You asked, we answered! Send us your burning health questions and we’ll help answer them in our weekly series of the most popular health FAQs:
Q: Is coffee bad for my health?
A: If you are healthy and active, organic coffee is not bad for your health. In fact, moderate caffeine intake, as well as other micronutrients from organic coffee, has a variety of positive health benefits as well as significant performance benefits.
However, caffeine added to an unhealthy and stressed lifestyle places additional strain on our bodies, and this combination is unhealthy.
Coffee with milk and sugar—that is always bad for your health.
If you can discipline yourself to having a maximum of two small cups of organic coffee daily, consumed with meals or before cardio or weight training, then coffee can actually become a helpful tool for your performance and physique transformation goals. A morning coffee with a high protein and healthy fat breakfast is included in almost all of my performance diets, and for athletes and highly active individuals, a second coffee mid afternoon with a protein shake and handful of raw nuts is also completely acceptable.
Now, when I say a cup of coffee, I don’t mean a large Starbucks. I’m talking about an artisan brewed freshly roasted and ground organic coffee in a small cup, providing a maximum of 125mg of caffeine.
If you are suffering from adrenal fatigue, or if you have abused caffeine in the past, then I suggest you give this beloved bean a little break, and switch to enjoying one cup of green tea daily, or my favorite, Yerba Mate tea. This invigorating South American tea has multiple health benefits, including a sustained release of energy with considerably less caffeine than coffee.
Q: Why do people say that fruit is bad for me and will make me fat?
A: Fruit is not “bad” for you at all. Fruit is one of nature’s miracles—but make no mistake, fruit is sugar, and if you are trying to lose fat or repair your digestive health, you will benefit from eliminating simple sugars for a certain amount of time.
When you are fit, consistently active, and have a healthy insulin response, small portions of organic, fresh (or flash frozen) fruit are absolutely fine in your diet. Fructose is the real health issue, so choose fruits that are lower in fructose. There is no single food or meal that will make you fat- only your bad habits and repetitive patterns can do that. If you are having trouble losing fat, and you acknowledge that you have high fruit intake in your daily diet, try to reduce your fruit portion to once daily, consisting of ½ cup of berries. Watch what will happen. With the reduced sugar intake from your smaller portions of fruit, you will quickly begin to notice fat loss from this simple dietary modification. Here are some common fruits that I highly recommend; most have a relatively low fructose content:
- Grapefruits and tangerines
- Lemon and lime
Q: Why are carbohydrates so bad?
A: Carbohydrates are not so bad. However, carbs are fuel, and if you keep pumping too much fuel into your body, it will negatively affect your energy levels, and you will never need to use your own stash of it (body fat).
Pop Quiz: What hormone directly controls fat loss and fat storage? The answer is insulin. What nutrient directly controls insulin? Carbs. So what are we going to do? CONTROL OUR CARBS!
It can actually be that simple.
If you want to have an effective nutrition plan that will yield lasting results, you cannot underestimate the need to control your insulin. If you want to feel energised all day, get a lean body, and look better naked, you have to control your blood sugar.
If you can discipline yourself to snack on raw nuts and seeds or veggies when you get hungry instead of reaching for carbs, you will see an improvement in your physique and energy levels fairly quickly. Carbohydrates are a tool. They can enhance performance, or they can negatively affect your physique and your mood. This is where knowledge and conscious decisions, and self-control, become your best friends.