Category Archives: Nutrition

Why Parents Should Add Isagenix Products to Kids’ School Lunch

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Any loving parent wants the best for their children, and for many that includes packing a lunch and snacks from home for school. But two new studies question if parents are packing the healthiest lunches and snacks possible, as studies suggest that in comparison, most school-made lunches and snacks are actually healthier.

In one study, researchers from Virginia Tech University looked at the nutritional components of more than 1,000 lunches from three elementary schools and compared those made by the school to those packed at home (1). Overall, the lunches from home provided more calories, total fat, saturated fat, and sugar than the school lunches. What’s more, homemade lunches lacked in protein, fiber, vitamin A, and calcium compared to school lunches.

“We assumed there would be differences between school and packed lunch, but not such stark differences,” lead author and Ph.D. candidate at Virginia Tech University Alisha Farris said in a press release. “I also think, for a long time, people have viewed packed lunch as the healthier option, but our results show that’s really not the case.”

Another study, from researchers at Harvard School of Public Health, compared after-school snacks that were either provided by the school or from home (2). It found that those from home included more sugary candy and beverages. On days when kids brought home-packed snacks they also ate more salty and sugary foods and consumed almost twice as many calories compared to days when they ate snacks provided by school.

These results echo those found by researchers at the University of Minnesota that kids today eat far more snacks than kids in the 1970s and that most kids eat high-calorie snacks lacking in nutrients (3). Left unchanged, unhealthy snacking habits may lead to nutrient deficiencies, obesity, and increased risk for chronic disease as a child ages.

Makeover for Snacks and Lunches

Instead of carb-and-fat-heavy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or high-sodium lunch packs, parents ought to pack some of these popular Isagenix products in school lunch boxes:

  • IsaLean Bars® make an excellent high-protein centerpiece for a school lunch. With 18 grams of protein including whey protein, it can provide the highly valued branched-chain amino acids that are necessary for growing muscles.
  • Whey Thins also make a great alternative to chips or crackers. Providing 10 grams of protein in each bag, they can help satisfy that desire for a crunchy snack.
  • IsaFruits® is an easy-to-make drink mix that is delicious yet has only 1 gram of sugar. The product also helps provide a variety of spray-dried fruit powders to complement a child’s need for fruits and vegetables in their diets.

Rather than reaching for snacks and lunch items containing empty calories from sugar and fat, parents should be packing nutrient-dense items that can still taste good and that kids will like. Luckily for parents, Isagenix takes the guesswork, and time, out of packing healthy, nutrient-dense lunches and snacks for school.

 

References

  1. Farris AR, et al. Nutritional comparison of packed and school lunches in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten children following the implementation of the 2012-2013 national school lunch program standards. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2014 Nov-Dec;46(6):621-6.
  2. Kenney EL et al. Identifying sources of children’s consumption of junk food in Boston after-school programs, April-May 2011. Prev Chronic Dis. 2014 Nov 20;11:E205.
  3. Hess J, Slavin J. Snacking for a cause: nutritional insufficiencies and excesses of U.S. children, a critical review of food consumption patterns and macronutrient and micronutrient intake of U.S. children. Nutrients. 2014;6(11):4750-4759.

Scale Won’t Budge? New Study Sheds Light on Why.

Weight Loss
A new study offers an explanation for why some lose weight faster than others.

Have you or someone you know ever struggled to lose weight? You follow a system and all its instructions to a T, but the number on the scale is not to your liking. No doubt this is a frustrating occurrence and likely to get anyone down on their weight-loss efforts. A new study has shed some light on this conundrum, however, and it may simply be that different people respond differently to calorie restriction (1). That is, some will lose more quickly than others.

For the study, scientists from the National Institutes of Health conducted one of the most well-controlled interventions possible—a 77-day in-patient trial involving 12 obese subjects whose food intake was completely controlled, and calorie expenditure (aka how many calories they burned) and body weight and composition were meticulously measured.

Upon admission and throughout the trial, participants’ calorie needs based on energy expenditure was assessed. Moreover, energy expenditure was measured in response to both excessive calorie intake and fasting for 24-hour periods, and then for what the bulk of the trial involved, which was adhering to a liquid diet reduced by fifty percent of calorie needs. Also, exercise for fitness reasons was not allowed, and activity throughout the study was limited.

The researchers found at the end of the trial that despite the subjects following the same weight-loss protocol, there were some that lost significant weight, while others barely lost any.

Previous researchers have found similar results and this has led to what’s known as a thrifty phenotype, or a person whose response to calorie restriction does not lead to weight loss as quickly as a spendthrift phenotype. Basically, a spendthrift can lose weight easily while a thrifty person will not.

The scientists concluded that “we clearly determined that there is variation in the extent of weight loss in obese humans during a 50 percent caloric reduction that is not the result of a lack of adherence but is caused by real biologic inter-individual variation in energy expenditure responses to the same energy deficits, that is, thrifty and spendthrift phenotypes.”

Researchers point out how the reason for and identification of the two phenotypes has yet to be figured out. Possible influencers could be individual differences in nervous system activity, thyroid and appetite hormones, diet and weight-loss-and-regain history, and variable amounts of brown fat. Everyone has at least a little bit of brown fat, but it varies between individuals. Unlike white fat, which makes up the majority of fat in the body and stores calories, mitochondria-packed brown fat cells burn energy and produce heat.

