Our body naturally produces glutamate but we can also absorb it from foods such as eggs, cheese, meat, potatoes, spinach or cereals. Glutamate is essential for life, as a messenger for the transmission of stimuli. The food industry also uses artificial glutamate (also known as MSG) as a flavor enhancer in various products. This may contribute to an oversupply of glutamate in the body. For example, soup contains a hundred times as much glutamate as naturally found in tomatoes or milk. Having an overabundance of glutamate is not without consequences and can cause head, stomach and limb pain. Glutamate can have another unpleasant effect: loss of appetite control! Who hasn’t experienced this: You open a bag of potato chips and you can’t stop eating. You continue eating until the bag is empty. To learn more about the different effects of glutamate, check out these links below:
Although incorporating exercise is not a must while you are eating according to your Metabolic Balance plan, many of our clients tell us that they have gained or regained their motivation to exercise.
“Exercise is part of my life again”, Kerstin says, who has lost 6 dress sizes with Metabolic Balance. “Three times a week I go running, and I play handball in my home club team again (without pain and with success). I’m doing really well! I sleep well, my blood pressure and my blood count are top again. I have become more self-confident and have a much more positive effect on those around me.”
The optimal amount of water depends on several factors. Depending on how much water we lose each day, we also need to adjust our intake. Since we sweat more in summer than in winter, the amount of water should also be increased on hot days. It also requires more fluid if we exercise and do sports, for instance. Those who want to detoxify the body should also drink more water. But body weight also plays a role. As a rule of thumb, adults should normally drink at least 0.5-1 ounces of water per pound of body weight per day. In order not to forget to drink, you can use special apps or set alarms on your phone to remind you of it, so you’ll always be well hydrated.
Meat and meat alternatives – always worth a discussion!
Many meat lovers love the smell of a grilled steak and often say that nothing beats a good burger. At the same time, many people are trying to reduce their meat consumption either for ethical reasons or environmental concerns. Another reason is that many people are concerned about the impact of meat consumption and especially red meat on their health. Many studies have shown that high meat consumption is partly responsible for many diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases or even cancer.
Meat consumption – a health risk?
Scientists have the greatest concerns about “processed meat products”, such as smoked, cured and preservative-treated meat and sausage products, salami, bacon and many more.
Large-scale survey studies conducted by the renowned Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and the World Health Organization (WHO) have revealed: Daily consumption of just 50 grams of processed meat products per day (the equivalent of about 3 slices of salami or a small sausage) increases the probability of developing colorectal cancer by 18 percent, cardiovascular diseases by 42 percent and diabetes by 51 percent. Part of the risk does not come from the meat at all, but from the substances added to it or the compounds formed during production. Unprocessed meat such as steaks, cutlet and minced meat products also pose a health risk.
Nevertheless, it would be wrong to generally label all meat as harmful, it can certainly enrich a healthy diet. Meat is extremely high in quality protein, important trace elements and essential vitamins. Additionally, animal proteins such as meat, are considered complete sources of protein as they contain all amino acids that the human body cannot produce on its own.
Meat substitutes and meat alternatives in abundance
When it comes to replacing meat, the focus is always on proteins, so that the replacement products look as much like meat as possible and replace their function in a meal. So far, products made from soybeans, tempeh or tofu, are considered to be the most popular meat alternatives. In addition, scientists and product developers have also discovered peas, lupins or field beans as rich sources of protein, and in the production of meat substitutes, these are popular as the basis for burgers and the like.
But that’s not all! Scientists are very creative when it comes to producing “tasty” alternatives to meat. Today, sausages, vegan minced meat or bread spreads – “meat paste” based on fungi – are also available. The fungus Fusarium is grown and then fermented, resulting in a fibrous mycoprotein, which gives the products a meat-like consistency.
One of the most discussed food trends at the moment is undoubtedly synthetic meat, the so-called “in-vitro meat.” It is the result of sophisticated biotechnological techniques. The propagation of stem cells from animals in the laboratory makes it possible to produce meat that is similar to the consistency of real meat from animals. What once seemed impossible is becoming more and more of a reality. At the moment, the high production cost is still a limiting factor of mass producing “in-vitro meat.” However, scientists expect that by 2030 at the latest, the processes will be developed to the point where the price of synthetic meat will be the same as that of animal meat.
How healthy are meat substitutes?
Meat substitutes or meat growing in popularity and not only among vegans or vegetarians. Therefore, it is also important to examine the health aspects of these substitutes. In fact, meat substitutes are highly processed foods whose list of ingredients contains high-quality ingredients. However, during processing, these natural ingredients are broken down and vitamins, minerals and trace elements are lost. It is also unclear to what extent the protein structure changes, and whether these proteins can also be broken down into individual amino acids during digestion.
Since meat substitutes are often broken down to amino acids, it is completely overlooked that meat is one the greatest sources of zinc, in a form readily available to the body. Zinc is a trace element that is indispensable, among other things, for the regulation of insulin and the function of the immune system. This zinc is not found in meat substitutes unless it is added synthetically. However, meat substitutes based on legumes in particular contain, in addition to protein, a higher proportion of carbohydrates, for the optimal metabolization of which zinc would be essential.
What is Metabolic Balance’s position on meat consumption?
