Category: Nutrition

What Makes FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™ Ideal for Exercise Recovery?

By: Angie Leach

Many people realise that they need to consume something after exercise, but there is often confusion as to what. A pure whey shake? A sports drink? Absolutely anything you can find in your fridge… Because you are starving! Exercise recovery nutrition is multifaceted and aims at returning your body to its pre-exercise state. This involves refuelling the body, repairing your muscles and rehydrating. Good exercise recovery will:

  • Facilitate muscle gain as a result of the training
  • Assist in increasing strength
  • Allow you to train at a higher intensity
  • Have a protective effect on the immune system
  • Prevent dehydration

This article will explore the features of FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart Food™ that make it excellent for recovery.

PROTEIN

Muscles develop tiny tears during exercise which can cause some of the pain you experience afterwards. Protein is essential for the repair of these muscles, which results in growth in both muscle strength and size1.

The amount of protein required for muscle repair is between 0.2 – 0.5g/kg or about 10 – 20g protein. The exact amount that you require for recovery will be influenced by various aspects such as exercise intensity and duration, but should not exceed 25g. This can be fulfilled in one sitting or partially as a snack followed by a meal within a couple of hours.

FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™ provides 22.5g of protein per 75g serving, this would be further increased if the product is mixed with milk.

Another positive feature is the SmartProtein3D blend of proteins contained in FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™ which consists of whey, soy and casein proteins. Studies have shown that such a blend is ideal for muscle recovery because it prolongs muscle protein synthesis. This occurs because each protein has a different digestion rate, leading to a prolonged delivery of amino acids. SmartProtein3D also has a more balanced amino acid profile with soy being higher in glutamine and arginine and whey providing more Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs). Please see below diagram for clarification.

CARBOHYDRATES

Following exercise you also need carbs, more carbs than protein actually. Carbohydrates are needed for the replenishment of your glycogen (energy) stores in your muscles as well as your liver.

You require 0.8 – 1.2g of carbohydrates per kg bodyweight for optimal recovery this equates to roughly 50g – 80g Carbohydrates for the average person. Again, this can be taken in all at once as a meal or partially as a snack followed by a meal.

FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™ provides 27g of high quality carbohydrates per 75g serving. Mixing with milk or yoghurt and adding fruit will further increase this amount. The options are endless, you could concoct a smoothie or even try these delicious HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™ crumpets with honey for something different. See http://futurelife.co.za/futurelife-high-protein-smart-food-crumpets/.

CONVENIENCE

Ideally you should start your exercise recovery as soon as possible after completing your exercise session, but definitely within 30-45 minutes. However, this can become difficult if you’re on the run, headed to your next of many commitments. The beauty of FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™ is that it is super convenient. If you have a shaker and some cool water or milk, you can mix it up, drink it down and be reassured that your muscles are on the road to recovery.

FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN SMART FOOD™ CONTAINS MODUCARE®

MODUCARE® is a patented blend of natural plant sterols and sterolins in a clinically proven ratio of 100:1. It works to modulate and restore balance of the immune system. You may wonder how this has anything to do with exercise recovery… Well, when we are exercising intensely our bodies undergo a period of immunosuppression following said exercise. Research has shown that a blend of plant sterols and sterolins like that found in MODUCARE® blunts this effect2 helping to keep you out of the doctor’s office and on the road (or in the gym).

INFORMED-CHOICE

FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™ is endorsed by Informed-Choice, a quality assurance program in the sports industry. The program certifies that a product that bears the Informed-Choice logo has been rigorously tested for banned substances in sport by the world class sports anti-doping lab, HFL Sport Science.

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES:

  1. http://www.weightwatchers.com/util/art/index_art.aspx?tabnum=1&art_id=60361&sc=3405
  2. moducare.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/moducare-summary-of-research.pdf+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=za

 

Images:

FUTURELIFE® High Protein Smart Food™

FOODS THAT BOOST HAPPINESS AND FIGHT DEPRESSION

Posted

With the stresses we have to deal with these days, there is an increase in the prevalence of depression. Some are clinically diagnosed, whereas others may not be in such advanced stages. Whatever the case – we ALL probably need a pick-me-up from time to time. Those who need to go on medication should definitely do so, but we can also turn towards certain foods for assistance.

THE NUTRITION CONNECTION TO DEPRESSION

One wouldn’t first think that nutrition is linked to depression, but certain nutrients play a vital role in the manufacturing of our mood hormones, so if there is a deficiency in these nutrients or a defect in the manufacturing process there can be a resultant decrease in mood. There is considerable evidence to say that achieving optimal nutrition in depressed patients can be highly effective in bringing about an improvement1.

Macronutrients:

Excessive consumption of refined sugar can contribute to depression. In order for sugar to be processed for energy, it requires certain vitamins and minerals, but sugar itself does not provide any of these vitamins and minerals. Thus the consumption of large quantities of sugar depletes the stores and increases the demand for vitamins and minerals1.

Omega-3 fatty acids may improve the production and reception of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine also known as happy chemicals1.

Micronutrients:

The neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, noradrenaline and adrenaline are thought to influence mood and motivation. An imbalance in these neurotransmitters has a direct link to depression. Certain vitamins and minerals are involved in the manufacturing of these neurotransmitters, where if there is a deficiency there would be resultant low levels of the neurotransmitters.

