Nutrition Tips As The Dow Dips!

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These are extraordinary economic times, the likes of which we haven't seen in decades. Stress levels seem to be increasing as quickly as the Dow is slipping. How we handle that stress correlates to our overall health. Do you eat when you are stressed? Or are you like a friend of mine who recently dropped 5 pounds in the last few weeks from increased pressure at work and lack of sleep? Either way both result in an unhealthy YOU. Unfortunately, the economy has as much an impact on our waistlines as it does on our bottom dollar. The stock market may be on a rollercoaster ride, but your diet doesn't have to be.

What can you do as a pre-emptive strike during these times? Here are few tips to help you get through the rough patches:

Start with a healthy nutritious breakfast. Studies have shown that eating a balanced breakfast will curb overeating and unhealthy snacking throughout the day and as a result cause weight gain. You probably feel like you have no time for breakfast and can only eat at your desk. No problem, instead of your usual coffee and muffin, try low-fat yogurt topped with a few tablespoons of a high-fiber cereal and fruit (i.e. Bananas are high in serotonin...a mood enhancing hormone!).

Eat high-quality carbohydrates. Our bodies need carbohydrates for energy, but unfortunately not all carbs are created equal. Especially when it comes to stress, choose your carbs wisely. Did you ever notice how good you feel after a mid-afternoon candy fix, but then an hour later you're dipping into the candy bowl again? Eating simple carbohydrates like sugary sweets causes a quick spike in blood sugar in our bloodstream, which get digested as quickly as they are ingested. Like in the stock market, what comes up will ultimately come down, leaving you feeling irritable AND worse yet...still hungry! Best to stick with better quality carbs with some protein that will cause your blood sugar to rise slowly and make you feel full, therefore keeping your mood at an even keel. Try some whole grain crackers with low fat cheese or an apple with 1-2 level tablespoons of peanut butter or sliced veggies with 1/4 cup of hummus.

Use caffeine in moderation. If you only associate caffeine with coffee you are wrong! Caffeine is also present in tea (black and green tea), soda (colas and root beer), chocolate, energy drinks, and some over-the counter drugs. Studies have shown caffeine can have both positive and negative effects on your body depending on how much and time of intake. Caffeine, a stimulant, can have an effect on hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol (these are your fight or flight hormones). Too much can leave you feeling jittery, and for some, sleep patterns can be greatly affected. The recommended daily allowance for caffeine is 300mg/day. If the current state of the economy is already making you're a nervous wreck, have one cup of caffeinated coffee, then switch to decaf the rest of the day. One 12-ounce cup of Starbucks brewed coffee contains 260mg of caffeine, and the decaf only contains 20mg, so keep that in mind next time you need a "caffeine fix".

This is just the beginning. Over the next few weeks, I'll give you more healthy tips on how to help you navigate through these unsettling times. Think of nutrition as you do the stock market. Remember that there are no quick fixes, and you are investing in your future!


Sally said:

Its good to see you make postings on this topic, I have to book mark this website. Just keep up the good work.

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This page contains a single entry by alphabitesnyc published on October 17, 2008 10:30 AM.

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