Sugary Sweet and Sinful to Eat

Sugar found itself trending in 2014, but the trend status wasn’t a particularly positive one. Instead, it could be considered more of a “negative trend”- sugar was talked about, certainly, but the commentary was not at all flattering.

sugar consumption - nashua nutrition
source: Weight and Wellness

Between obesity, diabetes, cancer, and fatty liver disease, sugar consumption is proving to be, perhaps, more perilous than we could have ever anticipated.

Sugar consumption in the United States clocks in at an eyebrow-raising 22.5 teaspoons per day: compare that to the recommended intake of 5 teaspoons per day (as per the World Health Organization).

However, most of us would remain adamant that our sugar consumption is not all that high; Is it really possible that we’re consuming that much sugar when we eschew soda and pass by the office candy bowl?

As it turns out, it’s very possible, especially since much of Americans’ sugar consumption comes from “invisible” sources of sugar in products like ketchup, breads, and other prepared foods. These products don’t taste sweet in the sense that we associate with candy or soda, so they pass by undetected.

Kicking the sugar habit is easier said than done, especially for those of us who enjoy sweet treats as part of our regularly scheduled programming. After all, if we’re exercising and eating healthy, what’s a cookie a few times a week?

While we’d never condemn an occasional indulgence, it’s important to make sure that you’re really are eating moderately, and that means identifying and removing invisible sources of sugar from your diet.

That’s why we’ve made sugar reduction one of our January goals for the Nashua Nutrition 6 Month Plan.

The following tips can help you avoid sugar, and cope with the transition from sugar-saturated to sugar-free.

Avoiding hidden sugar:

  • Be wary around packaged foods, even if they look or sound healthy. Scan the ingredient list for the following words: sugar, brown sugar, glucose, agave, agave nectar, nectar, cane juice, cane sugar, honey, syrup, maple syrup, corn syrup, and high-fructose corn syrup. While some of these are touted as being healthier than “regular” white sugar, the body processes them the same way.

Coping with a sugar craving
The best forms of distraction are “action distractions”, processes that mimic the sensations of eating or drinking, or actions that otherwise move you away from the source of sugar.

  • Chew a piece of sugar-free gum. The taste and sensation of chewing can help kick a craving to the curb.
  • Sip a cup of tea, coffee, or zero-Calorie flavored liquid (seltzer water, etc.). The warm liquid is soothing and provides the sensation of consumption.
  • Take a walk, or do an activity that requires you to move your body and concentrate- anything from yoga, stretching, knitting, even doing a puzzle, crossword, or playing with a pet.
  • Eat a sweet, lower sugar snack. Berries with yogurt, apples with cinnamon and low-fat whipped cream, and bananas with peanut butter are all good options.

Weighing Your Options: Is Weight Loss Surgery a Good Option?

Especially among medical professionals, the discussion regarding the appropriateness of bariatric procedures is a heated one.

With strong proponents on either side of the argument, who’s right? Is bariatric surgery a healthy, valid way to lose weight, or a dangerous tool that fails to promote healthy behavioral change

bariatric sugery - nashua nutrition

While the jury’s out on the appropriateness of bariatric procedures, both sides continue to collect evidence, through research and studies assessing the nutritional status, quality of life, and lifespan for patients who have undergone bariatric procedures.

Thus far, research supports the idea that morbidly obese individuals who undergo bariatric procedures lengthen their lives.

A decade-long study published in the January 2015 Journal of the American Medical Association, found that obese individuals who had undergone bariatric surgery lived longer than obese adults who had not received a surgical weight loss procedure.

When comparing these two groups (comprised of 2,500 individuals), obese individuals who had not undergone weight loss surgery were 10% more likely to die in the decade following the study: the surgical group reduced their likelihood of death to 14%, while 24% of the non-surgical group died within the 10 years of the study’s inception.

A second, larger study comprised of 29,000 individuals and published in the March 2014 Journal of International Cardiology, found that bariatric procedures reduced the likelihood of heart attacks and related deaths by 40%, relative to a group of obese individuals who had not undergone a weight loss procedure.

Bariatric Surgery: The Pros and Cons

There are undoubtedly many factors to consider when assessing the pros and cons of weight-loss surgeries (bariatric procedures).

bariatric surgery leads to longer life - nashua nutrition
source: consumer affairs

For many, the negative aspects of bariatric procedures simply pose too great a risk to warrant their use in common surgical practice. Whether through gastric banding or gastric bypass, weight loss surgeries are serious, invasive surgical procedures, and the possibility of infection and surgical complications is a very real one. Furthermore, the cost of these procedures is very high, and may not be covered by insurance.

Even when the costs and risk of bariatric procedures are accounted for, the fact remains that emotional and behavioral change is a requirement for a healthy recovery once the procedure has been performed. Most hospitals will not allow a patient to receive a bariatric procedure without first meeting with a team of psychologists and dietitians, who will assess the patient’s emotional readiness to undertake serious postoperative dietary and lifestyle changes.