As demonstrated in the diagram alongside, B-vitamins are instrumental in creating balance of neurotransmitters. The B-vitamins that are especially important are: B3, B6, B12 and folic acid1. Interestingly folate deficiency is exceptionally common in patients that are depressed.Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 13.34.02
In this figure you will also see that other vitamins and minerals play a role, these are:

Vitamin C
Zinc
Magnesium
Manganese
Iron
CopperScreen Shot 2017-02-09 at 13.34.23
Diet Pattern:

The Mediterranean diet is characterised by a high intake of fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes, wholegrains, olive oil and fish; a moderate intake of alcohol; and a low intake of meat and dairy products2. Adhering to this dietary pattern ensures an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals that are involved in the manufacturing of mood hormones, along with multiple other benefits.
Poor control of blood glucose levels often underlies depression. The symptoms experienced due to poor control of blood sugar levels include fatigue, irritability, insomnia, dizziness, poor concentration, forgetfulness, crying spells and depression1.
ENVIRONMENT & LIFESTYLE CONNECTION TO DEPRESSION

Sunlight also stimulates the production of mood hormones, and some may not be getting enough of it, especially those that spend most of their time indoors1.
Stress rapidly decreases serotonin levels. That being said, altering our stress levels is easier said than done. You may have to employ various methods to help decrease stress, such as yoga, meditation or physical exercise. Exercise improves our stress response and can thus reduce stress-induced depletion of serotonin it also leads to the release of other “happy” hormones, endorphines1.
THE BOTTOM LINE: RECOMMENDATIONS

Diet

Decrease consumption of refined sugar (eaten alone) and stimulants like caffeinated drinks and cigarettes.
Increase intake of fruits and vegetables – aim for at least 5 servings per day.
Aim to eat oily fish, such as mackerel, tuna, salmon and herring, at least twice a week, if you are not reaching this an Omega-3 supplement becomes increasingly important.
Make sure that you are consuming enough protein which is found in foods like meat, fish, eggs, beans and lentils.
Understand the principles of the Mediterranean Diet and try to follow them.
Supplements

Sometimes it may be difficult to achieve the desired intake of micronutrients through diet alone, so then it would be advisable to take a supplement. Look for one where the nutrients are chelated or in “food form” to ensure optimal absorption:

Vitamin B-complex, including 10mg of B6, 400mg Folate and 10mg of B12.
Additional Folate – 400 to 2000mg a day.
Omega-3 capsules, providing at least 400mg of EPA.
Lifestyle

Make sure that you are getting safe and direct exposure to sunlight. Dermatologists recommend about 10 minutes exposure in the morning between 07:00 and 09:00.
Make sure that you are exercising regularly, read this article for more on the topic http://futurelife.co.za/need-lift-spirits-get-moving/.

CONCLUSION

Depression arises from various different factors. Medication may be needed, and it is important to accept and adhere to the regime. However, food can help to improve the condition, especially if the depression is due to a deficiency of a certain nutrient. So include the foods mentioned above, along with physical activity and sunlight exposure to give your happiness a boost!

FUTURELIFE® products contain all of the vitamins and minerals that are thought to influence our mood. Most of the products are high in Omega-3, with special reference to our FUTURELIFE® HIGH ENERGY Smart food™ and our FUTURELIFE® Smart Bread™ White. So why not contribute to giving a boost to your mood by starting your day with FUTURELIFE®,

REFERENCES

1. Depression: the nutrition connection. Holford, Patrick. London : Primary Care Mental Health, 2003, Vol. 1.
2. Mediterranean diet and depression. A Sa´nchez-Villegas, P Henrı´quez, M Bes-Rastrollo and J Doreste. 8A, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria : Public Health Nutrition, 2006, Vol. 9.

Eating for Sustained Energy: The Basics of Glycaemic Index and Where FUTURELIFE® Products Fit In.

By: Ashleigh Smith

In this fast paced society it becomes important to make sure that we are not taking short cuts when it comes to healthy eating. Our body uses the food we eat as fuel to ensure it functions at its optimum. Foods and liquids that contain carbohydrates, protein and fat are broken down into smaller components and absorbed into the blood where they are used to perform various functions. Carbohydrates are the main source of fuel within the body, but your body will use protein and fat if carbohydrates are depleted. Not all foods in these groups are created equally; therefore ensuring that you choose foods that provide you with round-the-clock energy is very important.

CARBOHYDRATES

Carbohydrates come in two types, simple (refined) and complex (unrefined); both are broken down to glucose which is used by our cells as fuel. However, the rate at which these carbohydrates are broken down and absorbed into the blood is important. Complex carbohydrates such as high-fibre cereals, whole-grain breads, pastas, legumes and starchy vegetables, contain fibre which takes longer to breakdown and be absorbed into the blood. Many of these foods are often classified as having a low Glycaemic Index (GI). This results in a more gradual increased in blood glucose resulting in less of a spike in blood sugar and reduced insulin release. As a result you experience prolonged energy, a feeling of satiety and are fuller for longer. Simple or refined carbohydrates have the opposite effect, they are digested quickly provide you with upfront energy however 30 to 60 minutes later you experience a slump. These foods are often are low in fibre, consist of refined carbohydrate and are often high in added sugars. Such foods are classified as high GI, examples include white bread or pasta, pastries, pies, cakes, sweets, chocolate and sugar rich cool drinks.

