… combining pasta, sparkling wine and chocolate correctly!
Who doesn’t like to indulge oneself with a piece of chocolate, delicious pasta or a glass of wine on weekends or on vacation? Even while you are following our Metabolic Balance nutrition plan, small treats are allowed from time to time. True to the motto “the dose makes the poison”, participants can have a Treat Meal from time to time after the 14 days of the strict phase of the Metabolic Balance nutrition plan.
We put together a list of tips to keep in mind and how best to combine the most popular treats to minimize their stress on the body.
Chocolate is best eaten in combination with nuts. Why?
It is best to consume chocolate with a cocoa content as high as possible. It is rich in antioxidants and usually has significantly less sugar than conventional milk chocolate. But sometimes, far from any reason, the body demands the sweet milk chocolate. In order to metabolize carbohydrates such as the abundant sugar they contain, the body needs B-vitamins, which milk chocolate naturally does not provide. Nuts, on the other hand, are rich in these B-vitamins and provide precisely the nutrients needed to break down sugar. Thus, if it has to be milk chocolate, then preferably the one with nuts!
Enjoy prosecco with orange juice. Why?
The consumption of alcohol deprives the body of vitamins during the breakdown. Thus, it is best to drink some orange juice when you consume alcohol. The vitamin C contained in the juice not only helps metabolize the alcohol, but also helps the body to regenerate.
Eat pasta and co. with high-quality oils! Why?
Starchy foods with short-chain carbohydrates such as wheat pasta, rice, white bread or potatoes are best enjoyed in combination with high-quality oils (e.g., olive oil) or fats (butter). The fat surrounds the starch, i.e. the body needs more time to reach the starch and break it down into individual glucose building blocks, since the fat has to be processed first. The result – glucose enters the blood much slower, the blood sugar rises more slowly and this in turn leads to fewer cravings as well as a long-lasting fullness.
Legumes are ripe, air-dried seeds of plants that grow in fruiting pods. From a botanical point of view, they belong to the legume family, also called “Leguminosae” or “Fabaceae”.
Legumes are distinguished according to their size, uniformity, shape, color, as well as cooking ability. When purchasing, make sure the seeds (the beans) are clean, smooth, shiny, and free of circular holes or black discoloration, as these can indicate poor quality produce, or worm and insect infestation. It is best to reach for clear packaging to check this at first glance. When you open the package, the legumes should smell fresh and spicy.
Legume cuisine does not get boring easily: After all, there are well over 12,000 different varieties. Legumes are very high in protein, contain many complex carbohydrates, provide plenty of fiber and, with the exception of soybean, contain relatively little fat with 1-2%.
Most legumes provide abundant B vitamins in particular, including B1, B2 and B3, as well as folic acid. Like the minerals iron and phosphorus, they are important for blood formation, the strength of bones and for the brain, the whole metabolism and strong nerves. They are also rich in secondary plant substances such as flavonoids, which have antioxidant and detoxifying effects.
Legumes are best stored in a dry, airy and dark place: Filled into screw-top jars or cans and stored in the kitchen cabinet. Unpeeled legumes can be kept for several years, peeled ones up to six months.
Before cooking, legumes should be soaked in water. Seeds that float on top are not edible and should be removed. Lentils and shelled peas can then be cooked immediately, all other dried legumes must first be soaked, usually overnight. Please follow the package instructions! Since some legumes contain toxins, they should boil bubbly for about ten minutes and then continue cooking until they are soft. In general, it is recommended add salt to legumes after cooking, otherwise they will not become soft; and to cool them quickly after cooking. When stored in a warm environment, legumes start to ferment quickly.
For a long time, dishes with legumes were considered “poor people’s food” and people thought of thick soups and stews. With a little creativity, a number of different delicious dishes can be conjured up. From fresh salads to patties to noble vegetable side dishes, the most diverse meals can be prepared.
Flour and pasta produced from legumes and Metabolic Balance
Whether lentils, beans or peas – legumes are very important for a balanced and healthy nutrition. Due to many valuable ingredients, legumes are therefore also found in many Metabolic Balance nutrition plans, provided that the blood values and preferences allow it. Since legumes tend to be “acidic” foods, they should, for example, be on the menu less often for people with an over acidic stomach, gastrointestinal ulcers, kidney disease or gout. However, the acid-base ratio can be easily balanced if the legumes are combined with whole grains, potatoes or vegetables.
To further increase the popularity of the colorful seeds, more and more products are entering the market, from flour made from various legumes to pasta and so-called “granules” which are mostly made from soy, supermarket shelves are nowadays full of products based on legumes.
Metabolic Balance participants often ask themselves whether they are allowed to eat flour or pasta made from legumes, since these usually contain only the legume and no other additives. Basically, they should keep in mind that pasta from legumes is a very highly processed product.
