Sunday, November 2, 2014

Low on Energy?

Many people ask me how they can have energy throughout the day. They say they feel tired and wonder if there is anything they can eat that will give them more energy. Food is how your body fuels its engines, the right food will give you more lasting energy. An interesting article appeared in the Weill Cornell Medical College newsletter called “Avoid the Energy Roller Coaster”. What hints do they offer to keep you energized throughout the day?
      1.  Complex Carbs – so many people are “avoiding carbs”. And yes, there are carbs you should avoid such as foods with refined carbs, the added sugar and white flour carbs. But many complex carbs will not only provide energy but more longer lasting energy.
  • Whole grains – these complex carbs will re-fuel your engines, have fiber to fill you up and will provide more lasting energy than refined carbs. Whole grain crackers, whole grain bread, even whole grain chips
  • Legumes, beans – hummus is a great addition to crackers for an energy boost.
  • Vegetables – like carrots, zucchini, radishes, asparagus – have carbs but are low in calories
  • Whole fruits – any whole fruit would be a great way to get an energy boost. Whole fruits have the fiber often missing in juices.
 2.  Eat every 3-4 hours. You may be low in energy reserves because you don’t eat often enough. Doesn’t have to be a meal but a healthy snack that includes some complex carb and protein would be a great energizer.
3. Protein – protein foods provide lasting energy. Good to have the complex carbs for immediate energy, then add some protein for more lasting energy.
  • Low fat protein – low fat yogurt, low fat milk, make a smoothie
  • Lean cuts of meat – chicken
  • Cheese – reduced fat cheese 
      4. Breakfast – skipping breakfast can lead to low energy in the late morning. Breakfast means, “Break the Fast” – as your body has been fasting all night. Researchers have found those who eat breakfast are more alert and have more energy throughout the day.
  • Bagel (whole grain) and low fat cream cheese
  • Hard-boiled egg and whole wheat English muffin
  • Whole grain cereal and fruit
  • Oatmeal and blueberries
  • Peanut butter and whole grain toast or whole grain bagel      

Roller Coaster foods – these would be refined carbs – foods high in added sugar and/or white flour. These can cause your blood sugar to rise sharply, you feel great, but then plunge and you feel tired.
  • Candy
  • Sugared soft drinks
  • Donuts
  • Cookies
  • White bread
  • Crackers made with white flour
       Source:  Avoid the Energy Roller Coaster, Image Source:  Bagel and Peanut Butter

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