The Glycaemic Index (GI) is a system that ranks carbohydrate-containing foods based on their physiological effect on blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. The GI of a specific food is determined by comparing the Blood Glucose Response (BGR) of that food with the BGR of glucose.2 Glucose is used as the reference food as it is absorbed quickly from the small intestine and results in the greatest and most rapid rise in blood glucose. Foods are ranked on a scale from 0 – 100, according to their actual effect on blood glucose levels.2

The GI Foundation of South Africa (GIFSA) has developed easily recognisable logos that are displayed on products to show you their GI. In order to display the GIFSA endorsement logo, products are verified by a third party to ensure the product are indeed what it says on the packaging. The table below explains what these logo’s mean:2

 

GI Range GI foundation logo
Low 55 or less Frequent foods

·         Very low fat

·         Low GI products

·         Ingredients considered to be free of health risks and so may be eaten freely

Eaten often

·         Low fat

·         Low GI products

·         Minimal effect on blood glucose, cholesterol and/or blood pressure levels

·         Ingredients considered to be healthy when eaten in normal amounts

·         Often included with the Diabetes Association logo

Intermediate 56 – 69 Eaten sometimes

·         Intermediate GI

·         Lower fat

·         Safe for those suffering from certain medical conditions, but only in limited servings.

·         Stick to portion size

High 70 or more Eaten with exercise

·         High GI products

·         Although generally unsafe for diabetics, have certain useful applications

·         Excellent for preventing fatigue & boosting energy levels after, or during prolonged strenuous exercise

·         Useful in hypoglycaemia

 

When it comes to using this concept during meal planning, choosing foods that have a low or intermediate GI will ensure you are consuming more nutritious foods that do not cause spikes in your blood sugar levels. It is okay to sometimes include small quantities of high GI foods in a meal, as long as most of the meal contains lower GI carbohydrate foods such as fruit, vegetables, fruit, legumes, low GI starches and/or dairy.

There are some factors that can influence or change the GI of a food, here they are:

  • The higher the fat, protein and fibre content of a food, the lower the GI becomes. Therefore including lean proteins and small amounts of “good” fats can lower the GI of a meal.
  • As a fruit or vegetable ripens and storage time increases, the higher the GI becomes.
  • Processing of food increases the GI e.g.
    • Fruit juice has a higher GI than the whole fruit.
    • Mashed potato has a higher GI than a whole baked potato.
    • Stone-ground whole-wheat bread has a lower GI than other whole-wheat breads.
  • Cooking method and time e.g.
    • Al dente pasta has a lower GI than soft-cooked pasta.
  • Food eaten alone vs. combined with other foods e.g. when high GI foods are eaten in combination with low GI foods, it results in more balanced blood glucose levels.4

The GI gives you an indication of the type of carbohydrate, but it doesn’t tell you about how much you should be eating therefore portion control is still key. There are also some foods that are classified as being high GI which are nutrient-dense and should not necessarily be excluded. An example of these is certain fruits and starchy vegetables.  While higher GI values are perceived “bad”, the quantity of carbohydrate per serving in these examples is relatively low, therefore the effect on blood sugar levels will be minimal.3

OTHER GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR SUSTAINED ENERGY 1,4

  • Eat at least 3 meals a day and include small snacks if necessary.
  • At meals, include something from each food group as foods high in fibre, protein and fat take a longer time to digest.
    • Include lean cuts of proteins such as chicken, ostrich, fish, pork, and beef, as well as beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas
    • Moderate amounts of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as avocados, seeds, nuts, omega-3 rich fish and plant oils such as olive, canola, avocado etc…
  • Including at least 2 litres of caffeine, sugar and alcohol free fluids every day. Alcohol is a depressant and can reduce your energy levels, while caffeine usually provides an initial two-hour energy burst, followed by a crash.

At FUTURELIFE® we strive to develop products that are not only convenient but nutritionally dense. Many of our products are low or intermediate GI; the table below gives you an indication of the GI of our products:3

 

 

 

Product Gl range Portion Sizes

(g / ml)

Carbs (g) per portion size
FUTURELIFE® HIGH ENERGY Smart Food™ Low 50 21.5
FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart Food™ Lowest 50 18
FUTURELIFE® ZERO Smart Food™ Low 40 20
FUTURELIFE® Smart Drink™ Low 250 ml 21
FUTURELIFE® Smart Bread™ (BROWN & WHITE) Low 2 slices 28 – 30
FUTURELIFE® ZERO WITH OATS Intermediate (calculated) 40 22
FUTURELIFE® Crunch Intermediate 40 27
FUTURELIFE® Smart Oats® Intermediate 50 32.5

For more information on GI and which foods are classified into certain categories refer to http://www.gifoundation.com/ or chat to your dietician. Visit our website on www.futurelife.co.za for nutrition related articles, meal plans or more information on any of our products.

Resolutions worth sticking to: New Year, New You!

By: Elizda Hanekom

Date: December 2016

 

Tick, tock, tick, tock, with the blink of an eye another year has passed! When reflecting back on 2016, did you achieve what you wanted? If not, don’t fret, here’s to another year, a year for: happiness, success, growth, goals, improvement, learning and enjoyment.

