Portland is a little like New York City in the sense that almost everyone here has some sort of passion project. Maybe they work full-time but are super passionate about sewing, or writing poetry, or teaching fitness classes. Or, in the case of my friend Jeff, maybe they’re trying to get a start-up food company off the ground.
Jeff is the co-creator of Bogg’s Trail Butter, a concoction he dreamed up while biking across the country: Essentially, he decided to blend his trail mixes to make them easier to carry. Fast forward a few years and he’s well on his way to creating a nut butter empire with flavors like Mountaineer Maple and Expedition Espresso. These nut butters are delicious but they’re also full of protein, fiber, fat, and carbs—basically all you need to keep going in the outdoors for a run, bike, ride, or trip to the mountain.
I took one of the squeezable pouches on a ski trip this past weekend and was really psyched to see how easy it was to eat, even with gloves on—you literally just squeeze and go—and also how full I felt afterward. After a few tablespoons I was fueled up for about 90 minutes of play. (Of course I ate some more on the ride home—but, after all, this blend is full of the ingredients needed for fueling a workout and for recovery.)
Fat makes you fat, right? Wrong.
For years, all fats have been made out to be a delicious incarnation the devil. As a health and nutrition coach, I get questions all the time from my clients about low-fat diets and avoiding avocados and olive oil in case they cause weight gain. Some have even justified eating an entire bag of Twizzlers because it says, “No Fat”.
Listen up: Fat is not the enemy! At least, not entirely.
Let me be clear in saying that there are many kinds of fats, including the saturated and trans fats found in candy bars, processed foods, and T-bone steaks—these are generally no good. But there are also the natural fats found in whole foods like avocados, nuts, seeds, salmon, coconuts, and olive oil, which are so, so good!
Health experts are giving sugar a reprieve in the case against obesity. While sugar and its many processed variations are running amok in the food we eat at home or away, fats, oils, flour and cereal are more to blame for America’s continuous bloat.
According to the CDC, 25.6% of Americans have a BMI greater than thirty, firmly planting them into the obese category. Since we tend to lie about how tall we are and how much we weigh, the figure is probably a bit generous, but it’s a 10.3% increase since 20 years ago, and that’s alarming.
A New York Times article reports that Americans are consuming 448 more daily calories— or 20% more—than they were in 1970. The Department of Agriculture says 242 of those calories are from fats and oils, 167 are from flour and cereal, and only 35 are from sugars. (more…)