If losing weight while following a system is a struggle, it may not be that anything is being done wrong, its more just a matter of time. One important factor to remember is that the number on the scale is not the only marker of health. Your energy levels and how you feel, how you’re able to perform daily and physical activities, how well you’re sleeping, and other health markers are all non-scale measurements that a healthy weight-loss regimen can improve. It’s also important to remember what the alternative is—even if you’re not seeing the scale budge as much as you’d like, is it better to give up and go back to old eating habits? Most likely not.

Weight loss is unfortunately not a fully-known and well-understood science yet. But always listen to your body and remember that the journey will be different for each individual. Stick with your balanced Isagenix weight-loss plan and sometimes the end goal may just require more time, patience, and persistence.

Reference: Reinhardt M, Thearle M, Ibrahim M et al. A human thrifty phenotype associated with less weight loss during calorie restriction. Diabetes. 2015.

How Adaptogens Can Help Athletes Gain an Edge

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In the athlete world, peak performance is a must. Athletes train constantly, pushing their bodies to the limits to perform at the highest level. Often, however, they are inhibited by their own bodies’ inability to counter the mental and physiological stress that their sport demands.

While a little dose of adrenaline and nervous energy can actually enable an athlete to perform better, larger doses can be harmful to performance.

Stress from everyday life, training, and competition isn’t going anywhere. So what’s an athlete to do?

Scientific evidence suggests Adaptogens, such as those included in Ionix® Supreme, e+™, and t+ Chai, are a great way to help moderate stress. Adaptogens can be used to boost endurance, stamina, and power under strenuous athletic conditions.

Why Your Body Loves Undenatured Whey

IsaPro is ‘whey’ beyond simply a exercise recovery tool
IsaPro is ‘whey’ beyond simply a exercise recovery tool

It’s no secret that we at Isagenix pride ourselves in providing some of the highest-quality undenatured whey protein. With the release of our new Chocolate IsaPro, many wonder why the product is basically just whey protein and if it has a place in their plan.

While many see IsaPro as a recovery tool from intense exercise, there is more than one reason to take it. The whey protein we use in our products has some benefits that go beyond muscle-tissue building and weight loss. Here we review some other benefits, whatever your health and wellness goals may be, of taking whey protein.

Stress Adaptation

Whey protein concentrate in its undenatured form has a special protein in it called alpha-lactalbumin, which is shown to improve mental performance and mood in stressful situations (1). Alpha-lactalbumin has the ability to help maintain healthy serotonin levels, which are reduced by prolonged stress. In a series of studies using whey, subjects had higher levels of the amino acid tryptophan, which is the precursor to serotonin biosynthesis (1). Whey protein also has the potential to increase a special protein called heat-shock protein, which increases a cell’s ability to tolerate stress (2).

Biological Value

Whey protein has the highest biological value (demonstrating optimal levels of essential amino acids for the body) of all dairy proteins. This basically means it has a superior essential amino acid profile. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and “essential amino acids” are the ones required in the diet because the body can’t make them internally. The biological value (BV) is the ratio of how much protein the bodies’ tissues can utilize. To put the BV into perspective, soy protein has a value of 74 while whey has a whopping value of 104 (3)!

Satiety

Undenatured whey has bioactive peptides (chains of bonded amino acids) and amino acids generated during digestion that stimulate the release of specific hormones that regulate appetite—resulting in reduced food consumption and greater satiety or fullness (4). These hormones include cholecystokinin, peptide YY, and glucagon-like peptide-1.

Immune Booster

Nutritionists Rie Tsutsumi and Yasuo Tsutsumi of University of Tokushima, Japan, recently investigated the immune-enhancing benefits of undenatured whey and found multiple proteins in whey that play distinct roles in health maintenance:

  • Beta-lactoglobulin binds vitamin A and helps increase the uptake of vitamin A in the digestive tract. It also facilitates the uptake of fatty acids.
  • Alpha-lactoalbumin has protective effects on the lining of the digestive tract and can inhibit growth of harmful bacteria.
  • Lactoferrin aids the absorption of iron in the digestive tract and can inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria.
  • Serum albumin binds and carries fatty acids.
  • Immunoglobulins A, G, and M support the immune system.

Lactoperoxidase and lysozyme also support the immune system but also have distinct antioxidant properties.

Tsutsumi and Tsutsumi also highlight whey as an effective tool for avoiding sarcopenia, or the muscle wasting that’s so common in the elderly.

Whatever your goal, including whey protein can be a useful tool for health and wellness. New research supports how whey goes far beyond simply building muscle. High-quality whey protein can support the health of the digestive system, the immune system, decrease appetite, and even normalize stress.

References

www.isagenixhealth.net

  1. Markus CR, Olivier B, de Haan EH. Whey protein rich in alpha-lactalbumin increases the ratio of plasma tryptophan to the sum of the other large neutral amino acids and improves cognitive performance in stress-vulnerable subjects. Am J Clin Nutr 2002;75:1051-6.
  2. de Moura CS, Lollo PCB, Morato PN, Carneiro EM, Amaya-Farfan J. Whey protein hydrolysate enhances the exercise-induced heat shock protein (HSP70) response in rats. Food Chem2013;136:1350-7.
  3. Smithers GW. Whey and whey proteins- from ‘gutter-to-gold’. Int Dairy J 2008;18:695-704.
  4. Tsutsumi R, Tsutsumi YM. Peptides and proteins in whey and their benefits for human health.Austin J Nutri Food Sci 2014;1:1002.