SETTING NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

Let me guess, for 2017, you want to feel and look better by losing weight, you want to eat healthier, improve fitness levels, perhaps you want to save more money, spend more time with loved ones or be successful. Self-improvement is on top of the list when looking at what types of resolutions people set (1). However, despite good-intentions, only a small fraction of people actually achieve their New Year’s goals. According to a study done by the University of Scranton, only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s Resolutions. (1) So what is everyone doing wrong and how can we improve on this? Let’s look at a few ways of setting better resolutions as well as some resolutions that are worth sticking to.

SET SMART RESOLUTIONS

One could say that human endeavour is geared at setting and striving to achieve goals. Goals form part of our everyday lives: how you conduct your relationships, what successes you would like to achieve at work, what you do during your spare time… Everything above comes down to how you prioritise and what you would like to accomplish. (2) One therefore has to consciously plan and work hard to achieve what you desire. If you don’t know where you’re going, you will get lost on the way. A SMART resolution is S – Specific, M – Measureable, A – Attainable, R – Realistic and T – Time-bound; if these criteria are met, the chances of sticking to resolutions will be much higher.

Some resolutions that I consider worth ticking to are:

  • EAT BREAKFAST DAILY

Eating breakfast helps kick-start your metabolism, which in turn can help you burn more calories during your day. It also supplies you with energy to effectively carry out your daily tasks. These are only a few reasons why breakfast is the most important meal of the day. According to the National Weight Control Registry (4), 78% of successful dieters have reported eating breakfast every day. A good breakfast should include whole-grain carbohydrates, lean protein, healthy fats and preferably be of a low Glycaemic Index (GI). Skip the high sugar, processed foods like pastries, donuts and sugary cereals. FUTURELIFE ® has many delicious and healthy breakfast options available. To add some variety check out delicious recipes at http://futurelife.co.za/category/recipes(5)

  • INCLUDE SMALL, FREQUENT MEALS AND SNACKS

Eating smaller, frequent meals helps to boost our metabolism, keeps our blood glucose levels in check and keeps our appetite controlled. If we leave big gaps breakfast and lunch we tend to over hunger ourselves and indulge too much at our next meal. However, what we choose to eat is extremely important. Healthy snacks that are SMART should be contain a low-GI carbohydrate source, be low in refined sugar, fat as well as sodium and should be of a controlled portion size. (5) Some convenient and nutritious snack options provided by FUTURELIFE® include a FUTURELIFE® Smart Drink™, a shake made with 30-40g FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN or Zero Smart Food or a FUTURELIFE® High Protein or High Protein LITE Smartbar.

  • EAT ATLEAST 5 FRUIT AND VEGETABLES EACH DAY

Eating 5 fruits and vegetables everyday may sound like a lot, but when looking at the incredible benefits associated with this habit as well as the relatively small required portion sizes, you will soon realise that it’s definitely doable. Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of vitamins and minerals, each playing different, important roles in our bodies. We want to try to eat a fruit and vegetables of a variety of colours as each is rich in different nutrients. They are also an excellent source of dietary fibre, which makes us fuller and helps us to maintain a healthy gut, preventing digestive problems and constipation. High fibre diets may also help reduce your risk of bowel cancer. Fruits and vegetables are also high in anti-oxidants which helps protect against various diseases. Looking at portions, a small fruit approximately 120g will count as 1 portion. For 1 vegetable portion you could eat half a cup of cooked veggies or 1 cup of raw veggies.

  • CHOOSE LOW GI, HIGH FIBRE OPTIONS

When we eat carbohydrates our body converts this into a type sugar called glucose. Glucose is the main source of energy for our body. After eating, the time it takes for our bodies to convert carbohydrates into glucose largely depends on the type of carbohydrate as well as which food contains it. Refined carbohydrates like white bread, sweets, cool drinks and biscuits will usually be high GI, this means the glucose will be released quickly. Low GI carbohydrates are foods like FUTURELIFE® Smart Bread™, sweet potato or whole-wheat pasta, these are digested more slowly, preventing glucose spikes and thereby helping to keep us fuller for longer. We should choose low GI options as far as possible. Generally low-GI foods are also higher in fibre. The importance of fibre was touched on in the previous point. High fibre and low GI options, when eaten as part of a balanced, calorie controlled diet can help promote weight loss. Did you know: FUTURELIFE® Smart Fibre™ provides 10.3g of fibre per 45g perving, that’s more than a third of the recommended daily intake.

  • OPT FOR HEALTHY FATS

Fats play many important roles in the body but are also very energy dense. We therefore need to be careful about the quantity and type of fats that we include. “Good” fat sources include plant oils (olive oil, canola oil), peanut butter, avocados, nuts and seeds as well as soft margarine that is trans-fat free. Oily fish such as sardines, tuna and salmon are also a great sources of all important omega-3 fatty acids.

  • DRINK PLENTY OF WATER

Water plays multiple vital roles in the body, but often we do not get enough of it. A general recommendation is to drink 8 glasses (2L) of water per day. Water makes up a whopping 60% of our body and keeps every system working well, it supports sharp thinking and a bright mood, it helps keep the shock absorbers in joints healthy, prevents constipation, absorbs and transports nutrients and helps remove waste products (6). It helps to energise your muscles, cools you off, quenches thirst and makes your skin glow. Also, several studies show that drinking water 30 minutes before a meal assists with weight loss.

CONCLUSION

Whatever your resolution may be, it should be set in the correct way. Following the above SMART steps, writing your resolutions down and sharing them with friends or family may help increase your chance of success, we all need a little push and support now and then. Always remember that worthy things don’t always come easy, chin up and try again. Make this year the best one yet, eat well, drink enough water, exercise, get enough sleep and most importantly do what you love. This is your year, make it count.

Understanding Banned Substances and How to Avoid Them

 

By: Angela Leach

 

FUTURELIFE® Fun Facts

UNDERSTANDING BANNED SUBSTANCES

Ok, so I’m pretty sure that any competing athlete knows that banned substances are bad and should be avoided, right? The obvious solution to the problem would be to find the list of banned substances and avoid them. This list does exist and can be found on http://www.usada.org/wp-content/uploads/wada-2016-prohibited-list-en.pdf. However, the situation becomes a bit more complicated because the supplement industry in South Africa is unregulated. This puts supplement users that are not intentionally consuming illegal substances at risk because said ingredients may be hidden in the supplement without any statement on the packaging.

Banned or prohibited substances are any substances which are illegal for use by competing athletes because they may artificially improve one’s performance. Testing for banned substances is done at random in the competitive arena and a positive doping test can result in suspensions or even end a sporting career.

TIPS TO AVOID BANNED SUBSTANCES

  • Look out for INFORMED-CHOICE and INFORMED-SPORT logos on products.

Or visit http://informed-choice.org/sites/default/files/Informed-Choice%20Summary%20List_22Sep2016.pdf for a full list of certified products. These are certification programs for sports supplements, ingredients and manufacturing facilities, which assures buyers of products carrying these logos have been regularly tested for substances prohibited by WADA (World Anti-doping Agency). They also ensure that products have been manufactured to high quality standards, another common concern with supplements.

 

Although not exclusively a sports supplement, but rather a balanced food, FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart Food™ is endorsed by Informed Choice, giving you everything that you need for effective exercise recovery without the risk.

 

  • Limit supplement use overall. Just because an unregulated supplement claims to be able to help you, doesn’t mean it will, so why increase your risk of consuming a contaminated product. Make use of reputable resources to make an informed choice about a supplement and decide if it is really necessary for your set of circumstances. Visit https://www.dietitians.ca/Downloads/Public/noap-position-paper.aspx, page 30 and 31 for a summary of what ingredients may perform as claimed as well as further insight into who may benefit and concerns associated with use.

 

  • Consult with a dietician or sports physician. Even if a product is effective it is always advisable to consult an expert before choosing a supplement. They will be able to give you better insight into product safety as well as the required dosage, form of the ingredient to use, interactions with other medications/nutrients, contraindications etc.

 

  • Food first. An effective supplement may still not be necessary for you. Always consider whether you can get the same benefit from food, if so food is always the safer option here. Here is an article which may answer this question for you, http://futurelife.co.za/food-sources-favourite-supplements/.

 

  • Phone or mail the company selling the product. And ask important regarding manufacturing, possible contaminants, ingredient safety or any other concerns you may have.

 

Testing positive for banned substances could be a humiliating experience. Avoid a completely unintentional positive test by being better informed.

How Healthy Is Your Braai?

How Healthy Is Your Braai?

By: Megan Lee

Date: May 2016

 

 

Every year we as South Africans celebrate National Heritage Day bringing light to South Africa’s rich culture and history. The 24th of September is also known as National Braai Day where despite the various cultures within South Africa, we all share this one common heritage of uniting around a fire and sharing a superb feast1. Yes, South African’s do love a good old braai and find several occasions to celebrate over “n stukkie vleis”, whether it’s watching a rugby or soccer match, a birthday party or just celebrating the weekend and warm weather.

One might wonder though how good charred meat is for you and with cancer incidence on the rise and the recent scares around red and processed meat causing cancer, we may need to have a closer look at how healthy this is and if we need to say bye to the braai.

 

WHAT DOES THE SCIENCE SAY?

Research does in fact show that cooking meat at high temperatures does create chemicals that may increase cancer risk. Heterocyclic Amines (HCAs) and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are two of them and are formed during cooking of muscle meats such as beef, pork, fowl and fish due to a reaction between amino acids and creatine at high temperatures. High temperature cooking includes pan frying or grilling over an open flame, braai’ing and smoking meats. Research has shown that high consumption of well-done, fried or braai’ed meat increases risk of colorectal, prostate and pancreatic cancer2.

It also isn’t new information that red and processed meat in itself may increase cancer risk as it has been part of the nutrition recommendations for cancer prevention as “Limit intake of red meat and avoid processed meat”, published in the Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective3. In 2015, the International agency for research of cancer (IARC) announced that processed meat has been classified as a ‘definite’ cause of cancer and red meat is a ‘probable’ cause4.

This doesn’t however mean that we should never eat red or processed meats again, besides there are other factors which have a far greater association to cancer, such as smoking or being obese4. The emphasis rather is to not eat excessive amounts, particularly over a long period of time. Besides, meat can be a valuable source of nutrients such as protein, iron, zinc and vitamin B12 so simply put, the key is moderation 3.

 

HEALTHY BRAAI TIPS

Knowledge is power and now that you know the risks that are involved, here’s some happier news with some surprisingly exciting and practical tips on how to make your braai healthier2, 5.

  • Marinate meat in beer. Doing this for about 4-6 hours has been found to significantly lower the cancer causing agents that develop. Darker beer was also found to be the most effective.
  • Marinate meat in a mixture of vinegar, oil and spices. If you’d like to avoid marinating in alcohol then try this as an alternative. Some examples of ingredients that have been shown to be effective include olive oil, lemon juice, cider vinegar, teriyaki marinade, cherries, plums, apples, mustard, garlic, onions, black pepper, oregano and rosemary.
  • Avoid thick, sugary marinades that may cause charring.
  • Remove excess fat and choose leaner meats. It reduces the amount of PAHs produced as less fat means less smoke.
  • Flip your meat and burgers often to prevent charring, it substantially reduces HCA formation.
  • Avoid braa’ing processed meats such as cheese grillers, hot dogs or bacon.
  • If you do choose processed meat, opt for those that are sourced from a local farmer that are uncured, 100% beef/chicken, and does not contain MSG, preservatives, artificial flavours and colouring.
  • Rare to medium is best. Cook the meat as little as possible as the longer the cooking time and the higher the heat the more HCAs are produced.
  • Keep the grill clean and scrape off all charred residue.
  • Remove charred portions of meat before eating, including chicken skin.
  • Choose smaller meat portions which will cook quicker, reducing the time spent exposed to high temperature.
  • Braai vegetables. They do not cause harmful chemicals even when cooked at high temperatures. Try braai’ing zucchini, mushrooms, onion or asparagus, seasoned and brushed with olive oil.
  • Pair your meat with an antioxidant-rich salad. Combat the harmful chemicals produced in the meat with powerful antioxidants by enjoying your meat with a fresh salad or steamed veggies. Remember the more variety and colour, the more antioxidants present.

Understanding Banned Substances and How to Avoid Them

 

By: Angela Leach

Date: September 2016

 

FUTURELIFE® Fun Facts

UNDERSTANDING BANNED SUBSTANCES

Ok, so I’m pretty sure that any competing athlete knows that banned substances are bad and should be avoided, right? The obvious solution to the problem would be to find the list of banned substances and avoid them. This list does exist and can be found on http://www.usada.org/wp-content/uploads/wada-2016-prohibited-list-en.pdf. However, the situation becomes a bit more complicated because the supplement industry in South Africa is unregulated. This puts supplement users that are not intentionally consuming illegal substances at risk because said ingredients may be hidden in the supplement without any statement on the packaging.

Banned or prohibited substances are any substances which are illegal for use by competing athletes because they may artificially improve one’s performance. Testing for banned substances is done at random in the competitive arena and a positive doping test can result in suspensions or even end a sporting career.

TIPS TO AVOID BANNED SUBSTANCES

  • Look out for INFORMED-CHOICE and INFORMED-SPORT logos on products.

Or visit http://informed-choice.org/sites/default/files/Informed-Choice%20Summary%20List_22Sep2016.pdf for a full list of certified products. These are certification programs for sports supplements, ingredients and manufacturing facilities, which assures buyers of products carrying these logos have been regularly tested for substances prohibited by WADA (World Anti-doping Agency). They also ensure that products have been manufactured to high quality standards, another common concern with supplements.

 

Although not exclusively a sports supplement, but rather a balanced food, FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart Food™ is endorsed by Informed Choice, giving you everything that you need for effective exercise recovery without the risk.

 

  • Limit supplement use overall. Just because an unregulated supplement claims to be able to help you, doesn’t mean it will, so why increase your risk of consuming a contaminated product. Make use of reputable resources to make an informed choice about a supplement and decide if it is really necessary for your set of circumstances. Visit https://www.dietitians.ca/Downloads/Public/noap-position-paper.aspx, page 30 and 31 for a summary of what ingredients may perform as claimed as well as further insight into who may benefit and concerns associated with use.

 

  • Consult with a dietician or sports physician. Even if a product is effective it is always advisable to consult an expert before choosing a supplement. They will be able to give you better insight into product safety as well as the required dosage, form of the ingredient to use, interactions with other medications/nutrients, contraindications etc.

 

  • Food first. An effective supplement may still not be necessary for you. Always consider whether you can get the same benefit from food, if so food is always the safer option here. Here is an article which may answer this question for you, http://futurelife.co.za/food-sources-favourite-supplements/.

 

  • Phone or mail the company selling the product. And ask important regarding manufacturing, possible contaminants, ingredient safety or any other concerns you may have.

 

Testing positive for banned substances could be a humiliating experience. Avoid a completely unintentional positive test by being better informed.

Bigorexia…When Is Being Big, Big Enough?

By: Danielle Roberts
Date: May 2016

Bigorexia is the fairly new term for Body Muscle Dysmorphia, which is a disorder that causes a person to constantly obsess about how much muscle they have (and worrying that it is too little), and feeling too ”small”, or underweight. In most cases the person is in fact quite muscular, yet believes their muscles to be inadequate. Similar to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), they constantly obsess about their imperfections, and similar to Anorexia in that they distort their self-image.
Bigorexia can therefore definitely affect one’s moods and emotions, causing depression and feelings of inadequacy. Men usually fall prey to Bigorexia with an estimated 10% of gym-obsessed men! They are usually the ones lifting very heavy weights, taking high protein products and often illegal substances to “get bigger”, and entering body building competitions.
Signs of Bigorexia to look out for
• Distorted self-image
• Missing social events or skipping work to exercise
• Never being satisfied with their muscle size, despite having large muscles
• Pushing weights despite injury
• Maintaining extreme workout programmes
• Following a strict high protein, very low fat diet
• Using excessive amounts of high protein powders
• Steroid abuse
• Unnecessary plastic surgery (e.g. Calf muscle implants)
• Suicide attempts

WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
The main consequence of Bigorexia is that it impedes a normal happy life. Those affected cannot relax and enjoy life as they are constantly worried and obsessing about their next gym workout, what they need to eat and how to get bigger. Having fun and being spontaneous can never be a high priority.
Health Risks of Bigorexia
• Frequent injuries due to excessive exercise
• Damage to muscles, joints, and tendons
• Kidney damage
• Liver damage
• Heart problems

Many people with this problem resist getting treatment and are afraid to admit that they take steroids or performance enhancing drugs. Some admit that they are afraid that if they give up the drugs and exercise, they will wither away and become skinny. Getting an assessment by a dietician, doctor, or psychologist can help focus on problems caused by obsessive behaviours, job loss (due to negligence), relationship problems and physical harm.
WHAT DOES TREATMENT INVOLVE?
For those who start treatment, cognitive-behavioural therapy combined with medication is helpful, especially if depression is present. Cognitive behavioural therapy helps a patient to identify triggers that makes the bigorexia thought pattern worse, and aims to change behaviours which are harmful. It also aims to assist in setting more realistic and healthy goals. Nutrition education on portion control, correct intake of protein foods, and meal timing can help a person understand food and /or protein foods better, and how they work to build muscle in the body, without having to consume excessive amounts. A valid point of Nutrition education for such clients also involves the risks of taking unsafe supplements, and the overuse of certain supplements.
However, just like anorexia, it is never about the food, but the obsession with body image. Once that is corrected, then a healthy, balanced lifestyle may be resumed.

If you suspect yourself or someone else to suffer from Bigorexia, contact Danielle Roberts, a Registered Dietitian working at the Sharks Medical Centre (www.sharksmedical.co.za) who together with a team of other health professionals such as a sports physician and psychologist can assist in treating someone with Bigorexia. To find another dietitian in your area, visit this website: www.adsa.org.za

The importance of spending time with dad

By Andrea Kellerman
Date: January 2016

Now that the holidays are coming up it is good to consider why it is important to spend time with the family. Many children spend a lot of time with their moms, especially when they are young. Have you ever thought of why it is so important to spend time with dad too?
Parents are vital for the emotional well-being of their children as they teach children how to behave, how to love, how to be kind and caring and set the right principles and morals for life.
Research shows that if your child’s father is loving, supportive, and involved, he can contribute to a great extend to the child’s cognitive, language, and social development, good academic achievement and a strong self-esteem.

How fathers influence children’s relationships
The child’s relationship with his/her father can affect the child’s relationships for his/her entire life, including his/her friends, lovers, and spouses. This means that the interactions with the father can change and mould the child’s view in life and can have a profound influence on existing and future relationships.
Girls will look for men who are behaving similar to their dad as they feel familiar and comfortable with that. Therefore, if the father is kind, loving, and involved, they will look for those characteristics in their boyfriends or husband. Children look for what they have experienced and become familiar with in childhood. Because they’ve gotten used to certain behavioural patterns in their father, they think that they can deal with them in relationships.
Boys on the other hand, will copy their fathers and behave in a similar way. They will look for their father’s approval in everything they do, and copy behaviours that they see as both successful and familiar. Hence, if dad is abusive, controlling, and dominating, those can be the patterns that their sons might imitate and act out in their relationships with others. However, if the father is loving, supportive and protective, often boys will want to be like that too.
We, as human beings, are “social animals” and we learn by copying our parent’s behaviour. Those early patterns and behaviours of our interaction are all children know, and it is those exact patterns that effect how they feel about themselves, how they behave and how they develop.
It is very interesting what research shows how a good relationship with dad can influence different areas in a child’s life, also the scholastic performance. For example, girls tend to do better in mathematics in school, and boys tend to have better grades or perform better on achievement tests.

Family structures are changing
Over the last decades the traditional family structure has started to change. More and more women are focusing on their careers and men are taking over additional family roles like running the household, looking after the children and being more involved in the day to day running of the family. A recent study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) shows that fathers are more engaged in caretaking than ever before. The research found that children who have fathers that are involved and caring tend to have fewer behavioural problems, and are somewhat stronger in deciding against alcohol and drug abuse. This indicates that fathers are as important as mothers in their roles as parents, protectors, financial supporters, and most importantly, role-models for the social and emotional behaviour of their children.
Having said this, do not be alarmed if the father has to work long hours, has work in another town or if the parents are divorced. Even when fathers are physically removed from their families, there are ways for them to develop healthy relationships with the children. Fathers need to realize that they matter and can shape their child’s future greatly.
Showing interest in the child, phoning him/her regularly, being part of the daily routines even if it is via Skype or a phone call can create a close bond as well. It is important to spend some quality time with the child, which can be one or two hours a week. This can often be enough for a child if he/she feels that this time is just for the child because he/she is special to the parent. What counts is the quality, not quantity of the time spent together.
There are many reasons why fathers should be part of their child’s life. It is interesting to see how a good relationship with love, care, good listening skills, granting appropriate freedom, being there to support and setting clear rules and boundaries can develop happy children who have the ability to do well in life and gain the necessary resilience to cope with difficult situations.
In summary, the key point to remember is not to focus on who’s more important but understand that dads are vital in all the ways moms are. “We hope findings like these will encourage men to become more involved in their children’s care,” says Dr Rohner (Study for Parental Acceptance and Rejection at the University of Connecticut).
Use your time wisely and keep in mind that being involved in your child’s life will have long-term and long-lasting benefits.
Written by Andrea Kellerman, Educational Psychologist, specializing in Neurofeedback/Brain Training, Emotional Intelligence courses, Business coaching and hypnotherapy.
For further information or courses on parenting or emotional intelligence skills for children, contact EQ Advantedge, 031-2668563/ info@eq-advantedge.co.za (www.eq-advantedge.co.za).