The unprocessed, raw legumes or even those preserved in water have much more nutrients, so it is not the same whether you eat natural legumes or pasta made from legumes.
Therefore, we recommend to integrate these pasta and flour alternatives into the menu only from phase 3 and also not to enjoy them too often, i.e. 1-2 times a week at the most. Soy granules, on the other hand, are produced with extreme technological input and are so highly processed that virtually no nutrients remain. That is why specialists and coaches at Metabolic Balance recommend avoiding granules.
Basically, it is always worthwhile to looking at the real food, which is nutrient dense. With regional organic prouce you will get the highest quality.
Natural gum, acacia gum: Vegetables, bark from different acacia
Fructosans: Onions, leek, asparagus
B-glucans: Oats, rye, barley, mushrooms
Resistant starch: Glucose; starch granules difficult to attack
How do fibers work?
Fibers have a variety of different properties depending on the category.
They stimulate chewing
Due to fiber structure, especially of cellulose and lignin, the food has to be chewed more intensively, which also stimulates the saliva flow. This supports tooth cleaning and neutralizes microbially formed acids, which has positive effects on dental health. The increased chewing effort also slows down food intake and triggers satiety stimuli, which usually means that less food is eaten overall.
Water binding, swelling properties, long-lasting saturation:
The water-binding and swelling properties increase the viscosity, i. e. the fluidity and volume of the stomach content. This delays the emptying of the stomach, which leads to longer satiety.
Swelling types of fiber delay the passage time of chyme through the small intestine, while fiber-like and water-insoluble fibers as well as the mucous substances speed up the passage time. This is why fibers are so appropriate to regulate intestinal disorders, such as constipation, and to improve bowel movements overall.
Positive effect on blood sugar and insulin levels:
Some gel-forming dietary fibers hinder enzymes during digestion, so that glucose can be absorbed more poorly, flows more slowly into the blood and thus blood sugar and insulin levels rise less.
Binding cholesterol and environmental toxins
Some dietary fibers, such as pectin, have the ability to bind to environmental toxins or even excess cholesterol and eliminate them from the body. This can reduce fat absorption, lower blood cholesterol, and decrease the deposit of toxic heavy metals and other pollutants.
Promote microflora and lower pH value
Due to the structural properties of dietary fiber, the multiplication of preferable colon bacteria is promoted and undesirable germs are lowered, among other things, by lowering the pH value. Thus, the microflora of the intestine is strengthened and can better protect against nutrition-related diseases.
Use in the food industry
Some of the listed dietary fibers look familiar to us from convenience foods and various processed foods, as their use is widespread in the food industry.
The food industry particularly appreciates the water-binding and gel-forming properties of a wide variety of dietary fibers (locust bean gum, guar gum or carrageen, xanthan and alginates) and likes to use them as stabilizers and thickeners.
Just as popular, however, are the water-soluble dietary fibers oligofructose and inulin, which have a slight sweetness and give some low-fat products a creamy consistency. However, some of these dietary fibers, which are extracted or produced by chemical processes, are suspected of promoting diseases. Such as carrageen, which is suspected of being carcinogenic and therefore banned in infant food.
How much fiber should be eaten daily?
The German Society for Nutrition (DGE) recommends an amount of 30g of dietary fiber per day. Metabolic Balance also recommends this amount and takes it into account when creating personalized nutrition plans.
To meet one’s daily requirement of 30g of fiber, nutrition must include plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains and legumes. For example, 3 slices of whole meal bread, 250g of vegetables, 300g of fruit and 200g of potatoes can cover the daily requirement.
Exclusively isolated fiber in the form of psyllium, chia seeds or wheat bran cannot replace fiber-rich foods. However, these can be added as a useful supplement to nutrition, e.g. in cereals (psyllium husks). Be aware: After ingesting isolated fiber such as psyllium husks, chia seeds or wheat bran, in any case drink 1-2 large glasses of water. Only then the dietary fiber can swell properly and develop its positive effect. If this is not taken into account, among other things, constipation can occur, as the dietary fiber pulls the required water from the intestinal content.
What happens if too little fiber is eaten?
If too little dietary fiber is ingested, this can lead to various negative effects:
Changes in the intestinal wall and intestinal mucosa
Obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes type 2
Tumors in the colon and rectum
As mentioned at the beginning, the assumption that fiber is unimportant and does not benefit our health can be clearly refuted. A sufficient daily intake of fiber is essential for a balanced and healthy nutrition. This cannot only treat nutrition-related diseases, such as constipation, but also, above all, do something for your health in a preventive way.
Those who eat according to their individual Metabolic Balance nutrition plan can be sure that they consume the recommended amount of 30g of dietary fiber per day. With the balanced ratio of proteins to carbohydrates in the form of fruit and vegetables, as well as the many starchy foods such as whole meal rye bread, oatmeal, potatoes or wild rice, as they prevail in the personalized Metabolic Balance nutrition plans, nothing stands in the way of a fiber-rich, balanced, healthy and preventive nutrition.
