Let’s Talk protein

Protein is one of the three macronutrients (the others are fat and carbohydrates) that is essential to life.  Protein is needed to maintain the immune system, build and repair muscle, regulate blood sugar and to maintain energy throughout the day.


There is often a debate about how much protein is optimal, and what are the ‘best” sources of protein.


As to how much, the recommendation varies based on your goals and body composition.  If you are trying to add muscle, or are an athlete, your protein requirements will be higher than a sedentary individual.  A starting point is to consume .8 grams per pound of body weight.  So, a 150 lb. individual may consider consuming 120 grams of protein per day as a starting point.


Now let’s talk about protein sources.  If you are a meat eater protein is easy, it is found in all meats and seafood, beef, lamb, poultry, pork, fish, shellfish etc.  Other animal sources of protein include dairy, whey protein, and eggs.


If you are not a meat eater, you will need to be more thoughtful about your protein consumption.  Grains and beans for example have protein, but they do not contain all the 9 essential amino acids that are found in animal protein. There are a few exceptions: quinoa, flax and chia seeds, buckwheat and soy all contain complete proteins.  A plant based protein powder can be great option as well, look for one with a combination of sources for a more complete amino acid profile such as pea, hemp or rice.


If you would like to optimize your protein consumption, the first thing to do is to track your food intake for at least a week.  If you use one of the apps such as My Fitness Pal or Chronometer, tracking can be very easy and you can easily see your daily protein intake.  From there you can fine tune based on your health goals.


Let us know if we can help.

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Dietary Fats – Signs you may need more!!

Many of us were brought up eating and drinking low fat foods.  Skim milk, no fat yogurt, low fat margarine and mayonnaise.  The list goes on.  Unfortunately, the low-fat craze has led to the fattening of Americans.


Finally, the pendulum has swung, and we have re-learned about the importance of fat in the diet, not all fats mind you, but the “healthy Fats” (see below fats to avoid)


So, what are some signs that would tell you to increase fat in your diet?


  • You are always hungry, or you are not completely satisfied after meals
  • You get cranky or angry easily
  • Your memory is not great, you experience brain fog
  • To increase your HDL (good) cholesterol
  • You have difficulty losing weight, or your weight tends to yo yo.
  • Your joints ache
  • You have dry skin and or dry eyes
  • You experience hormone imbalances


What are some examples of healthy Fats?  How do I add these to my diet?  If you want to add additional fat to your diet, you need to do it responsibility.  It is not a good idea to add fat by ordering a supersize french fries at a fast food restaurant.  We would also not recommend increasing your ice-cream intake


To add fat to your diet, try some of these ideas:

  • If you eat dairy, switch to full fat versions of cheese, milk, sour cream, cottage cheese etc.
  • Add some healthy fat to your vegetables and salads examples include:
    • Extra virgin olive oil (best when eating vegies raw, do not heat above 350 degrees
    • Add grass fed butter or ghee (clarified butter) to cooked vegetables
    • Sauté your vegetables in ghee or coconut oil
  • Eat avocados
  • Snack on nuts
  • Put butter on your toast
  • Enjoy some nut butter
  • Add a tablespoon of coconut oil to your smoothie
  • Enjoy some of the fat found on your grass-fed meats, leave the skin on chicken when you cook it. Eat fatty fish such as salmon


Fats to avoid (because they are processed) include: canola oil, any seed oil, margarine, corn oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil, hydrogenated oils (they are solid at room temperature).


Let us know if we can help you introduce healthy fats into your diet, we would love to help you feel better!!


Ann & Emily

The post Dietary Fats – Signs you may need more!! appeared first on Harmony + Health Acupuncture Phoenix, AZ.