Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Food-to-Content Conversion CHEAT SHEET

While you can't keep track of the exact numbers for calories, fat, carbs and other things without a label, you can be mindful of your portion sizes. The easiest way to do this is by learning the basic exchange of food for calories, fat, etc, to estimate your total intake. Use the general guidelines below to keep track of your approximate intake of calories, carbs, fat and protein.

Remember that I recommend eating 60-120 minutes prior to workout a healthy, balanced meal of roughly 40% carbs, 30% protein, 20% fat, and 10% fiber (+/- 5% each one). You should also be eating a higher-protein based meal post-workout (40-60 minutes) of 40% protein, 25% carbs, 20% fat, 15% fiber (+/- 5% each one). As always, these are generic numbers and you should check with your healthcare professional prior to implementing a meal plan and/or health & fitness plan. Good luck!


1 cup raw leafy, 1/2 cup cooked or raw , 3/4 cup juice and 1/2 cup of cooked dry beans all have around 25 calories, 5g of carbs and 2g of protein.


1 medium-sized fruit, 1/2 cup canned or chopped fruit, 1/4 cup fruit juice or 2 Tbsp of dried fruit contain about 60 calories and 15g of carbs.

Breads and Cereals

1 slice of bread, 1 cup ready-to-eat cereal, 1/2 cup cooked rice or pasta all have around 75 calories, 15g of carbs, 3g of protein and 0-1g of fat.

Meats, Eggs, Nuts

1 ounces meat. a handful of nuts, 1 egg and a 1/2 cup of legumes run about 75 calories, 7g of protein, 4-6g of fat (varies depending on cut of meat).

Oils, Butters

1 Tbsp olive oil, flaxseed oil, fish oil or peanut butter has around 72 calories and 8g of fat.
1 cup milk, 1/2 cup cottage cheese and 1 slice of cheese have about 100 calories, 12g of carbs, 8g of protein and 0-4g of fat.

* Some information gathered from Amanda Carlson, R.D. and www.coreperformance.com

Making Sense of Food Packaging

How to Make Sense of Food Labels
Amanda Carlson May 5, 2010

I recently found this article, written by Amanda Carlson, R.D., on www.coreperformance.com regarding food labels and some of the marketing gimmicks that are prevalent in today's packaging...I thought you might find it informative. Good reading...A
The FDA recently informed 17 food manufacturers that their food labels mislead consumers about the health benefits of their products. The misrepresented claims included “100% Juice,” “No Sugar Added,” “Healthy Options,” and “Fortified with Antioxidants.”
While the FDA is cracking down on manufacturers, you still need to decipher for yourself what’s healthy. Keep in mind that food packaging is nothing more than an advertisement, an attempt to entice you to buy one product over another. Oftentimes the label is downright deceptive. Here’s what to look for to avoid getting tricked by food labels.

A food can be labeled “healthy” if it’s low in fat (especially saturated or trans fat) and has limited cholesterol and sodium, but that doesn’t mean the item has the lowest amount of fat or the lowest sodium. In other words, it still may not be your healthiest choice.What to look for: Don’t rely on packaging. Look for the cleanest and least processed form of food. Look for grains that are high in fiber, fruits that are in season, and natural nuts and nut butters that give your body fantastic fats. Keep highly processed foods to a minimum.

While there are hundreds of products emblazoned with the promise of being “all natural” and “organic,” many are not.What to look for: Choose items with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic symbol. Keep in mind that “natural,” “all natural,” “hormone-free,” and “free range” are not the same as “organic.” To be organic, a product must contain 95 percent organic ingredients. Check the ingredients to confirm that the product is certified organic by the USDA.
Made With…

There are dozens of products pictured with bunches of fresh grapes, waves of grain, and many more that claim to be loaded with real fruit juice, whole wheat, and other ingredients. Many of these products are actually a combination of the promised ingredient mixed with other products or extracts of the desired ingredient.What to look for: This label only means that the ingredient is included in the product (not necessarily as the main ingredient). Look for products with 100% whole grains or 100% juice (not juice cocktail).
Light or Lite

While a lighter version of a full-fat or high-calorie foods is at first glance better than the original version, keep in mind the calories, serving size, and other ingredients (sodium, etc).What to look for: This label means that the food has 50 percent less fat or 1/3 fewer calories than the same brand’s regular version. So flip it over to check out the nutrition label. You’ll have a better idea of proper serving sizes and other ingredients.
Good/Excellent Source of…

This label means that one serving provides 10 to 19 percent of your total daily needs for a specific nutrient, such as fiber, calcium, and vitamin A. So don’t mistake it as supplying what you need for the day of a particular nutrient.What to look for: On the nutrition label, look at how much of your daily value this source provides. You’ll want to make sure that you make up for the remaining percentage by eating other foods high in those nutrients.
While not getting enough nutrients is bad, getting too much can also be dangerous. Be aware of foods that have vitamin and mineral levels well above the dietary reference intakes (DRI). In particular, watch out for the fat soluble vitamins—A, D, E and K—because they're stored in the body, and when consumed in excess they're not excreted like water soluble vitamins. Your best bet: Aim to get most of your nutrients from fresh foods instead of water with antioxidants or energy drinks loaded with vitamins, for example. Water and fruit would be a better choice.

A food labeled as “reduced” has 25 percent less (fat, saturated fat, sodium, sugar, cholesterol, or calories) per serving than the regular version of the same food. But just because something has reduced fat doesn’t mean it isn’t still too high in sodium, sugar, or other ingredients.What to look for: Again, flip the product over and take a look at the nutrition label. Reduced fat cheese and reduced calorie beverages may not give you the health benefits or calorie savings you’re looking for.

About The Author
Amanda Carlson – As a registered dietitian, Amanda Carlson has provided educational seminars and individual counseling to a variety of professional and elite sports organizations.