Is bariatric surgery a good option for you?
Only your doctor and healthcare team can tell you whether or not you are a good candidate for a bariatric procedure. However, if you are morbidly obese and have a secondary condition because of your obesity (diabetes, heart disease, etc.), weight loss surgery may help reduce your risk of serious complications and death from those conditions.

If you decide to undergo bariatric surgery, Nashua Nutrition, offers bariatric products for pre- and post-surgery.

The Top 10 Fitness Trends For 2015

The time to get in shape is now! It’s the beginning of the year, and you are probably trying to find a workout you like and fits your needs. Check out the top trending 2015 workouts. Surprisingly, High Intensity Interval Training is not the number one fitness trend. Body strength training has taken it’s place because of it’s “back to basics” idea. These are the regular push-ups, pull-ups and planks idea. This workout is time efficient because you can do them everywhere, and economical because you don’t need any equipment. Sounds like a winner!

top 10 workout trends 2015Check out the other trending workouts, bookmark your favorites and incorporate them into your fitness routine. Don’t forget to check out Nashua Nutrition for products to complement your fitness routine.

Success from the Start: The Right Way to Get in Shape

If it feels like your resolution is the same every single New Year’s, take notice of the following tips. All of them will help you put your best foot forward, even if the last time you stepped in a gym was this time last year. Let’s make 2015 the year it finally sticks for you.

1. Make a plan.
It isn’t enough to aspire to something; you must also have a plan to carry you towards the action stage of your achievement. Make sure that your plan is specific and that your goals are realistic.

workout plan - nashua nutrition
  • Specific: Who, what, when, and where? (See tip #2)
  • Realistic: Does your goal address who you are now, and the challenges you face? Or are you setting your goal too high, at a place you’d like to be already? Often, we start out a few steps ahead of where we already are, so we’re tired from the start, and less confident in our ability to succeed.
  • Get a fitness tracker

2. Stick to a schedule.
Busy is the new normal. Set a schedule, and stick to it; make your scheduled time non-negotiable. Recognize that if you give yourself an out, you’re more likely to take it.

3. Start Small.
Behavioral change is a process, and too much too soon will have you running back to the comfort of your former, exercise-free life. Instead, set a small goal of 15-20 minutes a day, or a few days a week. Then build from there, giving yourself time to adapt, physically and emotionally.

4. Forget what you know about exercise.
People who struggle to exercise consistently typically struggle due to their preconceived notions of exercise. Typically, this is due to prior, negative experiences.

Based upon your previous experiences, you can stack the deck in your favor. If you’re really honest with yourself- about what you like and what you don’t– you’re one step closer to finding an exercise routine you can stick with, long term.

5. “Better” is best
To quote Voltaire, “The perfect is the enemy of the good.”

We often get so caught up in “the perfect” (doing the “best” form of exercise, even if you hate it, or expecting to enjoy exercise to the point of euphoria), that we fail to recognize the “good” in what we are able to do, in the ways we enjoy doing it. Don’t aim for perfect. Aim for better.

6. Seek Support from Strangers.

weight loss support - nashua nutrition
source: U Fit 360

Family and friends are the people we cling to for advice, support, and motivation, but they can also limit us: their belief systems can get in the way of new ways of thinking and living, and even reinforce our negative behaviors. Seeking out new friends with similar goals and beliefs can help you stay accountable to your goals. There are support groups that provide accountability from peers, without jeopardizing the existing relationships you have with friends and family.

Super-Swaps: Branching out in the produce section

You have likely eyed the obscure leafy greens, or furled tendrils of various, exotic fruits and vegetables and wondered, “What is it, and is it good?” After all, the amount produce consumption required in a healthy nutritional regimen can leave you yearning for some variety.

However, we often pass by these seemingly exotic options, because we don’t know what they taste like, or how to prepare them. Wonder no more! This easy guide will help you branch out in 2015, experimenting with new flavors, textures, and nutrients to keep your taste buds singing and boredom at bay.

Like broccoli? Try broccolini.


Broccolini is essentially broccoli with smaller florets, and long, soft stems, similar in appearance to a spear of asparagus. Broccolini has a sweeter flavor than broccoli, and requires less cooking time thanks to its more delicate physicality.

Hate kale? Try baby kale.

Aside from the tired, overdone kale chip trend (palatable only because they disappear on the tongue very quickly), mature kale boasts a texture not even a mother could love. Woody, vicious roughage, it’s enough to turn off even veggie lovers. Enter baby kale: more like a salad green, baby kale is excellent (even raw!) in salads, with none of the roughness of its older sister.

Like potatoes, but hate the hefty carb content?

nashua nutrition - turnips

Turnips, a white and purple root vegetable, boast a similar texture and flavor to that of a potato. Turnips contain 40 Calories and 8.5 g carbohydrate per cup, versus 116 Calories and 26 g carbohydrate for the same amount of potato. Turnips pass for potatoes when roasted with herbs and spices, or pureed with a bit of low-fat milk or sour cream.

