Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

    Nia: Thurs at 9 am

    Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

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Posts Tagged ‘polyunsaturated fat’

Omega 3 – The Fat We Should Eat

Posted by terrepruitt on September 1, 2011

I have mentioned Omega 3 before, but I haven’t said a lot about it.  I thought sharing a few things about it would be nice.  Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid required by the body.  “Essential” means that our body must have it but can’t make it so we need to obtain the nutrient from our diet.  Since our cell membranes are made up of fatty acids it makes sense that our body needs fatty acids to function properly.  The key is making sure our bodies have the right kind of fat.  Omega 3 contains three fatty acids, a-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and is considered a polyunsaturated fat.  Polyunsaturated fat, unlike saturated fat, does not harden at room temperature.  Wanting a fat that makes up cell membranes that does not harden is another thing that makes sense, right?  Nutrients and waste have an easier time passing in and out of a cell membrane with a liquid consistency than one that is solid.

Research has been done in regards to Omega 3 on diseases and ailments with varied results.  Studies continue to reveal Omega 3 helps reduce heart disease risk factors such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure.  Omega 3 helps reduce inflammation.  We know chronic inflammation is not good because it is linked with or even thought to be the cause of many diseases.   Omega 3 could help with autoimmune diseases of which inflammation is present such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and diabetes.   With many diseases there is often multiple issues so it makes sense that if something helps with one thing it might help with another if it is a symptom or a result of a disease.  For instance, many people with diabetes have high cholesterol so, if Omega 3 helps lower the LDL and raise the HDL, that would be of assistance to someone with diabetes.  Science is continuing to discover things about Omega 3 and how each fatty acid has different effects on the body.

Omega 3 is interesting in that one of the three ALA is actually not used by the body until it is converted to the other two.  Some foods contain ALA, some contain EPA, and others contain DHA or a combination of them.  So as always recommended it is good to eat a variety of foods.  Eating a variety of foods containing Omega 3 will help ensure you get what you need.  Some of the food Omega 3 can be found in is cold water fish, flax seed, walnuts, and what some are calling “Omega 3 eggs”.  At present there is not a Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for Omega 3, but the consensus is that Americans should be eating more.

According to a the World’s Healthiest Foods website:  “the National Institutes of Health recommended that people consume at least 2% of their total daily calories as omega-3 fats.”

You might have heard the claim that Canola Oil is a good source of Omega 3, but then you might have also heard the processing the rapeseed plant goes through and the way the oil is made actually burns off the Omega 3 and becomes transfat.  This is one of those things you might want to research and decide for yourself.  It is your health.

Other foods containing Omega 3: beans, olive oil, hemp seeds, kale, collard greens, spinach, soybeans, cloves, oregano, green beans — yay, not just fish!  I am not a fan of fish although, the Omega 3 in fish is hard to beat, so I probably should start eating it.

Like so many nutrients being discovered as being necessary almost everyday it seems as if the best way to get what the body needs is to eat a variety of foods.  The less we eat of over-processes and packaged foods the better.  Finding a balance is also important.  It just really sounds as if, from all the information I have read, Americans consume less Omega 3 than we should, so — to me — it sounds good to add more to my diet.  What about you?  Are there ways you can add more healthy foods that contain Omega 3 into your diet?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Recipe Nutrition Information – Online for free

Posted by terrepruitt on August 25, 2011

Nia teacher teaching Nia San Jose, San Jose Nia uses recipe analyzerI was thinking one day, “there has to be something online that can give calories for a recipe.  And hopefully there is a free version.”  There is.  Cool.  Maybe you had thought about this before, I know I have, but I just rememberd this week.  I usually just kind of tally the ingredients and divide using a calculator, but I realized there has to be something online so I Googled it and came up with a few.

FitWatch Recipe Analyzer lets you label the recipe and then you input the number of servings, then you enter each ingredient separately.  You can enter all the ingredients on its own separate line, then click “Search For All Ingredients” or you can search as you go along after you enter each ingredient.  After you click “search” the program will bring up a list of ingredients from which you can scroll down and select the one you want.  After each selection the screen flashes and then gives you measurement options.  Each time you make a selection the screen flashes.  There are only twelve spaces, so you can only enter up to twelve ingredients.  After you are done it supplies you with amount of calories, water, carbohydrates, protein, total fat, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated fat, and saturated fat, cholesterol, and dietary fibre.  It also gives you a breakdown of vitamins and minerals measurements.  Very nice.  Also gives you the option to print it in a nice format.  But the input is somewhat awkward, because of the constant flashing.  I kept thinking my computer or internet browser was going out or down.  Took me until about the eighth ingredient to get used to it.  Then I skipped an ingredient and I wanted them to be in order because I was not sure what information I would get and I didn’t know the format, so I thought it would be easier to just have it in the same order as the recipe.   Going back and inputting the ingredient again really made the screen flash.

Nia is a fitness and wellness practice, Nia Los Gatos, Nia San JoseCalorie Count has you input the number of servings, then you can copy the entire list of ingredients into one box.  That was so quick and easy and AWESOME!  Then it gives you the calorie break down of each ingredient and gives it a grade.  It allows you to add a new item and edit the recipe.  It gives the option to log a serving and save a recipe, but I am not signed up so I didn’t do either one of those things.  So I am not sure if after having done one of those things if you get an option to print.  The format the nutrition info is presented in does not copy and paste very well.  In addition to the calorie count and grade of each ingredient it gives you the Nutrition facts in the common format that is on many product labels.  Under the “label” it gives you a nutritional analysis such as “Bad points:  •High in saturated fat  •High in sugar  •Contains alcohol” and “Good Points:  •Low in sugar  •High in manganese  •High in niacin  •High in phosphorus  •High in selenium  •High in vitamin B6”.  But it does not give you measurements nor percentages on all of the things mentioned in this analysis.

Nia teacher, Nia classes, NiaSpark People’s recipe analyzer makes you enter each ingredient and then search their data base for the closest match.  Its breakdown of the nutrition in the recipe includes: amount of calories, total fat, monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, and saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, potassium, total carbohydrates, dietary fiber and sugars, and protein. This recipe analyzer/calculator gives you a breakdown of vitamins and minerals in percentages.  Its nutrition information is in a printable format like the first one.  This site also allows you to save the recipe if you are a member as with Calorie Count.

Really nifty.  I bet there are even more out there.  This is a different way of checking the nutrition in our diet, instead of inputting it all in a food diary/log/tracker/counter, you can do entire recipes.  I want to remind you even though I say it often, we all have different goals so we certainly have different nutritional needs.  These sites are just more tools that we can use to meet our goals and our nutritional needs.

So, I am curious to know if you were surprised at the information after you entered your favorite recipe?  Well, were you?

Posted in "Recipes", Helpful Hints | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »