Friday, April 25, 2014

How many calories and grams of fat should you eat daily?

This is a million dollar question and it has a million answers. This is because the numbers will differ for each individual. Just like each of our fingerprints is unique, our individual bodies and digestive systems are unique. Learning to listen to our bodies and having an awareness of general nutrition and what we consume will provide the unique answers for every individual. Knowing the general guidelines and recommendation for specific groups is is the first place to find the right answer for you. According to this article, the numbers vary greatly depending on what group you belong too:

Less-active women and older adults:
1,600 calories
Most children, teen girls, active women, and less-active men:
 2,200 calories
Teen boys, active men, and very active women:
2,800 calories

(taken from an article published on the Discovery website) below to see how much fat to eat each day.

Caloric Intake
Maximum Recommended
From Fat
Recommended Grams of Fat*
From Saturated Fat**
Recommended  Grams of Saturated Fat
400 to 560
44 to 62
112 or less
12 or less
450 to 630
50 to 70
126 or less
14 or less
500 to 700
56 to 78
140 or less
16 or less
550 to 770
61 to 86
154 or less
17 or less
600 to 840
67 to 93
168 or less
19 or less
650 to 910
72 to 101
182 or less
20 or less
700 to 980
78 to 109
196 or less
22 or less

Chart comes from

It is important to note that these numbers will change for each individual. Learning to listen to you body and acknowledging when it is hungry and full is good practice if you are striving to consume the correct amount of calories for you. Additionally, according to this blog, listening to your body will tell you when you are hungry, when you are full, and what foods have a positive or negative effect on you. If you can do all of these things, your body will be happily humming along to its own tune.

Once you have determined how many calories to consume each day, use the chart

*This will give you the  recommended 25% to 35% or less of your calories from fat.
**This will give you the recommended less than 7% of your calories from saturated fat.

            In this food driven society staying within healthy caloric and fat guidelines can be difficult at best. It is easy to feel hungry two hours after eating a 800 calorie meal if you're eating foods that will keep your body fueled longer. Kay’s Naturals is the perfect combination of carbohydrates and proteins, all while being wonderfully low in fat and sugars. Each serving is around 135 calories and has as much protein as three eggs! Stick to your nutrition goals easily with Kays Naturals. Shop online here.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The value of grit: how to transform your health

Life necessitates that everyone sets health goals. Yet to our dismay, there are unhealthy and easily accessible leisure and food options available everywhere. Television is free and fast food is both fast and affordable. So what keeps us from eating fries on our couch every night in front of the tube? After a certain age, most bodies start to give the owner some challenges. It is finely tuned machine that needs more than 5 hours of sleep and 2200 calories a day to keep it running smoothly. So, with the natural desire to be a donut eating couch potato; how do we instead decide to get off the couch, take a run, and eat healthy meals?

Recent research suggests that one’s level of grit, more than talent or intelligence, has the final word on success. One famous researcher of grit, Angela Duckworth, says grit is, “sticking with things over the very long term until you master them.” According to American Public Media's website about Duckworth's research; talent or intelligence are not enough to explain success. The website sites Ducksworth's studies about Ivy League students. Students less intelligent than their peers compensated “by working harder and with more determination.” In fact, highly intelligent students had less grit than their intellectually average peers. Consequently, highly intelligent students actually fared less academically. It was “the grittiest students -- not the smartest ones -- had the highest GPAs.”

How can this information help us dictate our personal health? According to this article, genes play a major role in how we digest food and how much we weigh. Moreover, some genes can transfer diseases, such as celiacs. But genes are only a part of the equation on what determines optimal health. For example, if someone with celiac disease has the grit to maintain a completely gluten-free diet (this is no small feat mind you), they can live an active, normal, and healthy life. The same goes for many health conditions. Exercise, eating nourishing food, and being vigilant advocates for our personal health plays a monumental role on our overall health. But to all of that, we must have grit.

One unanswered questions remains: how is grit cultivated? Is there a grit gene? Probably not. Likely grit is engendered from a the strong desire to achieve a visualized goal. This goal is developed not from negative thoughts (i.e. “I am so out of shape! I'm ashamed of my body”) but from positive thoughts and dreams (i.e. “I cannot wait until I can run a marathon! In a few months I will be wearing these jeans again!”). The more you can make your goals a source of joy and pride, the more likely you will have the grit to get you off that couch day after day, opening a healthy snack (like Kay's Naturals) and heading to the gym smiling. 

So what do you think? Have you got the grit?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Gluten Free Labeling... It's a Mess

For someone with celiac disease, even the smallest amounts of gluten can cause illness and damage to the small intestine. With the gluten diet gaining tread and popularity, more and more companies are adding gluten free labels to their products. The verbiage changes: “no gluten,” "gluten-free," "no gluten ingredients used," "low gluten," "naturally gluten-free."  The increased awareness is a delight for everyone with gluten restrictions, however companies can be misleading if it will increase their bottom line. For those of us with celiac disease, loose gluten label regulations are dangerous and frightening.

According to an article written by the The Hill, a new rule, The Food Allergen and Consumer Protection Act, has arrived at the White House for final review in February 2013. Since 2005, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been working on the gluten free labeling requirements. The rule is currently at the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). It will need to be approved by the OIRA before it can be enacted. According to the article, that FDA said “establishing a definition of the term 'gluten-free' and uniform conditions for its use in the labeling of foods is necessary to ensure that individuals with celiac disease are not misled and are provided with truthful and accurate information with respect to foods so labeled.” In this rule, the FDA “defines a product as “gluten free” if it does not contain the following: wheat, rye, barley, or any hybrid of these grains; ingredients such as wheat flour that have not been processed to remove gluten; or any item made up of more than 20 parts per million of gluten.” The amount of time the rule will sit with the OIRA is unknown, the majority under review “have been sitting for more than the 90-day review limit imposed on the White House,” according to The Hill. Hopefully, we will receive updates of the rule in the upcoming weeks.

In the meantime, it is important to understand some of the shortfall of this rule as it is likely to be enacted. Standardizing gluten labeling is critical for individuals who become sick from a bread crumb size portion of gluten. The rule has the potential however, to provide headaches and stomach aches. 

According to the article, Gluten Contamination of Grains, Seeds, and Flours, the proposed rule says many single-ingredient foods are considered inherently free of gluten. Inherently gluten-free grains will be viewed as mislabeled if they have a gluten-free label and “do not also state that all foods of the same type are gluten-free (eg, "all millet is gluten free")” However, a study examined twenty-two inherently gluten-free grains, seeds, and flours and sent them unopened for gluten analysis. According to the article, “seven of 22 samples (32%) contained mean gluten levels >/=20 ppm and would not be considered gluten-free under the proposed FDA rule for gluten-free labeling. Gluten contamination of inherently gluten-free grains, seeds, and flours not labeled gluten-free is a legitimate concern.” Naturally, this is a real health concern. Calling and finding distributors that your gut can trust is a solution for finding “inherently gluten free grains”, that are truly without gluten.
Another solution is sticking to products that have been certified Gluten-Free. The GF logo says the products has been independently verified for its “quality, integrity, and purity of products. Products carrying the GF logo represents unmatched reliability and for meeting strict gluten-free standards” (according to GF certification website). 

Kay’s Naturals has been certified Gluten-Free. Gluten free labeling can be misleading and difficult to navigate. But rest easy when you pop open a bag of our cereal or chips. Know we have gone the extra mile to ensure that all of our products are completely gluten free. Your tummy will stay happy with us!  


in the United States: A Pilot Study.      Thompson, T.,Roland Lee, A., Grace, T. (June 2010) Journal of the American Dietetic Association. v110 (n6): 937(4)

Gluten Contamination of Grains, Seeds, and Flours
Recommended reading:

Friday, April 4, 2014

A Nation Addicted to Food

“Food and drug addictions have much in common, particularly in the way that both disrupt the parts of the brain involved in pleasure and self-control” -Dr. Volkow

As a nation, the number of individuals with obesity, diabetes, and hypertension numbers have reached epidemic proportions. It is easy to blame the individual, but according to the New York Times article, ‘The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food,’ “it’s not just a matter of poor willpower on the part of the consumer and a give-the-people-what-they-want attitude on the part of the food manufacturers. [It is] a conscious effort... to get people hooked on foods that are convenient and inexpensive.” Certainly each individual much harness their willpower to maintain a healthy diet; but that has become increasingly difficult when food companies have intense and misleading marketing campaigns backed by hundreds of food scientist with the single goal of making their unhealthy foods irresistible. Today, one in three adults is clinically obese. The number of Americans with type 2 diabetes has also risen alarmingly to 24 million. Such high numbers of obesity and diabetes leads one the question: are we a nation addicted to food?

Addiction to food has been debated by nutrition and addiction researchers, according to the article, “Craving an Ice Cream Fix.” This New York Time’s article argues that new research suggests the debate is over: Yes, food addiction is real. Dr. Nora Volkow, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse said, “food and drug addictions have much in common, particularly in the way that both disrupt the parts of the brain involved in pleasure and self-control.” According to the article, researchers from Princeton University and University of Florida have found that “sugar-binging rats show signs of opiate like withdrawal when their sugar is taken away- including chattering teeth, trembling forepaws and the shakes”.  Other food scientists have reported that rats on a fatty liquid diet began producing endocannabinoids, a chemical not unlike what is produced when using marijuana. Addiction to food is related to the kinds of food being consumed. The article quoted Dr. Browne, co-editor of the new book “Food and Addiction” as saying, “We don’t abuse lettuce, turnips and oranges, but when a highly processed food is eaten, the body may go haywire. Nobody abuses corn... but when you process it into Cheetos, what happens?” She argues that the scientific study of the brain should have us question the way food companies alter food to have consumers become hooked, “With these foods, personal will and good judgment get overridden. People want these foods, dream about these foods, crave them.”

Food addiction is possible to overcome- with conscientious effort. According to Dr. Pamela Peeke, author of “The Hunger Fix” and an assistant professor at the University of Maryland, exercise and meditation can help individuals beat their food addiction. According to the Times article, methadone is utilized by heroin users to alleviate their withdrawals. Likewise, food addicts can help overcome addiction by finding healthy and pleasurable alternatives. An example given in the article was enjoying a fruit smoothie instead of ice cream. Kay’s Naturals is another healthy alternative to help kick a bad food habit. Our products do not have the additive combination of high sugar, fats, and salt, but they do have a pleasurable crunch and flavor. Toss the Cheetos from your pantry and open up a bag of Chili Nacho Protein Chips. They are good source of protein and fiber, all while being low in fat, carbohydrates and sodium. Shop online to see all the healthy alternatives we have to offer. Together, we can beat our food cravings and become a healthy nation again.