Not a fan of brussels sprouts? Try cabbage.

Often, people dislike the pungency of cooked brussel sprouts; cabbage boasts a much milder flavor that lets it pass by under the radar, with a mellow sweetness when roasted, steamed, or sautéed. Red or green varieties both work well in cooking applications, with green having a slight edge relative to the more bitter purple variety.

Tired of spaghetti squash? Try zucchini noodles!

nashua nutrition - zucchini noodles

Spaghetti squash has earned favor with low-carb eaters in recent years for it’s form, which somewhat mimics pasta. Even better? Zucchini noodles are less wet and more toothsome, providing a feel more similar to that of real spaghetti. You’ll need a special peeler to make these, but the calories you’ll save and the dishes you’ll enjoy are well worth the purchase.

New Year’s Resolution – Six-Month Plan

The new year is just around the corner. With a new year we tend to have new beginnings and new resolutions. This year, Nashua Nutrition wants to help you with your health resolution. If you want to be healthier this year we have a six-month plan to help you reach your goals and be a healthier and happier you. The hardest thing is sticking to your resolutions, but with this plan you do not have to sacrifice everything at once. Take a look at the month-by-month plan.

Print this out before January 1st and begin a healthier and happier you!

Why Fad Diets Aren’t Always The Best Option

Each year, the health and fitness industry seems to produce a new diet that is hailed as revolutionary and guaranteed. From the Master Cleanse Diet to the Atkins Diet, people are willing to try just about anything to rid their body of unwanted fat. The reason that fad diets are labeled as a “fad” is because they come and go, just the fashion, literary, and music trends.

If you want to you successfully lose weight and keep it off, try skipping on trendy diets and start living a healthy lifestyle. Let us take a look at the potential risks and dangers associated with popular fad diets, and an alternative to them.

fad diets risks

A number of popular diets may require you to make a drastic cut to a specific macronutrient such as carbohydrates. When you cut from one group and make up for it with another, you put yourself at risk for a number of health ailments. For instance, a dramatic increase in saturated fats from animal products may lead to heart disease and other cardiovascular complications. On the flip side, a huge increase in protein while limiting your fiber intake may result in kidney stones.

When you’re grocery-shopping, watch out for fad diet entrees. Many of these convenient and ready-to-go meals are very high in sodium. This may cause complications for those who have high blood pressure.

While you may temporarily lose water weight with a fad diet, this short-lived benefit isn’t worth the potential risks. Healthy eating habits and consistent physical activity are the two variables that have been shown to support a healthy weight loss. This doesn’t mean you need to overhaul your entire lifestyle at once. Use these simple tips and tricks to start making a positive change:

  • Eat small portions every 2 to 3 hours
  • The majority of your meals should be made up of fresh, wholesome produce
  • Drink 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water each day
  • Allow yourself one cheat meal each week
  • Strive to be active for 30 minutes each day – Examples include walking, bike riding, gardening, cleaning, and cardio classes.

Top 4 Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

Write Down Your Goals

weight loss new years resolution| nashua nutrition

Also referred to as implementation intentions, writing down your goals may help to cement the validity and importance of your weight loss goals. Year after year, people make it a goal to lose weight and get in shape, but they don’t record these endeavors with good, old fashioned pen and paper. This simple act may be the difference between simply stating your weight loss goal and accomplishing it. Buy a large notepad or calendar, one you can stick on the wall, and write your goals down here. Make sure to place it somewhere that you will be able to see it each day as an inspirational reminder.

Focus Your Effort

Coming up with a laundry list of goals is simple. Some common examples include working out five times a week, going on a diet, starting yoga classes, meditating twice a week, and taking a multi-vitamin. The hard part is putting them into action and getting them accomplished. Instead of stressing yourself out with trying to juggle five goals at once, concentrate and focus your effort and dedication to one goal at a time. It may be easier and more efficient to fully accomplish one goal at a time, rather than completing bits and pieces of several goals over the long run.

Break It Down And Lay It Out

After you’ve written down your weight loss goals on paper and decided which you’ll tackle first, it’s time to take that goal and break it down into smaller, more manageable sections. Taking a large goal of losing 20 pounds, for instance, and breaking it down by the month, week, or day will feel less exhausting and more achievable. For example, if your goal is to lose 20 pounds in one year, break that down to 1 to 2 pounds per month.

Reserve A Day For You

It’s no secret that constantly striving to stick to your workout and diet programs can be exhausting and stressful, especially when things may not be going your way. Be sure to take a day for yourself. Think about what makes you happy and which activities take the stress away. Do you enjoy being creative by writing stories or playing an instrument? Do you find yourself more at peace when you are walking through nature? Whatever helps to bring you back down, set aside time each week to do just that. It should help you forget about the negative thoughts during your weight loss while letting you recharge for the journey ahead.