Many people cringe when “cholesterol” is mentioned as it is associated with unpleasant topics such as obesity and disease. But what actually is cholesterol and is it really as harmful as many fear? Who is affected by high cholesterol levels and is it enough to abstain from cholesterol-containing foods in order to protect oneself? You will find answers to all these questions in this short summary on cholesterol.
What is cholesterol and what does “LDL” and “HDL” mean? Cholesterol is a fat-like substance and can be found in all animal foods. Like fat, it does not dissolve in water and must therefore bind to certain proteins (lipoprotein) in order to be transported in the body via the blood (90% of which consists of water) to the various organs. The most important and best known lipoproteins in this context are HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and LDL (low-density lipoprotein).
LDL supplies the organs and tissues with cholesterol. Excess LDL cholesterol can bind with white blood cells and deposit on the inner walls, usually the arteries, of blood vessels, leading to arteriosclerosis. If these deposits thicken over time, the blood vessels become increasingly inelastic and constrict. In the worst case, this results in complete vascular occlusion, which can trigger coronary heart disease, stroke or heart attack. This is why there is often talk of “bad” or “evil” cholesterol.
HDL cholesterol has the property of binding excess LDL cholesterol from the blood and transporting it back to the liver, which is why it is also called “good” cholesterol.
Myth 1 Cholesterol is fundamentally harmful
Cholesterol is not fundamentally harmful, in fact, it is essential to life. Cholesterol is a very important component of the human body and performs a variety of tasks in the organism. It is involved . . .
. . . in the construction of cell walls and tissues
. . . in the formation of vitamin D
. . . in the formation of bile acids for fat digestion
. . . in the production of various hormones (cortisone, estrogen, testosterone)
Myth 2 Only very overweight people have high cholesterol levels
A high cholesterol level is not visible from the outside and does not necessarily depend on body weight. Most sufferers have no symptoms and do not notice their high cholesterol levels, so the disease often goes undetected and untreated. Both obese and normal-weight people may be affected by an increased level of LDL cholesterol. In addition to body weight, other risk factors such as an unhealthy lifestyle with increased tobacco and alcohol consumption, lack of exercise and poor nutrition, as well as diseases such as high blood pressure or diabetes play a major role. In addition, there is also a genetically-related metabolic disease known as familial hypercholesterolemia, in which the affected people often have a strongly elevated LDL cholesterol level already at a young age, which greatly increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. So even young people can have a heart attack at a very early age.
Myth 3 Eggs and cholesterol-containing foods are bad for cholesterol levels
About two-thirds of the body’s cholesterol is produced in the liver by the body itself. Only one third is ingested through food, of which only about half is actually absorbed by the body. In healthy people, dietary cholesterol intake has little effect on cholesterol levels because the body can adjust its own production of cholesterol accordingly. Thus, if there is a higher supply of dietary cholesterol, the body’s own production is inhibited. However, about 20-25% of the population are unable to do so, so that no adjustment of the body’s own cholesterol production takes place, resulting in elevated cholesterol levels in the blood. This adaptation mechanism can also fail to occur in the case of highly unbalanced nutrition with a high proportion of cholesterol, a lot of saturated fats, few long-chain carbohydrates, such as those found in fruit and highly processed foods, and little fiber. Therefore, it is much more important to develop a healthy and balanced nutrition pattern than to avoid eggs or other cholesterol-containing foods in general. Dietary fats with poor fat quality are considered a major health risk – especially in terms of elevated cholesterol levels. Saturated fatty acids, such as those found in butter, lard, cream, sausages, meat and cheese, increase cholesterol levels more than the cholesterol in food.Trans fatty acids, which are mainly found in industrially produced foods such as fried foods, pastries, confectionery and convenience foods, also have a negative effect on cholesterol levels, as they increase the “bad” LDL cholesterol and lower the “good” HDL cholesterol.
In order to control cholesterol levels through nutrition, the most suitable diet is one that uses a lot of
fiber-rich foods such as oats, pulses, apples and vegetables and that inhibits cholesterol intake.
vegetable oils with high omega-3 fatty acid content such as linseed oil, walnut oil and hemp oil and thus supports the cardiovascular system. However, nuts and seeds are also an ideal supplement.
green tea. It is rich in cell-protecting antioxidants, but also saponins, which can bind cholesterol and inhibit fat absorption from food.
With the Metabolic Balance nutrition concept and the individual selection of foods, the basis for a healthy cholesterol level is laid. In addition,
exercise in everyday life
limiting alcohol and tobacco consumption and
can have a positive effect on cholesterol levels. You want to go deeper into the topic? Then read the article written by Silvia Bürkle, nutritionist and co-founder of Metabolic Balance here.