Metabolic Balance’s motto on meat consumption is: “The dose makes the poison!” – The vast majority of studies carried out under the aspect – “does meat pose a health risk” – have shown that there is a clear risk to health if there is a high consumption of meat, i. e. more than 500 to 600 g of meat per week. It is also important to keep an eye on the amount of processed meat products (salami, bacon, meat paste, smoked sausages, etc. ) and to reduce them as much as possible. Industrially processed meat products are not integrated into the nutrition plans we create for our clients and clients are coached on appropriate levels of protein for each meal. In addition to reducing meat consumption, we also recommend buying organic and local meat if possible.
The debate between sugar and artificial sweeteners has been a long-standing debate ever since the 1900’s. The first artificial sweetener, saccharin, was discovered in 1879 in a lab at Johns Hopkins University. Since then countless others including aspartame, sucralose, and Stevia have been developed. As more sweeteners were synthesized throughout the 1900’s they came under more and more scrutiny. Several studies in the 1970’s based on animal models, suggested a linkage between artificial sweeteners and cancer. These studies have mostly been disputed by follow up studies in humans.
Although a link to cancer has been refuted, this does not mean that artificial sweeteners have no impact on the body. In a recent article published by the New York Times, Marta Yanina Pepino, an assistant professor at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign stated, “The idea we need to get rid of is that because they have zero calories they have zero metabolic effects.” Various studies have shown that artificial sweeteners can disrupt the gut microbiome, blood sugar control, and influence glucose levels. Consuming artificial sweeteners can actually confuse the brain and the body because their sweetness signals the brain to prepare for an influx of sugar which then never arrives. This can not only disrupt the secretion of hormones such as insulin and cause glucose intolerance but also lead to a craving for sweeter foods.
For thousands of years humans did not consume overly sweet foods very often so sweet foods were actually a way to naturally regulate blood glucose levels. In modern times, sugar and artificial sweeteners have taken over the food industry and thus disrupting this. One of the best ways to get back to natural blood sugar regulation is to limit sweet foods sand avoid artificial sweeteners.
Water works true miracles, applied both internally and externally. It performs many tasks in the body. As a solvent and transport agent, it supplies all cells with vital substances and nutrients and ensures that metabolic products are removed and excreted. This loss of fluid, which we excrete daily through breathing, sweat and urine, needs to be replenished. After all, the body suffers from no other deficit as quickly as from a lack of fluids. This is not surprising, because every single cell needs water to perform vital functions. Poor concentration, dizziness, headache, tiredness or nausea are the first symptoms of a lack of water.
Many people are familiar with this situation: a busy schedule, one meeting after the other, and other appointments that all have to be juggled. With so much stress and too little time, maintaining a healthy diet can be a challenge. On the go, processed foods are usually the first and easy choice to quickly satisfy your hunger. In the long run, however, such a diet is not only unhealthy, but also unnecessary. With a few tricks and tips, you can easily upgrade your meals on the go.
Eat burgers or gyros without white bread or exchange them for a whole-grain roll you have brought along
Choose a salad instead of French fries
Choose flavored sparkling water or juice spritzers over sugary soft drinks
Eat a piece of fruit after the meal. Fruit fits in every bag!
For many of us summer is watermelon season! The beautiful green fruits with a juicy interior, are the perfect treat on a hot summer day. Watermelons are 92% water and take about 90 days to grow. Around the world there are over 300 different varieties of watermelon that are cultivated which include seedless, mini, and yellow watermelons. From a health perspective, watermelons are great as they contain lycopene which is an antioxidant and are hydrating as they have such a high water content. In the kitchen, watermelons are super versatile as you can use the entire fruit in both sweet and savory dishes. A refreshing watermelon salad with basil and feta is the perfect appetizer while the rind can be pickled for a delicious condiment or side dish. What is your favorite way to eat watermelon in the summer? Let us know in the comments!
One word that is commonly associated with summer is strawberries! In the summertime, strawberries can be found everywhere, whether at the grocery store, your local farmer’s market, or a farm stand. Strawberries are not only delicious but also offer many health benefits. Strawberries are full of vitamins: they contain many B vitamins, folic acid, zinc, copper and even more vitamin C than oranges or lemons. They are also packed full of fiber and more importantly contain high levels of antioxidants also known as polyphenols. In addition to being healthy and delicious, strawberries are extremely versatile and are perfect for both sweet and savory delicious. Classic pairings with ingredients such as basil, yogurt, and balsamic vinegar can create amazing dishes!
Do you want to improve your health and lose weight, but struggle to balance your nutrition and busy family life? It’s an all-too-common problem. Between home, work and family commitments, time is often limited. Juggling all of these balls and cooking fresh meals is a constant challenge, and at Metabolic Balance we tackle that head on. A Metabolic Balance nutrition plan provides inspiration tailored to your personal needs and while your plan is all about you, it is tailored in a way so that you can make it fit your busy lifestyle. With a few tips, a little creativity and some good planning, a lifestyle change can be a great family experience – one that everyone can enjoy. Always remember by looking after yourself, you can also look after your family so much better. Check out the “Family and Kids” section on our website for more tips and info on how Metabolic Balance could work for you and your family.
Adapted: Metabolic Balance Australia and New Zealand