Sport nutrition on a budget

By: Angela Bentley

Date: April 2016

 

FUTURELIFE® Fun Facts:

  • Sports nutrition can be very expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Requirements can easily be met with everyday groceries and FUTURELIFE®
  • The meal you choose before you start exercise plays a very important role in making sure that you are properly fuelled and that any discomfort is minimised during exercise.
  • Using basic ingredients all requirements can be met at a cost of between R24.35 and R56.96.

 

Walk through the aisles of any sports nutrition retailer and you could very easily be forgiven for thinking that proper sports nutrition needs to cost A LOT of money.  The truth is that you can reach all of your sports nutrition requirements with relatively inexpensive foods that you can purchase at your local grocery store and FUTURELIFE® is always there to lend a helping hand.

 

My goal in writing this article is to show you that you can easily get everything you need to fuel for and recover from 3 hours of intense exercise for under R50, as opposed to the hundreds that sports nutrition retailers would have us believe.

BEFORE EXERCISE

The meal you choose before you start exercise plays a very important role in making sure that you are properly fuelled and that any discomfort is minimised during exercise. For more information around what and when to eat visit: http://www.futurelife.co.za/pre-endurance-nutrition/.

Here are 4 cost-effective options that I picked. Portion sizes are chosen to fulfil the requirements of a 60kg athlete, but can easily be adapted.

Food choice Grams of carbohydrates/protein Price
75g FUTURELIFE® HIGH ENERGY Smart Food™ + 1 large banana (136g) 63g/ 15g R7.62
75g FUTURELIFE® Smart Oats® + 100g low-fat sweetened yoghurt 65g/10g R7.75
3 slices of FUTURELIFE® Smart White  Bread  with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (32g) and 1 tablespoons of Jam (20g) 65g/20.5g R5.10
50g  FUTURELIFE® HIGH ENERGY Smart Food™ + 1 cup low fat milk and 200g fruit salad 61g/17g R9.90

 

DURING EXERCISE

During exercise, nutrition is very important for longer sessions. Glycogen (energy) stores are quickly depleted and need to be replaced in order to keep you going. 30-60g of easily digested carbohydrates per hour should do the trick for this athlete. Where within the 30-60g range one should fall will depend on intensity among other things. For more information on during-exercise nutrition visit http://www.futurelife.co.za/nutrition-exercise/.

 

Food choice Grams carbohydrate/ g per hour Price
FUTURELIFE® High Energy Smartbars™ + 75g jelly sweets + 500ml sports drink 129g/43g R27.20
75g jelly sweets + 500ml sports drink 107/36g R19.50
2 slices of FUTURELIFE® Smart White  Bread with 2 tablespoons of honey + 1l cordial (already diluted with water at ratio 1:3) 90g/30g R9.45
FUTURELIFE® High Energy Smartbars™ +1l cordial (already diluted with water at ratio 1:3)+ 75g nougat 106/35g R23.15

 

AFTER EXERCISE

Nutrition after exercise should be rich in carbohydrates to refuel energy stores and contain some lean protein to repair muscles. The carbohydrate to protein ratio should be around 3-4:1. Fluids and electrolytes are also essential to rehydrate the body. Here are some very simple and cost-effective options that will help you to reach these goals. For more information on the benefits of FUTURELIFE® Smart Drink in sports recovery visit: http://www.futurelife.co.za/futurelife-smart-drink-in-sports-nutrition/ .

 

 

 

Food choice Grams of carbohydrates/protein Price
75g FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart Food™ + 1 large banana (136g)+ 500ml cordial (already diluted with water at ratio 1:3) 72g/ 24g R14.85
250ml FUTURELIFE® Smart Drink with 2 slices of FUTURELIFE® Smart Brown Bread and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and 1 tablespoon of honey. 75.5g/25.8g R19.85
Open sandwich: 2 slices FUTURELIFE® Smart Brown Bread with 2 boiled eggs and lite mayo + 150g sweetened fruit yoghurt. 54.5g/24.4g R9.80
FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart Food™ Muscle fuel smoothie: http://www.futurelife.co.za/recipes/muscle-fuel-smoothie/ 65g/28g R16.19

 

 

Using these wallet-friendly options pre, during and after your 3 hours of exercise will cost you a minimum of R24.35 and a maximum of R56.96 while giving you everything you need to be everything you want to be.

PRODUCTS MENTIONED

FUTURELIFE® HIGH ENERGY SMART FOOD™

FUTURELIFE® SMART OATS™

FUTURELIFE® SMART BREAD™

FUTURELIFE® HIGH ENERGY SMARTBARS™

FUTURELIFE® SMART DRINK™

FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN SMART FOOD™