How much do you think about magnesium?
Chances are, you and your clients don’t give this marvelous mineral the credit it deserves. Name the bodily function, and chances are pretty good that magnesium is somehow involved. It plays a role in a diverse group of over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including a number of them specific to physical activity: protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, energy production, oxygen uptake and electrolyte balance. It’s also involved in blood glucose control, blood pressure regulation, structural bone development, normal heart rhythm and more (ODS 2019).
Yes, it’s possible to bulk up on tofu. A joint research study by Canadian and Brazilian scientists, presented at the 2019 American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting, discovered no difference with respect to lean body mass and muscle strength gains between 19 vegan and 19 omnivorous young men enrolled in a 12-week, twice-weekly program of resistance training. During the intervention, each participant consumed 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, either solely from plants or from a mix of plants and animals.
Health organizations have given advice on nutritious eating for decades, and yet a diet “report card” published in JAMA shows that American adults are still consuming too many nutritionally poor carbohydrates and more saturated fat than is recommended. The study, conducted by researchers from Tufts and Harvard universities, examined data on food choices recorded between 1999 and 2016 by almost 44,000 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Many home cooks believe you need to wash poultry, but an observational study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that 60% of people who rinsed raw chicken before cooking had potentially harmful bacteria left in their sinks afterward, and 14% had bacteria lingering in the sink even after cleaning it. Perhaps even more worrisome: More than 26% of study participants transferred bacteria from their cleaned bird to nearby lettuce. The USDA says the best practice is not to wash poultry prior to cooking, but instead to make sure you cook the meat to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, which will knock out dangerous bugs.
True, some people did not win the genetic lottery with respect to gaining pounds, but that doesn’t mean they can’t tweak their diets to stave off weight creep. A study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition involving more than 14,000 adults over a 20-year period discovered that increasing one’s intake of fruits and vegetables can be protective against a genetic susceptibility to obesity.
For years, fitness professionals have had to combat genetic rationales their clients use to justify why they can’t achieve their goals—ranging from statements like “Everyone in my family is overweight; it’s just in my genes” to “Athleticism just isn’t in my DNA.”
Irritable bowel syndrom affects about 10%–15% of the population worldwide, and up to 70% of athletes go through some sort of gastrointestinal disturbance. What fitness professionals can do is educate ourselves about the condition and learn how a low-FODMAP diet can play a role in managing IBS symptoms.
Red meat gets all the flack, but in terms of cholesterol, research in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds no advantage to picking white meat like chicken over red meat like beef.
Based on data collected from 1,003 pregnant women between 2001 and 2014, a study in JAMA Network Open suggests that many expectant mothers in the U.S. don’t get enough of some nutrients that are vital for a healthy pregnancy.
People can get caught up in the details of paleo, ketogenic and gluten-free diets, but one of the most buzzworthy eating styles at the moment is also super simple. It’s the plant-based diet—one that places less emphasis on animal-based foods and more on dishes derived from the plant kingdom.
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