is defined as the act of nourishing a biological organism (or in our course of study, the human body) and may be perceived in a number of different ways by a number of different people.  For example, some people eat to simply satisfy their hunger with little to no consideration towards the nutrient density of the foods they are eating.

 In other words, foods that are typically chosen to satisfy food and sugar cravings (such as fast food, pre-packaged foods or frozen dinners) are usually low in nutrient value and tend to yield mostly “empty calories”.  We refer to these foods as being “nutrient deficient”, usually lacking adequate amounts of naturally occurring protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

 While many perceive nutrition as a burden requiring too much time and effort to stop and prepare nutritious meals, others view nutrition as the cornerstone to health and longevity.  Athletes and fitness enthusiasts for example, make meal planning and preparation part of their daily routine paying special attention to the amount and type of nutrients that they eat throughout the day in order to help improve performance and over all health.

 More recently, nutrition has been in the eye of research scientists and is now believed to play an important role in the prevention of chronic and degenerative diseases.  Although many of the diseases that are so prevalent in today’s society (such as breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes and even morbid obesity) are somehow genetically based, medial geneticists who are currently working on decipherment of the three-billion unit code of DNA (Human Genome Project) have already identified specific genes that are directly associated with a number of these diseases and feel confident that non-pharmacological interventions such as diet and exercise will not only augment the effects of powerful medications currently used, but may also prevent the onset and/or precipitation of disease such as CHD, (heart disease), the number one cause of death in the US. 

 Even more compelling is the research involving nutrient regulation of gene expression.  This research supports the idea that specific nutrients in the diet may either enhance or inhibit gene expression and may therefore suppress the mutation of specific cancer genes.  Simultaneously, research involving the effects of exercise has shown that various chemical changes relating to hormone secretion may alter or suppress gene expression for certain cancers.

 In summary… If your personal genetic code indicates that you may be predisposed to certain forms of cancer, diabetis, or other medical problems, an Individualized Nutrition and Exercise Program may be the best form of prevention for you.  Perhaps from this standpoint, nutrition could be perceived as the future of medicine.

 For your Individualized Nutrition and Exercise Program, please visit us at www.intrafitt.com

 In good health,

William Smith

 William Smith is the President / CEO and Founder of the INTRAFITT Corporation which was established in California in 1992.  Will has won more than twenty-eight bodybuilding championships and is also known for his role as “THUNDER” on television’s American Gladiator between 1990 – 1992.  He is a National and International Speaker on Performance Nutrition and Exercise Science.